Campaign Update

It’s been quite a while since we posted an update on this website. Obviously since April when the judgment was found in favour of our campaign for publication, the Olympic Stadium and many of the problems associated with it have been in the news a great deal. We have been busy ourselves, and as this is an entirely volunteer-led and run campaign, sometimes things don’t move as quickly as we’d like.

This is some of what we’ve been doing:

1. Investigating the contract

The contract is itself a complex document that required a great deal of investigation. Specifically, it raises a whole series of other questions and issues that themselves needed investigation, and in some case further enquiries made.

2. Speaking with our friends and supporters

We’ve also been speaking with some of those who have supported our campaign about what the next steps should be. There is a lot of support to continue to ensure that the current deal is fairer to the taxpayer and to football.

We’re nearly ready to move ahead with our next steps, so keep an ear out for more news.

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Tribunal judgement now online

Worshipful_Master's_Gavel

Following the release yesterday by the London Legacy Development Corporation of the agreement between itself and West Ham United FC, the judgement of the tribunal which ruled in favour of publication is now available.

The judgement completely dismissed one of the central claims of the LLDC of ‘commercial sensitivity’, amongst other issues, and at a mere 21 pages long is light reading when compared to the actual contract.

Olympic Stadium Agreement released

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It appears that the entire, unredacted agreement between the London Legacy Development Corporation has been released, in full. However at 207 pages, it will take a while to asses it. The hard work now begins to understand the deal, its costs to the taxpayer, and to football, and any further implications.

It can be found on the Olympic Park website, here: http://queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/~/media/lldc/concession%20agreement%202016.pdf

We would first like to thank the LLDC for finally seeing commonsense and publishing what appears to be the full agreement. This is the right decision for the taxpayer, and the right decision for football.

We would like to place on record our tremendous appreciation to those 14 supporters’ trusts and fan groups who have shown their backing for this campaign. This is a victory for the power of football supporters: Organised, focused and willing to work together to achieve a collective goal.

We also need to thank the nearly 30,000 members of the public who signed the initial petition; the extraordinary unanimous cross-party support from Greens, Tories, Lib Dems and Labour at the London Assembly; and to a number of MPs too many to name who kept this issue on the agenda.

It should be noted that, as per the judgement of the tribunal that ruled in favour of publication, any claims of any commercial damage made by the LLDC were completely rejected by the tribunal. Any points on this should be directed to them, or to the text of their ruling.

We will be making no further comment at this stage.

LLDC appeal rejected in full – full publication ordered

Fan coalition praises Information Tribunal for “Standing up for what is right” as Olympic Stadium LLDC appeal rejected in full

Olympic Stadium Coalition

Press release:

Fan coalition praises Information Tribunal for “Standing up for what is right” as Olympic Stadium LLDC appeal rejected in full

The coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts & groups demanding the publication of the full financial terms of the contract between West Ham United and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LDDC) today expressed “satisfaction” at the rejection of the appeal by the LLDC to the information tribunal.

The failure of the LLDC to convince the judge means that the original decision by the Information Commissioner (ICO) ordering the publication of the terms must be enforced, and that the information sought by the coalition, MPs, the entire Greater London Assembly and thousands of members of the public will now have to be published.

There is however a right of appeal should the LLDC decide that it wishes to appeal against the decision.

A coalition spokesman said ““We’re naturally delighted with the outcome, as we see this as an issue of fairness to the taxpayer, to clubs near and far, and to football as a whole. We now respectfully request that the LLDC do what is right, waive the right to an appeal, and publish the deal in full so that it can be properly assessed and its implications understood.”

“Naturally, due process has to be completed, and though the LLDC’s appeal has been dismissed, it will be their decision as to whether they want to continue to pursue a case that has fallen at every hurdle – with the further financial cost to the taxpayer that will bring.”

“We believe that the tribunal stood up for what is right, namely the right of members of the public to know how their assets are being used, and money is being spent.”

“The very reason we launched this campaign was because there was considerable doubt about the use of a major public asset, and the money being spent. Don’t forget that these are terms granted to a privately owned business: a Premier League football club who will next year be in receipt of more than £100m per-season just for turning up.”

There is no right of appeal against the decision by either party except on specific legal grounds.

The coalition will not be making any further comment at this time.

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For further information please go to https://oscoalition.wordpress.com
You can also contact the campaign via email at olympicstadiumcoalition@gmail.com

Editors notes:

Faced with a refusal by the LLDC to explain how public money was being spent on the Olympic Stadium deal between West Ham United and the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Olympic Stadium Coalition launched a petition calling for a public inquiry to expose the truth. This was backed by Chris Bryant MP, then Shadow Secretary of State and David Lammy, former Culture minister. The petition gained 25,000 signatures within days: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106355

We believe public money should be used responsibly, fairly, and in a way which does not distort the competitiveness of independent sports bodies and businesses… Considering the cost to the taxpayer, and the effect of this taxpayer subsidy on competition between clubs, a full public inquiry into the deal is -needed.

Football supporter groups, representing tens of thousands of football fans, as part of the coalition are:
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust
Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust
The Blue Union (Everton)
Canaries Trust (Norwich City)
Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust
Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust
The Dons Trust (AFC Wimbledon)
The Foxes Trust (Leicester City)
Fulham Supporters’ Trust
Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust
Manchester United Supporters’ Trust
QPR1st Supporters’ Trust
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust

Tribunal report posted

Olympic_Stadium_(London),_16_April_2012

Last week, the remaining arguments were again presented in a continuation of the appeal made by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) against the ruling by the Information Commissioner that the full financial terms of their contract with West Ham United be published.

We have provided the following document, summing up the remarks at the tribunal hearing of Richard Hunt, who pursued the original case. The document neatly sums up the arguments put forward by the coalition in favour of full disclosure.

You can read more about our campaign via the FAQs section on this site.

Any further enquiries can be directed to olympicstadiumcoalition@gmail.com

Tribunal to reconvene on 17th March

OLYMPIC STADIUM COALITION: Press release

Date: 11/03/2016

For immediate release

Tribunal hearing Freedom of Information appeal to reconvene on the 17th March Coalition calls for LLDC to “respect decision”

The previously adjourned hearing concerning the appeal by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) against the Information Commissioner’s (ICO) order to publish the full financial terms of the deal between itself and West Ham United FC will reconvene on Thursday March 17th at 10:00, at Court 4, 15 Bream’s Buildings, London, EC4A 1DZ. Map here: http://is.gd/ANn6G1

A spokesman said:

“We have already demonstrated to the tribunal that it is impossible for another football club to share the stadium, despite the LLDC’s insistence, and the fact that West Ham United were perfectly happy to contradict the LLDC view only serves to underscore the strength of our case.”

“We hope, given this, and the weight of other evidence presented to support our case, that the LLDC and anyone else with influence over them, respects the decision of the tribunal and doesn’t seek a further appeal. During a time when the LLDC itself is struggling to make a commercial success of the Olympic legacy, racking up thousands more on top of the £21,000 of taxpayers’ money already spent on this appeal alone does seem to be frivolous.”

This is what we don’t yet know:

  • How much the stadium costs to hire
  • How much the stadium maintenance will cost, and who will pay for it
  • How much each party will earn from stadium naming rights
  • What happens to the stadium in the event of financial difficulties at stadium company E20
  • What happens if West Ham United is sold by its current owners
  • How much West Ham United earns from matchday catering
  • How many jobs are being ‘created’
  • How much office space is being provided to West Ham United and on what terms

You can read more on our website, where we’ve posted information about each of these issues, and why we think they matter.

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