WEST HAM’S rent on the London Stadium is so low it does not even cover the cost of staging their matches throughout the season.
The owners of the former Olympic Stadium are facing huge financial problems having failed to agree a series of commercial deals for the venue.
But the chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation has claimed at the heart of the issue is the meagre £2.5million-a-year West Ham pay to play there.
Lyn Garner told the London Assembly: “To be honest, what is really driving the problems here are the low rents paid by the concessionaires, particularly West Ham.
“The elephant in the room is the fee that they pay us in a usage cost does not cover the event-day costs, and that’s before we go anywhere near a commercial advantage.
“It simply does not cover the costs of running the events on a day-to-day basis.
“The stadium is a centrepiece of the legacy of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
“It’s really important that we tackle the public subsidy issue over the next few years. There is much to do and many reasons for it.”
West Ham are currently in dispute with E20, the company set up to run the former Olympic Stadium, over the design of a new pitch-surround to cover the running track and an honours board which has been taken down and not replaced.
E20 responded to West Ham’s complaint about the honours board by claiming there are unpaid bills which need to be settled.
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The club deny that is the case and have threatened legal action in order to get the situation resolved.”West Ham are disappointed that a public body should try to mislead taxpayers. There are no unpaid bills.
“E20 have, on a number of occasions, sought payments from West Ham United that are not part of our tenancy agreement.
“We have taken successful legal action against E20 on a number of similar disputes and will do so again if necessary.”
Meanwhile, Garner, addressing the London Assembly, revealed West Ham’s rent does not even cover the cost of staging a match.
E20 recorded operating losses of around £22million for the last financial year and faces the possibility of being dissolved.