There are fears E20 Stadium LLP, who own the London Stadium, could go bust
West Ham have been criticised by the owners of the London Stadium for failing to cover matchday costs with the peppercorn rent they pay to use the former Olympic Stadium.
talkSPORT told you last month that E20 Stadium LLP could go bust sometime in the coming months after taking a £14million loan to cover annual losses of £22million in the year to March 31, 2018.
E20 are expected to be backed by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) until next March, though Mayor of London Sadiq Khan may pull the plug on the use of public money to fund the stadium.
West Ham are currently in a legal dispute with E20 after the latter refused to accept a £380,000 offer from the club to install claret material surrounding the pitch.
The landlord wants the club to pay £325,000-per-year to change the colour of the material, according to the Times.
Lyn Garner, E20’s chief executive, said: “No other Premier League football club has such an opportunity to have a track cover with its colours on.”
“We think that the club should pay not a one-off cost for the track cover but an annual fee.”
Garner went on to outline the real issue with West Ham’s tenancy is the peppercorn rent paid by the club, with their annual £2.5million payment not covering matchday costs.
“What is really driving the problems are the low rents paid by the concessionaires, particularly West Ham,” Garner continued.
“I’ve got to say the elephant in the room is the fee that they pay us is the usage cost does not cover the event-day costs and that’s before we go anywhere near a commercial advantage.”
E20 have also put almost £2million aside to cover the costs of legal action with West Ham.
The club, who sit last in the Premier League after losing each of their first four matches, responded to the claims.
“West Ham United initially offered to purchase London Stadium but our request was denied. We were given a tenancy agreement because we were the best offer by far on the table.
“As LLDC acknowledged at the hearing today the losses at the stadium are due to a number of factors, including the extraordinary cost of moving the retractable seating, inefficient operating costs and the absence of a naming rights partner. There are other commercial opportunities that they have ignored.
“West Ham United have offered our experience, expertise and opportunities for shared endeavour every step of the way but these have so far has been rejected, as well as considerable cash for additional rights, all of which have also been rejected.”