WEST HAM’S London Stadium tenancy has taken another miserable twist after a row with their landlords over 3,000 new seats, according to reports.
The Hammers want to make as much as possible out of their £2.5million per year, 99-year lease by taking the capacity up to 60,000 and then 66,000.
But the London Legacy Development Corporation – who run the ground – have issues with the running costs.
Gerry Murphy, the acting chief executive of the LLDC, told London Assembly on Wednesday: “There is a dispute with West Ham about what the contract says in terms of capacity.
“West Ham have absolutely said that they want to increase the capacity to 60,000. And actually they want to further increase the capacity to 66,000.
“LLDC and E20 (the landlords) disagrees with their interpretation of the contract.
“We feel that actually if West Ham want to enjoy more seats then they should commensurately pay more. And that’s the gist of the disagreement between us and it is subject to legal proceedings.
“West Ham’s argument is they would receive all of the extra revenue from the extra seats. We would contend we should get a share of that.”
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West Ham have denied trying to dodge the extra costs and have insisted the fee they agreed to pay should cover the new seats.
A West Ham spokesperson said: “These seats are in London Stadium already, have always been there, and have already been paid for under the terms of our concession agreement.
“Having sought a resolution of this matter for many months, West Ham United are seeking a legal declaration.”
A whopping £300m of public money went into converting the Olympic Stadium into West Ham’s home and the stadium operators E20 are juggling annual losses of about £20m.
Newham borough council, which loaned £40m towards the conversion of the stadium, has accepted they will never see a penny repaid and has withdrawn from the E20 partnership.
And London mayor Sadiq Khan is taking control over the stadium back after slamming predecessor Boris Johnson for overseeing the deal.
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Khan said: “Not for the first time, it reveals a bungled decision-making process that has the previous mayor’s fingerprints all over it.
“Boris Johnson clearly panicked when faced with legal challenges about West Ham and Newham’s joint bid to take ownership of the stadium and then decided to rerun the bid process with the taxpayer taking all the risks and footing almost the whole bill.
“You simply couldn’t make it up.”