Karren Brady: West Ham United would be interested in purchasing the London Stadium

According to a recent report landlord the London Stadium is losing £20 million per year

Tom Kershaw
Thursday 18 October 2018 10:31
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The stadium is supposedly losing £20 million per year
The stadium is supposedly losing £20 million per year

West Ham’s vice-chairman Karren Brady says the club would consider buying the London Stadium after it was reported that it was losing £20 million per year.

West Ham pay an index-adjusting annual rent which is currently around £3 million, however, the stadium is projected to lose £140 million over the next decade.

The stadium's owners, London Legacy Development Corporation, claimed each West Ham match day costs taxpayers £250,000, but Brady responded by saying the club's offers to help have been dismissed.

Brady has been the vice-chairman at West ham since 2010

"I refuse to accept any criticism that our rent is too low, because that is simply not the case. Costs are too high.

"We would like more control over our matchdays, no one knows how to do that more than us. When we first wanted to move in, we offered to buy the stadium, and we would have been responsible for all costs and that was rejected.

"The amount of expertise that we could give to (landlords) E20 to realise the potential in the naming rights, for example, which is a big part of missing revenue for them, has been disregarded.

"A naming rights sponsor is not interested on the outside of a building, they're interested in the massive global audience the Premier League club generates.

"I think the London Stadium craves direction. I think it should be a jewel in the crown for London, it should be hosting events 365 days a year."

West Ham want to convert the stadium into a full-time football ground which can host occasional events and increase the seating capacity to 60,000. That would come at a cost of £323, although the original forecast was £190 million.

The retractable seating, in particular, which allows for the Olympic Stadium's athletics track has proven to be a serious financial burden and the club has been involved in further disputes over the sale of alcohol and stewarding at the stadium.

The stadium's retractable seating has apparently been a stumbling block

If they were to buy the ground, Brady says West Ham wouldn't want to take on the stadium's pre-existing sponsorship agreements and find themselves laboured in the same predicament as the current owners, although the matter is yet to be formally discussed by the board.

"(Buying the stadium is) certainly something we would look at. I think if it was to become a dedicated football stadium, with pop concerts and maybe the occasional rugby match that could be a really seriously good proposition.

"The problem for this stadium is the cost of the seat moves for athletics. That is what drains the proposition of all of its revenue."

"It really should have the commercial expertise it deserves, it should have the financial controls it so readily needs, it does need investment.

"The Premier League generates enormous amounts of sponsorship revenue and this is a wonderful stadium. There is lots of great stadia in this country but there isn't one as iconic as the ex-Olympic Stadium.

"I would have thought it would be relatively easy to sell.

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