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Alan 11:37 Tue Sep 11
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil, 29, is a target for Turkish side Fenerbahce. (Fotomac)

Tottenham are monitoring Leicester City's 21-year-old left-back Ben Chilwell, who has been handed his first England senior call-up, and are lining up a January offer for Ajax's Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong, 21. (Telegraph)

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, 26, has vowed to transfer his international scoring form over to the Premier League for Tottenham. (Daily Mirror)

Four-time Premier League winner Edwin van der Sar, 47, has ruled himself out of the running for the new technical role at Manchester United. (Sky Sports)

Former England and Newcastle midfielder Paul Gascoigne, 51, says England will "never get another me" after manager Gareth Southgate said the Three Lions lack creativity in midfield. (The Sun)

Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel, 31, says Leicester's "hard sell" approach in the transfer window means the club will no longer be "bullied" in the market. (Daily Star)

Meanwhile, Leicester defender Jonny Evans, 30, has praised the young players coming through the ranks in the Northern Ireland squad. (Aberdeen Evening Express)

Chelsea overpaid by around £40m when they spent £71.6m for Athletic Bilbao's 23-year-old Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in August, according to the CIES Football Observatory. (Football Italia)

Charlton Athletic's 16-year-old midfielder Jeremy Sarmiento, who was born in Madrid to Ecuadorian parents, is on the verge of joining Portuguese giants Benfica despite interest from Manchester City.(London Evening Standard)

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw, 23, is set to miss his club's next two games after suffering concussion playing for England. United play at Watford on Saturday before travelling to Switzerland to face Young Boys in the Champions League next Wednesday. (Mirror)

Former England forward John Barnes, 54, says he feels sorry for Tottenham and Three Lions striker Harry Kane because Gareth Southgate's national team lack any creative midfielders. (Talksport)

West Bromwich Albion will not lose English forward Dwight Gayle, 28, this season - despite reports Chinese clubs are interested in the striker. Gayle is on a season-long loan from Newcastle United. (Express & Star)

The Champions League final could be hosted in New York in the future, according to a prominent media mogul. From 2021 onwards, there are no confirmed venues for the final. (Sun)

Championship club Derby County have been allocated more than 8,500 seats for their Carabao Cup third-round tie at Manchester United on 25 September. (Derby Telegraph)

Former Aston Villa midfielder Khalid Abdo, 21, has returned to his native Sweden to train with Stockholm-based club AIK. (Birmingham Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

Unai Emery may have denied reports that he has fallen out with Mesut Özil, but news from Turkey has done little to quell speculation that that all is not well in the relationship between the Arsenal manager and his star midfielder. News organisation Fotomac says Fehnerbahce are lining up a cheeky bid for Özil in January, speculation that ought to be taken with a shovel full of salt considering the rather parlous state of the club’s finances.

While they’re not exactly short of a bob or two, the Turkish football expert Emre Sarigul, writing recently in the Guardian, says that Fenerbahce’s new president, Ali Koc, “has made it his duty to sort out the spiralling debts, currently standing at a staggering €621m”. With three years remaining on his £350,000-per-week contract, Özil won’t come cheap. Furthermore, at 29 years of age, such a deal hardly fits in with the Turkish club’s new policy of investing only in young players. In slightly more plausible speculation, Manchester United are also believed to be monitoring the situation of a player Arsenal are believed to value at around £40m.

With his contract due to expire next summer, Cesc Fàbregas is free to discuss his future with foreign clubs from January, but could be sold by Chelsea in the next window so his employers get some money rather than letting him go as a free agent. The Spaniard appears surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, where Jorginho, N’Golo Kanté, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are ahead of him in the pecking order and interest from both Milan clubs means Chelsea may sanction his departure.

Ben Chilwell’s impressive start to the season certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. Along with his Leicester City team-mate Demarai Gray, the full-back was drafted into the England squad for tonight’s friendly against Switzerland and he has also attracted the attention of Tottenham Hotspur. Having failed to sign a single player last summer, Spurs are eager to recruit some new faces and are also being linked with Paris Saint-Germain’s unsettled midfielder Adrien Rabiot and his Ajax counterpart Frenkie De Jong. Spurs are understood to have had a £45m bid for De Jong rejected already, while Barcelona are also interested in the 21-year-old.

Despite his ropey start to the season – remember that horror show against Cardiff? – Brazilian midfielder Kenedy wants to turn things around and earn himself a summer recall to Chelsea. “I hope this year I can make a good season for Newcastle and go back to Chelsea to continue,” he said. “I have a dream to return and to be a champion for the club.” With his club yet to secure their first win of the season, Newcastle fans will be fully behind him in his quest to rediscover his excellent form of last season.

And finally, Hirving Lozano, one of Mexico’s star players during the World Cup, is a wanted man. Atlético Madrid are understood to have joined Manchester United, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in the coterie of admirers giving the 23-year-old PSV Eindhoven winger the glad eye.


What the playground squabble really means

The current standoff between London Stadium owners and West Ham could be described as a playground squabble with each party trying to get in the last convinced their position is right. Both sides seem to suggest the other one is misleading the public but who is right?

First let me cover what they do agree on, LLDC confirm West Ham are now paying £3m in rent per year. They helpfully explain that as the £2.5m rent was index linked it now stands at £2.675m with over £300k per year paid for extra rights.

They do argue West Ham’s £6m figure from catering which is the total revenue figure received by catering firm Delaware North, the caterers presumably need to pay their match day staff out that £6m as well as their wholesale costs for the food and drink they sell before adding on their fat profit margin for the American company.

LLDC claim their cut of the catering profit is just £30,000 per game so with 19 league games and 2 cup games played at the London Stadium last season that works out at around £630,000. West Ham shares also 30% of catering revenue profit on anything over £500,000 each season. It does beg the question on how good the catering deal is they agreed.

The next dispute is the match day running costs which LLDC say have increased from £200,000 to £270,000 per game since the Burnley incident. It is true that at figure twenty one games would cost them £5.67m per season therefore dwarfing the £3.63m they receive from West Ham but that again is a reflection of the deal that struck with French operator London Stadium 185.

LLDC CEO Lyn Garner has already confirmed that her team is going through the operators charges line by line after the operator revealed a £5m gross profit last year which caused some to question whether the deal offers value for money.

Possible the most interesting and revealing statement in yesterday’s LLDC letter was the line that “At no time did we lay blame at West Ham for this but made it clear this was down to a contract signed in 2013 which both underestimated costs and also left too much to interpretation as to what West Ham was entitled to for their fee.”

This both confirms that previous LLDC leadership underestimated the costs and agreed a deal at too low of a rent but also that the contract leaves too much for interpretation as to what West Ham are entitled. This is a large part of the reason LLDC and E20 have spent £6m in legal costs and why they have a good chance of losing their upcoming court case on capacity.


West Ham's bad landlords keep wasting YOUR money

West Ham's bad landlords continue to waste your money over legal battles
London Stadium owners, E20, could lose £4m in upcoming hearings this year
E20 are still searching for a naming rights deal two years after their first game
They're desperate to paint their tenants as villains, but are struggling to do so

By Martin Samuel

There have been worse landlords than London Stadium owners, E20. Rigsby from Rising Damp, for instance. He was miserly, interfering, parochial, gauchely aspirational, and a terrible snob with extreme right-wing views.

He lusted after one of his tenants, Ruth Jones, and cheated at billiards.

Mind you, he could probably have done a better job getting a naming rights deal for an Olympic arena in London. As could his cat, Vienna.

The news that E20 have set aside £1.8million of their — meaning your — money to lose to West Ham in various unnecessary legal actions goes some way to capturing their belligerent incompetence.

How can we be so sure this money is to be frittered away?

Well, in court actions against their tenants so far, E20 and their predecessors the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) have lost four expert determinations, two injunctions and several technical points on the way to another major hearing in November.

Lose that case and £1.8m is unlikely to cover it. The legal costs of both sides — and E20 invariably end up footing West Ham's bill, too, when they lose — is believed to come in at around £4m.

A recent Freedom Of Information request broke down the costs of all E20's external legal services relating to the stadium, West Ham, UK Athletics and Vinci (who cover operations and maintenance), at £1,850,355.69 between November 1, 2017 and August 15, 2018. A previous FOI request put their prior costs at £3.3m. In addition, Expert Determination costs were £361,226.95 and the November hearing — a capacity dispute involving just 3,000 seats — currently stands at £1,694,852.52.

Your money, do not forget. Much like the £40,000 E20 pays Alan Fort, the former chief executive of American Golf, each month for commercial consultancy. This, in a world-renowned stadium still searching for a naming rights deal more than two years after its anchor tenants played their first game. Still, you don't get much for half a million annually these days.

When West Ham played their most recent home game against Wolves a hoarding reminded the crowd that the London Stadium 'is for everyone'. Meaning E20 still don't get it. For much of the year, the London Stadium is most certainly for everyone and if the landlords can sell it — and they usually can't — good luck to them. When West Ham, their tenants, are playing, however, it isn't. It's for West Ham, their club, their fans, their guests.

It is as if, having struck a poor deal as the LLDC, E20 have come to resent their only regular source of income. Lyn Garner, the chief executive with an annual salary that can rise above £250,000 with pension contributions and bonuses, recently told the London Assembly that West Ham's £2.5m annual rent does not even cover usage costs. Even if this were true — and it is not, the revenue generated by West Ham and due to the landlords amounts to nearer £10m — this is not the fault of the tenants.

West Ham's price was set by competitive tender and they were, by the end, the only viable game in town. Due to the colossal mismanagement of the legacy process, nobody actually wanted what the LLDC had to sell — which is why West Ham paid such an appealing price. Garner is said to be under pressure from Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, to bring West Ham to their knees.

Yet so far E20 have only succeeded in throwing good money after bad in court. As a result, relations between two parties that should work hand in glove are now at an all-time low. There is no trust and little co-operation. This makes the stadium inefficient and costs the taxpayer even more.

Two examples. When West Ham fans invaded the pitch and caused disturbances during a match with Burnley last season, the club received a letter from the Football Association demanding explanation: the correspondence ran to 150 pages. The usual details were required: how many stewards were deployed, how were they deployed, where were they deployed.

Yet West Ham, alone among Premier League clubs, do not control match-day security. That is determined by their landlords. They wrote, asking for assistance in replying to the FA, and this request was refused. So that was injunction number one, which E20 understandably lost — at cost to you.

Then there was the plan for a second tier of LED advertising around the perimeter of the pitch. West Ham receive 90 per cent of the existing advertising, as per their agreement, but the landlords no doubt feel they have made another poor deal. Their threat was to place a second tier of LED signage on top of the existing hoardings, possibly containing conflicting advertising. Again West Ham sought an injunction, again they won, again you paid.

E20 are desperate to paint their tenants as the villains, but appear to have a problem getting any neutral arbiter to agree.

The most recent battleground is over the covering of the athletics track surrounding the pitch. It used to be green, but this made the surface area look huge which one former West Ham manager, Slaven Bilic, thought was advantageous to the opposition. The Expert Determination supported this view. West Ham offered to pay the costs and maintenance of a new surround, roughly £380,000, but understandably wished it to be claret and blue — or at least dually branded.

E20 remain insistent West Ham should pay an annual fee of £325,000 as if renting advertising space. The branding of the London Stadium, they add, is navy blue and white and this will be the surround colour otherwise. Yet why is it navy blue and white? Once West Ham had been awarded their 99-year lease, what idiot, given a completely blank canvas, decided the colours of the stadium should not mirror that of its anchor tenants?

The All Blacks have played at the stadium and so will the New York Yankees, but they are passing through. When the 22nd Century arrives there is only one club that will be approaching its centenary in the London Stadium and it is West Ham.

How can the brand colours be anything other than claret and blue? Why do E20 not wish their tenants to feel at home? Do they not realise that it is this disconnection, this alienation, that makes West Ham's supporters feel dissatisfied with their new location, and that their anger and the resulting bad publicity is the main reason naming rights deals have been hard to strike? Do they not see it is all connected?

In the meantime, opportunities stay missed. West Ham would undoubtedly pay more to change the look and feel of the London Stadium, but not while their landlords are so dismally managed and losing above £20m annually. The fear is increased contributions will just be used to plug these inefficient gaps, without asking why such an iconic venue cannot be run successfully.

In one episode of Rising Damp, Rigsby and Ruth discuss the pill. 'It doesn't mean they're doing anything wrong,' she says. 'It's a precaution — after all, you pay fire insurance but you don't expect the house to burn down.'

'Yes,' says Rigsby, 'but you are supposed to try and extinguish the blaze, Miss Jones, not lie back and enjoy it.'

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 7:55 Wed Sep 12
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Texas Iron 12:33 Wed Sep 12
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

BubblesCyprus 4:11 Tue Sep 11
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated

Thanks Alan 12:47 Tue Sep 11
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
charleyfarley 12:40 Tue Sep 11

charleyfarley 12:40 Tue Sep 11
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Al

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