WHO Poll
Q: 2018/19 Wolves (H)
a. At last we have a win now let's make it two, Win
48%
  
b. A win against 10 men and two leagues below us is fine, but this will be much harder I'll take a point, Draw
13%
  
c. Who are we kidding, a win against Wimbledon and all is rosy, forget it we're getting our arses kicked in this one, Lose
30%
  
d. It's at times like these when you really do miss Love Island
2%
  
e. I was all over this game until I found out it's not on the box, the broadcasting companies really don't care about us hard core fans do they, I might pop off to Thorpe Park for the day instead, obviously in my WHU shirt
8%
  



Alan 11:40 Tue Sep 11
Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
Mail

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)

PwoperNaughtyButNot 10:26 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
Where has his son gone out on loan?

PwoperNaughtyButNot 10:25 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
(nt)

simon.s 2:01 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
You can’t help feeling that the stadium owners and our owners totally fucking deserve each other.

Northern Sold 1:54 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
10 in a row Norm that's surely a fucking record that??? Fair play... oh and proper RANT

Sir Alf 1:49 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
normannomates 4:42 Thu Sep 13

Well said Norm. But like others say, when push comes to shove no one will do anything and continue to pay their Sky subscriptions and keep the trough full of cash.

claret on my shirt 12:29 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
We ripped them off with cheap rent etc, Brady got a great deal on that part of the rented shit hole. BUT if you rip someone off then every time you need them or have to work with them they will make your life difficult and hard and that is what we are seeing now.

WorldCupWilly 12:24 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
From that article:

"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."

He's the cunt that's trying to do all the negotiating for E20 and screw us into paying for things we shouldn't have to. His latest effort is trying to get us to pay for the carpet each year.

Not only has he cost E20 nearly half a million a year in fees, but also they've lost all of the court cases where he's got them to try and charge us more money

COOL HAND LUKE 5:49 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners

You okay there, Norm..?? :-)

normannomates 4:54 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
who is really up for change?..on a radical level? ..not many benny.

most bods on here and in general talk a good game...

moan..moan moan


being in the premier league is all that matters ultimately

normannomates 4:42 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
Wimbledon started agian
they have proved it can be done..we sure as shit can follow suit.

the club as i knew it is finished..lets start again.

fuck the premier league..fuck the FA and fuck the PFA ..all milking it..corrupt cunts to a man/woman/tranny/poof

all got their snouts in the trough

FUCK EM ALL

normannomates 4:33 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
reap what you sow cunts

normannomates 3:21 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
that Samuel piece has really pissed me off.

the sheer level of arrogant mendacity is staggering.

the crafty bastards knew exactly what they were getting into...and were hoping we wouldnt break ranks.

the lies over the distance from the pitch and the retractable seating will be there ultimate undoing and legacy.


just fuck off you scum cunts

normannomates 3:09 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
the fuckers using the words"us" ..and "we"...i aint nothing to do with those fucking wankers...are you?

normannomates 3:03 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
the owners are lying scumbags

the list of lies are as long as my baby arm.

Brady is poison..proper.

she needs to go..NOW

followed swiftly by the owners

normannomates 2:52 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
likes of this cunt are all to prevalent over that shithole

our club is finished as we knew ir.

shame on all of us..

normannomates 2:49 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
like all journos...id gladlly shit down his neck.

normannomates 2:43 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
hes balls deep up sullivans ring piece...the bloke is an utter cunt

normannomates 2:40 Thu Sep 13
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
is this the same fat fuck journo in corporate martin samuels?


fucking wanker

REALGSA 11:21 Tue Sep 11
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
Just wait a little longer guys.

The Freeholders will have to sell and Gold and Sullivan will make an offer. Once accepted package a deal and sell the club...

Far Cough 9:27 Tue Sep 11
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
Ah, standard

Kaiser Zoso 9:27 Tue Sep 11
Re: Martin Samuel hammers the stadium owners
BulphanSouhWoodhamIron

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