West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

All you need to know about West Ham United FC's potential move to Stratford.

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West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by gavrosh » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:24 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/football/201 ... are_btn_tw

Campaigners for transparency over West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium have scored a major victory after the Information Commissioner ruled the terms of the deal should be made public, the Guardian can reveal.

Both the London Legacy Development Corporation and West Ham had long argued that the deal for the largely-taxpayer-funded stadium should remain buried beneath a sea of black ink for reasons of commercial confidentiality. The decision could be embarrassing for the London mayor, Boris Johnson, who was desperate to conclude a deal with a football club to give the stadium a sustainable future, and West Ham, battling to convince the public the terms do not amount to a taxpayers’ subsidy for a rich football club.

It may also reopen the argument over whether the LLDC broke European state-aid rules, after the Guardian revealed earlier this year that it had failed to apply to the European Commission for an exemption.

Following a convoluted Freedom of Information process started last September by the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust, the Information Commissioner has ruled that the commercial terms under which the east London club will become the stadium’s anchor tenants next summer must be published.

It is already known that West Ham will pay only £15m of the £272m needed to make the 54,000-capacity stadium suitable for Premier League football, athletics and other events. The annual rental agreement on the 99-year lease is believed to be around £2.5m, although the true figure has never been confirmed.

A host of other details around the proportion of the naming rights, catering, merchandising and hospitality revenues taken by West Ham have remained secret, meanwhile.

The LLDC will also be obliged to reveal which costs it is meeting, on matchdays and elsewhere, and which are being met by West Ham. The exact terms of the lease, including a negotiated discount if West Ham are relegated, will also have to be revealed for the first time. During a long game of legal ping pong with those who sought more transparency, the LLDC would reveal only that West Ham retained all the money from ticket sales and that the annual usage fee covers matchday costs.

Unless it is successful with an appeal the LLDC will be forced to reveal the terms of the deal in its entirety, giving rise to a new wave of scrutiny over whether the taxpayer is getting value for money.

West Ham had argued in its submission that it was “deeply concerned that the disclosure of the commercially confidential and sensitive information will inevitably have an adverse impact on the stadium partnership”.

It was also concerned that full transparency around the terms had “the very real potential to damage the perception of WHUFC in relation to the stadium”. It said it could affect its ability to sell tickets and prejudice its negotiating position with customers and suppliers.

The LLDC argued that it would impact its search for a naming-rights partner and prejudice future negotiations between the stadium operator, Vinci, and other potential users of the stadium. It also revealed that West Ham had threatened to sue for breach of confidence if confidentiality clauses were broken.

But the Commissioner ruled that neither the LLDC nor West Ham had been able to demonstrate how the information could be exploited by competitors or how it would place them at a commercial disadvantage.

A coalition of 14 club supporters’ trusts, formed to campaign on the issue, will now call on Johnson not to appeal the decision and to publish the contract immediately.

“The Information Commissioner’s decision could not have been clearer, and it is equally clear to us that publication must follow. This campaign is publicly backed by 25,000 individuals, football supporters’ trusts from around the country, and the public interest in the issue is there for all to see,” said a spokesman. “We call on the mayor not to use the appeal system to delay publication of this document further. If he does it will open him up to the suspicion that he has something to hide.”

The largest chunk of funding for the transformation comes from a one-off settlement of £148.8m from the exchequer in 2010.

Newham council has provided £40m, West Ham £15m, almost £40m comes from the original £9.3bn budget for the Olympics, and a further £25m from the government.

The cost of the conversion soared from the original estimate of £160m when the decision was taken to award West Ham a 99-year lease after an earlier process had collapsed amid acrimony and legal challenge.

West Ham and the LLDC have argued that without the upfront costs to convert and kit out the stadium to make it suitable for football, it would be an ongoing drain on the public purse.

The LLDC board was formerly chaired by Johnson, who quietly resigned from the post shortly before the general election, and is now headed by his long time Olympics adviser, Neale Coleman.

“We are disappointed by the Information Commissioner’s decision which we believe will damage our ability to secure the best deal for the taxpayer in future. The stadium will have many users and publishing the contractual details will undermine our ability to deliver the best financial outcome from numerous future negotiations. We always strive to balance transparency while protecting the taxpayers’ financial interest and we are considering the ruling carefully as we decide what action to take.”

It is believed that the LLDC will come to a decision in the next 10 days over whether to appeal. If it decides against, it has 35 days from 3 September, the date the Information Commission sent the letter, to make the information public.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by gavrosh » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:25 pm

Of course its the LLDC that have to reveal the details, but why not try to tarnish West Ham's name any further?

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by HamburgHammer » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:34 pm

I hope the petitioners are proud. The result of all this could be that the terms of the deal will stay as they are anyway unless it all came about in unlawful ways (bribery, underhand tactics).
Yet the taxpayer may suffer further from the commercial confidentiality being broken here by Vinci not being able to negotiate the best deal for future OS events as a result.
So the petitioners would win in getting the contents of the deal disclosed while the taxpayer including the petitioners themselves lose out on more income being generated back for the taxpayer through the OS.

On what legal grounds could the terms of the deal at this stage be altered without West Ham or the LLDC having the opportunity to walk away ? What are the consequences for the taxpayer then ?

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by AlfieG » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:57 pm

It is believed that the LLDC will come to a decision in the next 10 days over whether to appeal.

If it decides against, it has 35 days from 3 September, the date the Information Commission sent the letter, to make the information public.

I bet they will appeal..... :P

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by Rays Rock » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:13 pm

Very intriguing !
So the contract has already been scrutinized at both European Commission and uk law levels. And gets the thumbs up

This gets released, then what ?

Does the London Mayoral office have to bow to public pressure if there is a mass public outrage. And when I say mass, does that mean a few thousand **** stirrers from other clubs, or genuine civil outrage !

I suspect whatever gets released will get panned by the press.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by Denbighammer » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:33 pm

Rays Rock wrote:Very intriguing !
So the contract has already been scrutinized at both European Commission and uk law levels. And gets the thumbs up

This gets released, then what ?
It has to pass the Facebook test, where all normal reasoning goes out the window and you realise that the general public are, by and large, uneducated ****wits with no reasoning skills.
Rays Rock wrote: Does the London Mayoral office have to bow to public pressure if there is a mass public outrage. And when I say mass, does that mean a few thousand **** stirrers from other clubs, or genuine civil outrage !

I suspect whatever gets released will get panned by the press.
Correct.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by goof » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:51 pm

It's just like the Tevez affair all over again, the right of appeal seems to be endless. As soon as we get a decision against us and the Olympic commity, it's 1 appeal and that's your lot.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by goof » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:52 pm

Sorry double post

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by pete the hammer » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:22 pm

I keep reading about how much Man City NOW pay for the Etihad.I found this from 4 years ago.

Manchester City will pay just £2m a year to their local council in return for control of the naming rights to the Eastlands stadium, which was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games with £112m of lottery and public money. Agreeing that payment to the council allowed City to conclude their 10-year deal with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, for an estimated £35m a year, which includes naming rights to the stadium, the proposed 80-acre training "campus" alongside it, and City's shirts.

Manchester city council still owns the stadium, on which it spent £22m of council tax payers' money to have the running track removed and convert it for City to occupy as tenants after the Commonwealth Games. City handed their former Maine Road home to the council, and spent £20m installing bars, restaurants and corporate entertaining areas at Eastlands. The terms of the rent were for City to pay the council a proportion of ticket income above Maine Road's 32,000 capacity, which has produced around £2m for the council annually since 2003 – £16m in total.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/201 ... ing-rights" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Under the tenancy agreement, the council retained control of naming rights to the stadium, which remains a publicly owned asset. As City, owned since 2008 by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, pondered fulfilling its ambitions, the agreement was renegotiated last year. The council excluded the public from those discussions because, according to the minutes of its executive meeting, they "involved consideration of exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of particular persons".

Sir Howard Bernstein, the council's chief executive did, though, disclose to the Guardian that the overall rent paid by City will now increase to "circa £4m a year". In return, the council released its control of naming rights. Mansour's club then sealed the estimated £350m, 10-year deal with Etihad Airlines.

So the 4 million pounds includes 2 million pounds for naming rights something that we have not got!!!!!!

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by Rays Rock » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:10 am

Seeing as the place is now 95% renovated for football purposes and the budget is spent ! the club should throw a spanner in the works and threaten to pull out of the contract if sensitive details are released. Siting breach of confidentiality.

Then we'll see some proper tax payers money wasted for real. And also an appeal granted in our favour after the powers that be lean on the information commission.

I think we've all attempted to think of better ways other than letting a premier league team use the stadium, but the truth is it just doesn't work any other way commercially !
And in doing so, it has to be in the Taxpayers interest to allow the chosen anchor tenant to grow naturally and without restriction to enable a better return on the investment that is the national stadium.
To have attempted to imposed larger charges / penalties upon the potential anchor tenant would have resulted in a breakdown in any agreement, be it West Ham or any of the other bidders.

In all seriousness, this release of information serves very little purpose as we have no real line in the sand as to what a fair agreement should cost the anchor tenant. Is Man City a comparison, yes and no. Yes, they too rent a stadium, No, the stadium was built with the future renovation in mind and therefore a lot cheaper.

As I wrote earlier, we have been told that the contract has been scrutinized by the commissionairs in Europe and London to ensure it is not infringing on a public subsidy toward the anchor tenant. Therefore the knowledge of the released information serves one purpose only, to try and scupper and ruin the future tenancy of the stadium. That will only serve to create the biggest problem of all, a further £200 + million of taxpayers money wasted on a renovated stadium that still nobody wants !

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by sicknote » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:30 am

I signed the petition and am proud to see its brought transparity to the deal, the miopic view of this deal, from people on here who pay taxes is poor, the deal stinks and if it wasnt whufc benefiting you'd all be wetting yourselves in disgust

Theres no comparison to draw from mcfc as they were planned tennants before the coms was even planned and built and the conversion to their needs was part of the build plans, unlike the athletic track at stratford, which was and is still an abortion of a project, and whufc a reluctant afterthought, the stadium should have been scaled down as was planned and left as a 25000 seater stadium, and the london schools and other events fund it, that was the legacy and should have stayed that way

Hope the **** really hits the fan for lldc and whufc when the deals released, this should never have been so hush hush to come to this ever, and has brought this about, the problem is lldc and whufc keeping it secret when public money is being spent, this is not at all the petition, the other clubs fans, or our fans that signed it, or other clubs questioning its fault, the issue here is lack of transparity of public funds and ultimately competition rules for any company gaining unfairly from govt monies, across not just the uk but europe,

And this was flagged up by some of us years ago, but shouted down by the usual suspects on here

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by Rays Rock » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:29 am

sicknote wrote:I signed the petition and am proud to see its brought transparity to the deal, the miopic view of this deal, from people on here who pay taxes is poor, the deal stinks and if it wasnt whufc benefiting you'd all be wetting yourselves in disgust

Theres no comparison to draw from mcfc as they were planned tennants before the coms was even planned and built and the conversion to their needs was part of the build plans, unlike the athletic track at stratford, which was and is still an abortion of a project, and whufc a reluctant afterthought, the stadium should have been scaled down as was planned and left as a 25000 seater stadium, and the london schools and other events fund it, that was the legacy and should have stayed that way

Hope the **** really hits the fan for lldc and whufc when the deals released, this should never have been so hush hush to come to this ever, and has brought this about, the problem is lldc and whufc keeping it secret when public money is being spent, this is not at all the petition, the other clubs fans, or our fans that signed it, or other clubs questioning its fault, the issue here is lack of transparity of public funds and ultimately competition rules for any company gaining unfairly from govt monies, across not just the uk but europe,

And this was flagged up by some of us years ago, but shouted down by the usual suspects on here

The issue here is we know how much public money has been spent already, apart from that used for the running costs, which will be drawn from the annual profit made. What we don't know is how the profit is to be made from our rental agreement and potential others. At the moment those profits are only projected estimates due to the fact that no sponsorship deals have been announced, future events obviously haven't been booked and food and drink haven't been purchased yet !
I would argue that any private investment / rental should be confidential between those parties and the public then gets to see the yearly profit or loss at the end of every financial year as is normal in business.
The release of those figures will put in jeopardy the rate at which future one off events can be charged at, and therefore the return to the taxpayer a lot lower and the payback a lot slower.
Clearly and quite naturally, as one would imagine, the regular concessionaire who has committed to providing a regular income for 99 years gets it's rental agreement for less (pro rata) than anyone wanting to use the place for one off events. With the knowledge of these costs to anyone wishing to hire it, well, they won't be paying anywhere near as much to the taxpayer now.

Okay, the original plan of reducing the capacity may well have been an initially cheaper and a more wholesome project, but clearly, the new mayor felt that keeping the venue as a large scale Olympic stadium could attract a better return on income by hosting blue riband events and having an anchor tenant to create a permenant use and income. Speculating to accumulate.

Congratulations for now helping make that business model more of a tough task than already planned. Still at least the taxpayer will now be able to see how much of a struggle it will be to get this monkey off of their backs. Of course, I will be looking forward to the public release of every financial rental agreement for every event staged at the stadium. That should scare off anybody considering renting it in the future !

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by wobble » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:02 am

Sicknote, so you Hope the **** really hits the fan for lldc and whufc when the deals released.

I can't believe you said that, Well done, I hope you look at Livingstone and Coe and whoever else was involved at the beginning, this could have all been avoided.

So what sort of outcome do you want, West Ham to stump up the conversion cost, pay more rent or just cease being a Football club.

The whole thing is a mess with no possible solution that will please all parties, having to drag this up every month gets us and the tax payer nowhere, it's a waste of time.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by AlfieG » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:36 am

You make some valid points sicknote.

However, all you have said about what a balls up of a project the OS is, you dont explain how the tax payer would benefit by not having a prime tenant like WHU using the stadium for approx 25 event days a year.

If not us, who would you have in there?

Also, I don't follow your logic in hoping the '**** hits the fan' for our club... Why would you want that?

Finally, whilst I am sure your motives are sincere, the biggest stink about all this are the motives of all the other fans who signed this petition. We all know why most of them did..... Its not transparency, its simply **** stirring and envy that we got a 'good' deal.

We are there now, whatever nonsense follows now is not going to stop that.

People need to move on, especially the ones who are doing it because they want to have a cheap shot at WHUFC.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by sicknote » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:45 am

Wibble

Yes livingstone coe etc were responsible for short sighted ness and wasted taxpayers money by not including eith orient or whufc from the inception like manchester city council did,

Every olympic stadium ever used is a white elephant, yet the commonwealth games model in manchester has been a success and that was because they thought about it and looked at the other stadia that were unused around tbe world properly, had they stuck to the original plan of the 25000 seater stadia no one would be bothered by any of this, they could have handed its funding costs to a lottery game and after the 2012 sucess of team gb would have sold bundles of tickets to fund it and uk sport in general

Yes on you other point whufc and lldc if when viewed the deal is poor for the taxpayer, due to unfair competition rules for private business benefitting from public money, should be made to pay more, its not going to go away, but would never have been an issue if it wasnt so cloak and dagger from the beginning

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by wobble » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:18 am

Sicknote

If they did go with their original plan (25000) and the lottery didn't fund the stadium who would pick up the cost.
I spoke to my councillor many years ago about all this, he is a Season Ticket holder and he said if there is no anchor tenants covering the up keep cost then there would be a great possibility it would fall to Newham Council, something they could not afford.
As it stands now at least this way they are getting something in return.

I would still like someone to explain who started this petition and what is the end game, what outcome do you want, because other than wasting more tax payer money all it looks like is you are coming after West Ham.

The whole thing is barmy and it's about time West Ham legal team got to work on some of these people as our brand is being damaged or heavens above a decent journalist has a dig around and find out who these faceless people are that are pushing this along instead of having cheap shots at our expense.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by Georgee Paris » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:27 am

When will people realise it doesn't matter what the deal is and how much WHUFC pay. Its all about trying to get them/WHUFC to pay more.

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by BMU.WIC » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:30 am

I don't often venture onto these parts since a lot of this stuff is like King Canute trying to hold back the tide.

I was a little enraged to hear that even our Scouse and Manc friends have hopped on the bandwagon though.

From: http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/footbal ... 48326.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"The fourteen supporters’ trusts making up the coalition are: Arsenal, Aston Villa, The Blue Union (Everton), Canaries Trust (Norwich City), Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, The Dons Trust (AFC Wimbledon), The Foxes Trust (Leicester City), Fulham, Leyton Orient, Manchester United, QPR1st and Tottenham Hotspur. "

The London clubs I might possibly understand having an issue. But Leicester, Norwich, Everton, Villa and Man United's supporters' trusts can **** right off. :evil:

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by sicknote » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:46 am

BMU WIC

They pay taxes to uk govt as well, not just london clubs fans,and after the illegal subsidies allegedly both real madrid and barcelona got from their respective local/ national authorities, rules were put in place europe wide regarding football and competition rules, if the eu did petitions, trust me other nations clubs would see it as unfair competition,

Its been mentioned on here over thd years but as i said shouted down, there are rules and regulations regarding public money and private business, to make it not transparent all this time, to most people suggests there is something to hide

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Re: West Ham ordered to reveal details of Olympic Stadium deal i

Post by Pulls up Trees » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:50 am

How can the Information Commissioner not see that releasing all the details will be exploited by any other potential customer of the stadium? Is he stupid?

Either way, we're paying X amount for 25 days usage. I'm sure it will be comparable to Citeh's costs when calculated pro rata.

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