A sum of £10m to completely turn the future of the London Stadium on its head will be the best money West Ham ever spend.

Many West Ham fans were – and remain – unhappy with the London Stadium since the big move to Stratford in 2016.

The major bone of contention has been the distance from the stands to the pitch.

Given what West Ham fans had at their beloved Upton Park and the vision sold to them on leaving the famous Boleyn Ground, it is easy to see why.

Changes have been made to the stands behind both goals to square them off in line with more traditional football stadia.

West Ham United v Burnley - Premier League
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

And the redevelopment of the west stand coincided with a stadium capacity increase from 60,000 to 62,500. That is part of a wider plan to eventually raise capacity to 66,000.

The only way the issue with the gaps between the stands and the pitch will ever be resolved is if West Ham get their hands on the stadium as owners.

Only then can West Ham be the masters of their own destiny in their own home.

As fans know only too well, the LLDC owns the stadium and West Ham are merely the anchor tenants.

£10m to turn LS future on its head will be the best money West Ham ever spend

That means David Sullivan, Daniel Kretinsky and the Gold family currently have little say over certain key elements at their home ground. Take for example the latest installation at the arena, the wall between the home and away supporters. It was put in by LLDC, killing any semblance of atmosphere that was generated in the ground.

Last month we reported on a major update from BBC journalist Simon Stone who claimed both West Ham and the stadium owners could be open to a Hammers buyout even if it means the football club hosting athletics on a periodical basis in the future as part of the Olympic legacy.

But now it has emerged the ground could be rid of athletics for – in the grand scheme of things – a paltry sum.

A figure of £10m to turn the London Stadium’s future on its head will be the best money West Ham ever spend.

West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

According to Claret and Hugh that is the fee which financially struggling UK Athletics could be willing to accept to tear up their 50-year contract at the LS – which is costing taxpayers millions to transform for events.

With UK Athletics moving out – most likely to the recently revamped Alexander Stadium in Birmingham – West Ham would suddenly become a much more attractive proposition for any prospective new owners once the club’s embarrassment clause ends in April this year.

And even if Sullivan, Kretinsky and the Gold family wanted to remain in control of the club, it could open up the chance to own the stadium outright and make some much-needed improvements in the medium to long-term.

After all owning the ground was central to the doomed PAI Capital bid for West Ham so the conversation is clearly there to be had.

If £10m is all it will take – and looking at the bigger picture that is one Thilo Kehrer to West Ham – then the Hammers should cough up the cash to ensure it becomes a reality.

It could be the best money the club ever spends.


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