West Ham United are surely edging closer to a situation which could see the club take ownership of the London Stadium. Fellow Hammers site Claret & Hugh – which claims to have a top inside source at the club – says London Stadium owners, London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), will get a ‘grim financial update on the stadium’ when the board meets today (Monday). According to the report, figures released by LLDC show the London Stadium lost £25.5m for the financial year that ended in March this year.
‘Something needs to drastically change’
“Reports showing the updated financial performance for the current financial year which will be shared with LLDC directors on Monday show an increased loss for the London Stadium budgeted at £29.9m for 2019/2020 with a slightly better-predicted forecast of a £29.1m loss,” C&H states. “The forecast shows that the stadium figures continue to go in the wrong direction despite claims of an operational surplus from Major League Baseball. “These losses are not sustainable as the taxpayer continues to subsidise the loss-making stadium and something needs to drastically change.” The only viable change that would relieve the burden on the taxpayer would surely be for West Ham to take control of the stadium.
Birmingham to play a huge role?
It has long been mooted that co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have always had one eye on permanently owning the former Olympic Stadium. A big issue has always been the athletics legacy.
But when Birmingham was awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games as Durban’s replacement host it all pointed towards being good news for West Ham fans who want the club to own the ground for a host of reasons.
Chief among them that the Hammers could then make big changes to the seating design in line with a more traditional football stadium and bring the fans closer to the action. As part of Birmingham’s bid for the games the Alexander Stadium will be wonderfully upgraded and the plan is for it to become the new home of UK Athletics, as reported by Birmingham Mail at the time.
Sullivan and Gold’s master plan?
Sullivan and Gold have hinted they are keen to own the ground too. In an interview with Sport Bible in 2017, Sullivan’s son Dave remained coy but admitted it could be on the cards. When asked ‘Is your dad looking into the possibility of buying the London Stadium outright in the future?’ Sullivan told Sport Bible: “I cannot comment on that, but it is certainly a possibility.” And Sullivan’s co-owner Gold added further weight to that theory. He endorsed a tweet – by retweeting it – suggesting that could well be a solution in the future. One Hammers fan wrote on Twitter: “The (stadium) situation is not beyond redemption. The stadium ownership is sure to come up again soon. At which point we could find ourselves sole owners with the opportunity to address all these issues.”