The doom and gloom merchants were out in force casting shadows over West Ham United again this week.
A report in The Daily Mail claimed West Ham face turmoil with the uncertainty over finishing the Premier League season after it was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hammers CEO Karren Brady was quick to declare the season should be “null and void” – winning few friends in the process (The Sun).
Uncertainty for football in wake of pandemic
But the groundswell of opinion is that the season should be concluded no matter when to uphold the integrity of the sport.
Certainly the April 4th resumption date looks likely to be pushed back further. And there are doubts football could resume in the summer with the virus not expected to peak until June (Telegraph).
The Mail claims a host of events at West Ham’s London Stadium over the summer could wreak havoc on the fixture list IF the season does resume.
The Hammers do not own the ground but are anchor tenants. And the likes of Major League Baseball, athletics and music concerts are all planned in.
Report claims Hammers face stadium ‘turmoil’
Firstly those events would be just as likely to be cancelled as the football in the circumstances.
And if sport is back on by that time, West Ham would activate a clause in their London Stadium deal called Overriding Priority Principle.
The OPP clause in the contract with landlords E20 effectively states that West Ham’s competitive matches are the number one priority at the venue.
West Ham would activate OPP clause
It is written down in black and white.
And given the turnaround time to convert the stadium into baseball, concert or athletics modes there would not be any wiggle room on West Ham’s part to rearrange fixtures to fit in the other events.
So West Ham would use the OPP clause to ensure their remaining six Premier League home games against Wolves, Chelsea, Burnley, Watford, Manchester United and Aston Villa have priority over the events on the calendar for June and July.