West Ham are in a legal dispute with the London Stadium owners LLDC which raises further questions again over the long term ownership of the stadium.
Our Hammers are the main tenant of the ground, which we moved into in August 2016 following an emotional farewell to the Boleyn Ground, however since there has been ongoing issues surrounding the financial impact the running of the stadium is having on the taxpayer.
What has become clear is that the club are open to all possibilities with regards to the future of the venue, including a willingness to purchase the venue outright.
“As far as we are concerned, no option is off the table,” said the club in a previous statement. “We welcome dialogue with the mayor to realise the potential of this incredible, iconic asset for the capital.”
Despite relations between the club and the LLDC improving over recent months, there is now a fresh dispute that is once again set to create additional legal costs for the taxpayer, this is in relation to Daniel Kretinsky’s purchase of shares in November 2021.
The Czech Sphinx bought a 27% stake in West Ham for around £190m and has since invested significant funds into the football club, however the LLDC believe the agreement between the club and government means the LLDC are due monies from the purchase.
There was a infamous ‘embarrassment clause’ (which has now expired), which meant any sale of the club prior to its expiry meant a percentage of profits of the sale would go to the government / LLDC.
Kretinsky’s purchase was prior to the expiry of the clause, therefore there is a belief there is an entitlement however West Ham dispute this and therefore a costly dispute for the taxpayer has materialised.
The latest development once again raises the question over the long term future of the stadium, with many believing a long term resolution is now needed.
If the club are able to strike a deal to purchase the ground it would certainly do no harm in making West Ham are more attractive proposition for potential future owners.
There is a lot of attention currently on the likely and imminent sale of Manchester United, which the losers of the chase for the Red Devils could then be in the market for another Premier League club to purchase.