vapor v red "The former mayor announced just last year that the
total cost for transforming the stadium was £272m. In reality this is £323m – a
difference of more than £50m.
"Sadiq has ordered a detailed investigation into the full range of financial
issues surrounding the stadium.
"We remain committed to the future of the stadium as a venue for football and
other sporting and cultural activities, and we are confident that London will
host a fantastic World Athletics and Para Athletics Championships in 2017."
When asked for reaction, West Ham chose not to comment.
The club have a 99-year lease on the venue and pay an annual rent of £2.5m,
which covers nearly all their costs. They also contributed £15m towards the
conversion costs, with the public purse paying the rest.
This has led to widespread criticism from politicians, supporters of other
clubs and campaigners for accountable and transparent government.
In a statement sent to Press Association Sport, the chief executive of the
TaxPayers' Alliance John O'Connell said: "For too long the details of this
shabby deal were kept in secret and lacked proper scrutiny so Sadiq Khan is
absolutely right to look again at the case.
superfly cr7 blue "But instead of focusing our anger on West Ham
for taking advantage of this ludicrously generous taxpayer-funded subsidy, we
should instead be demanding explanations from those that signed off on this
agreement and ask how they ever thought that this offered value to those of us
footing the bill.
"It's now down the those in charge of the inquiry to get to the bottom of how
West Ham were gifted the deal of the century while ensuring their investigation
doesn't end up costing the taxpayer as much as the stadium."
superfly black Khan's investigation will cover all stadium costs
but it is the retractable seating system that was installed to get football fans
closer to the pitch that is causing the most alarm.
It is understood that the seats are not as "retractable" as the Greater
London Authority, the Stratford venue's owner, had been led to believe and they
actually take 15 days to remove or replace.
This means extra costs and delays – a major concern when the stadium's
business plan depends on concerts and other events during the football
off-season. Depeche Mode are scheduled to play a concert on June 3, three weeks
after the football season.
v red London Assembly member Andrew Dismore said: "This is a
staggering burden to place on taxpayers. It's only a year ago that Boris Johnson
promised both full transparency and that no more public money would be spent on
"Londoners must now add the stupendous costs of retracting the seating to the
other numerous poor deals for the taxpayer the West Ham contract contains.
white "Boris even went so far as boasting about the rental income
from West Ham, which at £2.5m per season can now be seen to be a drop in the
ocean when compared with the cost of retracting the seats.
"Londoners will rightly want to know how they ended up bearing the costs of
the former mayor's disastrous negotiations."