West Ham's Karren Brady accuses LLDC of financial incompetence as stadium row intensifies
Last Updated: 11/09/18 5:35pm
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has accused their London Stadium landlords of financial incompetence.
Sky Sports News has obtained a letter from Brady to the London Assembly chairman, Tony Arbour, in which she defends the club's position - and says they are "staggered that the operating costs at the London Stadium exceed revenue".
In the letter, Brady takes issue with London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) CEO Lyns Garner's remarks in her appearance before the London Assembly last Thursday in which Garner claimed: "The elephant in the room is the fee they [West Ham] pay us [LLDC] for usage costs does not cover the event-day costs."
West Ham responded the following day by claiming Garner had been "deliberately misleading the public and taxpayers".
That statement was described as "extremely serious and damaging" by LLDC chairman Sir Peter Hendy on Monday night, who went on to call West Ham's claim that the LLDC enjoy £10m in revenue from their association with the club as "simply wrong".
But Brady has strongly refuted the claim that West Ham are paying too little rent and accused the LLDC of failing to efficiently manage the stadium costs.
In her letter to Arbour, Brady wrote: "Firstly, the rent we pay was agreed following a competitive tender.
"Secondly, as Mr Hendy has now since kindly confirmed in his letter to you, we pay more than £2.5m by way of Usage Fee. Our rent is now £3m a year.
"Thirdly, the Usage Fee is just one component of the aggregate revenue and income earned by E20 Stadium LLP and the Operator derived from the playing of our home matches at the London Stadium.
"Fourthly, in our view (with many years of experience of operating a stadium behind us) we are staggered that the operating costs at the London Stadium exceed revenue. In our view, the actual elephant in the room is E20's failure to manage the operating costs competently.
"With everything we contribute factored in, the total revenues received by E20 from West Ham United and our activities is c. £10 million a year.
"The £6m of catering income, generated solely by West Ham United supporters, is the figure provided to us directly by our landlord.
"The distribution of this figure between the landlord and their agents is a matter for E20 so we are not in a position to explain why their return is so low."
LLDC have been contacted for comment.