Hammers Could Escape £40m Repayment After Stadium Revenue Forces Council to Downgrade Loan
Despite owing a William Carvalho-sized lump of cash to Newham council, West Ham could escape repaying a loan that was granted to them when they moved out of Upton Park, according to the Evening Standard.
The Hammers owe roughly £40m after moving into the Olympic Stadium. With the priority of loan recently being downgraded, Newham Labour councilor Rokhsana Fiaz, a member of the audit board and the council’s chairman of scrutiny, has concerns that Newham residents may feel their money has been wasted on the stadium refurbishment.
"It’s alarming for residents to read about a £44.4 million impairment relating to a loan Newham council has given to refurbish West Ham’s stadium via a company it owns," Fiaz claimed.
"I’ve asked for urgent clarification and details including any further financial implications facing Newham council.
"Residents need reassurances that their money hasn’t been wasted and that the financial benefits promised from this much-heralded council investment continue to flow."
A spokesperson for Newham said: "Newham council is working with the Greater London Authority, the London Legacy Development Corporation and our other stadium partners on a range of options to improve the financial performance of the stadium."
The priority of the loan has been downgraded due to concerns over the stadium's performance. Despite hosting West Ham's matches, and a host of other events including music concerts, it had been widely predicted that the first year of trading would prove challenging.