London Stadium Benefit For Irons

The London Stadium has been much maligned by long suffering Hammers' fans as a result of having moved from the 'hallowed' Boleyn Ground, apart from the obvious ie: the ground not really being fit for purpose, there was a general feeling of 'disconnection' experienced by those that attended matches mainly due to the distance between the pitch and the crowd.

The fact that the season ticket prices are so cheap, has enabled the club to sell 50,000 plus season tickets at a fraction of the price charged by competitors. The continuing financial losses for the stadium are not the fault of West Ham United, the blame lies rather in the lap of Lord Coe and his cronies for sanctioning the building of an 'all purpose' stadium, or complete white elephant in layman's terms. Despite the tax payer having to supplement the stadium, West Ham United's tenancy is the best that could be hoped for given the poor development and design of the stadium from it's inception through to completion.

If the London Stadium had been commercially funded, as was the original proposal, then it would have been constructed with the World's favourite sport, football, in mind as opposed to a 'glorification' of a bye gone age. Coe was quoted as saying that it was a 'matter of honour' that the stadium's 'legacy' would be for track and field events, an outcome that he and the Olympic bidding committee had promised! How could they then go 'back on their word' without breaking their promises? Quite simply the word honour and the placing of international sporting events and tournaments rarely sit well together.

The decision to award Qatar the next world cup, as well as the dubious decision to hold the last World Cup in Russia, are hardly 'honourable' acts, far from it, so why on earth did the UK decide to 'play ball' when no one else does? Although there is no point in crying over the vast amount of funds wasted by being the good guys, hopefully lessons will have been learned and such a folly will never be repeated.

Clubs that privately funded their stadia, particularly Tottenham Hotspur, did so with calculations of revenue streams very much in mind, even just the loss of hosting the NFL games that had been planned willl have a serious impact on the club's finances, and that is before looking at the larger picture with the potential loss of season ticket and match day revenues. Some might say that it couldn't have happened to a better case than that of Spurs supremo Daniel Levy, it was his deliberate interference that meant West Ham United were not able to buy the London Stadium outright and convert it in to a 'proper' football ground.

Without having borrowed enormously, and without depending on season ticket revenue any where near as much as other clubs will see Hammers firmly in the driving seat, if and when football resumes to some degree of normality the club will be well placed to 'pick up bargains' from clubs that had previously had a more progressive profile. Unfortunately the real winners and losers in professional football caused by the Covid 19 Corona Virus pandemic will be clubs in the Championship and leagues below that who exist mainly on 'live gates' rather than TV revenue, and despite the hardships felt by those in the Barclays Premier League, the situation in the lower leagues could, be devastating with many possibly going to the wall as a result, so there may well be a case for the 'elite' teams to step up to the plate and support lower league teams, after all it will be with these clubs most future signings will come from, gone will be the days of 'expensive' imports, at least for a few years.

Who knows, it could be the best thing for encouraging and bringing through British talent as opposed to the 'cheaper short term, but eventually destructive in the long term' foreign imports! - Ed


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