West Ham's Karren Brady fires back at critics: Olympic Stadium is good deal for taxpayer and should be celebrated

 
Joe Hall
Follow Joe
Conservative Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 2
Good for you: Brady defended the taxpayer's contribution to West Ham's Olympic Stadium deal (Source: Getty)

Whether you're an Irons fan or not, West Ham vice-chairwoman Karren Brady believes the British taxpayer should be celebrating the club's move into the Olympic Stadium.

Full details of West Ham's 99-year lease on the 60,000 capacity arena were released by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) earlier this week.

The 207-page document reveals that West Ham will pay £2.5m per year in rent while the publicly-funded LLDC will pay for the vast majority of the running costs including lighting, power, pitch, policing and stewards.

Read more: All the details you need to know about West Ham's Olympic Stadium deal

Even before the contract was made public Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described it as "winning the lottery" while former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn said "my dog could have negotiated a better deal for the taxpayer".

But Brady pointed out to the white elephant sites left behind by other recent Olympic Games to argue that the mere fact the arena was being put to use at all was cause for celebration.

"I saw this week that Barry Hearn claimed his dog could have secured a better deal with West Ham," wrote Brady in The Sun.

"Well, seeing as he was unable to negotiate any deal at all for Leyton Orient, maybe he should have let his dog do the negotiations for him!

"When I read comments from some of the critics I do often find myself asking — what on earth do people want? A derelict site like the Athens Olympic Stadium?

"Or the Bird Cage stadium in Beijing — now a segway track? Or would Tottenham's plan of tearing it down have sat better?

"The fact we have struck a good deal for West Ham, the taxpayer and the community should be a cause for congratulations.

"Our presence will also create more than 700 jobs and, through our contribution of an annual usage fee, a share of naming and catering rights and performance-related payments, over £1bn in revenue in the next 99 years. Not bad for a 25-day-a-year deal."

Related articles