A message from the Vice-Chairman

I have watched with pride as a fantastic summer programme of events has seen so many thousands of sports fans from all corners of the globe flocking to the Olympic Stadium. 

Anyone who questions the legacy of the 2012 Games has obviously not visited the Stadium this summer. If they had, they would have been professionally guided around by a local employee, relishing their new and important role. They would have witnessed a true athletics legacy, one that has already seen Usain Bolt and Mo Farah return for the Anniversary Games.  
Or, perhaps, during these last three weeks they would have witnessed the spine-tingling moments as it played host to the international spectacle that is the Rugby World Cup. Thanks to the stunning acoustics of the Stadium’s truly magnificent roof, national anthems and even the Haka reverberated around the famous venue and created an incredible atmosphere for those inside.  
I certainly had goose bumps at the thought that only next summer this truly iconic landmark will host 54,000 of our magnificent supporters singing the anthem of East London – a chorus of Bubbles.

I am so proud that our vision for a true Olympic legacy is beginning to be realised and that our Club will continue to play a leading role in delivering it. Despite there still being plenty of work to do at the Stadium after the summer events programme has concluded, the reaction I have had from our supporters who went to watch the Rugby World Cup has been overwhelmingly positive.
I share the pride in what we have achieved in Stratford. We will be the anchor tenant and I am proud of the team I lead achieving such a positive result in our supporters’ name. 

In light of the LLDC’s announcement that they are lodging an appeal against the Information Commissioner’s judgment and the subsequent release of a more detailed version of our contract with them, I wanted to take this opportunity to address openly the intrigue, caused by the confidential nature of it, which, admittedly, has been minor and by people driven with their own agendas. We welcome that decision as, put simply, we have nothing to hide.
The agreement between West Ham and E20 represents a win for both parties. From our point of view, other than the personal affairs of my shareholders, we are happy to disclose the entire document.

However, quite clearly, E20 must continue to best serve the taxpayer through the negotiation of future contracts and users in the Stadium and it is therefore only right that details which affect their ability to do so remain confidential.
It has been reported that we got a good deal but it is worth remembering that West Ham went through three arduous, fair, competitive and thoroughly robust bidding processes.  And the fact is we came out unanimously and convincingly on top each and every time.
This is because we were the only bidder with a true vision for the Stadium and its ability to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of our part of East London.
We saw the potential for the Stadium to be a truly world-class venue – the UK's No1 entertainment destination – and we stepped up, took the risk and nailed our colours to the mast, financially, and otherwise.  We worked hard alongside the Mayor of London and our partners at the LLDC to find a long-term sustainable future for the Stadium.

Those involved are to be commended for their innovation. The ground-breaking transformation is down to their foresight. As a result, the Stadium now boasts retractable seats and the world's largest and most spectacular cantilevered roof.  The outcome has been international sporting events flocking to use this stunning arena on the basis that it offers such a unique spectator experience and unrivalled sightlines.
I want to be clear though, the Stadium only gives us an opportunity. It needs to sit alongside a meticulously thought out player recruitment strategy, skilful and prudent custodianship of the Club's finances, an innovative business model for growth and, most of all, sheer hard work and determination to succeed.
Without us, all of the colour, vibrancy, revenue and, crucially, jobs we’ve seen return to East London this summer would not be there, as our 99 year tenancy was essential in underwriting the Stadium’s other uses.  
During the negotiations, did I do the best deal I could for West Ham United? Of course I did, that’s my job, but not at the expense of the taxpayer. I think what is very clear to anyone reading the agreement for the first time, is just how determined I was to protect the rights of West Ham United and our fans during the negotiations, while also ensuring it was fair to the taxpayer.  

Firstly, and most importantly, we have always promised our supporters that the Stadium will look and feel like home and that was made explicitly clear in the contract. Our Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking stands were legally guaranteed along with countless other opportunities to brand the Stadium and surrounding areas the West Ham way with our colours, honours and homage to our legends. Ultimately, anyone visiting the Stadium will be left in no doubt – this is the home of West Ham United. 

There are also multiple clauses that will ensure the pitch and playing facilities will always meet the world-class specifications we enjoy at the Boleyn Ground.  Those clauses protect us from any other use of the Stadium during the football season if we feel it would have an adverse effect on the pitch, playing facilities or our supporter experience. 
The Overriding Priority Principle makes clear that our fixtures and events are ring-fenced and will always take priority over all other events that may be at the Stadium. This means we will always meet the responsibility we have to our governing bodies, including the Premier League, by ensuring our fixtures take precedence above any other user of the Stadium.
There have also been some ill-informed suggestions that my two Chairmen, David Sullivan and David Gold, plan to sell the Club as soon as we move to Stratford. Having worked with them for nearly 25 years, I can tell you that nothing is further from the truth. 

That is why we were perfectly happy to include an Enterprise Clause, which would return significant sums of money to the taxpayer should the Club be sold. 

Although the exact terms of the agreement have to remain confidential to protect our commercial interests, the numbers we are talking are huge – hundreds of millions of pounds.
It has been widely reported that we will be paying an annual rent of £2.5m a year plus a £15m capital contribution towards the conversion. While this would be far more than any of the other groups or organisations that will be using the Stadium, these figures do not come close to reflecting the total amount from which the taxpayer stands to benefit.
E20 take the lion’s share of the catering sales and also the naming rights revenue. Plus they will benefit further by performance-related bonus payments that could amount to many millions of pounds a year should we finish higher than tenth in the Premier League, as we stand today. 

Ahead of our move into the Stadium in June next year, the Club will be investing in the region of a further £7m into the Stadium to ensure it truly looks and feels like our home. 

We have already revealed our stunning new claret and blue seat design and, subject to planning, we will make further major announcements on some other key elements over the coming months. These will include a new Ticket Office, Stadium Store, Visitor Centre, offices, Boardroom and a host of other infrastructure benefits.
As we have seen over the past week, the new Stadium will bring life to this part of East London and will spearhead the regeneration of the local area, with West Ham United at its core. In just ten months we will be kicking off a new Premier League season there, watched by over 4.4 billion people across the globe and the legacy of 2012 will be even closer to being fulfilled. 

I, for one, can’t wait!

Karren Brady