West Ham share open letter to update fans on pitch surround

Following recent speculation in the press, the Club is pleased to clarify to supporters their latest position in relation to the pitch surround at London Stadium.

West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady has written the following letter to Lyn Garner, Chief Executive at London Legacy Development Corporation, which the Club has now made available to supporters in the aid of full transparency.

Dear Lyn,

This is an ‘open letter’ which I am sending to you, but I shall also be making available to West Ham United supporters who deserve to know where we are in relation to a key aspect of the look and feel of their stadium.

Following an expert determination, there needs to be a new, replacement track cover made of suitable material. Under the Concession Agreement, this is to be provided at the cost of E20.

Long ago, I requested that the new track cover be claret. As regards the colour of the new material for the track cover, the expert expressed tremendous sympathy with West Ham United for wanting to have the replacement material in our claret colours. The expert ruled that the track cover must be of a colour so as to differentiate itself from the playing surface. The expert entrusted us both to reach a sensible compromise for the benefit of all parties going forward such that a colour, satisfactory to all, can be identified. There is no valid reason why the track cover cannot be claret. There is no valid reason why the track cover must be blue, which I understand is your preferred solution. I recognise that a plain claret track cover is not a compromise that you find satisfactory. A blue cover is not satisfactory to West Ham. Therefore, we need to agree upon an alternative which is mutually satisfactory. In this respect, the Concession Agreement requires E20 Stadium LLP to abide by the standards of a reasonable and prudent operator (as defined).

For this purpose, I have suggested a track cover design which is co-branded. This includes West Ham United claret and London Stadium blue. This design is attached for reference. In my view, this looks great and meets everyone’s needs. I believe that this suggestion is the sort of compromise that the expert had in mind when he expressed genuine hope that we settle upon a sensible outcome acceptable to us both.

Although the Concession Agreement provides that the cost of the track cover is for E20 Stadium LLP to pay, West Ham United hereby offers to pay for the track cover commissioned to our suggested design. We offer to pay for its installation and its maintenance, as well as its removal and storage. All in all, I estimate that this offer is worth more than £380,000 in savings to E20 Stadium LLP. 

In addition, I agree that if and when a naming rights brand partner is identified for the stadium that the matter of the track cover design can be revisited.

You may accept this offer within 14 days and I hope that you do.

This offer is made in the best interests of the supporters of West Ham United who deserve a solution which identifies the stadium as their home ground. Of course, this is the basis on which the Concession Agreement was agreed. It is also in the best interests of E20 Stadium LLP (and taxpayers) given the cost savings that you can achieve. The reason I have made this offer public is because I want our supporters to know that we have their best interests always in mind and that we are willing to make payments which we are not contractually obliged to make for this purpose.

I look forward to your acceptance of this offer as soon as possible, but I appreciate that you will need to consider this with E20 Stadium LLP’s stakeholders and board members.

Yours sincerely, 

Baroness Brady