The coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts seeking clarity on the Olympic Stadium deal with West Ham United FC today called on London Mayor Boris Johnson and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to ensure the full publication of the commercial terms of the contract after a positive response from the Information Commissioner.
The LLDC has 28 days in which to lodge an appeal but the coalition of groups has called on Boris Johnson, as head of the LLDC to waive that right, saying:
"The Information Commissioner's decision could not have been clearer, and it is equally clear to us that publication must follow. This campaign is publicly backed by 25,000 individuals, football supporters’ trusts from around the country, and the public interest in the issue is there for all to see.
“We call on the mayor not to use the appeal system to delay publication of this document further. If he does it will open him up to the suspicion that he has something to hide”.
“This is an issue about the use of public money to, apparently, subsidise a commercial football business. It seems the taxpayer will be paying the cost of a series of overheads which every other club, rightly, has to pay for themselves. It is important that the taxpayer is allowed to know exactly what has gone on here, and to judge whether it is a responsible and fair use of public money.”
Mayor's Question Time will commence tomorrow at 10:00 am City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA, where questions have been tabled on the matter by Andrew Dismore, Labour & Cooperative London Assembly member.
Members of the coalition will also be present, and available afterwards at City Hall in Conference Room 2 (lower ground floor) from around 12:00 to discuss the issues further. Murad Qureshi will also be present and happy to answer questions.
Football supporter groups, representing tens of thousands of football fans, backing the coalition are:
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust
Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust
The Blue Union (Everton)
Canaries Trust (Norwich City)
Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust
Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust
The Dons Trust (AFC Wimbledon)
The Foxes Trust (Leicester City)
Fulham Supporters’ Trust
Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust
Manchester United Supporters’ Trust
QPR1st Supporters’ Trust
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust
A petition launched by the coalition gained 25,000 signatures within days: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106355
Faced with a refusal by the LLDC to explain how public money was being spent on this deal, the petition called for a public inquiry to expose the truth. The coalition said: We believe public money should be used responsibly, fairly, and in a way which does not distort the competitiveness of independent sports bodies and businesses… Considering the cost to the taxpayer, and the effect of this taxpayer subsidy on competition between clubs, a full public inquiry into the deal is needed.