According to The BBC, Barry Hearn has said that his dog could have negotiated better for the taxpayer than venue bosses after details of West Ham’s Olympic Stadium contract were published.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 14, 2016
West Ham were selected ahead of Barry Hearn’s former club Leyton Orient and Premier League outfit Tottenham to be anchor tenant of the Olympic Stadium.
Today, details emerged of West Ham’s deal showing that the Hammers will pay £2.5m rent a year and they will not have to fund police, stewarding, heating, pitch maintenance, or corner flags.
Should there be any naming rights on the stadium, £4m will go to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).
West Ham also contributed £15m towards the £272m costs of changing the Olympic stadium into a football stadium and multi-purpose arena, which will host athletic games and concerts, including the IAAF and IPC Athletics World Championships due to take place next year.
However Barry Hearn was critical of the LLDC and says they failed to negotiate properly.
Hearn said: “It’s a hugely beneficial deal to West Ham and good luck to them.
“They’ve negotiated a good deal. I can’t say the same for the LLDC who should go back to negotiation school.
“Frankly it was a hot potato that [London mayor] Boris Johnson and the LLDC wanted to get rid of. They wanted to close a deal at any price and they will say ‘quite rightly because we didn’t have anyone else’.”
West Ham revealed in a statement that they were completely transparent and open within the process of the Olympic stadium being awarded to them for 99 years.
“From our perspective, we welcome the publication of the concession agreement as it proves that, as we have always maintained, the Club has nothing to hide.
“We were unanimously chosen as the anchor tenant, above others, including football clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient, as we offered the best deal and the only option for a true and lasting legacy,” said West Ham.