It has recently emerged that an architect linked with the Olympic games building projects has been the individual that has arguably ruined West Ham United’s chances of occupying the £468million Olympic Stadium following this years games. The architect is named as Steve Lawrence, he complained to the European Union about West Hame receiving a £40million loan from Newham Council to be owners of the 80,000 seater stadium.
The local authority offered the loan to West Ham as part of their partnership to act as co-tenants of the stadium, under which the ground would have housed a school and community sports facilities within the complex.
When Lawrence’s anonymous complaint to the EU came to light at the High Court last October, the Olympic Park Legacy Company agreed to scrap the process that would have seen West Ham take it over. Lawrence told Sky Sports News:
“If it had been shown subsequently to be illegal, and I am not saying that it was necessarily, then in those circumstances then West Ham would have had to repay the subsidy,”
He went onto say:
“The EU would have required the UK authorities to recover the illegal state aid, which would have meant either West Ham would have had to pay the full price for it or a full rental for it – and we are talking about an asset worth £500 million – and they would not have been able to afford that. The only option would have been for West Ham to go somewhere else.”
What does this recent dent in the armor of West Ham United mean to their bid of occupying the Olympic Stadium following London 2012?