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West Ham stadium accused of draining money from Covid efforts 

(Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

West Ham’s stadium is a “financial burden” which drains money from the fight against Covid-19, according to a London Assembly chairman.

The London Stadium, which houses the Premier League team, made a loss of more than £29 million last year.

The shortfall was filled by taxpayers in the capital.

An investigation into the body set up to manage the Olympic legacy, released today, noted the stadium consistently generates “substantial losses with no prospect of significant improvement”.

The London Legacy Development Corporation estimated in the report the “best [the stadium] could hope for” is to make a loss of between £8 to £10 million every year.

It also said taxpayers will save £7.4 million because of stadium events cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

Conservative chairman of the budget committee, Susan Hall, said:”The London Stadium is a financial burden on Londoners, and the LLDC must continue doing what it can to drive down the costs associated with it.

“In light of Covid-19 and the budget issues facing the Greater London Authority, the Committee could see where that money would be better spent.”

Susan Hall thinks the London Stadium is a financial burden on Londoners (Credit: London Assembly)

She added the cost would rise by £1.5 million should West Ham be regulated from the Premier League.

The report noted this was “a distinct possibility as they narrowly avoided regulation in 2019-20 and have only once finished in the top half of the league in the last decade.”

In 2016 West Ham moved from their former home, the Boleyn Ground, to sign a 99-year contract with the London Stadium.

Despite being the main tenant the Hammers have no role in running the stadium, and have watched as the LLDC’s losses have increased each year.

“Ultimately the LLDC is becoming a riskier and riskier venture for Londoners,” concluded the report.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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