Olympic stadium deal a poor deal?

The Olympic Stadium Coalition, a coalition of 14 supporters trusts – including QPR1st – are continuing to push for the details of West Ham United’s deal for the Olympic Stadium to be made fully public.

QPR1st supports this because there is concern that the stadium deal may give West Ham an unfair financial advantage over other clubs, and that it’s a poor deal for the taxpayer who is spending and will continue to spend millions on the stadium. Our concerns could be wrong – but only full publication will reveal whether the deal is fair. Here is the latest update on the campaign.

The Olympic Stadium Coalition has assessed the most recent releases of the contract between the LLDC and West Ham United.

Although the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) was ordered to release in full the financial terms of the deal between itself and West Ham United for the hire of the Olympic Stadium on September 15th 2015, they are currently releasing limited information in dribs and drabs.

They have so far released three further versions of the agreement, all with continued substantial redactions.

Although the LLDC is exercising a right to appeal against the decision of the Information Commissioner (ICO), we continue to contend that the LLDC is simply dragging its feet, and using procedural delays to attempt to ‘time out’ the campaign.

Representing as we do fourteen supporters’ organisations, thousands of members of the public, and with the support of MPs, London AMs and other civil society organisations, we will continue to make the same demands for transparency as we made when we set out on this campaign, because we believe that a fair deal for the taxpayer, is a fair deal for football.

This is what we don’t yet know:
How much the stadium costs to hire
The amount (the ‘Basic Usage Fee), that West Ham United will be paying to use the stadium. We also don’t know the amount by which this fee is reduced in the event of relegation
Why does it matter?
This matters because it is one of the principal ways that the taxpayer will get money back through this deal
How much the stadium maintenance will cost, and who will pay for it
What provision the LLDC has made to fund both ongoing repairs, and the upgrade of facilities which can be demanded by West Ham United, and whether there are any upper-limits on costs.
Why does it matter?
It matters because currently, we know that the taxpayer will be paying for changes required by West Ham United for the purposes of playing football, and not necessarily for the other uses of the stadium. Also who’s to say that after a period of years the stadium won’t need a major upgrade? All this will come at the taxpayers’ expense, whilst every other club has to meet their own costs.
How much each party will earn from stadium naming rights
We do not know what revenue West Ham derive from money paid into a separate ‘Naming Rights Account’, established under the agreement. This will be made up from revenue from the main Stadium sponsor, plus all other ‘lower level’ sponsorships.
Why does this matter?
This matters because it is another of principal ways that the taxpayer will get money back through this deal. It also matters because the potential is there, because it’s the Olympic Stadium and hosts other events during the year, for the naming rights to be greater. With most clubs this sort of information can be gleaned from an entry in their accounts, yet in the case of a publicly owned stadium we aren’t able to know.
What happens to the stadium in the event of financial difficulties at stadium company E20
What happens if E20 becomes insolvent? In such an event West Ham can terminate the agreement. It would appear that the way would be open for West Ham to acquire the Stadium from the Administrator.
Why does this matter?
This matters because at the moment, our reading of the deal says that if the stadium owner, E20, stops being able to trade and needs to be restructured, rescued or wound-up, West Ham United have the right to purchase the stadium – a public asset. Because the responsibility of the administrator during this process is to get the best value for those to whom the company owes money (creditors), the right decision might not be made about a public asset that the taxpayer paid for.
What happens if West Ham United is sold by its current owners
The benefit, if any, that E20 will receive if West Ham United is sold by its shareholders. At the moment all we know is that West Ham United simply have to inform E20 of any change, and confirm that the new owner agrees to take over the rental contract. We believe that this is one of the most important questions for the taxpayer.
Why does this matter?
This matters because part of the value of West Ham United is in the assets it owns – including the stadium it occupies. We think it wrong if the Olympic Stadium ends up being a way of the existing owners to make a tidy profit on the sale of the club in these circumstances, without having properly contributed to its building or upkeep, and without paying over some of that profit.
How much West Ham United earns from matchday catering
How much West Ham earn from matchday catering. It also doesn’t actually demonstrate that West Ham keep 100% of hospitality revenue, even though this exact information was confirmed in the LLDC’s private submission to the European Commission.
Why does this matter?
This matters because other clubs have to provide and manage their own catering outlets (or pay to outsource it), and in this case West Ham United will not have to do this – in a publicly owned stadium.
How many jobs are being ‘created’
TUPE refers to the protection of employees’ rights when the organisation or service they work for transfers to a new employer. As a result claims about job creation made by Karren Brady, which relate directly to the numbers of employees of West Ham United who will retain their jobs under TUPE, cannot be verified.
Why does this matter?
We believe there is no reason to withhold this information. If a publicly built and owned stadium is creating jobs, we should know how many jobs it’s creating.
How much office space is being provided to West Ham United and on what terms
How much retail and office space is given to West Ham. However a separate FOI request to the LLDC has yielded details of the amount of space allocated, and confirmed that the space is allocated on a 24x 365 basis.
Why does this matter?
The issue is the value of this space, and whether it is paid for as part of the usage fee, and if not whether the rental is at actual market rate, or some kind of peppercorn rate.

Posted in All News

QPR Board – have the lessons been learnt or are all decisions short-term?

QPR1st supporters’ trust hopes the sacking of head coach Chris Ramsey and the reported new ambition for promotion does not mark a return to short-term, incoherent decision-making at the club.

Supporters were told the club was aiming for stability and a period of rebuilding. Now we are advised that, because we did not sell three players as had been expected, the target is now to be promotion contenders.

Club co-chairman Tony Fernandes has repeatedly said that lessons have been learnt by the board. Yet the most important lesson is that short-term decision-making does not work. Since 2011 we have had four managers, a succession of over-paid poorly performing players, ballooning debts and two relegations from the Premier League. The stated aim of gaining stability and rebuilding in the Championship lasted less than 12 weeks into the season.

We hope the club will have a considered process for appointing a new head coach/manager – conducted without tweets giving a commentary that appears to undermine the professionalism of the process.

The club needs someone with some experience and who is able to develop, with the Director of Football, a clear, achievable and financially sound plan for developing the team in the coming years

But, his work will be impossible if the leadership of the club itself fundamentally changes its priorities with the regularity of a weathervane.

We would like to hear from the club a realistic plan for development.

We wish Chris Ramsey well for the future; he had a difficult job to do as chief coach of a club facing relegation, and changing priorities. And, of course, we wish Neil Warnock well on the pitch in the next few months.

Posted in All News

RIP Brian Lomax

It was with sadness that we learnt today of the death of Brian Lomax a founding father of the Supporters Trust Movement. Brian provided significant support and assistance to QPR1st during its formation and particularly in its early years and some will remember him speaking at the Hammersmith town hall meeting in April 2002.

Supporters Direct have issued the following:

We are deeply saddened to hear that Brian Lomax OBE has passed away this morning.

Brian was the inspiration behind the Supporters’ Trust movement through his work at Northampton Town in the early 1990’s, becoming the first supporter elected director of a football club after the supporters and community rallied round to save the club in 1992.

This pioneering approach led to the Football Task Force report in 1999 recommending the widespread establishment of Supporters’ Trusts to replicate this work. Brian was instrumental in the formation of Supporters Direct for this purpose and was appointed our first Managing Director. He would later become Chair of the organisation.

In both positions and throughout SD’s existence, Brian’s skills, experience and warmth have been at the heart of our movement, and in him, we had our truly inspirational founding father.

His role in changing the way football is run was recognised with an OBE for services to the game in the same year as he stepped down as Chair, 2009.

Despite all these accolades anyone who knew Brian will remember him above all as being a kind, humble and caring man. His life touched and inspired many people, and his legacy will live on.

RIP Brian


Posted in All News, Community, QPR1st

Pub information for Brentford Game

The information below has been provided by the Football Officer for Brentford in relation to Friday nights game.

O’Riordans:- Will accept both home and away fans. They are open for business as usual during and post match.

New Inn:- Entry with a valid match ticket only for either the home or away end. 1930 hours the bar will be shutting to football fans, post match entrance into the pub will be Friday night regulars only

Globe:- The pub will accept both home and away fans, the bar will be open throughout the game and will accept fans from both sides post match

Griffin:- Entry into the pub with a valid match ticket for either home or away end. 1930 hours the bar will be shutting to football fans, post match entrance into the pub will be Friday night regulars only

Lord Nelson:- Will accept both sets of fans, the bar will be open throughout the game and will accept fans from both sides post match

Beehive:- Will accept both sets of fans pre match, at 1930 they will be shutting to football fans, post match will be entrance to Friday night regulars

Princess Royal:- They will accept both sets of fans, the bar will be open throughout the game and will accept anyone post match.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Twentys Plenty

QPR and Bolton supporters came together before Saturday’s game at Loftus Road to back the Football Supporters’ Federation “Twenty’s Plenty” weekend of action calling for lower ticket prices.


The banner was also displayed inside the ground at the front of the South Africa Road stand at half-time.

Supporters brought banners to all Premier League and most Championship games at the weekend in an unprecedented national campaign.

Pictured outside the entrance to the ground are members of QPR1st, the LSA and some Bolton fans displaying the banner.

Twenty’s Plenty aims to reduce costs for travelling supporters, in order to make football more affordable and acknowledge the huge, positive impact away fans have on the game. The FSF also argues for lower Home tickets too. 

The FSF will be publishing pictures from around the grounds on its website shortly.

 More information is on:


Posted in Community, QPR1st

Consultation Committee minutes

Stephen Dedridge and Neil Jackson from QPR1st Supporters Trust were invited to attend the first meeting of a Fans Consultation Committee. The meeting seemed to be very positive and constructive and we hope sets the tone for future meetings.

Click here to view meeting minutes Consultation-Committee-10th-September-2015

Posted in All News, QPR1st

Twenty’s Plenty Weekend of Action

The Football Supporters’ Federation “Twenty’s Plenty” weekend of action calling for lower ticket prices, takes place on Saturday and Sunday with activity at games throughout the leagues.

 And we will be able to get behind the banner of the campaign before the Bolton game.  QPR and Bolton supporters can gather behind the banner for a photo-opportunity on South Africa Road about 2.15 – 2.30.

 Banners will be on display at all Premier League and most Championship games.

 FSF Chief Executive Kevin Miles said: “Over the past 25 years money has flowed into football enriching players, owners, executives and agents – we think it’s about time fans saw some of the benefits too.

 “Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets aims to reduce costs for travelling supporters, in order to make football more affordable and acknowledge the huge, positive impact away fans have on the game. We think home tickets are often too expensive as well, but the current focus is on away tickets as there is currently more chance of league-wide action on this.”

 More information is on:


Posted in All News, QPR1st

Fan coalition backs Information Commissioner’s demand to publish full terms of Olympic Stadium deal

Supporters’ trusts’ campaign results in successful Freedom of Information request

A coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts – including QPR1st – seeking clarity on the Olympic Stadium deal with West Ham United FC have 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 Information Commissioner has responded to a complaint lodged by the group under the Freedom of Information Act, ordering full publication of the commercial terms of the agreement, as requested by the coalition, within 35 days from the decision notice date of September 3rd.

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.”

At the Mayor’s Question Time at the City Hall (16 September) questions have been tabled on the issue by Andrew Dismore, Labour & Cooperative London Assembly member.

The issue is covered in The guardian here: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/sep/15/west-ham-details-olympic-stadium-deal

Posted in Community, QPR1st

Ron Springett R.I.P

Ron Springett passed away on the 12th September following a short illness. We join the club in offering our condolences to his family.

Ron had 2 spells as QPR goalkeeper either side of his time at Sheffield Wednesday. After retiring from Football Ron ran a sports shop on the Uxbridge Road for a number of years. Like his brother Peter he will be fondly remembered by the QPR community.

Posted in All News

Warren Farm still progessing according to Lee Hoos

At a meeting on Thursday Lee Hoos confirmed that the club is still intending to push ahead with plans for a new training complex at Warren Farm and that rumours that the club was dropping the project were untrue.

Posted in Community, QPR1st

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