West Ham locked in stadium dispute with their landlord

One of Britain’s best-known football clubs have found themselves embroiled in a legal battle over proposals to fit more supporters inside their home ground.

West Ham FC are hoping to increase the maximum capacity of the London Stadium.

While the venue can house up to 66,000 fans, the Premier League side are at present only allowed to make use of 57,000 seats.

West Ham have now sought permission for the regulations to be relaxed and the extra 9,000 seats to be made available for use on match days.

But it emerged this month that the proposal has put The Hammers on a collision course with their landlord.

Gerry Murphy, the acting chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), said: “There is a dispute with West Ham about what the contract says in terms of capacity.

“West Ham have absolutely said that they want to increase the capacity to 60,000. And actually they want to further increase the capacity to 66,000.

“LLDC and E20 (the landlords) disagree with their interpretation of the contract. We feel that actually if West Ham want to enjoy more seats then they should commensurately pay more.

“West Ham’s argument is they would receive all of the extra revenue from the extra seats. We would contend we should get a share of that.”

In a statement, West Ham argued that the seats at the centre of the dispute are neither additional nor extra since they already form part of the venue.

“Having sought a resolution of this matter for many months, West Ham are seeking a legal declaration because we have almost 50,000 patient and loyal fans on our season ticket waiting list who are being denied the opportunity to support their team.

“We wish to make the stadium accessible to all supporters in our community through our firm commitment to affordable family football.”

West Ham had relocated to the London Stadium [formerly known as the Olympic Stadium] from their old home, Upton Park, last year. Should they gain approval to use all 66,000 seats then they would have the second largest football stadium in the capital (with only Wembley having a greater capacity).

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Mohit Pasricha

Mohit Pasricha

Solicitor at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Mohit is a solicitor and Head of Sports Law at Mackrell Turner Garrett, advising and representing clients within the sports sector by providing specialist advice on a wide range of commercial, corporate and intellectual property matters. His clients include clubs, commercial sponsors, sports agents, and individual sporting professionals.