A move to a new stadium is an ambition high on the wish list of many chairmen throughout the football leagues. The reality of building of a new stadium often involves a decision reached through years of financial planning, and requires a high level of risk to achieve potential rewards.
However for the board at West Ham United, the decision was far from difficult.
West Ham will have to pay £15 million upfront and a future £2 million-a-year in order to call the Olympic Stadium their new home. This is after the government spent around £500 million building the stadium, and according to The Telegraph, will spend a further £65 million converting the stadium for West Ham's use.
Given the publicity surrounding the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations, and the insistence that clubs must live within their means, it seems extremely hypocritical for West Ham to be allowed to receive what is essentially a handout from the British government.
London rivals Arsenal spent a reported £390 million on the Emirates Stadium, and it took years of planning and development to get them in to their state-of-the-art home. Since the completion of the stadium Arsenal have had to sell a number of their best players in order to balance their books.
However West Ham will secure the use of a similar sized stadium and face no such worries, in fact they will merely have to sit and watch whilst the venue is prepared for their arrival.
Furthermore West Ham retain the possession of Upton Park, a piece of real estate with a high value and the potential for future sales. Therefore it seems likely that they will profit even further from the sale of this land, making the Olympic Stadium deal even more questionable.
Although they still face legal pressure from Leyton Orient Chairman, Barry Hearn, as things stand West Ham will move into the Olympic Stadium in August 2016. If this happens then it will cast extreme doubt over the effectiveness of UEFA's rules, and will give West Ham the most unfairly attained advantage seen in many a year, and many more to come.
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