Troubles surrounding West Ham FC’s move to the London Stadium are mounting with continuing match day violence in the stands, an investigation into rising costs and now the resignation of the stadium’s boss.
David Edmonds, the chairman of London Stadium (formerly Olympic Stadium) operators the London Legacy Development Corporation has resigned amid the row over the escalating cost of converting the venue into a football ground.
He has left his post two days after London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for a detailed investigation into the cost of West Ham’s new home. Costs to modify the stadium have risen from GBP£272m to £323m.
Edmonds, who was appointed chairman in September 2015, had originally joined the Board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company in 2010 and continued as a London Legacy Development Corporation Board member since its inception in 2012.
He also chaired the Board of E20 LLP, the joint venture between the London Borough of Newham and the LLDC, responsible for the London Stadium and has played a leading role in planning for and delivering the post-Games legacy programme.
He has stepped down as the inquiry into escalating costs was launched.
Deputy mayor Jules Pipe told Sky News:
Last year the previous administration told the public that the costs had risen in total to around £270m. The new Mayor has now been told that cost will be over £320m.
Understandably, Sadiq has ordered an investigation as to why those two figures are so wildly different.
As the new administration at City Hall clearing up the mess of the previous administration, we need to make sure that the stadium runs on a sustainable basis and it is affordable to London.
One of the reasons for the hike in costs is because the estimates for installing and removing retractable seating at the venue for concerts and athletics events have gone up from £300,000 to £8 million a year.
West Ham contribute £2.5 million-a-year rent, plus the one-off £15 million for the conversion.
The Stadium has also been beset by violence between fans at the start of the Premier League campaign and the club said it is issuing 200 banning orders to those involved in the disturbances.