Mayor to take control of London Stadium

Sadiq Khan has announced a deal to take control of the London Stadium in a bid to get a grip on its losses.

The move was announced as the London Mayor published an independent report into the transformation of the former Olympic stadium into a football ground.

It found that opting for the taxpayer to foot the bill for the change instead of current tenants West Ham United led to an “expensive” and “onerous” deal, with the transformation costing £133m more than estimated.

The stadium, which is also now used for concerts, is projected to lose £24m in 2017/18.

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Image: Mr Khan said Boris Johnson had left him with a ‘dire financial situation’

Mr Khan described the report’s findings as “simply staggering”.

“Not for the first time, it reveals a bungled decision-making process that has the previous Mayor’s fingerprints all over it,” he claimed.

“Boris Johnson clearly panicked when faced with legal challenges about West Ham and Newham’s joint bid to take ownership of the Stadium and then decided to re-run the bid process with the taxpayer taking all the risks and footing almost the whole bill. You simply couldn’t make it up.

“The fact he also failed to properly examine the transformation costs or the entirely inadequate estimates for moving the retractable seats leaves us squarely in the dire financial situation we are in.

“I am determined to put the London Stadium towards a stronger financial footing and secure its long-term future, but I’m under no illusion that this is going to take time and some real commitment from all partners to make this work.”

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