|All you need to know about West Ham United FC's potential move to Stratford.
Paul Fletcher (yes for us old enough the ex- Burnley player) was on Talksport this morning and gave his recommendation that it is unwise to move to the OS, interesting stuff worth a listen.
On in the 12:30-1pm link via, http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/listen ... sode/65510
He is now established as one of the Europe's few Stadium experts and has recently returned to his routes at Burnley Football Club where he is heading the project which is building the new £30 million stand to replace the Cricket Field Stand.
http://www.paulfletcher.co.uk/stadiums/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I heard that today. Talked a lot of sense. I was particularly interested in his points about teams that have moved to a new stadium that have been relegated (except L'arse) and they havnt exactly set the world alight since their move.
Ive just tweeted the link to his book to DG.
His points are that:
1. Accessibility is key and must be close to town
- SO STRATFORD IS AN UPGRADE
2. If you pay £3-400million for a new stadium, you might find spending on players is limited
- STRATFORD WON'T COST US ANYTHING LIKE THAT
3. As a tenant, you need to sign a deal whereby the lion's share of the financials flow back to the club
- AT COVENTRY IT DOESN'T - AT MAN CITY IT DOES
GOLD IS PLAYING THAT GAME NOW.
I thought his main point was that it is essential for a football club to own its stadium. His second main point as far as I was concerned is that the OS is unsuitable as a football stadium.
I think even most of the people who think the OS is still a good move (including our owners) know that the stadium is unsuitable as a football stadium!
One of my concerns was the inflow of various revenues to the club which clearly are essential in order to compete in the Premier League. We cannot allow the local council / government to take the lions share.
We all know it is not ideally suited for football but with a modified seating solution that will house atleast 25,000, this goes someway to rectifying that issue.
Where's the income come from, selling tickets a £20 a head and Kids for a £1 ?
Can't see the OPLC giving away anything
Interesting thoughts from a man who on the face of it is an 'expert' in football stadia ... it's also interesting to compare how a new stadium helps / hinders a club .... let's look at our London rivals playing the stadium game ...
Arsenal - No doubt a superb stadium, but they made major errors both with design and finance.
The stadium was designed to accommodate the maximum seats and corporate facilities, no thought was given to atmosphere or the fan base - this has resulted in the "Library" atmosphere and no discernible 'home' end. To pay for the stadium Arsenal have a 20 year bond costing 23m a year until 2024. They also 'gave away' naming rights for 100m until 2024 and shirt sponsorship rights 60m until 2014. Whilst the stadium has generated some additional 47m in gate receipts if you look at the 'lost' income - debt repayment 23m, shirt sponsorship (Arsenal get 6.5m from Nike Liverpool get 20m, Spurs 18m) 12m - naming rights (Spurs and Liverpool are looking for 20m a year deals) 15m - then in the short term Arsenal are actually worse off by 47-23-12-15= -3m a year. This can be seen in their inability to keep players or add real quality to the squad.
Spuds - New stadium proposed 400m
The stadium has been designed with fans in mind, a single tier 'home' end, very close to the pitch and a roof designed to reflect sound down and enhance atmosphere. To pay for the stadium Spuds have somehow 'persuaded' the government to spend 28m on local infrastructure and cover a further 18m of transport improvements original charged to Spurs. They have a proposal to raise all 400m from a 20 year naming rights deal (optimistic but not beyond big companies including their billionaire owners company should he so choose) if they pull this off they will gain some 60m in gate receipts (WHL is is smaller than Highbury so they gain more) whilst having zero debt and maintaining their shirt sponsorship - so 60m-20m (naming rights) gives them a 40m gain. Of course Spurs have also only had UCL football once in 16 years, should they stay in the top 4 this could add another 30m a year to their income.
So where does the OS fit in?
Well we should gain from gate revenue, of course EPL football is essential but a 50,000 home gate is not beyond us, let's say an extra 20m a year. We will incur minimal debt as tenants rather than owners, in fact we can sell the Boleyn and clear all debt, that's good for cash flow but whilst Arsenal and Spurs will have stadium assets worth 500m to borrow against we will have nothing. It seems we will only get a share of naming rights so perhaps 5m a year, we maintain our shirt sponsorship rights 10m so we gain 20m+5m+10m = 35m on paper sounds good. BUT we end up in a soulless stadium not designed for football and not owned by us, is it worth it?
If we stay at our 'home' we can still gain by selling the naming rights ...... and we still own our ground !!!!!
£20 Million extra a year, do me a favour. Isnt that about a 100% increase on what we made last time we was in the Premier league, 15,000 bargain tickets don't give you that sort of increase, would be lucky to make an extra 5 over the course of a season
But the board would be hoping at making a killing with the corporate facilities also. 100 new corporate boxes at the OS could generate up to £5m over the course of the season.
£5m additional revenue per season on general gate receipts is still pretty impressive, it would take match receipts from £17m to £22m, include corporates and we could be talking £27m. We could be potentially generating £10m additional income per season.
If we developed the East stand to house an additional 5,000 seats and increase our Capacity to approx 40,000, it would take atleast 10 years for the development to pay for itself. The board would have to shell out atleast £30m on a new stand and wait 10 years to have it pay for itself. In 10 years at the Olympic Stadium they could potentially earn an additional £100m.
These figures are probably on the optimistic side but certainly achievable if we have any kind of success on the pitch. This is why I believe the board are still going to go for the OS.
At City, The City of Manchester Stadium (now the Etihad Stadium) was only built on the understanding that City would be permanent tenants afterwards and it was also designed with Football in mind. The Stadium at Stratford is neither of those things. All West Ham have been able to do is apply to take an Athletics Stadium over and the whole scenario has been farcical.
Instinct says it'll eventually sort itself out and you'll be playing in an acceptable envrionment but it must be frustrating.
The East Stand plans included corporate boxes, success on the pitch will have to be top 6 and Europe to make up for the distance the boxes are from the pitch at the OS, if we ain't in the PL the corporate don't really want to know.
Where's the real money for the success coming from in a rented stadium? £5M extra would pay say Nolan's wages for 2 seasons.
Unless the club have full control ?
£5m to pay Nolans wages for 2 years. It's £5m that we don't have right now.
The finance of a new stand would seriously hamper the investment required in the team.
I don't think the East Stand Plans did include Corporate Boxes, well not these plans anyway.
I think the stand would need to be considerably larger than it is in these plans in order to incorporate boxes, which no doubt would cost quite a bit more. Another side issue would be parking facilities required.
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Is £10m really worth it though for all the negatives it will bring?
For how long would the £10M continue? When the novelty of the Olympic Stadium has worn off and the reality of your seat and the game being in different postcodes kicks in, what is a realistic average attendance?
Provided we can maintain premier league status the corporates will always come.
Is £10m additional per season in gate receipts worth the move??? Well over 10 years it becomes £100m so I would say yes.
That doesn't include and other potential revenues the OS would bring. It's all still in the melting pot but stadium naming rights revenue could be another big earner.
This kind of money would take the club to another level, it's just a matter of the club getting the right deal at the OS and getting a suitable conversion with a new lower tier.
This is only my opinion and I am very pro the move, but it has to be the right deal for the club. I am not happy for us to just be a tenant and have none of the benefits the stadium could bring.
Where are these £10, £20 million numbers actually coming from? Let's look at the possility of a 48k Upton Park. 15k extra seats, assuming 75% capacity for 14 games a season at an average price of £30 gives you £5 million per year. Adding corporate facilities might add a bit more, though theyre not exactly drowning in demands for new boxes right now, are they? Against thatthe cost would be substantial, probably including buying out Priory Court behind the north bank for redevelopment. It may still be cheaper than the cost of reconfiguring the OS though, and it would still be ours.
The issue here would be the cost of redeveloping the BG to house 15,000 additional supporters and obtaining new planning permission.
The East Stand would cost £30m upwards, and redeveloping STB stand would be £10m to £15m. It would take almost 10 years to pay for itself. Where would it leave our finances in terms of Transfer Budget? The owners can only put so much of their "own" money into the club..
Last edited by Hammer Smith on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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