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Newham to write-off £40m loan?

Filed: Thursday, 7th September 2017
By: Staff Writer

It has been claimed that Newham Council are preparing to write off a £40million Government grant that assisted West Ham United's move from Upton Park to Stratford.

According to an eagle-eyed Forest Gate resident, posting on forestgate.net, the Council - led by Hammers fan Sir Robin Wales - have already decided to drop the debt with immediate effect.

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"Detail hidden in the draft accounts, due to be signed off by cabinet tonight, shows that the ‘loan’ made to help transform the 2012 Olympic stadium into West Ham United’s new ground is being written off," wrote the concerned resident. "After just one season of operation as a football stadium the council is now ‘writing off’ that £40m investment.

"A line in the Draft Statement of Accounts 2016/17 refers to 'Impairment totalling £44.4m of a Long Term Debtor in one of the Council’s group undertaking, Newham Legacy Investments Ltd'. The £40m being written off is double the amount of ‘savings and efficiencies’ being made this year.

"Residents were promised the investment would provide Newham with a share of the profits generated over the long term. It turned out be a gift to Messrs Sullivan and Gold. The money, borrowed by the council from the Treasury, will now have to be re-paid by local taxpayers."

Two years ago West Ham were forced to defend charges that they had effectively received state aid when they were accused of failing to follow protocol regarding sums received from the public purse.

"West Ham United is confident that its agreement with the LLDC complies with all relevant UK and European legislation and categorically does not constitute state aid," said a club spokesman at the time.

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