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No breakthrough as stadium talks continue

Filed: Tuesday, 13th March 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are set to continue discussions with owners of the Olympic Stadium after attempts to agree new measures to prevent further ugly scenes erupting inside the ground ended without agreement.

Representatives from West Ham met with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) yesterday (Monday) in order to thrash out a deal regarding the continuing security issues that have plagued West Ham since moving to the stadium.

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The club are understood to have requested full control of security measures inside the ground as a result of the failure of the stadium owners to provide adequate stewarding - an issue that came to the fore last weekend when fans ran onto the field of play unchallenged by stadium staff.

Additionally, a video of a steward sleeping whilst the match was taking place circulated on social media, adding weight to West Ham's argument.

The two sides - who have previously been locked in a series of legal battles - discussed a number of potential changes, including sealing off the concourse below the Directors' Box. However they failed to reach an agreement and will meet again later this week (Thursday) for further talks.

West Ham and the LLDC have effectively been at odds with each other since the club moved to Stratford in the summer of 2016. The LLDC's David Goldstein confirmed that United's series of legal challenges had cost the corporation in the region of £3.5million to defend.

Karren Brady recently told KUMB.com that West Ham's related legal costs for the same period had not exceeded £500,000.

Meanwhile Newham Council, who are no longer involved with the ownership of the stadium but remain as its certifying authority, released a statement last night regarding the ongoing security issues.

"Newham Council is extremely concerned about the violent scenes witnessed during Saturday's match, and utterly condemns the actions of the small minority of troublemakers responsible," it read.

“In December last year, Newham Council completely withdrew from its position as part owners of the London Stadium, but retains the role of certifying authority. In that capacity, the council, along with the Sports Ground Safety Authority, is urgently reviewing the safety management plans and procedures and staffing of the stadium.

“The evidence gathered and the revised safety management plans will be discussed at an emergency Stadium Safety Advisory Group (SAG) which includes the Metropolitan Police, E20 and West Ham United FC. The discussion at the SAG will assist the council before any decision is made regarding future sporting and other events."

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