West Ham pay £68million per year less than Tottenham for their stadium but fans shouldn’t expect sweeping renovations any time soon.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after West Ham announced that some minor changes will be made in time for supporters’ return to the stadium.
In a statement which accompanied their annual report released 9 March, the club wrote: “When supporters return, they will see some tangible improvements to the look and feel of the London Stadium.”
These improvements will include reconfigured seating in the Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking stands and an enhanced floodlight system.
West Ham fans complain of a sterile atmosphere at the stadium which stands in contrast to the guttural din generated at the old Boleyn Ground.
Maguire explains that supporters are unlikely to see wholesale changes due to the fact that West Ham are tenants in the stadium and not outright owners.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “Any improvements would have to be made via negotiations with the landlord.
“If you take a look at West Ham’s accounts, you’ll see it’s cost just under £3m to rent for a year. If you contrast that with Spurs, they have a depreciation cost of £71m. That’s a vast difference, £68m.
“But it also means there’s a limit to what West Han can do in terms of dictating the inner working of the stadium.
“I’ve been there as an away fan. It’s not a football stadium, it’s an athletics track with a few cosmetic adjustments. That doesn’t make for a good atmosphere as a fan.”
The London Stadium was built for the 2012 Olympics and originally seated 80,000 spectators.
It was opened to West Ham supporters in 2016 with a reduced capacity of 60,000.