Resolution of Olympic Stadium saga boils down to a game of bluff
“Jarndyce v Jarndyce drones on,” wrote Charles Dickens in Bleak House of the infamous, seemingly endless court case. “This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no $810 celine paris flat sandal zipper front optic white leather slingback 36 man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five 0 celine bag barney’s beanery minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises.”
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and his London Legacy Development Corporation board, must recognise the urgency of concluding or abandoning negotiations with West Ham’s vice-chairman, Karren Brady, if the saga over the future of the Olympic Stadium is not to become a similar byword for interminable stasis.
West Ham, having been jilted at the altar once when a previous process to award them the stadium fell apart under the weight of legal challenge, have again been named “first-ranked bidder” by the LLDC. But it remains far from a done deal.
The protracted process of finding a sustainable future for the stadium, hobbled by the short-sighted decision in 2007 not to look for a solution that embraced both athletics and football, is now reaching a crunch point. Over the next three months it will finally be hammered out.
The LLDC is keen not to be held to a hard and fast deadline but the requirements of the organisers of the Rugby World Cup for a decision $27k celine emerald green crocodile mini belt bag w top handle & shoulder strap on whether it will be ready for autumn 2015 have concentrated minds. If West Ham do conclude a deal, the opening date is more likely to be August 2016.
There is both a public and a private negotiation to be conducted between West Ham and the LLDC, who continue $2700 authentic celine trapeze tricolor small black green cream luggage tote bag to circle one another warily like potential partners who know they are better off together but remain secretly convinced each is trying to pull a fast one on the other.
Johnson’s loud insistence that “plan B” – spending £38m to get the stadium ready for use as a venue for concerts, athletics and one-off sporting events by 2014 rather than 2016 – remains a viable option is a definite shift in tone. Yet while the mayor 0 celine bag 30 cm to inches sends a public message that the stadium could get along $2700 authentic celine trapeze tricolor small black green cream luggage tote bag fine without football, he privately acknowledges that a Premier League club would bring pulling power difficult to find elsewhere.
Meanwhile Brady’s rousing rhetoric centres on delivering legacy benefits for the community, creating hundreds of jobs (albeit in stewarding and catering) and enabling those priced out of Premier League grounds to return to the game.
But the great fear of Johnson and the government is that West Ham’s owners how to spot fake celine trapeze, David Gold and David Sullivan, would be able to use the move as the basis to “flip” a London club now hugely more attractive in the third biggest, arguably best connected ground $995 new celine patent leather brown platform heels with box size in England to a new overseas owner and realise a huge profit.
As the latest cards in this complex game of poker were being played, a large video wall in the LLDC offices overlooking the Olympic Park was silently relaying the debate over the moribund economy and the latest round of cuts. Against that backdrop it is essential to Johnson that he is seen as getting full value for public money. “It’s a question of making sure that the value of the public asset is properly reflected in the commercial deal that is now being done with a private sector entity,” he said.
West Ham understand the political point and will reiterate their long-term commitment. But there is also a feeling that they are being asked to take much of the risk, giving up their home of 100 years in favour of paying rent for 25 days’ a year access to the Olympic Stadium, and must be allowed to reap $2500 celine nwt new 2017 mini belt $3100 celine medium luggage phantom handbag metallic blue calf handbag cloud grained calfskin bag authentic some of the reward.
There will be more negotiating back and forth over the figures, with investment bankers brought in to advise on the structure of any deal.
LLDC sources emphasise that the £160m-plus cost of converting the £429m stadium by installing state-of-the-art retractable seating and a huge cantilevered roof almost twice the size of the one at the Emirates would be $1900 celine drape front cap sleeve wrap crepe tunic mainly borne by the public purse. West Ham are believed to have offered £15m towards the up-front costs but emphasise their package, including rent of £2.5m a year and a claimed uplift of at least £6.5m in sponsorship and catering income for the LLDC, is worth far more over time.
The final negotiations will come down to a game of bluff between a Premier League football club that can sense a huge commercial opportunity to steal a march on their rivals and the promises made by a public sector body wrestling with the long shadow cast by the history of the stadium saga. There is likely to have to be some movement on both sides.
Johnson, the canny LLDC chief executive, Dennis Hone, and the mayor’s longstanding Olympic adviser, Neale Coleman, (now deputy chairman of the LLDC) know the outcome will shape perceptions of the legacy of the Games.
Brady, meanwhile, knows it could be a defining moment for her club.
The courtship has been uneasy, complex and frustrating. The LLDC is right to raise the threat of breaking off the relationship for good in an attempt to force a conclusion. But if they reach agreement, both sides will then need to come together to remake the case that the marriage can work.