London Legacy Development Corporation had fought a rearguard action against a ruling that the full contract should be published. But its appeal to the Information Tribunal has failed, providing victory for a consortium of football fans which had campaigned for transparency.
West Ham will pay only £15million for the conversion of the £700million stadium but the LLDC has argued that landing a Premier League club was essential to the stadium’s viability. Opponents have argued that West Ham could afford to pay more and got a world-class stadium at a bargain price.
Richard Hunt, of the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust led the campaign and he said he was “naturally delighted with the outcome”.
LLDC has constantly argued that it would be commercially damaging to reveal the deal. Boss David Goldstone has said that if operators are negotiating to get the best deal, then knowledge of West Ham’s concessions will drive down the price.
This, he said, would ultimately hurt the public purse to the tune of “many millions of pounds”.
An LLDC spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the tribunal’s decision. We have already published the vast majority of the contract and only undertook this appeal following very clear legal advice that to release the remaining details could significantly impact the stadium’s ability to act competitively.
“We are considering the judgment very carefully before we decide on the next steps to take.”
There is a possibility that LLDC will continue the legal fight, taking the decision to the Court of Appeal.