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London's mayor to take over Olympic stadium as losses mount

The mayor of London is taking control of the Olympic stadium used by the Premier League's West Ham United after an independent review disclosed rising costs and mounting losses.
Mayor Sadiq Khan called the findings "simply staggering", with projected annual losses of around 20 million pounds.
Asked whether the stadium might be closed, sold or re-tendered, he told Sky News television that he was "exploring all avenues".
West Ham pay rent of 2.5 million pounds per season for the stadium, which has been co-owned by the London Legacy Development Corporation and the local Newham council.
The East London club said in a statement it had a "watertight, legally binding contract signed in 2013 in good faith by West Ham United, who remain absolutely committed to its terms for the entire 99-year duration."
"However, the stadium itself craves renewed leadership and direction and we welcome the Mayor’s decision to step in and deliver this. West Ham United is firmly behind him."
The Hammers won a bidding war with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, now building their own new stadium, to become anchor tenants.
Newham council will voluntarily relinquish ownership, writing off an original 40 million-pound investment but limiting future liabilities, the council said in a statement.
Khan and Newham Mayor Robin Wales blamed former mayor Boris Johnson, now Britain's foreign minister, for the situation.
"I am angry that the deals and decisions made by the former Mayor of London and his administration have left the stadium finances in such a dreadful mess," said Wales, who is, like Khan, a member of the opposition Labour Party.
"Our decision to invest was based on the entirely reasonable assumption that the previous Mayoral administration carried out its contract negotiations for E20 (the stadium business) with due diligence," he added.
"Those contracts have now been found to be onerous and, if the stadium is to return to profitability, they must be revisited by the new Mayor of London and his team."
Khan said on Twitter that there had been mismanagement of the finances and a "catalogue of errors". There was no immediate comment from Johnson.
The review showed transformation costs after the 2012 Olympics rose to 323 million pounds from a budget estimate of 190 million.
The operating costs of relocatable seating, necessary to switch between soccer and athletics, represented the largest annual expense of more than 10 million, a sum more than 300 percent greater than the budgeted amount.


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