Karren Brady clarifies situation on retractable seating at London stadium, offers future hope

West Ham United Vice Chairman Karren Brady listens to a question during a press conference in east London to announce the new deal between Newham council and West Ham United football club...

West Ham United vice-chairman has been speaking about the club's controversial London Stadium move.

Karren Brady, Vice-Chairman of West Ham United attend the Leaders Sport Business Summit at Stamford Bridge on October 5, 2016 in London, England.

West Ham left their beloved Boleyn Ground home of 112 years to move to Stratford last summer.

The move was meant to propel the Hammers to a new level where they could compete with the Premier League elite.

The reality has been very different, though, with a series of issues blighting the club's first 18 months at the ground on and off the pitch.

Many West Ham fans have not been happy with the move for a variety of reasons, none more so than the distance between the stands and the pitch.

Supporters feel there have been broken promises over the "state of the art retractable seating solution" that was promised when the club was selling the move to sceptical fans.

General view inside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at London Stadium on December 9, 2017 in London, England.

In reality they ended up with a complex relocatable scaffolding much to the anger of supporters who have accused Brady and the club's owners David Sullivan and David Gold of lying to them.

But now in a column in the Evening Standard, Brady has revealed who is to blame for the failure to deliver the promised retractable seating and has offered hope things may improve in the future.

"West Ham never had any involvement in the choice of a retractable seating solution," Brady wrote in the Evening Standard.

"Our only requirement has always been that the seats be brought as close as possible to the pitch. In 2013, LLDC proposed a retractable seating model akin to that at the Stade de France and, indeed, produced a video showing this at that time. This solution would have cost in the region of £20m.

Birmingham City's Chairman David Gold (L) and Managing Director Karren Brady (R) share a light moment as club co-owner David Sullivan (foreground-R) looks on before the kick off against...

"West Ham paid a capital contribution of £15m towards delivering this but had no say in the appointment of various contractors, managing those contractors or negotiating costs."

All may not be lost for Hammers fans, though, after Brady also revealed she hopes to meet with London Mayor Sadiq Khan in a bid to improve the stadium in the future.

"We will continue to devote time, effort and money, but what the stadium needs is strong leadership and I have every faith that the Mayor of London will now use the findings of the report as a catalyst to deliver it," Brady added.

"I am very much looking forward to meeting with him and his new chair when they are able to do so. I am certain that as soon as this happens, the Mayor will quickly see the way forward to a more seamless operation and be able to make quick changes that will reduce costs and increase the opportunity, appeal and, ultimately, the revenue of the stadium."

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