Rant Friday has brought many excellent rants, hopefully this one will compare. Topical subjects seem to grab the headlines, and at the moment West Ham are drawing attention. Clubs are up in arms, asking is it right that West Ham United are now going to stage their games at the Olympic stadium. There was a bit of a race before West Ham got the go ahead, a few clubs had put their names down to be considered, but it now seems clear that West Ham has won the day.
Of course the Olympic Stadium was built by tax payers money after we had won the bid to stage the Olympics in London. Plans were drawn up as to where the events would take place, luckily the infrastructure was already in place and even a few existing venues could be brought into use. Many like myself were not so delighted that we won the bid, as I knew that money would be no object to build structures that would probably only be used a few times, when London and Britain are crying out for tax payers money to be spent on more important things like health service schools even prisons, but where politicians tell us that funds are low to inject vast amounts of money into services that are used daily, but overnight funds were available to build projects like those to be used as Olympic stadia.
Promises from the government that british builders would be inundated with building jobs were diminished seconds after it was stated as a foreign building firm got the contract, and as I passed the site on my way to work I saw the fleets of buses that ferried in the workers.
As we know the stadia were built and the event went off smoothly. London Olympics was supposedly a big success, while the organisers patted themselves on the back, the British public was asking just how much and how have we benefited by this vast outlay. Of course after the event many of the structures put in place became redundant, many closed down while others were utilised to help in some way or other, but the Olympic Stadium where the bulk of the money was spent was looking a little like a ‘White Elephant’.
I can remember years ago where another stadium was built in Manchester from tax payers money at huge expense and it looked like it would also be unused only to become the home of Manchester City. They took over the stadium and pay to rent it. I don’t know how much it would have cost to build but they have continued to invest in it by building another tier.
I think that now is the time for my Friday Rant. Arsenal moved from old Highbury to a new site, The Emirates stadium. Arsenal needed bigger premises and with very little help available to fund the new build they chose to fund it themselves using the development of Highbury and to borrow money from the banks.
You all know what happened in the next ten years, frugal spending, top players sold and a mortgage that was going to choke us for years and years. Britain’s government didn’t built our stadium, they never even found a little Olympic money to help us, but now its built and what a magnificent structure it is.
Getting back to West Ham’s fortunes. They will be taking over a state paid for Olympic Stadium. They have contributed very little to the conversion costs which have been funded by us, the tax payer. The running costs will also only be part funded by the club with the balance paid for by the tax payer. Many of the London based football clubs are banding together to complain that this is unfair. West Ham have wealthy owners who should be dipping their hands in their own pockets.
Unfair, I feel its a disgrace, Arsenal have had many years living in a kind of suspended animation, paying off our debts gradually, keeping our expenses down and being ridiculed by all , but we did it as it was the only way forward. We are now over the worse and our investments are now recovering, and now we see another Football club being given a helping hand. I hasten to add that had Arsenal buckled after the enormous expense, and failed to meet our debts we would have been deducted points and could have lost our position in the Premier league.
How can these happenings be fair to all, what’s your views on this?
Written by Ranter Palmer