London Stadium: West Ham meet Sadiq Khan over safety & finances

Twenty people were arrested after ugly scenes during West Ham’s home loss to Burnley

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has met West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady for the first time to discuss finances and safety at London Stadium.

Khan has been criticised for the delay in meeting given the significance of the club’s tenancy at the former Olympic Stadium, which began in 2016.

Twenty people were arrested after ugly scenes during the Hammers’ 3-0 home defeat by Burnley on 10 March.

Saturday’s game against Southampton is their first match at the ground since.

Khan described the events of earlier this month as “a disgrace” and said the trouble at London Stadium had been “apparently planned and co-ordinated”, though many West Ham fans have rejected those claims.

In December, Khan announced he was taking control of the stadium after a report established it was losing about £20m a year. West Ham pay £2.5m annually as part of the 99-year lease they signed, which also signalled their exit from Upton Park, a decision which many fans now claim was a mistake.

Last week, Khan confirmed the stadium operators – not West Ham – would be responsible for meeting the extra cost incurred by the demand for greater security, policing and stewarding in the wake of the trouble at the Burnley game.

A Football Association investigation into the trouble is ongoing but West Ham have been warned by the body responsible for sanctioning fixtures to proceed that any repeat will result in them being forced to play matches behind closed doors.

West Ham are 17th in the Premier League table, two points and one place above Southampton, who occupy the final relegation slot with eight games of the season remaining.

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