West Ham says matches will take priority at London Stadium

West Ham United has said it will be able to play any delayed matches at London Stadium in the summer if the Premier League season resumes in the coming months.

Last week, the Premier League was suspended until at least April 4 due to the coronavirus outbreak and it remains to be seen when, if at all, the remaining matches will be played.

Should the season resume in the summer, it could potentially create a pile-up for the club’s London Stadium home ground, which is already scheduled to host other events.

A two-day Major League Baseball series is scheduled to take place at London Stadium on June 13-14, while Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer are due to perform at the venue on June 26 as part of their joint Hella Mega Tour. The Anniversary Games athletics event is also due to be held on the weekend of July 4-5.

West Ham, however, is confident its matches would take precedence over these events due to a clause in the club’s contract with London Stadium landlord E20. A lengthy transition period is required between football matches and other events at the venue, with seats needing to be moved back and forth.

In a statement issued to the Evening Standard newspaper, the London Legacy Development Corporation said: “These are unprecedented circumstances and we will work closely with the club over the coming weeks to manage the issues.

“The situation is very fluid so, like many other clubs with summer events programmes, it is too soon to give exact details of future arrangements.”

West Ham added in a statement: “As the primary concessionaire at London Stadium, our agreement with our landlords E20 has a clause known as the Overriding Priority Principle.

“The Overriding Priority Principle is an agreement that all of West Ham United’s competitive matches shall take precedence over any other activity, event or use of the stadium on the dates that are notified to us by a governing body – in this case the Premier League. If the football season continues beyond May, our fixtures will go ahead as planned in the stadium.

“E20 has confirmed it has an obligation not to schedule events during the football season which might impair the pitch. The football season is defined as ending on the date falling one day after the final competitive match we play in an event year. As yet, we have no confirmation of when postponed matches will be played but if and when they are rescheduled, they will be played at London Stadium, which is the home ground of West Ham United.”

West Ham is currently 16th in the Premier League table.

Image: Hammersfan