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The stadium decision and lots more to do in 2011

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Adrian Warner | 11:28 UK time, Thursday, 6 January 2011

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It's fascinating to watch the 2012 Olympic Stadium battle between West Ham and Tottenham intensify in the last few weeks.

We should know by March at the latest which club will be offered the stadium after the Games. So expect some tough talking in public in the next months.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has already attacked Tottenham over Christmas for what she called a "smash and grab" raid on the stadium in her "manor". West Ham is the nearest club to the east London stadium.

Yesterday, Spurs responded by appointing PR sports guru Mike Lee to promote their bid and convince fans that they shouldn't oppose what some are calling "Stratford Hotspur".

I know Mike Lee well from his days at the Premier League, UEFA and as communications director of London 2012's bid.

I should add I co-wrote his book on the 2012 bid with the BBC Sports Editor David Bond - despite many rows with a man nicknamed "the Spinmeister" during the bid! David and I were working at the Evening Standard at the time.

What I do know is that he will be a formidable opponent to West Ham - and a vocal supporter of Spurs.

There are fascinating relationships going on here.

Lee used to be a West Ham director and he was involved in the first talks with the Government about taking over the stadium. And he's also going head-to-head with 2012 chairman Lord Coe, with whom he worked so closely during the bid.

In an interview with BBC London (which you can see above), Coe made it clear to me that he doesn't like Tottenham's idea of scrapping the track after the Games. Coe wants the stadium to be capable of hosting major athletics championships in the future.

West Ham plan to keep the track. Coe wouldn't officially say which bid he supports but it's clear he wants a definite athletics legacy.

The double Olympic champion also tells me that 2012 are close to striking deals with train companies to provide cheaper tickets for fans coming to the Games.

This is crucial if families from across Britain are going to be able to afford to come to the Games. This is the only way we will get a "UK Olympics".

Those of you who follow my blog will know I've been going on about this for years because I believe the Games must be for the whole of Britain.

So let's hope this now happens before the tickets go on sale in the Spring and the train companies, who have controversially put prices up again this year, do special deals for Olympic ticket holders.

More: BBC London 2012
Twitter: @BBCLdnOlympics

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Adrian do you know much Spurs and West Ham have spent hiring consultants, PR firms, designers and architects in bidding for the stadium rights? It seems a waste whatever it is as West Ham must be cast-iron certainties to win (having their own fans' backing - being their 'manor', keeping the running track in situ and not having an alternative stadium fallback). What legacy is there in having yet another football only stadium as Spurs want?

    How much 'cheaper' will train tickets be in percentage terms..any stats?

  • Comment number 2.

    'West Ham is the nearest club to the east London stadium.'

    Oh no it isn't - Leyton Orient are. What will be the effect of West Ham arriving in THEIR manor and offering cheap premiership tickets? The second oldest club in London may well be doomed.

  • Comment number 3.

    Karren Brady, David Sullivan and David Gold have been involved in east London football for five minutes. It is disingenuous of them to start giving it all this 'get off our manor' stuff, when it is THEIR intrusion on the 'manor' of the second oldest professional football club in London that threatens to mean the Olympic legacy is one fewer club in London.

    I do hope that by the time the Olympics actually comes round, journalists will have realised that West Ham are not the nearest professional club to the Olympic Stadium

  • Comment number 4.

    According to Transport Direct Website,

    http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/JourneyPlanning/JourneyPlannerInput.aspx?cacheparam=14

    by road from West ham United FC to Stratford International Railway Station (next to Olympic Stadium), it is 4.1 miles and from Leyton Orient FC it is 1.8 miles, and from Tottenham Hotspur FC it is 6.6 miles.

  • Comment number 5.

    Where do West Ham get the idea they are the nearest club to the stadum?
    Leyton Orient are at least 2 miles closer.
    The new owners and directors have been in charge for no time and they think they can start laying down the law. Next season and the season after they will be playing football at a lower level so will not have the support they get now. Birmingham City have improved 100% since Brady & Co. left.
    Premier Clubs think they run football now but I think in the coming years they are in for a big shock. I'd rather see the Olympic Stadium shut down than let West Ham have it.

  • Comment number 6.

    'West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has already attacked Tottenham over Christmas for what she called a "smash and grab" raid on the stadium in her "manor". West Ham is the nearest club to the east London stadium.'

    Excuse me but has Karen not considered that West Ham moving into the Olympic Stadium would be moving in on Leyton Orient's "manor"? Leyton Orient are the 2nd oldest football team in London and allowing west ham or spurs to move in is not going to give Leyton Orient a sustainable future. This is would not leave a lasting Olympic legacy if Leyton Orient, a club with a strong presence in the local community, has to go out of business.

  • Comment number 7.

    By the time the Olympics is done and dusted I fully expect Russell will have Leyton Orient in the Championship, if not the Premiership. West ham will continue their down-ward spiral under the ownership of the porn twins and could well be heading down to L2. Therefore it makes sense for the O's to have the Olympic Stadium, + if West Ham wanted to move, I'm sure Bazza could cut them a good deal on Brizzy Road.

    Brady is an absolute disgrace suggesting Stratford is West Ham's 'manor' and suggesting WHU are the nearest to the Olympic Stadium. Clearly Spurs have seriously rattled the Hammers, but theres no need to make stuff up!

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    West Ham should move to the old ParcelForce site next to West Ham station - they are after all called West Ham United not Stratford United. This site could have direct access from West Ham station to the ground and would serve the District, Metropolitan, Jubilee and DLR lines as well as the C2C trains stopping there. As no doubt most of their support now live in Essex the C2C and District lines would be an ideal means of transport. At present the yonly have the District serving Upton Park. This is a large site and they could build a relativley "cheap" basic stadium adding the undercroft as required at a later date, even selling off or letting the areas of undercroft not required. Funding would come partly by the sale of the old ground. they could even do a "barry" and build flats at the new ground! Makes total sense to me. This does not mean that Spurs should take over the Olympic Stadium, again the most sensible way forward is their proposed new ground adjacent to their current one. They are "Tottenham" Hotspur not "Stratford" Hotspur. The Olympic Stadium will have to find another use or remain solely for athletics - which is what it was built for.

  • Comment number 11.

    What a joek the West Sham board are. They take the moral high ground with Spurs but are not sparing one thought for Leyton Orient. If they were to move to the Olympic Stadium and offer cheap tickets to fill it a lot of our regulars would leave and leave us with unsustainable crowds. The least the Olympic council could do is re-imburse the O's with an amount to keep them in business. Although, heres hoping West Ham do spiral down the football league.

  • Comment number 12.

    Karen Brady should come out and state what effect she thinks the 'ammers proposed move will have on Leyton Orient. Moving to the stadium will undoubtedly kill off the Orient's chances of long-term survival in E10 and it seems that the Orient's chairman, Barry Hearn, is just sitting idly by waiting to see if he can make money from this in some way.
    It all just stinks.

  • Comment number 13.

    It's one thing to claim a right to a patch of land (or manor) becoue its close, its another when it is just downright dishonest, Orient are closest and seem to be written off. I suppose West Ham think they should get it as they are the biggest club but by this logic it may as well be given to Man Utd,
    Come to think of it most of their fans are from essex anyway so why not

  • Comment number 14.

    There has been no "legacy" that I'm aware of from the City of Manchester stadium from our last Commonwealth Games .. quite the reverse.

    Do Spurs/W Ham have to stump up some cash for this? How much? Do the public coffers get repaid? Asking these Qs because no-one mentions this stuff .. how much is a "bid"?

    This isn't like off-loading the pointless (at the time) Millenium Dome.

    London (UK really) needs a top-notch world-class athletics venue. Why go to all the expense of building something to allow a football club to get it cheaper than building their own.

  • Comment number 15.

    Maybe Hammers and the O could share (Italian style .. Milan, Turin, Genoa etc)? "and" keep the athletics track!

  • Comment number 16.

    Sorry Mr Warner but this is a really poor post. You have, as numerous other people have already pointed out, bought the West Ham PR nonsense and not done any of your own research.

    I am getting a very bored of these blogs that totally ignore a Football Club with a long proud history, who have been members of the Football League for over 100 years and who have a multi-award winning 'Football in the Community' scheme. There is more to Football than the Premier League!

    May I politely suggest you, or one of your BBC colleagues, write something original about the Olympic Stadium. Write about potential impact on Leyton Orient, the potential impact on the associated Football in the Community schemes and ask what sort of so-called 'Olympic Legacy' this would be?

  • Comment number 17.

    She speaks as if they already own it! They didn't expect a strong rival bid, and now they've got one they're crying about it. A "smash and grab"? "Wrest the rights to the Olympic Stadium from us"? Seriously Karen, you do know neither club currently holds the rights to the stadium don't you? It's not West Ham's stadium so it can't be wrested from you, and nor was it built for West Ham.

    Now, I've made it clear I want West Ham's bid to succeed, but this isn't the first time they've attacked Spurs for putting in a bid for this stadium (as is the club's right, the tendering is an open process). Their lack of professionalism throughout this process has been a bit sad to be honest. I hope it doesn't bite them on the bum, because surely the OPLC will get wind of these words; and I don't think they'll be too impressed.

    I strongly suspect that the real reason she's getting so worked up is that she knows very well that Gold and Sullivan's business plan for the club DEPENDS upon the move to the Olympic Stadium and the subsequent sale of the land Upton Park sits on. This fact makes her protestations that West Ham's bid is about community and Spurs' about shareholders seem a little weak. The truth is, both clubs are looking after their own interests, but only West Ham's future prospects DEPEND upon being awarded the Olympic stadium; Spurs' do not.

  • Comment number 18.

    Penguin, there is still a track at Manchester, the warm up track is now a 5000 seat stadium and is used by local clubs and as the venue for Young Athletes League finals.

    How can the UK ever get a decent athletics team when the facilities needed are obliterated by football teams? Football isn't the only sport in the UK. I'm supporting the West Ham bid, purely because they will keep the track.

 

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