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Why West Ham was the right choice

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David Bond | 15:40 UK time, Friday, 11 February 2011

There will be plenty of people - and not just the board of Tottenham - who will greet Friday's decision by the Olympic Park Legacy Company with a measure of concern.

There is concern at West Ham's lack of financial muscle (compared to that of Spurs) and their precarious position in the Premier League, concern at the plans to play football in a stadium with a running track at a time when most clubs with similar arrangements across Europe are ripping them up and concern at the amount of public money (£75m) being used to finance their £95m project.

But when all things are taken into consideration, the vast majority will probably feel that the OPLC have still made the right decision.

Why?

West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan and vice chairman Karren Brady pose outside the Olympic Stadium

West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan and vice chairman Karren Brady pose outside the Olympic Stadium. Photo: PA

Because Britain made a promise to the International Olympic Committee back in Singapore in 2005 to keep athletics at the core of the main stadium post-2012.

London was to be different: the first Games where the legacy would be part of a clear, thought-out vision before the flame was even lit.

That was not only a vision to regenerate one of the poorest parts of the UK but also to use the Olympics to inspire a new generation to get involved in sport.

It won London the Games.

Dismantling the iconic stadium at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and replacing it with a football ground, while compelling financially, was against the spirit of London's bid.

And it would have become a recurring theme in the build-up to the Games. Every press conference with the IOC would have included a question about broken promises.

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As Lamine Diack, the head of world athletics governing body the IAAF, said last month Britain's reputation would have been dead.

In our interview on Friday, OPLC chairman Baroness Ford insisted again and again that the decision was based on the five key criteria and there was no political interference. On balance West Ham and Newham offered the better option.

But she did admit: "We said the whole way through that we wanted a proposition here that met the spirit of the bid book."

West Ham offered that.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I will be really interested to see what happens in 10 years time .. with west ham not in the premeiership , not able to pay back the loan and supporters complaining about the view.... New owners then asking to remove the running track because they cant get enough to fill the seats. The bit that i love is they are getting a free stadium why?

  • Comment number 2.

    Thanks David, that's an interesting read. There's a couple of things I'd be interested to read your take on:

    Regarding the athletics legacy, I understand the point that LOCOG / Olympic Park Legacy Company make about the need for the preferred bidder to comply with the letter of the bid book. However, how long do West Ham have to commit to keeping the track for? It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Gold and Sullivan rip out the track as soon as their legal obligations allow. That being the case, surely it would be better to allow the Spurs bid which includes the redevelopment of Crystal Palace? At least that way there's a guarantee of a world-class athletics arena for decades to come and Spurs are up front about their intentions.

    My second point - Leyton Orient is London's second oldest professional football team (after Fulham). This move leaves them in serious jeopardy (as would the Spurs proposition) due to the capacity of West Ham to offer heavily discounted tickets. With the greatest respect to the Os, most neutral fans when given the choice will take their kids to see a Premier League side over a League Two side, if the option is there to do them both at the same price.

    Finally, there's an argument that both the Premier League and the FA would be breaking their own rules by allowing either West Ham or Spurs to move into the area. Sanctioning the move would be a heavy blow to the credibility of both bodies. Still, money talks and to the money men, poor old Orient are doubtless seen as an irritation akin to a fly landing next to their canapes at a summer garden party, to be merely swatted away. Such a shame.

  • Comment number 3.

    I have not followed this in detail, but if engineers cannot work out a way of bringing the spectators nearer to the players, it does not seem British engineering is very imaginative! ( temporary ramps and rollover seating perhaps?)

  • Comment number 4.

    But the stadium was originally desgined to be torn down after the games, so how would Tottenham's bid be any different? They said they would redevelop Crystal Palace which would have been able to expand beyond what was originally designed for the Olympic Stadium.

    "London was to be different: the first Games where the legacy would be part of a clear, thought-out vision before the flame was even lit." So why are they selling to football club who will only allow them use of the stadium during the off-season. Why was a competition held to see what they could do with their legacy? London was the same as the rest and poorly thought-out.

    Perhaps if the BBC and other parts of the media had considered actually mentioning the redevelopment of Crystal Palace more often as well as mentioning that the stadium was to be torn down anyway this would not be such a one-sided debate.

  • Comment number 5.

    Can I take it, then, that the Newham councillors and the members of the OPLC are jointly and severally personally liable for the financial consequences of this decision?

    There is not the slightest chance of this stadium format being financially self-sufficient and, unless those responsible for this crazy judgment pick up the tab, it will fall onto the taxpayers of Newham - already one of London's poorest boroughs - and Londoners in general.

    West Ham are basically broke already and this straightforwardly unaffordable venture will almost certainly tip them over the edge.

    But my concern is for the unconnected, powerless citizens of the borough and London. They will be left holding this potless baby.

    And just in case people question my motives, I am a life long Spurs fan appalled at the prospect of a move to east London. Whatever decision the councillors and board were given to make, and whatever criteria they came up with to judge the bids against, assured financial viability should have been an absolute prerequisite and top of their list.

    Paying down the cost of the Olympics will impoverish grass roots sports for years to come whatever; this latest unworldly madness just rubs salt in the wound.

  • Comment number 6.

    @ andy

    Do you seriously think west ham are going to be gifted the stadium for free??

    @ kiwinavega

    Although I can seriously understand the concerns of Leyton Orient over this, and it would be a shame if they were to go out of business. I think you are missing the key point of heavily discounted tickets for premiership football! Just imagine how many more fathers etc will be able to bring their children to watch top class football for affordable prices. Surely this must be a great thing.

  • Comment number 7.

    tottenham should have a contract with the west ham and olpc that if west ham try to dig up the track the have to pay tottenham 50 million. i fear that the track wont be there in 10 years

  • Comment number 8.

    Finally, the right decision. It is frustrating it has taken so long to make this decision, especially since Newham Council said this was the best solution way back in 2005! The original plan for a 25,000 seater stadium was always ridiculous.

    I do have one gripe with the process, however. Every article, politician, Olympian and other hanger-on, keep saying that "Britain promised an athletics legacy". This is not true. LOCOG, Seb Coe and Blair made the promise. Britain was never asked what it wanted and I was never asked to sign up to any promise. If we had been asked, I wonder whether a legacy for a minority sport such as athletics would have figured in the 'promise'.

    So, right decision, but please stop saying "I" promised something to the IOC and the rest of the world, when I clearly didn't.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm no expert Markoose do the two seasons over lap, when one startst the other finnishes? Are there enough athletic meetings that would justify a pourpous built stadium? I geuss the football season starts at the end of summer so there could be an over lap but I cann't see many athaletes wanting to compete in December.

  • Comment number 10.

    @boddz1

    I do appreciate your point and it's certainly valid. There's something a bit special about lower league football though. There's an intimacy about somewhere like Brisbane Road you don't get at the cavernous modern venues like Emirates Stadium (although it's a brilliant venue). As exciting as Premier League football is, I think most people can all agree that finances are a major contributory factor to success.

    The financial differences at lower levels mean that the leagues are generally closer and more unpredictable. Starting the season, we expected Orient to finish in the bottom ten. Now though after a great run we're only a few points from the playoffs. I don't expect us to get close, in all honesty, but there's always that possibility.

    The players at our level are able, I think, to feel more of an affinity with the fans. There's very few overpaid prima donnas in League One. Maybe I'm being hopelessly romantic and projecting a Ron Manager style "small boys, jumpers for goalposts" image but without clubs like Orient football would be so much poorer.

  • Comment number 11.

    Does all this not call into question the wisdom/judgement of giving the promise in the first place? Is someone going to consider that?

    It looks like all commercial sense has been abandoned in order to uphold the promise.
    If a bank was considering lending this amount of money, they would attact a lot of comment.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm a West Ham supporter living a few minutes from the Boleyn ground and believe this move will signal the end oF WHU. The economics of this move make no no sense whatsover and the prospect of taking a pair of binoculars to watch a match with no atmosphere at all will put of all real football fans.

    This is a victory for the establishment. The political, business and sporting elite can continue to enjoy their privileges whilst the poor people of East London are the only ones who will ultimately pay the bill for their profligacy, poor management and misinformation.

    Messrs Gold and Sullivan can now get a quick return on their money whilst Sebastian Coe and his new friend the Mayor of Newham can reboot their political carrers.

    Was it ever going to be any different?

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    This makes West Ham a much more valuable company when it comes to selling out^W up, but I'm sure thats coincidental. I do wonder how long the running track will last, and how they propose to cater for all the field events on a football pitch - for the latter I guess they'll just replace it before each new season, so it might be a tad rough for the athletes.
    Still, with Crystal Palace planning to move back to their old location we will end up with all the UK-hosted major athletic events hosted outside of London (apart from those that take place during the 4 weeks in the year that the whatever-the-sponsor-calls-it Stadium is available to UK Athletics), which can only be a good thing.

  • Comment number 15.

    All I want to know is..if the 5 criteria were so important, why were they not made PRE-REQUISITES? Would have saved us all from this charade of a process.

  • Comment number 16.

    The argument was never about the stadium and the legacy, it was about London rivalry, this is shown in the way Tottenham are reacting to losing out to West Ham.

    what would make anyone think spending £525m of the taxpayers money on a stadium and then giving the rights to a club who will demolish the majority of it and build something else makes sense in times of austerity?

    To say clubs can not have a running track around the stadiums are pure nonsense, Many cubs have played and succeed at Olympic stadiums, Panathanikos, Aek Athens, Bayern munich (although now moved to the Allianz arena), Espanyol (although now moved), Spartak Moscow, national and pumas - Mexico, Flemengo - to hold Olympics 2016 and wc 2014, Lazio and Roma - including Italian national team to name a few.

    Sorry to say i think the right tenants have been chosen for the new stadium and the plans to hold other events and sports shows the business side of their proposal meaning that if they do get relegated from the premier league they will still have income to help pay the stadium loans.

    congratulations from a Wigan Athletic fan.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well done West Ham. Won something at last.
    But could some one give me the number?
    Cost To Tax-Payer / Lottery player
    Cost of purchase by West Ham
    Cost of transfer
    What do they get eg Stadium, Village...........
    Up keep of roads and services

  • Comment number 18.

    It is ridiculous to defend the decision simply because it comes closest to honouring a deeply flawed plan and commitment. You shouldn't throw good money after bad.

    Also, hasn't it been noted how little athletics has been mentioned by all interested parties since the decision has been announced? And there is to be no legally binding resolution for West Ham to retain the running track that anyone knows of.

    The running track and athletics will be a distant memory before you know it as West Ham and Newham try desperately to make the project work, probably in vain. UK Athletics would have been better off with the Spurs proposal of a dedicated facility at a revamped Crystal Palace, but Seb Coe et al were too concerned with securing the token - and that's what it is - of a running track at the Olympic Stadium. Coe's ego will be satisfied but athletics will suffer.

    If they were serious about the legacy, they would have gone with the original plan to make a 25,000 capacity athletics stadium. But they knew that would be a white elephant. So why not instead have gone for the stadium most likely to be financially viable and least costly to the tax payer - i.e. the Spurs option?

    The planning has been farcical and this decision means the farce will continue long into the future.

  • Comment number 19.

    The whole Olympic Stadium debacle has been a farce from start to finish. Firstly, promising a legacy and then devising a plan to leave the stadium as a 25,000 capacity was not really a legacy.

    Secondly, the amount of public support West Ham received is ridiculous - especially as it has all come from athletics people (Coe etc) who have all of a sudden realised that they were going to leave a rubbish legacy with a 25,000 seater stadium and have bandwagoned on West Ham's plan purely because they'll keep the track. West Ham won't fill 60,000 (To paraphrase Brady: 'we'll sell out for the big games and give free tickets away to kids', what about when it's West Ham v Wigan or someone?).

    Thirdly, most of the board that made the decision support West Ham, how is that allowed?

    Fourth, the other events being proposed such as 20/20 cricket, random motorsport, and athletics don't get 60,000 fans. Athletics struggles to sell out 25,000 at Crystal Palace when people like Usain Bolt are competing. The only events that will are concerts and they can't happen between August and May because of the football season.

    Fifth, total ignorance of Leyton Orient despite the rule about not being allowed to move within a certain radius of other clubs. Also, West Ham's plans to give away tickets to schools etc will take away a lot of potential Orient fans.

    Sixth, the media's coverage of the whole thing has been horrendously biased, particularly the BBC. Saying that Spurs plan to 'tear down the stadium' is highly inaccurate. As I already mentioned, the stadium was due to be torn down anyway to turn it into a 25,000 seater. Spurs were only going to get rid of £100m worth to turn it into a permanent football stadium - much the same as the £80m West Ham need to spend to do the same.

  • Comment number 20.

    Joe Strummer

    Spurs wanted to move to East London, knock down a publicly funded stadium, that 12 months ago hosted the biggest event in UK history, all because they saw it as cheap land.

    Their bid was a farce. And a demonstration of the sheer contempt Levy has for the club's fans

  • Comment number 21.

    Let me get this right. The taxpayer spends £500 million to build an Olympic stadium and then a football club comes along and says "Thanks folks but it doesn't fit our needs, so we will demolish it and build what we want. Accept our price because otherwise London will have a financial white elephant on its hands..ours is the only game in town....".

    Firstly, as a taxpayer I say to OPLC thank you for making the right decision. At a time when government is pouring billions into the banking community to keep it afloat, it is nice to know that our interests are being protected.

    To Tottenham Hotspurs I say, clearly yours was not the only game in town. If it does cost us more money in the future to maintain a world class stadium providing Athletics facilities in central London then take that against the cost of rebuilding the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace. The Newham/ West Ham bid clearly met the requirements of the OPLC and they should be applauded for their commitment to the legacy aspects.

    A large percentage of Spurs fans didn't support their clubs' bid. The clubs' bid was an ill founded attempt to save Spurs substantial sums on a new build at the taxpayers expense. Was it not Lord Sugar who has described his time at Tottenham as "a waste of my life" when he finally sold his remaining shareholding in the club.

    Quit crying and move on...!!

  • Comment number 22.

    A lot of the crying about this, is just pure ridiculous.

    There are tons of teams in Europe, with running tracks around the pitch. It makes a difference, but that much of a difference? Give over

    If you listen to muppets like Redknapp, you'd think West Ham supporters are going to stop going to games, as they have to sit 10 yards further back...........

    It's a big step up for West Ham. It's just jealousy from the rest.

    As for Spur's bid, it was ridiculous

    The government builds a stadium, with £252 million of taxpayers money, on a promise that they would provide an athletics legacy for east London......

    Spurs answer is to rip it down, hand the government £25 million for their trouble, and build their own stadium, as they can't afford to do it anywhere else.

  • Comment number 23.

    Truth is, neither Spurs or West Ham can afford to do this themselves.

    So the winner, has got a good deal.

  • Comment number 24.

    Mike

    Did you read what I wrote? The majority of it was going to be knocked down anyway to turn it into a 25,000 stadium. The thing they're currently building is a temporary structure. Spurs would have turned it into a 60,000 proper football stadium, West Ham are spending slightly less to keep the track and reduce the capacity from 80,000 to 60,000 but still have to change most of it anyway to turn it into a permanent structure.

    It's the legacy people's fault for not thinking of a better legacy in the first place. Explain to me how the original plan of building a 80,000 stadium, knocking down 3/4 of it and turning it into a 25,000 stadium was not a waste of £500m of public money?

  • Comment number 25.

    @Mike Are you not aware of what the original plans for the stadium were, or that Spurs planned to use much of the original stadium for the privately funded redevelopment of Crystal Palace?

    The sensationalism surrounding the issue as opposed to looking at the relevant facts is why such a poor decision has been made on an unrealistic and face-saving basis.

  • Comment number 26.

    Siberianwinter wrote:

    Let me get this right. The taxpayer spends £500 million to build an Olympic stadium and then a football club comes along and says "Thanks folks but it doesn't fit our needs, so we will demolish it and build what we want.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You do realise that West Ham are also going to do this by reducing the capacity from 80,000 to 60,000 and turning it from a temporary structure to a permanent one. And West Ham are surely benefiting at the taxpayers' expense?

    The plan is doomed to fail because they've chosen an option that doesn't fit any one purpose properly but is ill fitted to a number of purposes. Athletics will never have 60,000 people watching unless it's the Olympics.

  • Comment number 27.

    So to summarise - UK Athletics gets a stadium they have to share for 20 days a year rather than a dedicated venue for 365 days a year.

    Taxpayers pay more money.

    West Ham get a stadium with a capacity of at least 20,000 more than they can realistically fill.

    A private firm like AEG with vast experience and a successful track record of running sporting and entertainment venues is unused, while a cash-strapped local authority is utilised.

    But, hey, we get to keep our promise and retain our reputation in the eyes of that bastion of virtue and rectitude, the IOC.

    At least Seb Coe and team GB are happy.

  • Comment number 28.

    Here is what should happen (and probably will as most West Ham fans don't want this move in the first place and realistically the club cant afford it):

    1. Spurs build their own stadium at their current location. They have nothing doing in Newham and neither do their fans want a stadium in that location which is not designed for football.

    2. West Ham stay where they are. Their attendances don't warrant the need for a bigger stadium, their fans don't want a running track and the taxpayer wont like a football club getting the stadium for next to nothing. Leyton Orient stay happy.

    3. The Olympic Stadium retains its use for athletics and possibly cricket. The London Olympics planning committee needs to come up with more original ideas for making it sustainable - giving it to a football club was a cop out and smacked of desperation to the promises made.

    4. Finally and most importantly, Crystal Palace football club move back to their original home in Crystal Palace park and redevelop the sports facilities there. Minus running track.

    Not so difficult when you use a little common sense is it?

    3.

  • Comment number 29.

    There's going to be a bun fight!

    The West Ham fans are starting to quake in their boots with the athletics glitterati coming out in force with comments like the stadium will be a 'beacon for athletics' - and they thought it was going to be a football stadium.

    UK athletics on the other hand better make sure the contracts are watertight on the question of the track, with Crystal Palace FC looking to tear down the athletics stadium, if the Olympic Stadium does eventually lose it track, they will left with nothing.

    The THFC's plan was honest, made business sense and provided the legacy.

  • Comment number 30.

    Glad Spurs are staying in Tottenham. Long may it stay that way.

    Signed,
    a life long Lilywhite

  • Comment number 31.

    Has there been any contribution from UK Athletics towards this? Have they done anything to ensure their precious legacy is ensured?

    And what happens when Newham residents find that their bins aren't being collected. Will they get a ticket to see West Ham as compensation?

    The whole process has been a farce from start to finish. The OPLC will be the fall guys for Ken and Tessa, while Spurs/West Ham should be thanked for trying to make a go of it.

  • Comment number 32.

    In the linked interview, Lamine Diack is clear that Britain would have been "finished" had Spurs got the stadium.

    I for one am pleased that our reputation remains intact because Daniel Levy wasn't able to secure a larger stadium on the cheap. The 2012 Olympics would have been tainted forever as the one where Britain lied to win the prize.

    Spurs can only sink lower by taking legal action.

    Providing it is ratified and no appeal from Spurs is successful, this is a victory for integrity over greed. It's not often that can be said in this day and age.

  • Comment number 33.

    Quite funny that right here and now the legacy aspect is so important.
    You wait, this will die a death on the short term because I don't think Spurs will bother to contest the obvious leaks that came out about the decision. Within 2 years the press (and you will be amongst them) will start to question the viability of W.Ham vs a vs this stadium and the whole ex-olympic area. Pretty sure you will all then start to say well of course the running track stadium was never going to work and the fact that other venues on the site couldn't be leased etc etc etc. The press always want to run with the hare and hunts with the hounds.....

  • Comment number 34.

    just the idea of a £500 mill stadium to be torn down after, theoratically, few days of use, is a dumb's idea at best. How more thick you can get? If Spurs want to relocate, just find a new location outside London and build a new stadium in whatever way you like. Why waste £500mill when you want to move out of your locality and the place you belong to, then you may aswell move anywhere.

  • Comment number 35.

    Haha, if Including Postage thinks this is a victory for integrity over greed, I've got some magic beans I'd like to sell him.

    Let's see West Ham's owners and Newham Council test the boundaries of 'integrity' over the next few years, shall we? Especially as desperation sets in over trying to make the best of an unworkable plan. Who knows which division West Ham will be playing in when the time comes to move, and who knows what state their finances will be in.

    I've no doubt their plan is to find a wealthy buyer with their prize secured and get a big return on their original investment, but they might find that harder than they think with the running track. But I'm sure they'll find little difficulty in removing that obstacle with no proper checks and balances in place.

  • Comment number 36.

    The current W.Ham owners immediate concern must be premiership survival because if they don't achieve that, then they admit they will have to dip heavily into their pockets. So if W.Ham kick of 2011-12 as a championship club, where is the proposed revenue to finance the new costs
    for the new stadium because building costs don't stay still for 2 years !!

  • Comment number 37.

    This is a con between friends, spurs had no intention of going to the Olympic stadium, but if they put forward a bid that would never be entertained then fait accompli says west ham would get it due to the gullible Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) panicking and not seeing the conspiracy of the con trick coming. What a bunch of fools.

  • Comment number 38.

    What exactly are West Ham Getting???????

  • Comment number 39.

    Can someone point me to the FULL details?

  • Comment number 40.

    HOW ABOUT YOU KEEP 606, THEN WE WILL TALK.

  • Comment number 41.

    On balance, this was the right decision given the corner the London 2012 team had painted themselves into.

    What they should have done was followed the example of Manchester and guaranteed an appropriate legacy for athletics. By designing a stadium that was suitable for the games but designed to be converted into a football stadium following the event, with a pre-determined tenant who would finance the development of a world class, year round athletics venue with an appropriate capacity - at Crystal Palace or elsewhere - and without any need to tear down the stadium as the Spurs bid would have done.

    But by ignoring the Commonwealth Games example they had no choice but to accept a compromise rather than a Spurs proposal which would have gone back on promises they should never have been daft enough to make.

  • Comment number 42.

    Spot on, hansbohrdt. There will be much wisdom after the event on this. The original plan was never questioned at the time but is now accepted as unworkable. The same thing will happen here.

  • Comment number 43.

    As a season ticket holder for many years I have to confess that up until today,I was very much against a move away from Upton Park.
    It has now started to dawn on me that we have,in effect,been given a state of the art,modern,60000 seater stadium,for free,nothing.
    We now have a stadium that Spurs would have paid 500 million for.

    We have a potential cash cow,that even if we get relegated from the premiership,will generate millions of pounds in revenue from other events.While spurs have to borrow many millions,which we will be able to spend on players and wages,that they do not have.
    AEG are so vitriolic about losing,because they know,Madonna would choose our place for a concert than a smaller venue a mile or so away.

    In conclusion,in ten years time,I have a funny feeling we are going to be a much more attractive proposition for a professional footballer than the current home of Tottenham Hotspur

  • Comment number 44.

    @kiwinavega

    Although i'm not a Leyton Orient fan I have been to a game at Brisbane road this season and it was a nice ground don't get me wrong. The supporters seemed pretty decent too, and hopefully they wouldn't stop turning out just because of cheap tickets elsewhere. But to be honest I would still be a bit concerned for them

  • Comment number 45.

    Robbo, I hate to shatter your dream but I think you'd better check the details if you think West Ham aren't paying anything.

  • Comment number 46.

    Andy, you sound like a bitter Spurs supporter. West Ham, while not being one of the traditional 'big boys' of English football, are still a huge club with a great tradition and support. They have sadly suffered the odd unfortunate relegation in recent history but have, and always will, bounce back. And in answer to your question 'why?'1) it's in East London (Tottenham isn't) 2) The Olympic stadium was in danger of becoming a White elephant (remember the millennium dome), this way, it'll get put to good use.

  • Comment number 47.

    Just on the issue of Leyton Orient and West Ham moving into their 'area'. Considering as the Olympic Stadium is in Stratford which was part of the old borough of West Ham (now known as Newham) - and West Ham is named after...urm....West Ham - then i don't see why Leyton Orient have a claim over this area of London when West Ham belong there just as much as they do. Upton Park is currently within 4 miles of Brisbane Road and if the Boleyn Ground had been expanded to 60,000 it would have had the same impact on Leyton Orient as this move will have. If Spurs had got the stadium, then it's a whole different kettle of fish.

  • Comment number 48.

    Having seen what has happened to previous Olympic stadiums I can't help feeling that West Ham may regret this move.

  • Comment number 49.

    I was just wondering the Spurs fans on here that are complaining over there unsuccessful bid, actually do live within the M25, as all fans who live near there club want to keep it within the area, not just for convenience, but because it is part of who they are or where they come from.

    Also when people are saying that there would not be much atmosphere as of the size of the stadium and the distance to the action on the pitch, well what about the old wembley, you cant say that did not have a great atmophere and fanse were not close to the pitch there, change of sprt cricket MCG, SCG, cricket grounds in Australia for the ashes, the action in the middle is a long way from the fans as those grounds are the same size or bigger than the Olympic stadium and from watching it on tv, there seemed plent of atmoshere there.

    Finaly it is great news for Crystal Palace Fc as they now have the option to move back to Crystal Palace Park where they originally came from (which was before any athletics there. One thing Spurs did not think of with there new stadium plan and revamping the national athletivs stadium was two thing, one the reason why the stadium fell into disrepair wasuk athletics could not afford to maintain it as it is only really ever used twice a year so having a purpose only track and field only stadium would never have worked as it has proven it is not self sustainable, finally for Spurs who was to say Bromley council would have given planning permission for any re-development to the stadium in the park?

    I think the right decision was made for all.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Peter,
    sorry youre quite right,should have said,
    its nothing compared to what Spurs now have to borrow,
    given another 3 or 4 years for the process about 600 million!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    So the best political decision has been made to protect UK athletics legacy - to the cost of other UK athletics stadia which will get neglected? To appease the 5 star living idealists at the IOC as the 'Uk reputation would have suffered' and to say yes to the new West Ham owners who are serial PR seekers and don't really have any loyalty to the heritage of West Ham, have only been at the club for a year and probably won't be there (like the bid deciding committee) when the financial troubles set in. The stadium is simply too big for West Ham so what is the tax payer involvement in this? The financial risks are huge - this hasn't been thought by the right people and there are too many upsides assumed. Far better the track gets ripped out and Spurs and West Ham (and Orient whose fate has been ignored in all this) share the ground. What was said 5 years ago is now history - the rules have changed - just like they do in the real world and also at FIFA!!

  • Comment number 52.

    #7 wrote "tottenham should have a contract with the west ham and olpc that if west ham try to dig up the track the have to pay tottenham 50 million. i fear that the track wont be there in 10 years "

    What a great idea, now that Spurs have missed out on being given a £500million stadium paid for by the taxpayer, they must be able to get a freebie from somewhere.

    Perhaps I could get a similar contract with West Ham, where if they tear up the track (or even try to dig it up and fail) they have to send me £50 and a couple of kegs of beer.

    Personally I would have rejected both bids, and left the stadium empty after the olympics, so it could serve as a monument to the last government's ability to waste taxpayers money on projects with no benefit, and as a reminder that nobody should ever vote labour. They could restrict entrance to those who can show a national ID card.

  • Comment number 53.

    Just seen an interview with Messrs Gold, Sullivan & Brady. They look like the cat has had the cream, looking very smug at having got a all-new 60,000 stadium. Good luck at filling it in the Championship!

  • Comment number 54.

    Sparky1974, if you think Crystal Palace are really going to move back to the site of the athletics stadium, I might just have some magic beans left over to sell to you too.

  • Comment number 55.

    Tottenham's response seems to be very much like that of a spoilt child who hasn't been given its own way for a change. It's OK to be disappointed, but you lost. The decision is the one that everyone wanted though so I, like many, won't be crying themselves to sleep over the decision.

    The one down side which ever way you look at it is for Orient, but I suppose it was going to happen either way (that plus the damage to Palace's possible move). At least Tottenham would probably have been able to fill the stadium without giving lots of cheap tickets away.

  • Comment number 56.

    I agree with other posters, this could be the end of WHU as we know it.
    These football clubs are taking the mick, they get these grounds, effectively off the public, for free, and still charge an arm and a leg to get in, thus excluding the people who made these clubs what they are, and yes my own team applies here too. I hope WHU will take account of this when hoping to generate an atmosphere that is undoubtedly threatened by the track.

  • Comment number 57.

    mduchezeau It goes deeper than what Tottenham wanted. It's about making a sorry mess of the whole affair. The orginal plan was hopelessly flawed. The current solution is hopelessly flawed. It doesn't matter what 'everyone wanted' because most people weren't even aware of the facts regarding the original plan or what is going to happen now.

    The debate was reproduced in the most reductive manner for consumption for the general public, leading to all kinds of misconceptions about cost and waste. I suspect this was quite deliberate to shift the blame from certain parties for the whole farcical situation. The latest solution is an exercise in face-saving and passing the buck. We're left with the white elephant we would have otherwise had, only in different hands.

  • Comment number 58.

    Well, I wholeheartedly agree with #3 - There should be the technical means to satisfy both Athletics UK and WHU fans.

    In which case it will be just the back 20 rows then that remain empty when WHU are plying their trade in League 1!

    ...
    So expect the engineers to go further still & build in facilities for concerts, festivals, circuses and all manner of entertaining beast to make the thing viable.

  • Comment number 59.

    Typical comment's on this are that Leyton Orient are going to disappear the stadium will be empty and that is will only be free in the off season.

    Give it a chance. Leyton won't disappear as they already have few spectators going to watch and West Ham is only 15 min walk away no only 12min!! going to make a difference I don't think so. If cheaper tickets exist O's need to maybe give some away as they have an empty stadium with lots of empty seats anyway.

    A football season consists of 19 Home fixtures plus a few more for Cup games. So will be available loads of times because they can always switch home with away fixtures when needed as Athletics know when comps are well in advance of a fixture list.

    Stadiums are not all about football and their view. what difference is it going to make if they are a little further away no different than being a bit further back or higher up!!

    Football, athletics, cricket, rugby, concerts etc in one venue sounds to me like it going to be a busier place than any current stadium that exist ie Wembley, Emirates etc.

  • Comment number 60.

    Kennys_Heroes Such technology was orginally mooted but dismissed by the organisers because they refused to entertain the concept of anything other than a dedicated athletics stadium and ruled out a dual use.

    Of course, this was unworkable, which is why we are where we are now. West Ham/Newham simply would not be able to raise the funding for such a project now.

  • Comment number 61.

    The brutal truth is that there is a third option “just knock it down”... sticking a football club in the middle of a premium shopping centre and post-Olympic residential village.. makes no economic sense.. because of the price discount that has to be applied to the properties.. if you accept the Tottenham premise of knocking down the stadium, you might was well build a business park.

    The West Ham plan means you can defer any plan-3 until the economic conditions are better and more options are available.

  • Comment number 62.

    I would have liked it to go to Leyton Orient, but once it became clear that Premiership teams were also bidding, they had no chance. Such a shame!

  • Comment number 63.

    I live up in Scotland, having emigrated from London in 2003. An Ilford boy born and bred, my football years were spent at West Ham and Leyton Orient.
    The obvious choice of key holder, in principal, to me at least, was West Ham. I was pretty surprised when I initially heard of Tottenham's interest, primarily for geographic reasons. When details surrounding the bid came to the fore, my initial thought was that no one would surely allow the demolition of parts of the stadium, to enable sole use by Tottenham.
    I've flown over the stadium on a number of occasions going from London City to Dundee and it is vast.
    The rose tinted spectacles I'm now wearing, show me that West Ham are going to make a real go of this, with my beloved, mighty Essex playing cricket, vehicle events and so on and so forth....... The cynic/realist in me says that West Ham are going to catch a cold over this one. I do hope that I'm proved very wrong.
    The arguments for West Ham and Tottenham NOT being granted the freedom of Stratford can be debated until the cows come home.
    I just think that the whole saga, going back to when there was 150 odd notes of interest, has been handled very abjectly. I can say without any cause for boasting, that I saw this coming soon after London was granted the Olympics. There was a lot of talking going on but no definate plans for what would happen to the stadium after the games. There's a bit of deja vu about all this, too. The Millenium Dome, say no more.
    Before I sign off, out of interest, how many supporters were keen on the move? I bet the cafe's and bars along Tottenham High Road are breathing a sigh of relief, too

  • Comment number 64.

    It is a crying shame that the future of this amazing stadium had to be let anywhere near football.

    To have been able to keep this so that is was ALWAYS primarily managed for athletics would have been the ideal, but no, we have to sell it to a football club with all the crass commercialisation that goes with that.

  • Comment number 65.

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

  • Comment number 66.

    what happens when UK Athletics want to host an athletes meeting during the football season.A Diamond League meeting or the National championships ie running for Friday,Sat & Sunday who has priority ??? what about athletics training?? for a major championships

    just asking

  • Comment number 67.

    Can we stop moaning for a minute and think laterally?

    why don't West Ham and Spurs Ground share?

    It works at the Nou Camp, stadio olimpico and in Milan.....
    Spurs one week wham the next. W'ham shut the top tiers ( as they do at Leeds) and open them when the alleged 60,000 (!) spurs fans arrive. Both teams get a great stadium - Spurs sell WHlane and finance better players, and Wham save a load of money which they could spend on team building.!
    Council, athletics all happy!

    Jeez, can no-one seen the opportunity?!!



  • Comment number 68.

    Of course it was the best option. It keeps our promise and it gives a multi sport venue that will become a very promising legacy. Irrespective of West Ham being (probably) in the Championship, with the New Stadium generating a decent revenue for Government, All Sports as well as Football and last but not least West Ham themselves, it was the logical conclusion. Lord Sugars bias comments do his reputation no good whatsoever. As for those talking about the view, what are they on about? No stanchions, or other inhibitions in the way, means I just do not buy the ridiculous running track argument raised by Lord Sugar and Tottenham Spurs.

  • Comment number 69.

    First I have to put my cards on the table.
    I'm a life long QPR fan and a fan of Athletics.
    This may really be a disaster for West Ham, but the Tottenham bid had to fail otherwise "Olympic Legacy" would have been a stick to beat us with in the international sports community for decades. Has anyone actually tried to get to Crystal Palace on a weekday evening who doesn't live in South London? Ridiculous idea.
    But for West Ham fans - now the January window has closed - their worry must be that they are locked into something which will come to fruit when they are actually fighting relegation from the championship - or worse. In short just when they need be "close to home" with some atmosphere in the old ground.
    Many posts on this thread talk of "premier league football" - the likelihood of WHU playing that for the next 2 seasons is very, very slim. And just ask QPR, Charlton, Norwich, Leeds and Southampton fans if you need to know how quickly you can decline from Premier League comfort once you get relegated. That squad / manager combo looks a dead cert for bottom half of the championship at best.
    A 60,000 stadium for them with a 20 metre gap to the pitch at least (most people seem to have forgotten the long jump pit) will kill everything they have down at the Boleyn (as it would for us if we moved out of Loftus Road) and they'll be back to gates of 20k tops.
    The fans, as usual, have been mugged again.
    But looking on the bright side. At least I'll be able to go and see some Athletics in our olympic stadium, or have plenty of space in the away end after we've got relegated after 1-2 years in the premier league.
    By then Brady, Sullivan and Gold will be long gone - so it won't all be bad news for Hammers fans.

  • Comment number 70.

    66 - They know when these events are ahead of a football fixture list so West Ham SHOULD swap their fixtures. I would anticipate this being part of the deal.

    West Ham Won't train there so using the running track during the day shouldn't be a problem. All of this is on the presumption that West Ham and Newham Council truly allow the stadium to community use not Football and a few other things when it suits.

  • Comment number 71.

    35. At 7:07pm on 11 Feb 2011, Peter Deville wrote:
    Haha, if Including Postage thinks this is a victory for integrity over greed, I've got some magic beans I'd like to sell him.

    Let's see West Ham's owners and Newham Council test the boundaries of 'integrity' over the next few years, shall we? Especially as desperation sets in over trying to make the best of an unworkable plan. Who knows which division West Ham will be playing in when the time comes to move, and who knows what state their finances will be in.

    I've no doubt their plan is to find a wealthy buyer with their prize secured and get a big return on their original investment, but they might find that harder than they think with the running track. But I'm sure they'll find little difficulty in removing that obstacle with no proper checks and balances in place.

    --------------

    I maintain it is precisely that. I'll pass on the magic beans, thanks.

    However, if the track does disappear then what I say now about the legacy will apply there too.

    This situation hasn't been handled at all well. However, a local club and the athletics track still in place as per the legacy is better than a non-local club and no track, in my opinion.

    Time will tell what happens to the stadium, the track, West Ham's fortunes, Leyton Orient and everything else in this saga.

    As for Spurs, I still say they just wanted a cheap option for a new stadium on somebody else's patch with no regards for their fans, the vast majority of which it would appear never wanted this move. Maybe they will buy your magic beans? But don't expect to fetch a good price for them.

    I also hope Leyton Orient aren't damaged too much by this. They're innocent bystanders in all of this.

  • Comment number 72.

    Spurs fans harped on about the OS being their plan B. Now the NP and OS are dead in the water, what next for Spurs?

  • Comment number 73.

    If there is a victory then it is a strangely pyrrhic one.

    Athletics has done itself no favours in the past through lack of imagination in marketing and having stadia worthy of presenting such rich and diverse talent. Perhaps instead of the billions spent on the Olympics those concerned with the London bid could have better applied their skills to producing spectator friendly venues across a range of sports up and down the country - ice rinks, cycle tracks, swimming pools, all weather surfaces etc. to improve the options people have. The media is strangely reluctant to regularly feature events too.

    And why should a private business - West Ham United - get advantage from public spending?

    This whole Olympic thing has been a farce.

  • Comment number 74.

    There are a lot of negative comments about West Ham being unable to sustain the capacity of the OS, not playing Premier League football and not having the financial clout to match Spurs.

    But who's to say that after 2-3 seasons at the OS, that the extra income from gate receipts that they may even overtake Spurs, languishing in a 38,000 stadium and become the bigger club?

  • Comment number 75.

    A completely flawed decision that could only ever have been made by so-called 'professional' politicians and mandarins with virtually no knowledge of actually running a business; but who have every intention of staying on the gravy train and hobnobbing with bigwigs from the IOC.
    Tottenham's bid made by far the most sense financially, the only problem is one of geography. West Ham will, in a few years, be begging to rip up the track because it has been proven time and again (Barcelona, Athens, Berlin) that Football and Athletics do not mix. And then what? West Ham will have a half-empty stadium, Newham will be left carrying the debt, UK Athletics will have no home to speak of, and the IOC will still accuse us of breaking promises. Great. But of course the incompetents who made this decision will have moved on too, and as usual it will be 'somebody else's fault'. What an utter shambles.

  • Comment number 76.

    People who bang on about Spurs plans to 'knock down a £500m stadium' need to get their facts right before commenting. As has been said, Tottenham planned to dismantle (and recycle) roughly £80m worth of infrastructure which, if you remember, was designed to be torn down anyway!

    The bid and the stadium was flawed from the start; they made promises without any idea of how they planned to keep them. Athletics simply isn't popular enough (Olympics/WCs aside) to maintain a stadium the size and stature of the OS, so the original plan to reduce it to a 25k athletics stadium was doomed to fail.

    Rather than acknowledge this massive mistake on their behalf, LOCOG/OPLC have stuck their heads in the sand. So West Ham come along with a nice friendly bid, ticking all the boxes and saying all the right things, and they see their get-out clause.
    So what if West Ham go down?
    So what if they can't fill the stadium?
    So what if they're in financial trouble?
    So what if a year or 2 down the line they realize it's a terrible atmosphere?
    As long as they can fob it off to West Ham with their oh so important 'legacy' in tact, it's not their problem. By the time West Ham want to do something about it, LOCOG/OPLC/Coe/Sanderson and their crew will be out of sight, and West Ham will be the bad guys for reneging on their promise (kind of ironic, no?).

    In reality, Tottenham's bid was far, far better. Their plan identified that trying to force football and athletics together doesn't work (notice how 2 of the examples in post #16 have moved, as have Juve). Rather then beat around the bush and make false promises, Tottenham were up-front with their intentions; we'll have a football stadium, you have an athletics stadium. Simple.
    Not to mention that Tottenham have:
    A) a fan-base capable of filling a 60k stadium without throwing tickets at anyone who'll take them.
    B) the financial clout to fulfill their plans without wasting yet more (£40m) of the taxpayers money.
    C) a more secure future in terms of top-flight football.

    What Tottenham's bid didn't do was suck up to the athletics community and massage the egos of Coe and co. For this reason, they have lost.

  • Comment number 77.

    Why did anyone think that redeveloping Crystal Palace would be of any benefit to international competitions? There are far better transport links to Stratford now. It's close to the City Airport, with crossrail and the channel tunnel rail links. To not have an international stadium there would have been idiotic.

    As for having the fans close to the pitch, very few fans would be close to the pitch anyway. To fit more seats into a stadium that is close to the pitch means that the stadium is much higher, so those at the top are just as far away than if there had been a running track.

    A perfect compromise would have been movable stands however that would reduce the total number of seats so again it would need to be higher.

  • Comment number 78.

    Don't understand why either of the two bids don't involve demolition of the lower tier of seating and it's replacement with movable seating a-la Stade de France.

    That said, the right bid won. Spurs bid was a joke from the start.

  • Comment number 79.

    These 3 had targeted buying West Ham for this reason in particular. The aquisition of the Olympic Stadium was always likely and thus would raise the value of the club. As sure as anything they'll flog West Ham to the highest bidding Indian, Arab or Yank for a tidy profit come 2013, or maybe even before.

  • Comment number 80.

    Well that didn't take long, the decision is hours old and already the athletics community is sceptical about West Ham keeping the track as promised.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/feb/11/west-ham-olympic-stadium

  • Comment number 81.

    74. I know many West Ham fans are upset about the prospect of moving, but it's nice to see some have retained their sense of humour.

  • Comment number 82.

    66 re 70 so this so OK with the EPL?? just swap the fixtures.. has any body given this any thought!!!!!

    Alan

  • Comment number 83.

    I wanted Spurs to get it, mainly because I don't want West Ham moving to Stratford.

    Stratford is NOT West Ham; different place, different postcode, might as well be a different country. The Boleyn Ground is a very special place; they will never be able to generate the same atmosphere in a massive great ground with a running track - the spectators will need binoculars to see the game!

    I suppose the OPLC had to palm this white elephant off to somebody but I wish it had been Spurs. I don't think West Ham was the right choice and I think they will ultimately regret the move.

    It's a very long time since I stood on the North Bank terraces at the Boleyn Ground but I'm still a West Ham fan....and I'm gutted.

  • Comment number 84.

    Just a thought - given the importance of the track, 'legacy' issue and the bid for the World Athletics Championships in 2017 - one presumes West Ham have agreed as part of their bid to not have any home pre season friendlies or even start their season in 2017/18 with any home games given the WAC are always in August, sometimes running into September?

  • Comment number 85.

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

  • Comment number 86.

    Well,all sais and done,
    the thing that will stand in my mind,is Sullivan,Gold and Brady,
    grinning like Cheshire cats,and Alan Sugar having an apoplectictic fit,have you ever seen anyone throwing their hands about so much in an interview?A body language expert could give him some tips about showing oponents losing a deal doesnt hurt!
    Oh,and Spurs threatening court action.
    Save your money for your new 600 million ground chaps!

  • Comment number 87.

    a legacy - yeah right, just 'cos seb coe was something in running 20 years ago.

    Look at th shooting events in 2012 - they are to be held in purpose built facility at woolwich, to built at great cost (£160m i believe) and then completely demolished at a further cost of £60m leaving no legacy for the non-PC shooting sports. for a 1/4 of the money, the shooting events could be at Bisley (as per 1948 olympics) and the money used to improve the facilities their to ensure future shooting champions have somewhere to practice and compete

    it should be noted that until the 1997 Pistol ban, Seb coe was the president of the National Pistol Association! where was his voice then ? well seeing he recieved a peerage from the govt that annihilated the shooting sports in this country

    So there is a perfectly good case for the Spurs bid, but it seems the OLPC make their own rules as they see fit

  • Comment number 88.

    'Of course it was the best option. It keeps our promise and it gives a multi sport venue that will become a very promising legacy.'

    Legacy? Is there anything tangible to this apart from a running track? What is so important about this running track? Lets say Spurs won the bid and built a 25,000 state of the art athletics ground. It would almost never be full so what hope of making the most of 60,000 athletics ground?

    The public was against Spurs because the thought of demolishing the stadium was too much. The point about the Cystal Palace redevelopment was completely lost on the public. I'm still hearing people with strong views against who didn't even know about it.

    So back to this 'Legacy' issue.

    People tell me how important athletics is. Its pure, unlike football it isn't a business. Its important to the future fitness of our children they say.

    So I ask how many of them have kids in athletics teams?

    Some hands go down.

    I ask them to name 5 British athletes.

    Some more hands go down.

    I ask them how their 'support' for athletics is anything other than meaningless rhetoric? How many have ever paid just once to watch athletics?

    Almost all the hands go down.

    Yes, we all love athletics obviously! The 'Legacy' is essential.

  • Comment number 89.

    As a West Ham fan, living 30 minutes walk from both the Boleyn and the Olympic Stadium, I'd like to answer some of the questions being bandied about. Note that I am not 'in the know' or part of the bid, just using information that I have learnt from the various parties.

    'West Ham won't fill the stadium' - they don't expect to on a frequent basis. David Gold expects a sell-out of derby matches and the visits of Man. Utd, Liverpool etc.

    'Orient will suffer' - many West Ham fans go to Orient when West Ham are away, and it's almost certain they'll be at home on alternate weekends.

    'It's costing public money' - there's £35m available from the ODA, which Spurs would have had access to as well. The £40m is a LOAN from Newham Council, which the council will get back AND get a cut of further profits. Sir Robin Wales has confirmed that there is very little risk to the Council, they will make money from it.

    'What if West Ham get relegated?' - firstly, there are three seasons between now and 2014-15, and secondly, the bid has been costed as still being strong if they are in the Championship.

    'The view will be rubbish' - we don't know. The club have said that after development, the stadium will be configurable TWELVE different ways, from a 25k smaller athletics venue to 106k for a concert in the round. We can't comment further until they publish some detailed plans and designs.

    None of the arguments against the move currently stand up. This could be a hideous failure, or a fantastic opportunity. I'm leaning towards the latter.

  • Comment number 90.

    other than those in London, does anyone really care?

    well yes I suppose they do, for all those north of the Watford Gap whose tax money has been pumped into what will be a white elephant.

    We only have to look at other Olympic venues to see the folly in bidding for these games. When the dust has settled, athletics will still be watched by a couple of old age pensioners looking for something to do during the day and some enthusiastic parents cheering on their prodigy. All this while the 'real' athletes are training in some sunnier climes.

    Athletics is only a spectator sport every four years and the London marathon.

  • Comment number 91.

    Think it is wrong that Daniel Levy is getting such bad press for the Spurs bid. Mr Levy was a Spurs fan before he was Chairman and will still be when ENIC finally sell us on. He thought he was doing what was best for the club, best for athletics and best for London. Jobs would have been created in 3 boroughs as well, and no further public funding required.

    I am a Spurs fan, and I didn't want to move from the Lane, but with a waiting list of 35,000 we could easily fill 80,000 seats a week, without giving freebies. The red mob have moved twice from Woolwich, but no one batted an eyelid when they left Highbury.

    The BBC does need to review it's coverage too, interesting that Ms Brady is on the Apprentice and got far more coverage than Mr Levy.

    What we need now is for Boris to block both bids, they can keep their white elephant legacy then.

  • Comment number 92.

    The athletics legacy issue is the be all and end all to this, saving face for politicians and LOCOG people.

    A scenario for you. Say someone, a politician for arguments sake, was thinking about his (oops! I mean 'their') big prize many, many years ago, which was not an Olympic Games, but actually to run the international affairs of their favourite sport. Especially if that person had been, say, an exceptionally talented sportsperson in their own right.

    Let's say, purely hypothetically of course, that the sport was, oh I don't know, international athletics. What chance would that person have of fulfilling their dream job of running international athletics, if they had been unable to secure an athletics legacy from an event they had organised?

    Clearly personal ambition does not come into it, and would clearly not be allowed to override commercial commonsense. Would it?

  • Comment number 93.

    The board at spurs are acting in the best interests of the club.Utimately the club cannot grow without increased income and you have to trust them to know what is viable or not.The bottom line is that if spurs fans do not back the board in their pursuit of a new ground wherever it may be,they should have no complaints if spurs cannot keep their stars happy or attract new ones. I suspect the first fans to complain will be the ones that objected to the olympic proposal.

  • Comment number 94.

    What has never been answered is why do we get to 2011 to decide on the "legacy" for London 2012? Surely when we put in the bid we had a solid plan for what this legacy was?

    It's just madness. Wembley was a farce and now this will be worse, why do planners not considered these things before splashing £500m of public money?

    As for this stadium, if the plan was to have "just an athletics venue" surely someone said "err that's not financial viable"? If the plan was to get a football club in surely you consult a club before you even put in the bid?

  • Comment number 95.

    A couple of questions:

    1) Will West Ham be legally bound to keep the running track or could they just end up doing a Tottenham anyway?


    2) Sullivan recently said he and Gold would invest up to £30million of their own money in the club if they got relegated. Why not use this money for the stadium and borrow less from the public if they stay up?

  • Comment number 96.

    Yet again a political over business decision. A Baroness who knows nothing about football versus a businessman Alan Sugar who says the result will collapse within ten years. An athletics Lord (Coe) who seems to have lost all sense of reality but loves to be the centre of attention. Also a stadium which when the bid was launched was always going to be demolished to house a 29000 seater athletics stadium. Has anyone considered how West Ham will fill this white elephant and if they can have they considered the fans whose view of football will be ludicrous (see BBC report tonight). Why cant the Olympic panel stick to their original plan for a 29000 seater athletics stadium? Because they realise it would never be used so they have had to cobble together a new plan for a multi purpose stadium being leased by West Ham with the added jam of pop events cricket and presumably Sunday Markets but no mention of athletics meetings because there aren't any apart from European, World and Olympic events and the occasional $1,000,000 mile event. No one seems to mention Manchester City who ripped up the track after taking over the Commonwealth Games stadium in Manchester. Where were the Baroness and Lord Coe when that happened?

  • Comment number 97.

    "at a time when most clubs with similar arrangements across Europe are ripping them up"

    Evidence please? every major city in Western Europe (outside of the UK) has a large dual use soccer/athletics stadium so please get your facts right.

  • Comment number 98.

    Firstly I would like to say thank you to Westham FC for saving the Olympic Stadium "white elephant", you have supported the East London community for many years now and can hopefully continue your good work in partnership with Newham council to grow the regeneration of this area.

    All posters who are against the Westham bid,please consider;

    If Spurs won the bid what would you be saying with regard to public funding when they want to knock down a £500m taxpayer project?
    What have Spurs actually done for the East London community other than bid for a cheaper stadium alternative once the East London area has received some much needed regeneration?
    The £40m from Newham council is a loan to be paid back by Westham United in full with interest.
    The Spurs bid only represented a good return for them, regeneration of Crystal Palace, what a joke, the new Crystal Palace arena would become derelict like the old one.
    If spurs did move to the OS, what would this have done for their present community/area and do they care?

    In conclusion, this Westham bid is making the best of a bad situation and not lining the pockets of a North London football club who don't give two hoots about taxpayers, their community or any other community. If spurs cannot restrain their desire to become an East London club why not bid for the Boleyn ground when it comes up for sale!COYI

  • Comment number 99.

    There is no legal obligation on West Hams debt holders to retain the Track, I agree with Sugar, when he forecasts 4 years down the line there will be many people washing their hands of responsibility.

  • Comment number 100.

    David, this is now primarily a Football Stadium in all but name, but of course West Hams debt holders have already announced plans to rename the Olympic Stadium with the name of the highest paying sponsor. Brace yourself for the Athletics Legacy to diminish by the day.

 

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