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The fight for the future of the Olympic Stadium

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Roger Mosey | 14:25 UK time, Monday, 24 January 2011

I don't think anyone expected the decision on the future of the Olympic Stadium to be quite so noisy and divisive.

The main point of this post is to give you a chance to express your views here - which you can do at greater leisure now the decision has been postponed - on whether it's West Ham or Spurs taking over the site in Stratford. But first, on the day we heard about the delay, some quick thoughts from me on what the brouhaha is showing us.

I should say as a BBC staffer I'm neutral on issues of public policy, and I've no footballing allegiance to either club.

But first and most obviously, it's a very tight race. I don't believe we'd be hearing from the high-level participants currently flooding the airwaves - Keith Mills on Friday, Seb Coe on Sunday, Craig Reedie today - if the issue were settled.

The Olympic Stadium is a key part of the 2012 legacy in London's east end

The Olympic Stadium is a key part of the 2012 legacy in London's east end

There's a fight on. And I must say it was a good line from Seb about the purpose of the Olympic stadium never having been to inspire a new generation of Spurs season ticket-holders.

Second, to use one of my favourite cliches - two things can be true.

It is unarguable that the promise made in Singapore was that there'd be an athletics legacy in East London. There can be no doubt about the commitments on an athletics track, even though my colleague David Bond has shown that the original idea is no longer on the table.

But it's also true that a football stadium with an athletics track wouldn't in all honesty be anyone's first choice - and the competing effective soundbite was from Harry Redknapp, with his comments: "Try to mix football and athletics and you end up with a great big bowl of nothing" and "I hate going to grounds where there is a running track to get past before you see Subbuteo-sized footballers through your opera-style binoculars."

This is turning into one of those occasions when you're pleased it's someone else making the choice. But there is, of course, another factor to bear in mind - and that's money.

If we're talking about the Singapore promises, one of them was about the cost of the Games and in 2005 it was estimated at £2.4 billion.

By 2007 that figure had risen to an estimated £9.3 billion and that level of increase remains eye-watering, even though it was blunted politically by the huge sums bandied about after the credit crunch and the banking collapse.

So actually for taxpayers in the UK there will be another promise on which they want some return.

At the moment we don't know how the real financial numbers add up, but expect this to be a big part of the debate about legacy: what most people will want is an Olympic Stadium that works in a Park that attracts visitors - and at the lowest cost to the public purse.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    A decision on the future use of the Olympic Stadium has been postponed.

  • Comment number 2.

    Mr Mosley the decision to terminate the 606 website is disgraceful and unacceptable. Offset that with the money you are squandering, promoting and advertising the Olympic Games, cannot be justified.

  • Comment number 3.

    The decision has likely been postponed so the people making the choice are covered against the inevitable legal challenge from the losing bidder. It’s still unthinkable that Tottenham get the keys. There are so many reasons that it would be ridiculous, one reason not mentioned too much is the fact that their claims to financial viability are undermined by the impact their move would have on the economy in Haringey. It would be a massive blow for an already deprived area. If it's about money, and Tottenham are the powerhouse Tottenham fans and chairman claim they are, why don't they stay and lead the Borough forward in partnership.

  • Comment number 4.

    The Arsenal move to the Emirates worked because of the partnership approach with the borough of Islington. When businesses had to move to make way for the site - the very 'deliverability' issues David Levy is now worried about at Spurs - it was the council/MP support that made it happen. By going after this site in east London, Tottenham have queered their pitch with Haringey and lost the very support that might have made the White Hart Lane redevelopment work. The WHL scheme is even less deliverable - Spurs might be left with nowhere to go out of this...

  • Comment number 5.

    It's got to go to West Ham - to preserve the athletics in the East End because they are the nearest club of the two to it.

    I hope the decision makers are not swayed by any extra persuasive measures by Spurs.

  • Comment number 6.

    So tinseltown it is Tottenham's responsibility for the well being of Haringey? If you knew anything about the reason Spurs have entered the proceedings for the OS it is because of the ridiculous financial demands of the local council.

    Indeed the only financially sound bid is that of Tottenham, West Ham would struggle to half fill the stadium and athletics might get twenty thousand twice a year.

    I would prefer Spurs to stay in north London but not under the conditions that David Lammy and Claire Kober are trying to force Spurs to accept.

    One thing that is an absolute certainty, that is the disaster that OS will become if dumb and dumber from West Ham get their hands on it.

  • Comment number 7.

    I can't believe that a feasible legacy was not drawn up at the bidding stage. It shows massive short sightedness. An athletics arena was never going to be a commercially viable option, why was a multipurpose venue not drawn up from the outset?

    http://iradar666.blogspot.com/2011/01/elephant-in-room.html

  • Comment number 8.

    If Spurs do move to the East End what are the rules on them having to change their name? Wimbledon had to become Milton Keynes Dons, and rightly so as they are in Milton Keynes. Surely Spurs would have to become Stratford Hotspur?

  • Comment number 9.

    It doesn't matter that an athletics track doen't make for great viewing of a football match (although for years we did not have a problem with Wembley Staduim being the national football staduim). The point is which is the best bid that will maintain an athletics facility at the olympic site - to that there is only one answer - West Ham.

    Incidently I am sure it won't be as great an atmosphere as Upton Park but i also think average attendances will increase and the pull of going to an iconic staduim should at least sell out the London Derbys with increased away support.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am glad I do not have to make this decision - athletics only stadium is definitely not a viable solution, how often does an athletics meeting take place? Football at an athletics ground? Bayern Munich built a new stadium because the city refused to have the Munich Olympic stadium rebuilt. The only thing taking place at the stadium now are concerts. Perhaps once in a while an athletics meet. The whole mess could have been solved if they had thought about legacy when the stadium was planned. Why did they not plan a retractable track??? Is that now possible? What a waste of tax payers money!!!

  • Comment number 11.

    The delay on the decision will just keep these debates going and the same views being expressed in different ways. I for one object to the emotive lanuage used by Coe et al when they talk of Tottenham's bid and the billdozers flattening everything.
    The bottom line is this venue will not survive without it effectively being taken over by a football club - promised legacy for the OS or not. I was hoping the cheapest option for the tax payer could be identified but the more this goes on I say just give it to West Ham. It will probably end up a complete flop but that's ok so long as I don't have to pick up the cost. I assume under West Ham control both them and Newham council will manage the finances until they both go bankrupt

  • Comment number 12.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha - I only said on Friday I'd be very suprised if this didn't go on for some weeks and a decision would be delayed.

    These people really have no balls, they've had most of the bid info for weeks, last Friday was only supposed to be the final versions to meet the 28th date.

    Something is definitely amiss here.

  • Comment number 13.

    IIRC, If West Ham's bid were succesful - ensuring the stadium remains an athletics venue - it will potentially pave the way for Crystal Palace football club to renovate the old athletics stadium at Crystal Palace and to return to their spiritual home. Steve Parish has been making noises about this and I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned more often in the media.

    Therefore, West Ham's bid is surely the most beneficial, allowing two - rather than one - club to benefit. In terms of athletics, there will still be the stadium. Spurs' bid will be good for them and be good for athletics but not for any other team (maybe it'll even hurt some of the east london clubs?? big club pulling fans away etc etc). Of course, there is a hint of bias in what i'm saying ;-)

  • Comment number 14.

    can the bbc stop peddaling the lie that spurs 'would demolish the £537m stadium'.

    the stadium cost £150m tops and 2/3 was designed to be torn down.

  • Comment number 15.

    Stratford is West Ham heartland and that should be the end of the matter.

    And WaldoSpur - West Ham and Spurs attendances have been pretty similar for a good while now, even during a period when Spurs have been half decent and West Ham, well, have not. So stop that 'half-full' nonsense.

  • Comment number 16.

    They're stuffed.

    West Hams bid is on paper the ideal solution, but you know it won't work out and eventually they'll either A) Rip the running track out or B) just move out.

    Spurs bid will actually work but everyone will go ballastic. Not least spurs fans.

  • Comment number 17.

    As a totally impartial observer, it seems that there is still a long way to go on this issue. I think that there is a fatal flaw with the Spurs bid.

    WHO BUILDS A 537 MILLION POUND STADIUM FOR 1 EVENT AND THEN KNOCKS IT DOWN TO BUILD A DIFFERENT STADIUM?

    Surely this is madness. Is this part of the new austerity programme????

    If Spurs have a beef with their local council then that is a different issue, maybe they should have looked into a Wembley Stadium partnership 10 years ago.

    It is true that a football pitch with an athletics track around it is not ideal.

    Personally, I believe that neither West Ham or Spurs should get it, the EPL football bubble could burst anytime and then what would happen to the Olympic Stadium.

    The Olympic Stadium should be just that, an athletics venue which can be used for concerts and other sporting events. If the distance is a problem, put a big screen in the centre. Has anyone seen the Dallas Cowboys stadium, they have a 60 yard screen. Most people watch the screen and not the game on the pitch. Lets be honest, if we wanted to be close to the action, there are only 5 - 10,000 decent seats in any stadium. The stadiums appeal is the atmosphere.

    In this modern world I would have thought the boffins could have come up with a solution such as retractable seating which could cover the athletics track for football games and then retracts for the athletics events.

    Still a long way to go.

  • Comment number 18.

    Let's see, the decision was meant to be made soon but there's a big furore and the decision they'd like to make would be so unpopular they want to wait until the interest has subsided so they can sneak it through on a busy news day sometime later in the year.

    I don't see why either football team should be given the stadium but at the very least, the West Ham bid is the only one that should even be considered. It really is a slap in the face to the legacy of the Olympics if a short time after they have finished, the showpiece of the entire occasion - the stadium - is ripped up for the benefit of Tottenham Hotspur, their owners and fans.

  • Comment number 19.

    Do we know when the decision has been postponed until or is this now likely to run for months?

    Im a Spurs fan and still not sure what I want the outcome to be. For us to progress we have been told this is the only solution but not sure if I want to be in the east end of London, doesn't feel right!




  • Comment number 20.

    If this is about giving tax payers the best return, then stuff us (West Ham) and Tottenham, sell it to a property developer for a big profit. The OPLC won't do that because it about a viable sporting Legacy as well as making back some money for the Tax payer. To my subjective eyes the Tottenham bid is plain opportunistic. They will knock down a £500 million structure which has been paid for by the Tax payer. Build their owbn stadium at £250 million is something they had to do anyway. That's £150 million wasted. They will now benefit from the Olympic park development which is only there because of the promises made in bidding for the Olympics, which included keeping a track at the stadium. The money they will redevelop Crystal Palace with is the £ 30 million that was promised to the winning bidder anyhow. If that is a viable soulution why don't the OPLC just seel the plot at the Olympic park and redevelop the Palace sight themselves ??

  • Comment number 21.

    @ WaldoSpur, Tottenham do have a responsibility to Haringey. When a football club is part of a community they have to help with the costs of improving infrastructure etc or, as West Ham did when they improved their ground, funding the cost of redeveloping the Primary School next door (it’s the one painted Claret and Blue), it’s nothing new and every club has to do it.

    Haringey and Spurs could have reached an agreement about their development but Levy wanted to take the convenient cheaper option at the expense of the fans and those that live in their area.

    West Ham wanting to fill the OS is a sign of ambition, that’s for sure, but with ‘creative’ ticket pricing, community ticket schemes and it’s convenient location for all the Essex Boys I’d be pretty confident they’d do a good job of filling it, but we’ll see. Last time I checked West Ham were a pretty well supported club with over half a million ‘registered members’ and a history of fanatical support? Whatever you think about the owners of West Ham, if they succeed in getting the keys to the OS West Ham fans will be looking forward to a bright and sustainable future (ideally one that includes retractable seating from which we can actually see the players).

  • Comment number 22.

    If you were a paranoid conspiracy theorist, you would now be opining that the whole Olympic Park design was done in such a way as to give juicy contracts to the Construction Industry to build venues which would need to be ripped down afterwards, giving them a second juicy contract thereafter.

    I'm not saying I'm one of those, but the longer I observe what has been going on at Olympic Park, the more the term 'joined-up thinking' comes to mind.

    From the outside one cannot know the truth, but the following can be said:
    1. Sir Robin Wales claims that the aquatics centre design did not take into account local wishes for converting one pool for family usage thereafter. I suspect he is telling the truth......so more cost upfront for less usability afterwards. Who audited the proposals on behalf of the taxpayers THERE then?
    2. The template of the Stade de France was clearly there in 2005, so one can question how it is that an integrated design was not chosen to marry athletics with other sport through retractable seating on the lower tier.
    3. One wonders why any stadium would have a viable legacy without corporate hospitality suites such as you see at the O2, Emirates Stadium and Wembley to name but three venues built before the OS.
    4. One wonders why any legacy design did not include the ability to have a retractable roof, given that stadia built in Japan a decade ago show that ability using an oval-shaped roof.......particularly as winter events of many kinds would benefit from such a design......
    5. One wonders why football clubs do not wish to relocate to the virgin territory of North West London, namely Wembley Stadium, when there are two clubs already within 2 miles of Olympic Park. Presumably the appalling transport links to the national stadium put them off??
    6. Finally, one wonders who has studied the visitor numbers at arenas such as the MEN and the O2 to see how long it takes to build up visitor numbers of 2.5 million per year. I have, and it takes 5-10 years usually. Which points to a possibility of a football club being an anchor tenant whilst such visitor numbers for other events build up prior to building their own football-specific stadium later on.

    My final conclusion is this: there is a great need for the sport of athletics to do some serious, blue sky thinking about how to design a stadium for multiple uses, including but not limited to athletics, which will in the future allow proactive building of a stadium in a manner which is both commercially viable, supportive of athletics and flexible enough in design to pass the 'visitor experience' test.

    We are where we are, but I think that the people who have done best out of Olympic Park to date are the consultants and the construction industry.

    I hope that isn't going to be the real legacy of Olympic Park.

  • Comment number 23.

    I hope the decision will be based on the facts of each bid rather than all the rhetoric being spouted by those with vested interests. I find Seb Coe's comments the most disappointing as it was the failure of the original design and planning that has led to this situation we now find ourselves in. Something the team he headed up would have been responsible for surely. I agree with Post #14 that if you look at the cost the majority of it was for the infrastructure require for the Olympic Park which will be retained by all the bidders. Daniel Levy has stated that the Stadium will be recycled and used at the New Crystal Palace if they win the bid so satisfying the legacy commitment on all counts except East End location

  • Comment number 24.

    why dont they both move in it then hen they play each it's likely to be full. There's no chance of either team filling this stadium on their own seems a waste of space for both these clubs

  • Comment number 25.

    This is a heart vs head thing.

    The heart says: the West Ham bid will inspire a new generation of track & field stars by keeping the shining Olympic stadium for athletics. And it's all thanks to plucky publishers Gold & Sullivan and the nation's greatest living businesswoman for lending West Ham's bottomless riches to rebuild the good old East End. Only they will stay true to the words of the great Lord Coe whose vision brought us the Olympics and would have brought us the World Cup were it not for cheating Russians...

    The head says: nonsense. In the real world... West Ham will more than likely be relegated this year, which means the only thing shrinking faster than their budgets will be Gold & Sullivan's inclination to finance anything.

    Spurs have fantastic revenue generation capability over the longer term which means that the council will have guaranteed revenue to spend in the Stratford area, making it doesn't turn into an urban wasteland, as has happened at so many other Olympic sites around the world.

    In the longer term UK athletics will be far better off with its own stadium at Crystal Palace. (As for those who think CP FC are going to rebuild it, there's a pig flying past right now.)

    And finally, Seb Coe. This man lost all credibility the minute he leapt to the defence of the ludicrous Andy Anson, Chief Exec of the World Cup 2018 bid who, when his proposal came fourth out of four, started shouting foul in the media, pointing fingers and insinuating that everyone was corrupt. Is Seb going to do the same this time if Spurs win, having thrown his weight behind the other bid??

  • Comment number 26.

    rjagger
    "We are where we are, but I think that the people who have done best out of Olympic Park to date are the consultants and the construction industry."

    You are spot on. This is all about Money and nothing to do with Sport or Legacy's.

    I firmly believe the British public were conned into this back in 2005.

  • Comment number 27.

    I have good news for all you Spurs and Hammers fans who do not wish to move. Im a Brighton fan ,and let me tell you when a committee say they gonna delay /review the decision think decades rather than weeks before this lot make their minds up . Someone hit the nail on the head when they said they knew who they wanted but were too scared to give it to them . It should be an athletics stadium ,paid for by ........ Oh no !!!

  • Comment number 28.

    Could it be that the delay is because it has suddenly been realised that a move to the Olympic Stadium by either West Ham or Tottenham would be in breach of Premier League rules?

    See http://footballmanagement.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/the-olympic-stadium-the-small-matter-of-distance-and-the-premier-league/

  • Comment number 29.

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

  • Comment number 30.

    +I should say as a BBC staffer I'm neutral on issues of public policy, and I've no footballing allegiance to either club.+

    "either" there are three in this bed!

    This is the third BBC Blogger who in the last few days has omitted any comment about the rules of the Premier League meaning that approval for a club to move can only be given if another member club (Leyton Orient - 10 minutes walk - from the Olympic Stadium will NOT be disadvantaged).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/davidbond/2011/01/original_stadium_plan_not_an_o.html?postid=105449177

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adrianwarner/2011/01/the_stadium_debate_goes_beyond.html.

    Please BBC Journalists start dealing with THIS, copied straight from Premier League rules, every time you interview, speak or write about any football club moving as close to Leyton Orient as the Olympic Stadium.

    It is nothing to do with the Olympics legacy etc., just the existing rules of the Premier League. What do the decision makers have to say about such potentially ILLEGAL rule breaking?

    *"Ground Registration
    ====================
    5. Each Club shall register its ground with the Secretary and no Club shall remove to another ground without first obtaining the written consent of the Board, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld.

    6. In considering whether to give any such consent, the Board shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case and shall not consent unless reasonably satisfied that such consent:

    6.1 would be consistent with the objects of the Company as set out in the Memorandum;

    6.2 would be appropriate having in mind the relationship (if any) between the locality with which by its name or otherwise the applicant Club is traditionally associated and that in which such Club proposes to establish its ground;

    6.3 would not adversely affect such Club’s Officials, Players, supporters, shareholders,sponsors and others having an interest in its activities;

    6.4 would not have an adverse effect on Visiting Clubs;

    6.5 would not adversely affect Clubs (or Football League clubs) having their registered grounds in the immediate vicinity of the proposed location; and

    6.6 would enhance the reputation of the League and promote the game of association football generally."

    Page 134. http://www.premierleague.com/staticFiles/44/66/0,,12306%7E157252,00.pdf

    P.S. I would be interested to know where the Football Association also stand on such rule breaking, might it interfere with a club's membership of that body, if another member claims they have been unfairly 'disadvantaged'? All basic stuff for investigative journalism, especially about this issue which has gone on for at least four years!

  • Comment number 31.

    @glowkeeper - actually, though WHL and Upton Park have similar capacities (36.3k and 35.6k respectively) Spurs average attendance is almost at capacity (35.8k, 98.5%) whereas WHU's is over 2k short (33.3k, 93.4%). There is little Spurs can do to increase attendances (at capacity) whereas WHU are still 2k short.

    @sportmadgav - though it does seem daft to knock down a complete £500million stadium and replace it with another, that's what would happen anyway. The OS legacy stadium has been designed from the start to be taken down so that hardly any of the above ground structure remains. All spurs would be doing, in effect, is developing an already flat 25k seater stadium and building up again.

    Andy TSJ - at a cost of £200million to £400million to WHU or Spurs, I'm not sure you can say that "either football team [would] be *given* the stadium].

    @tinseltown - I think you'll find that Spurs original plans for the Northumberland Development Project did include several £million for development of the local area - it's the council that keeps adding requirements and developments that they want Spurs to foot the bill for, on top of the already generous development that the club has offered. I agree that such developments are part and parcel of stadium builds, but it's not a football club's responsibility to stump up for a council's historic underinvestment in the local area.

    I hope Spurs' OS bid is them just trying to bluff and push David Lammy's hand, but I suspect that it's moving to a more serious option now. If Spurs do move, there will be losers all round, including Palace, WHU, Spurs fans and, not least Haringey, who would lose a vital part of the community and would miss out on all that Spurs had originally offered, which will probably be the best chance at local development that the area has seen for years. If Spurs do move, I would imagine many in the council will regret their decision to pressure Spurs, when they are left with nothing.

  • Comment number 32.

    can the bbc stop peddaling the lie that spurs

    "THE STADIUM WAS DESIGNED FOR 2/3 OF IT TO BE TORN DOWN"

    The spur will not completely demolish the stadium

    you can see the BBC's own images about this.

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/49299000/gif/_49299214_stadium_large_image.gif

    Spurs will retain sections of the stadium.

    I want to know how in the current climate of public spending cuts and Job losses does the council find £40 million to loan to west ham,

    My worst fear is that we will struggle to fill the stadium and slowly loose the fans as there wont be any environment.

    and in the end Mr Gold will pack his bags to leave both the council and the club bankrupt.

    Let spurs take the white elephant and spend the money on the team to stay in the league.

  • Comment number 33.

    Lets be realistic, the only reason West Ham would ever fill the OS is because they sell tickets at dirt cheap prices.

    Spurs however have over thirty-thousand supporters on a SEASON TICKET waiting list. That is, fans wanting to pay top prices. Out of a proposed 56k stadium (assuming it will be knocked down to build Spurs proposed stadium for Tottenham in Stratford instead) that is already half the seats allocated plus all the existing season ticket holders at White Hart Lane at the moment.

    And as for saying clubs should give something back to their local communities, Spurs do just that. heir work is founded in the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation (http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/foundation/about-us.html%29. It is a continuing programme which focuses on Education, Employment, Community Development, Equality, Sports Development, Volunteering and an international sector operating in China, Poland, South Africa and Sri Lanka. So to say Spurs give nothing to their community and perhaps should stay in Haringey and do so is unfounded. Yes they should give something back, but no they should not be relied upon to be the main source of development in the area. If they would just get some financial backing then perhaps they would go ahead with it. Instead, there are loads of people who are unwilling to sell their homes with a prospect of moving to a better place because they want to drag it out as long as possible to make Spurs pay over and above what they should have to for the land in order to redevelop WHL, the local transport links want Spurs to pay for the new development overlooking the fact that a new 56k seater stadium will bring in more people to the local area every other week and thus increase locally and for the rail lines as they will see an increase in rail fares.

    Everyone seems to be against Spurs looking out for their own financial welfare at a time when people are already complaining that many Premier League teams are badly managed and are increasingly in debt. Spurs is one of the few teams which are financially sound and yet a lot of people seem increasingly intent on restricting them from continuing to act in that manner.

  • Comment number 34.

    The first thing that springs to mind over this matter, is why wasn't this all thought out before the bidding stage?

    If West Ham suceed in the bid, have Newham Council the right to loan that sort of ratepayers money to a football club? This indicates that West Ham do not have the financial muscle in the first place.

    If, as seems ever likely,West Ham are relegated to the Championship, what sort of crowds do they honestly expect to attend the stadium?

    When are the athletics ever going to fill the stadium save another Olympics or World Championship event being staged there, which isn't going to be very often, if at all?

    Spurs are under 5 miles away from the Olympic Stadium and West Ham about 3 miles, so Spurs are hardly encroaching on each others 'manor'.

    Why would Spurs, if sucessful, have to change their name? Lots of clubs are not from where the name of the club states they are (including West Ham who are actually situated in Upton Park).

    No football fan wants to watch football across a running track.

    My view is that although West Ham are considered the more local club (totally ignoring by the way Leyton Orient), I feel that Spurs are the more likely team to sustain the site over the longer period due to their fanbase and income.

    What is in all this for the London ratepayers who have been paying extra taxes to help build the thing in the first place?

  • Comment number 35.

    I have a slightly tangential discussion point. How come someone like Pele (with no apparent connection to the project) has a comment on this issue? Why does he care? Has some money changed hands? Is there a pay-as-you-say scheme thrown out by the Spurs to former greats of the game? Is there a violation of some rule that a journo could/should investigate?

  • Comment number 36.

    @ Jim Bly:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/crystal_palace/9364649.stm

    Sure, it may not happen, but it certainly shows that CPFC have plans to rebuild a stadium where the National Sports Centre (Crystal Palace) is currently should West Ham's bid be succesful. Not a flying pig situation.

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm amazed at the Spurs fans on here that are actually making a case to move to the OS.

    Why the hell do you want to go there?

    There is no way I do!

  • Comment number 38.

    #13 ItsCPFCforme

    Makes sense to me. If Spurs get the OS and renovate an athletics track at Crystal Palace, then we're stuck with a small athletics stadium and West Ham and Palace both have old rubbish stadiums.

    If West Ham move into Stratford, then Palace can renovate the athletics stadium, athletics can continue in the OS and Upton Park and Selhurst park can both be bulldozed for development sites.

    Now why not let Orient share the OS as well, get real use out of it and get another building site at Brisbane Road.

    The only losers are Spurs. Spurs belong in North London and the fans don't seem to want to move anyway.

  • Comment number 39.

    Talkney and laskfan raise the real issue. once again the little club is bulldozed out of the way in favour of money. neither spurs nor west ham should have it. as pointed out so well by talkney. but what will happen, nothing. traditional areas of support eroded, mistied. making the likes of man utd fans from swindon, and arsenal fans from essex ever more acceptable, and thus keeping rich clubs richer and poor clubs poorer. i'm not a supporter of any of the clubs mentioned. but i am a proper supporter of my local (at the time of my birth and for the first 17 years) team

    here's what orient say

    http://www.leytonorient.com/page/NewsDetail/0,,10439%7E2273878,00.html

  • Comment number 40.

    Tolkny

    I can't see that Leyton Orient would have a case if West Ham moved to the OS.

    It would be a case of West Ham Utd moving within West Ham.

    Perhaps they should grondshare with whoever wins it?

  • Comment number 41.

    Isn't the problem here, that the stadium was designed to leave a 25k athletics/multi purpose stadium after the Olympics, but that nobody else wants to use it.

    25k is too small for West Ham, and propably too large for Leyton Orient (leaving aside whether they wanted to move there anyway), and no rugby club seems to have shown interest either, leaving a potential white elephant.

  • Comment number 42.

    As a Spurs fan I'm a bit conflicted. On one hand it'd be less of a chore getting to Stratford. On the other it'd be wrong to move out of Haringey. I just wish Haringey would show the same level of support that Newham are showing to West Ham instead of trying to fleece the club.

    And to those criticising Spurs for trying to get a new stadium on the cheap, remember this; West Ham require Newham council to borrow £40m from the Treasury in order to redevelop the OS.

  • Comment number 43.

    @ Grecian_Jeff A sell out at West Ham is 34,000(ish) depending on who they're playing and how they segregate the fans. With a sell out being 34,500 and an average attendance of 33,000 (with people buying tickets and not showing up for whatever reason)the difference between the two clubs attebndances is negligable. On another note, Tottenham talk a lot about their 34,000 long paid up season ticket waiting list, it's hardly suprising given the different sets of fans. Many MANY West Ham fans have been put off attending because of the ticket prices, not such a problem for the majority of the white collar Spurs fans. More seats in the OS to bring those fans that can't afford it right now back to West Ham. Just because they've not paid to be on a waiting list doesn't mean they're not there to take their seats.

  • Comment number 44.

    Interesting quote from Seb Coe. He makes no mention of the Olympic Stadium not having been built to inspire a new generation of West Ham season ticket holders! Was that part of the legacy Seb?

    Wasn't the plan to reduce the stadium capacity to 25,000 following the Olympics, to provide an athletics legacy? I'm sure that has nothing to do with financial viability!

    What a farcical legacy! How could you hold a World Athletics Championships in a stadium with that capacity? The stadium was already going to be all but dismantled before Tottenham and West Ham expressed their interest.

    Has anyone forgotten the haste with which Messrs. Gold and Sullivan talked about a new stadium for West Ham? Tottenham have bent over backwards in relation to their alternative plans. The cost of those plans is astronomical.

    The truth is both clubs would be taking advantage of infrastructure provided by the taxpayer by moving to Stratford. Let's not forget West Ham's debts either.

    I wouldn't be averse to a groundshare in a 60,000 capacity stadium, with an athletics stadium on site with a Grand Prix capacity meeting of 25,000.

    Perhaps Seb Coe and others like him should look at themselves before directing criticism at others. Manchester got it right with the City of Manchester Stadium. That's what you call a legacy. Post Commonwealth Games games usage was already agreed.

    Two moral questions for Seb Coe - one economic and one sporting.

    1. Is it right for two Premier League football clubs (one with significant debts) both of which pay staggering wages to players, in this economic climate, to occupy a site with infrastructure paid for by the taxpayer?

    2. Isn't Crystal Palace the spiritual home of British athletics? Prior to that wasn't it White City?

    This isn't all about Daniel Levy and Tottenham. It's so easy to point the finger from a newspaper column!

  • Comment number 45.

    Don't really care who gets the thing, although from a West Ham perspective i think moving to a non football stadium would be suicide. The running track ruins the atmosphere and puts too much distance between the fans and the stadium.

    If Spurs get it they say they'll redevelop Crystal Palace. Can't see why that's not an acceptable outcome. Spurs moving the 5 or so miles from where they are is also a bad thing mind you, money before fans is not the way to go. Live within their means if they have to.

  • Comment number 46.

    Where are all the folk that embarassed Britain by calling foul on the Fifa decisions for the 2018 world cup venue. It seems that it is now OK for us to renage on our promises, or will we hear a late charge from Cameron & Co saying when undertakings are sold and contracts signed, we should deliver.

  • Comment number 47.

    ++919er wrote:

    Tolkny

    I can't see that Leyton Orient would have a case if West Ham moved to the OS.++

    The case is that any club moving, needs the approval of Premier and/or Football League and that their rules say approval should only be given if another member club is not disadvantaged.

    I say and more importantly the Board of Leyton Orient say O's would be disadvantaged if either team moves to that place.

    I walk from O's to Stratford Station in less than 30 minutes and the Olympic Stadium is about a ten minute walk form Stratford station and not much more from Orient's ground, that would disadvantage Orient in many ways.

  • Comment number 48.

    Why the West Ham bid does not stack up from the current owners of West Ham, Scott Parker a player @ West Ham and Barry Hearn a neutral chairman @ Leyton Orient:
    1.
    The Current Owners:
    Even West Ham’s owners David Gold and Sullivan agreed before changing their minds when they decided to submit their bid.
    “I don’t think running tracks work, particularly behind the goal,” Sullivan said last February. “The customers are so far back it doesn’t work.” Oops
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-21/london-s-olympic-stadium-may-be-razed-rebuilt-for-soccer-after-2012-games.html
    A neutral owner- Barry Hearn of Leyton Orient:
    "Poorly designed and a waste of money"
    Leyton Orient Chairman-Barry Hearn-Olympic stadium is poorly designed and a waste of money
    http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2011/01/15/2306515/leyton-orient-chairman-barry-hearn-olympic-stadium-is-poorly
    Scott Parker:
    "[But] if I was being brutally honest, I'd rather not play in a stadium with a track around it." Oops again
    http://www.footytube.com/news/guardian/how-olympic-stadium-will-look-if-west-ham-or-spurs-dont-move-in-L5204
    The AEG/Spurs bid maintains that Athletics and football need separate and distinct stadium designs.


  • Comment number 49.

    The stadium should go to West Ham, what's spurs got to do with the east end of the capital anyway?

    What's more of a pressing issue is, why have the BBC decided to scrap 606?? why can't we debate issues any more?

  • Comment number 50.

    Once again, the debate is presented as "West Ham vs Tottenham Hotspur", when the reality is there are more than two bids. Football has come in at the last minute and is trying to turn the legacy of the Olympic Stadium into something it was never proposed to be.

    The story here http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympic_games/london_2012/9371972.stm does at leat mention that "the OPLC also has the option of converting the stadium into a 25,000 seat, mixed-use venue".

    And once again, it's up to some commenters to raise the glaringly obvious that any football club moving into the Olympic Stadium would be against the rules of both the Premier League and Football League as it would clearly be a potential harm to the future of Leyton Orient. Orient's future *cannot* be ignored here, they have as much right to exist as their larger (and younger) rivals, and the prospect of predatory pricing that would effectively drive Orient out of business has to be stamped out before it can become a horrible reality.

  • Comment number 51.

    Glowkeeper #15, now stop being so silly, WHL sells out for every home game and they have thirty thousand on the waiting list for season tickets. West Ham have to sell thousands of tickets to children for a tenner and still can't fill their stadium. How many do you think will turn up for your Championship games next season?

    If you want to argue about whether West Ham have more right to the stadium because of geography then fair enough but please don't try to compare West Ham and Tottenham's fan base.
    As I said West Ham's owners have something up their sleeve, probably sell off Upton Park and trouser the money, half full will probably be the most you can hope for.

    As a Spurs supporter I would like Haringey council to retreat from their position, then we would have the best of both worlds, a new stadium in north London and the fun of watching the futile struggles of a small club like West Ham, trying to survive in a horrible stadium they can neither afford or fill.

  • Comment number 52.

    If you don't understand why redeveloping Crystal Palace is not an acceptable solution, then maybe this will help you out. Olympic Stadium, world renowned athletics venue and state of the art facilities. Crystal Palace, a running track with a few stands for people to sit in.

    Of course, Spurs fans think they should get the stadium - there's a bit of breaking news if I ever heard it.

    As far as I'm concerned, hosting the Olympics is something special. I understand that some people aren't in the slightest bit bothered and that their world revolves around football and that's it. As far as I'm concerned we're hosting the Olympics and we have a responsibility to live up to the promises that we made. I'd far rather we left a legacy with the Olympic Stadium intact that generations further down the road would be able to come and sit in and enjoy as opposed to a legacy of "here's the stadium that was built after the Olympic Stadium was torn down".

  • Comment number 53.

    I can't believe that the design brief for the 2012 Olympic Stadium did not include retractable seating! Look across the channel to the Stade de France Stadium in Paris. This stadium has retractable seating and has held the World Cup Football Finals in 1998, Rugby World Cup Finals and the World Athletics Championships in 2003. That is what I call a multi-use world class stadium, constructed at a fraction of the cost of the 2012 stadium and Wembley. Why haven't we learned from this? Personally, I don't understand why Wembley stadium was not used to host the Olympics as it did in 1948. Again, another opportunity lost as this facility should also have had retractable seating and an athletics track to cater for all sports. Questions should be asked of the millions of public funding invested in these stadiums and the lack of foresight in delivering a multi-use stadium. The British taxpayer has been let down greatly.

  • Comment number 54.

    Odd really, the OPLC surely only have one choice. The fact that they are even considering the Tottenham Hotspur bid is beyond belief. This actually gives their plan some credibility when there should be none. Just shows that the whole thing is really a financial decision - and forget the promises, the legacy and the community. Why can't people with power (and that includes all) just DO THE RIGHT THING. Mind you, I guess the longer they deliberate...the more pay they get, call me a cynic.

  • Comment number 55.

    Joffonon

    I Would have had some sypathy for Orient, but only a week or 2 ago Barry Hearn was backing Tottenhams bid.This was confirmed in the press this weekend when Richard Scudamore, of the Premier League, revealed that Hearn had written to him to complain about West Hams bid, but not Tottenhams.

  • Comment number 56.

    WaldoSpur comments that WEST HAM are a Small Club, would he/she or someone else like to explain what constitutes a big club? Is it because the name of the club he supports has more letters in it...... I always find it interesting to note fans belief that they support a big club with NO substance behind it other than bravado. Is it cups won, fan base, income, balance sheet, stadia, owners wallet? Only recently Mr Bent moved to Aston Villa because they are a BIG club. Bigger than spurs? Bigger than West Ham? Big compared to what/who....Man Utd?

  • Comment number 57.

    My thoughts are that it doesn't matter if people talk about the bids from WHU or TH or the other proposed legacy option it will all boil down to hard cash.

    Now I may be way off track here (sorry) but my personal belief is that the legacy option without the football clubs is not going to happen and it is a fight between the two clubs as to who gets it.

    I also think that the decision has been delayed to pressure from Government which may make people think I am bonkers but I do think that it may be the case.

    I think that the decision makers wanted to go for WHU but are under pressure from the Treasury as TH bid would make them more cash.

    Please feel free to shoot this down if you know the figures but I still think the Treasury will have a say in who gets it for the amount of cash they can make from it.

  • Comment number 58.

    15. At 5:01pm on 24 Jan 2011, glowkeeper wrote:

    Stratford is West Ham heartland and that should be the end of the matter.

    And WaldoSpur - West Ham and Spurs attendances have been pretty similar for a good while now, even during a period when Spurs have been half decent and West Ham, well, have not. So stop that 'half-full' nonsense.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    West Ham definitely haven't got 34,000 people on a paid for season ticket waiting list like Spurs, and are even less likely to if they go down.

  • Comment number 59.

    #44


    "Manchester got it right with the City of Manchester Stadium. That's what you call a legacy. Post Commonwealth Games games usage was already agreed."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Spot on, this whole thing could have been avoided years ago. You lot down south haven't got a clue. How much did Wembly end up costing??????

    The OS should have been built with retractable seating for athletic events.A sitting tenant would then have no problem with use for football.
    The additional cost would easily be recovered from dual use.

    Lord Coe and the rest of the organising committee have been walking around with their eyes shut. What a bunch of amateurs.

  • Comment number 60.

    I don't think the people of London should lose any sleep about somebody else breaking foolish promises made to the IOC

  • Comment number 61.

    @8.you_there
    @34.Upminster Shrimper
    Regarding the change of name:
    If Spurs do move to the East End what are the rules on them having to change their name? Wimbledon had to become Milton Keynes Dons, and rightly so as they are in Milton Keynes. Surely Spurs would have to become Stratford Hotspur?
    Spurs were founded as Hotspur FC in 1882-note the lack of Tottenham in the name. The change came later. In the event of a move to the Olympic stadium, Spurs can revert back to our original name.
    Regarding the location
    From 1882 until 1899 we played on Tottenham marshes, Northumberland park and it has been said, in the early days on Hackney marshes too.
    I blame all the problems that West Ham fans feel about Tottenham moving on to their patch on Arsenal. In 1913, They came over the river, moved to Higbury on the doorstep of Spurs and dropped the Woolwich from their name. Arsenal set the precedent 98 years ago. All letters of complaint against the Tottenham move to the Olympic Stadium should be sent to Arsenal FC @ the Emirates Stadium.
    Wimbledon moved to Milton Keynes, Newton Heath LYR, founded in 1878 changed their name and moved to Old Trafford 31 years after they were founded.
    We do not lose our history if we change stadiums/locations or even our name, as Wimbledon have shown us leaving Wimbledon and moving to Milton Keynes and becoming MK Dons.

  • Comment number 62.

    Spurs trying to move in on the cheap. ENIC would sell their own grandmothers if they could!

  • Comment number 63.

    Thanks for all the comments so far. And yes, I take the point that Leyton Orient are a factor too.

  • Comment number 64.

    Nothing that the fans think will make any difference to which team gets the OS. Its down to money and thats obvious.

    Good luck to spurs, hope you get it....they are a BIG club after all. Full of BIG ego's and players with BIG diamond rings in their ears.

    Will be interesting to look back in 10 years time and see which set of fans are correct after all this mud slinging.... LOL

  • Comment number 65.

    Levy added that he did not believe that athletics and football could go together, which was why Tottenham were not looking to include a running track in their plans for the Olympic Stadium.

    "Soccer is about the passion that you feel when you are close to the pitch," he said.

    "There are no clubs in Europe that you can cite as an example where attendances have held up as a result of soccer and athletics coming together."

    STADIO OLYPICO, Roma & Lazio!

  • Comment number 66.

    The issue of "Athletics inheriting a permanent London base at the Olympic Stadium" is a red herring.
    There is no mention of "athletics inheriting a permanent London base at the Olympic Stadium" in The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Legacy Promises document of 2007.
    The predominant reason for the International Olympic Committee awarding the Games to London was the promise of a legacy. The official government definition is published in its legacy plans via the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Legacy Promises document of 2007.
    The five promises were to: make the UK a world-leading sporting nation; transform the heart of east London; inspire a generation of young people to take part in local volunteering, cultural and physical activity; make the Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living; demonstrate the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming place to live in, visit and for business.
    Note that there is no mention of athletics inheriting a permanent London base at the Olympic Stadium. There were references to this in the London 2012 bid document and this has led to an assortment of people making various pronouncements.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_2012_Olympic_Legacy

  • Comment number 67.

    if Orient are a factor then the decision must go with Spurs. W Ham cant fill the current stadium each week so no hope for 60,000 and they are saying they will give cheap tickets to local schoolchildren, that will see the death of the O's whereas Spurs do fill the stadium each week and have a waiting list of 35k season ticket holders. Also Athletics in a big stadium??? come on get real, Crystal Palace was rarely full for world class events so what will the olympic stadium be like? Spurs at least see that a running track and football really do not work, anyone been to a game with a running track? no atmosphere, players miles away etc etc and as for the legacy rubbish both bids fulfill that as both are providing athletics to a high class so Seb Coe, Alan Sugar and group you also need to get real. Karen Brady harps on about W Ham like she has been on the board for many years not just 5 mins

  • Comment number 68.

    I am a Newham resident and Council Tax payer (not a West Ham supporter) and I am happy that the Council is doing something positive to support the local team. This will be a platform to launch West Ham as a super-club and Spurs should not be allowed to muscle into the borough, tearing apart the stadium, our Olympic promise and the country's international reputation. However, it is a shame that no football club was interested in this early on and then we wouldn't have this bitterness. So, if anyone else can make it work (look at the O2's success) with a track to keep the legacy intact then good luck to them also.

  • Comment number 69.

    The Real and only question that needs to be asked is: why was an Olympic stadium built for two weeks in the summer rather than for legacy?

  • Comment number 70.

    West Ham need a financial solution to their debt problems and this offers the opportunity to make their sums add up.

    It won't hurt Spurs to stay in N17 and re-build White Hart Lane, even if it takes a little longer and costs more than they'd like - in the long term it would pay for itself and be just as attractive a prospect. If Spurs buy in to regenerating Tottenham, other businesses will too.

    How a club could simply up sticks and desert a poor area after 125+ years for reasons of financial expedience is a saddening indictment of the modern game. I'm sure a square mile of rubble or sink estate in north London didn't feature in the legacy pledges. If Tottenham leave N17, they will become unsupportable for many.

    For West Ham this might be borne of necessity, for Spurs it's greed.

    I heard that the West Ham bid also involves bringing Essex 20-20 cricket to the Olympic stadium in the summer, which I genuinely look forward to seeing.

    If West Ham didn't need to sell some land to finance themselves, I'd see the sensible option as being one that leaves football to football and athletics to athletics - this could mean that future World Championships, Commonwealth and other games could take place on the same site. A 25,000 capcity would still be good enough to attract other events, from gigs to Top Gear live and, perhaps, spare the pitch at Wembley it's regular ruination from non-football events.

    Also, if football is the answer, why not a West Ham/ Leyton Orient groundshare?

    If this is done properly, we might just win the World Cup at some point in the next 40 years, it we break our promises, we will fall further behind the world in sporting terms and seal our reputation as the sick man of Europe.

  • Comment number 71.

    West Ham fans that have posted on other threads, here on the bbc website and elsewhere have posted "how they can live with the running track @ the Olympic stadium, if needs be".
    Upton Park/The Boleyn ground was/is a stadium that was/is "tight/in your face/close to the action" one of the most imtimidating stadiums for away players. Perhaps the Britannia stadium on match days of Stoke City is the most intimidating for noise levels.
    Here again are the issues in colour (link) and to see that with the running track, fans of West Ham will be a minimum of 45 meters from the pitch compared to the Spurs plan where it will be just 8 meteres from the pitch.
    Athletics and football do not mix. Football does not want athletics tracks and athletics really doesn't want to mix with football.
    http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sport/olympics/article-1349126/Tottenham-Hotspur-v-West-Ham-United-The-key-points-battle-Olympic-Stadium.html

  • Comment number 72.

    I agree the Olympics is something special - so special to some they allowed a stadium to be built, at substantial cost, that was designed to be dismantled when the games were over! That's the real scandal. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

    Once again it's the taxpayer left asking the questions. Perhaps Lord Coe would like to answer some of them. This whole scenario has shades of Montreal.

    Despite my earlier comments you could argue, albeit cynically, that both clubs are offering to come to the rescue of the stadium and/or site, despite their vested long and short term interests. Morally I find it hard to take that any Premier League club may become an occupant or owner.

    Another scandal is how Crystal Palace has been left to waste away. As an athletics fan and a former moderate competitor, I haven't heard that much down the years, from former high profile athletes about the predicament of this facility. Perhaps they've been raising their profile elsewhere?

    That stadium could be revamped to hold 25,000 for a better Grand Prix experience. However I'll take some convincing it could host more significant athletics events. Tottenham have to be very careful with this part of their proposal. I still think an athletics facility could be built on the Olympic site. It's big enough!

    As for the "tearing down" it's too easy to accuse Tottenham. That question should be directed at those responsible in the successful Olympic bid team who approved the final stadium design. A post Olympic Games stadium with a capacity of 25,000 for athletics is what London would have been left with.

    That always struck me as being a very strange, somewhat token, legacy. The subsequent criticism of Tottenham therefore becomes somewhat ironic and a little too convenient for some.



  • Comment number 73.

    @68. Robert E7
    The Milleniuum dome (that became the O2 in Greenwich) was taken over by the AEG group who turned it from the "white elephant" it became into the successful, well -run venue it is today.
    The Spurs bid is in conjunction with the same group: AEG.

  • Comment number 74.

    "But first and most obviously, it's a very tight race." Is this a pun? I am struggling to find a finishing line in this. I thought it was a bid/decision process. First time I heard about a race involved as well.

  • Comment number 75.

    Spurs say that they will redevelop crystal palace, does that include the transport links
    There is no point in creating a 25,000 seater stadium if no body can get there

  • Comment number 76.

    A depressing debate, with a lot of thoroughly specious stuff coming from those Spurs fans (a minority?) who support Levy's bid to uproot the team from its home catchment area. White-hot-lane, for instance, blithely reassures us that Wimbledon left Wimbledon unproblematically and carry on smoothly as Wimbledon at Milton Keynes. Is he unaware that there is a team called AFC Wimbledon - founded and supported by those who were bitterly opposed to that move - currently top of the Conference and bidding strongly to get back into the league?
    He may be, but like so many Premier League fans just completely blind and oblivious to anything other than what they conceive of as the interests of their own team. For such people, nothing else matters - not the Olympic legacy, not athletics in East London, not the Spurs fans who don't want to move, not Leyton Orient nor the Premier League Club traditionally based in Newham, West Ham, who have council backing for their plan. I don't think there would even be a debate about such a question in most countries privileged to hold the Olympics. It's only in a country whose Premier League wants to consider playing games thousands of miles away from the fan base for the sake of money, money, money, that the crass greed of Levy and co can get a hearing.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think the decision on whether Spurs or West ham will be getting the Olympic stadium is a lot more closer than we all expect. West ham are currently slight favourites.

    The only major problem West ham have is that the stadium will be a lot further away from the fans. One of the main points of a football stadium is that the fans should be very close to the pitch. That won't happen and will create problem for fans watching the match. This is the exact same reason why Spurs want to remove the athletics and only use stadium for football.

    Crystal Palace is the current home for athletics and it should stay like that for the future.

  • Comment number 78.

    Seb needs to get back control of the legacy board. It should never have been independent of the organising committee since legacy is a critical part of the games.

    It is amazing that the Spurs bid is being taken sufficiently seriously that Seb has had to start lobbying for West Ham.

    LOCOG should fire the legacy board asap, given that they are unable to make an immediate decision on something that is obvious, to anyone that is not a member of the Spurs board.

    It is the Olympic Stadium and its future should be decided by the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic Games

  • Comment number 79.

    Comments here and everywhere in general are turning this into a Tottenham V West Ham bid. Reality is if Coe et al had been HONEST with the 2012 olympic bid to start with that he lead he would never have been selling the whole stupid idea based on a leagacy that UK Athletics would ever had been able to afford. That means someone else was always going to have bail the "dream" (lie) out.
    A few days ago I raised the ethical issue of Newham Council representing one of the most deprived areas in london loaning 40 million to the West Ham bid. Given the population of Newham is going to suffer major council cut backs (like every othe council in the Country) is it ethically right that they should put money into this bid. What happens if it all goes pear shaped and Newham Council lose their 40 million through one way or another. How will that impact on the people of Newham?. And it all gets even more suspect to me when I read the Mayor of Newham is a season ticket holder with West Ham and received loads of perks from them over the past year. Added to that the details of the deal around the Newham Council loan to West Ham is a "secret" and the details not available to the public..........
    At least we know here we stand with the Tottenham bid it's simply about income generation and Levy wanting to get as much profit from the site as possible.

  • Comment number 80.

    Anyone familiar with the local geography will know that the Olympic stadium site is within the area of West ham. West Ham Utd's current stadium is located closer to Forest Gate. Anyone arguing that Spurs is "only 5 miles away and West ham 3" misses the local dynamic. THIS IS WEST HAM TERRITORY.

    The idea of West Ham being able to sell discounted tickets enabling locals in the East End to see top quality football in the age of £1500 season tickets is an appealing one. Coupled with the fact that we'd be able to maintain an Olympic Stadium in London with all the historic connnotations the West Ham bid is a no brainer. Imagine being a British kid watching Usain Bolt break records in an Olympic SStadium and dreamng of replicating his achievements only to be told that it's going to be torn down?

    Levy is being opportunistic and that's his prerogative, but to give it to Spurs would be a travesty.

    Either way, as an Arsenal fan it's win-win. If they miss out, they stay struggling to match us financially at the Lane. If they go, they cede North London to us!

  • Comment number 81.

    West Ham get very healthy crowds averaging over 33k, in a stadium that only holds 34-35K. Spurs claim to have a 35k or so waiting list for season tickets is in fact their members list, most of whom probably don't want or maybe could not even afford a season ticket. I personally know four people who are Spurs members and none of them would take a season ticket if offered to them! West Ham will have no trouble in selling a very large number of tickets for each home game, especially given their committment to offering affordable tickets for all the family! The Olympic Park and stadium are in the London Borough of Newham and in fact were in the old smaller borough of West Ham pre 1967. The OPC's address there is actually West Ham Lane; you don't get much more West Ham than that! In addition, West Ham have met all the Olympic promises made for an athletics and Local community legacy, whilst Tottenham are only looking at their own purse strings and meeting very few of the criteria laid down. Their own fans appear to me to want to develop WHL, which they now have permission to do and do not want to move from North to East London. In fact it appears that their move would be a breach of Premier League rules. Unless this is another Qatar, there can only be one winner on so many fronts and that is West Ham!

  • Comment number 82.

    Tessa Sanderson being stopped from voting removes the only person on the legacy board that has a clue about Olympic sport.

    The only other person on the board with any knowledge of sport is Keith Edelman.

    The two people with knowledge of the local community are Tessa Sanderson and Sir Robin Wales (Mayor of Newham), now both are excluded from voting.

    The board no longer has any local or sporting credibility and needs to be removed.

  • Comment number 83.

    London must provide an athletics track as a legacy from the Olympic Games. The stadium is a lot closer to West Ham than it is to Tottenham. Those two facts make the decision easy.

  • Comment number 84.

    @white-not-lane
    "We do not lose our history if we change stadiums/locations or even our name, as Wimbledon have shown us leaving Wimbledon and moving to Milton Keynes and becoming MK Dons."

    Do you not get that lose their history is EXACTLY what Wimbledon did?

  • Comment number 85.

    West Ham and Tottenham should share the Olympic Stadium ! And between them they should pay for the installation of retractable seats (which should have been there in the first place- how short-sighted was that decision!). That way the Olympic legacy is ensured, and both football clubs get what they want. Alternatively, West Ham and Spurs share the Olympic Stadium and cough up the cash to refurbish the Crystal Palace athletics venue, which could even have retractable seats, so that Crystal Palace FC could share it (also coughing up some of the necessary cash for the rebuild). That way, athletics gets its legacy venue (admittedly a few miles from the planned location, but so what !!! and three football clubs get new stadia. Is this too complicated, or so simple those who are in charge won't understand it !

  • Comment number 86.

    There are 2 key issues which need to be addressed. The first is undoubtedly financial. I find it ridiculous that Newham Council are proposing a £40 million loan to a private company, which does not employ that many people, especially in these difficult times. Unless there are very specific guarantees in place to safeguard the money it should not be allowed to happen. Why should any private company be allowed to benefit from something which has cost the taxpayer several hundred million to build. In the same vein if Spurs were to take it over they should pay the full market rate for the stadium and fully rebuild Crystal Palace with a 25,000 seater athletics stadium.
    Sadly it is right that athletics and football don't really mix as the viewing is too remote.
    The other issue is purely one of the sentiment of the fans which neither club seems to care a lot about.

  • Comment number 87.

    84.Le Gooner
    Agreed. It was a bad example with Wimbledon. Many other clubs have changed their name and moved to different locations/stadia as quoted.

  • Comment number 88.

    80. Le Gooner:
    Anyone familiar with the local geography will know that the Olympic stadium site is within the area of West ham. West Ham Utd's current stadium is located closer to Forest Gate. Anyone arguing that Spurs is "only 5 miles away and West ham 3" misses the local dynamic. THIS IS WEST HAM TERRITORY.
    Don't be a hypocrite. You club moved on to TOTTENHAM'S TERRITORY in 1913. So all this about West Ham in the paragraph above is just garbage coming from an Arsenal fan.
    You should have stayed in Woolwich/Plumstead.

  • Comment number 89.

    I wrote this from a Spurs fan perspective. I think a lot of Spurs and West Ham fans will probably disagree so would be great to get your views. http://fansinthestands.co.uk/2011/01/24/olympic-dream-or-nightmare/

    Think a lot of comments have been pro West Ham from what I have seen so wanted to put something different out there.

  • Comment number 90.

    So many making comments when they only have a limited grasp of some of the facts:

    People need to remember what was originally planned / promised. That is that two-thirds of the stadium was to be demolished and the "iconic" structure gone. AN open bowl with roof only on a small part. 25000 seats.

    SO forget the pathetic ill-informed shock at the (so called) iconic structure being lost, demolishing a £0.5bn stadium, what about the legacy? because very little was to be left any way...and even still, even with this much reduced stadium, Athletics could not afford the £5m a year running costs....Athletics is not viable. They are looking to piggy back on the back of football, because it is the only viable option...WHU or THFC.

    So all this snobbery about "greedy football" is pathetic because without it, athletics gets no legacy.

    The arguments about West Ham Territory is not relevant to the decision. Its all about the legacy and the return to the tax payer. Both bids have merits.

  • Comment number 91.

    I was hoping this saga would be over by Friday - and now its going to drag on. I really hope West Ham actually win something this season and get the olympic stadium. Tottenham should stay in Tottenham end of.

  • Comment number 92.

    As a neutral I am suspicious of this move to postpone. The overwhelming majority in favour of West Ham, has I believe thrown a kink in the bidding teams decision to award the stadium to Spurs. Have no illusions about that assertion, they had decided to award it to Spurs and now have to find a way to do so without causing uproar, hence the postponement.

  • Comment number 93.

    A postponement is always on the cards given the need to seek bid clarification etc. The bid evaluators are under no legal obligation to accept any bid they receive----so what's the betting on neither club having their bids accepted given the argument and fal out that would be received?

  • Comment number 94.

    Perhaps the real reason for the delay, is to see if West Ham stay up. What they may be worried about is seeing 30,000 empty seats if West Ham went down.

  • Comment number 95.

    68. At 8:01pm on 24 Jan 2011, Robert E7 wrote:

    I am a Newham resident and Council Tax payer (not a West Ham supporter) and I am happy that the Council is doing something positive to support the local team. This will be a platform to launch West Ham as a super-club and Spurs should not be allowed to muscle into the borough, tearing apart the stadium, our Olympic promise and the country's international reputation. However, it is a shame that no football club was interested in this early on and then we wouldn't have this bitterness. So, if anyone else can make it work (look at the O2's success) with a track to keep the legacy intact then good luck to them also.
    -----------------------------------------------------

    I appreciate a lot of your sentiments but if you look at the 02's success, as you suggest, it's all been down to AEG, who turned it from a £700m white elephant into a hugely profitable and popular entertainment complex. What's their view of how best to rescue this second white elephant? Well, they're partners with Tottenham in their bid.

    I'm a Spurs fan and don't relish the move, but Haringey have made it financial suicide, and thus basically impossible, for the club to stay and develop there.

    Unfortunately this useless shell of a stadium and a staggering lack of foresight have led to this crazy predicament. The only bid that stacks up for the future of the site is Spurs and AEG's, yet it's the most unpalatable for a number of reasons, hence no doubt the delay.

    Most of the cost of the OS are in groundworks I believe, not in the above-ground structure (which was designed, as others have said, only to be almost entirely temporary). Spurs would retain and use these facilities. The headlines that the stadium would be demolished only for another to replace it costing taxpayers many £100ms are deceptive.

    Another point that I thought was fairly well-known but haven't seen mentioned so far, is that Tottenham probably wouldn't have to change their name. They're a PLC. There's no problem banking at HSBC in the UK is there, even though Hong Kong and Singapore are half the world away? Last time I ate at KFC it wasn't in Kentucky! Etc. At the very most, if there's a legal challenge, Tottenham Hotspur PLC surely only need to maintain a registered office in Hanringey.

    As a Spurs fan my huge preference would be to stay local, but with a cost (thanks to unreasonable demands from the council, who are trying to make Spurs solely liable for years upon years of THEIR complete neglect of the area) of £450m as against the redevelopment of the OS at around £250m, a lot of fellow fans have come around to the idea.

    It seems to be either that or move to another completely different area. Haringey council have seen to that. An incredible shame because with the council's neglect and mismanagement, Spurs being there has been about the only thing keeping the area going - and then just barely. Once we are forced to move I dread to think what will happen to what is already one of London's most squalid and deprived areas.



  • Comment number 96.

    I'm not fussed as to which football club moves into the stadium.. why it has to be a football team at all is questionable. We have an APPALLING set of facilities in this country for any sport pretty much other than football and particularly ahletics. Crystal palace is more like a slum than a palace and is a dreadful place to fly the flag for british athletics.
    I supported the olympic bid, and the increase in my taxes as a londoner, on the basis that we would gain new and improved facilities to encourage british sports. If the stadium is not to be used for athletics after the Olympics then I feel like stopping paying my taxes and asking for a refund. It is a joke!

  • Comment number 97.

    A couple of minor points:
    a. the steel superstructure for the stadium is almost certain to be dismantled after the Olympics whoever ends up with the stadium; this is a temporary structure and would have to be significantly (expensively) upgraded to be approved for long term use;
    b. the West Ham bid allows for athletics use for a maximum of 20 days per year, presumably during June/July although I'm not sure that is specified.
    Personally I'd give the thing to UK Athletics, on the condition that they support it *from their existing budget*, not with yet more money from the taxpayer; might also need a no-sell-on clause, although I'm sure they'd never even consider such a thing.
    This way Crystal Palace could take over the current athletic stadium, West Ham could move into the City when the next crash comes, and Spurs could redevelop a group of Victorian buildings in Westminster that dont seem to be serving any useful purpose any more.

  • Comment number 98.

    @ white-hot-lane

    88. At 9:35pm on 24 Jan 2011, White-hot-lane wrote:

    80. Le Gooner:
    Anyone familiar with the local geography will know that the Olympic stadium site is within the area of West ham. West Ham Utd's current stadium is located closer to Forest Gate. Anyone arguing that Spurs is "only 5 miles away and West ham 3" misses the local dynamic. THIS IS WEST HAM TERRITORY.
    Don't be a hypocrite. You club moved on to TOTTENHAM'S TERRITORY in 1913. So all this about West Ham in the paragraph above is just garbage coming from an Arsenal fan.
    You should have stayed in Woolwich/Plumstead.

    Unfortunately I was not around in 1913. Had I been I would have opposed Arsenal's move (although I would likely have been an Orient fan as they are the second closest club to where I grew up)

    Equally, I would have opposed any move by Arsenal to move away from Islington prior to the move couple of hundred yards down the road to the Emirates

    Why can't Spurs follow that example?

    Arsenal could have moved to the M25 or even Wembley for substantially less than it cost to b uild Emirates Stadium. HOWEVER, the board realised that the club is tied to the area and the community and to stay there was imperative...whatever the cost.

    I guess it helped that the shareholders, at the time, were all people with decades old ties to the club as opposed to ENIC/Levy who would sell their own mothers for the sake of profit.

  • Comment number 99.

    Both bids do have their merits but I have to say that Tottenham's need is greater. They have genuinely outgrown White Hart Lane and desperately need a bigger stadium.

    I would like Tottenham to stay within "their locality" but the costs are now so prohibitive. The Northumberland Park Project is no longer economically viable. I get the impression a few people have really shot themselves in the foot with their demands of Tottenham.

    As a side issue, I also think that in terms of having his finger on the pulse, David Lammy MP has been naive beyond belief. Many Tottenham supporters realised months ago how serious the club were about moving to Stratford. This was always a very serious option. I was shocked he appeared to think otherwise.

    From a personal point of view I don't buy the territory argument to the extent that many do. I think they're simply wrong. The distances involved are hardly substantial and Tottenham will not lose their indentity. This is not an NFL franchise leaving a city and going to a new one.

    In truth London should have been left with an 80,000 capacity London Olympic Stadium with retractable seating, so athletics could be catered for. As something else said - why wasn't this done?

    Both Tottenham and West Ham could have shared this stadium. It works in Rome, Milan, Verona, Sao Paulo and Rio. Perhaps it's an English issue? Again I don't buy the territory argument here either.

    A stadium with such a capacity could have brought reduced ticket prices for both sets of supporters of all ages. Premier League match ticket/season ticket prices are a disgrace at both clubs and across the board.

    That wouldn't be a bad legacy - families/single mums and dads watching professional sport with their kids at a price they can genuinely afford.

    Now that's really naive!

  • Comment number 100.

    @ 30: You're quoting PL rules, but since when has Leyton Orient been a Premier League club?
    @ 31: that's why local Spurs fans should be trying to help the club, by pressuring Haringey council, not pressuring the club not to move.
    @ 56: yes, WH are one of England's bigger clubs. However, they have been considerably less successful than Spurs during my lifetime. In that regard, England only had 2 really BIG clubs, until the Yanks ran Liverpool into the ground.
    @ 70: you might not be proud of your country, and while many Europeans may not be too fond of us either, they certainly do not see the UK as the sick man of Europe. Just look how many candidates there are ahead of us in the queue. Your views may be blinkered by the fact we bought into the US inspired financial merry-go-round more than our more sober minded neighbours.

 

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