Tony Cottee: West Ham fans should be consulted over Olympic track

Tony Cottee talks about the latest Olympic Stadium news in his exclusive East London Advertiser column

It’s great that West Ham are seemingly in pole position to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games but I, like many Hammers fans have reservations about the track.

It was revealed this week that anyone who moves into the Stadium must keep the track and the venue must be used for athletics events.

This pretty much ruled out the bid from Spurs as they were adamant that it would be used for football.

The track was, however, part of our contingency plans and hopefully it will be retractable, because otherwise I fear the pitch could be too far away from the fans.

It’s obviously a huge positive that we have UK Athletics support on the move, but that of course comes off the back of us keeping the running track and although that will give us an advantage over our competitors, it does indicate that the track will be staying.

It would be extremely disappointing if the track does stay especially with so many fans against the idea and I am sure they will feel pretty let down that their opinion on the matter would be seemingly ignored.

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The club also have the support of concert organisers Live Nation, which again could be seen as a positive, but we must be careful when it comes to hosting other events on the football pitch.

You only have to look at Wembley and the amount of times the pitch has had to be re-laid to see what a negative effect live events could have on the pitch.

Of course a move to the Olympic Stadium would be a huge positive to the club, especially financially but it’s important we don’t give up too much for us to get there.

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