West Ham still want to call Olympic Stadium home
PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 October 2011
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Hammers keen to rent ground on a yearly lease
West Ham United remain confident that they will be given the green light to move into the Olympic Stadium in 2014, despite their agreement with the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) collapsing on Tuesday.
The Hammers had agreed to move into the stadium as joint-owners along with Newham Council, but due to a legal fight from both Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient plus an anonymous complaint to the European Commission, the government and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson pulled the plug on the deal.
The stadium will now use taxpayers’ money to be converted after the Games and will be rented out for around £2million a year by the OPLC.
However, West Ham are determined to make the Olympic Stadium their home, as Karren Brady revealed in her newspaper column yesterday (Wednesday).
“Despite the court action and other tactics used, our position at West Ham United never changed and the merits of our legacy commitment have never been challenged. And they never will be,” she said.
“We won preferred bidder status and, despite the best efforts of our rival bidder, we carried on regardless. We have never dropped the baton and we won’t now.”
The Hammers are now keen on renting the stadium on a yearly basis, and having now been spared the £90million cost of converting the stadium after the Games, will pay just £2million a year towards the annual running costs of the ground.
“We believe we are the home team,” added Brady. “We know, given the chance, we can deliver a stadium capable of top-class football that will be up there with the game’s finest arenas.
“We are the ones who understand the area and its proud people. There will not be many, if any, who have moved to a new stadium closer and who have been able to carry so much goodwill with them.
“There is no doubt our legacy plan is the right one. It was the right one when we took part in the first fair and open bidding process and no one has found fault with our community-based vision.”