wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.

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wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby cockney hammer on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am

the sun




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West Ham v Leyton Orient for Olympic stadium

WEST HAM must fight Barry Hearn's Orient for the right to move into the Olympic Stadium.

Hammers were told yesterday they can no longer buy the stadium once the 2012 Games are over.

Instead they have to apply to become tenants paying £2million-a-year rent.

But Orient owner Hearn last night insisted his club intend to move in.

He said: "West Ham have every right to bid for it but so do Leyton Orient, so do Spurs, so do cricket, so do rugby. Everyone has a chance now. All bets are off and we have got a chance to be heard.

"I am definitely interested in being part of the tender process. That process starts now.

"It is one of the greatest days of my life."

Yesterday's announcement came after a protracted legal battle to stop West Ham taking ownership of the stadium.

Tottenham and Orient were furious Hammers would get £40m from Newham Council to help them move in.

The Olympic Park Legacy Committee were faced with the prospect of a bitter court battle lasting years which could scupper London's bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

The final straw came late on Monday when Newham pulled the plug on their £40m loan.

That pushed the Government into yesterday announcing the showpiece arena will remain in public ownership and rented out after a fresh tender process.

Any tenant will be required to retain the athletics track for 125 years under the terms of the lease — the legacy promised by Seb Coe when London won the 2012 bid.

That effectively rules out Spurs, who planned to rip up the track.

They have already been offered £8.5m pounds by London mayor Boris Johnson to redevelop White Hart Lane.

The taxpayer — and not West Ham — will now be left to pick up the cost of transforming the stadium into a 60,000 seater-arena after the Games.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson insisted: "The action we have taken overnight is about removing the uncertainty. The process had become bogged down in legal paralysis."








the sun


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Karren Brady: Only West
Ham can get it right


WEST HAM face a fresh battle to move into the Olympic Stadium after the club's takeover deal dramatically collapsed, with rival Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn insisting: "All bets are off."

WHO LAUNCHED LEGAL ACTION?

SPURS chief Daniel Levy — who lost out to West Ham in the initial bid — and Leyton Orient, plus an anonymous complaint to the European Commission this week, led to fears that court action could drag on for YEARS while the stadium remains empty as well as scuppering London's bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships.




With one Hammer blow, the uncertainty over the future of the Olympic Stadium, with the prospect of months and even years of continued legal wrangling, has been taken away.

The best way to move forward is this new, streamlined process that will shift the focus from the courtroom to the playing field.

Before this news, the prospect of being able to use the fantastic achievement of securing the 2012 Games to create a lasting legacy for generations was in real danger of being lost.

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.

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.

Our unanimously supported proposal was for a multi-use, multi-sport stadium that provided a real home for football and athletics.

It would have been open in 2014-15 and would have been a destination for national sport — certainly a fitting stage for the 2017 World Athletics Championships. We will tender again with the same energy, vision and determination.

We welcome the positive words from the Sports Minister and the Mayor of London. It is great to see a collective determination for the Olympic Stadium to live up to the promises rightly made by Lord Coe and his team when the Games were won back in 2005.

If we are allowed, we will deliver the right legacy for the East End and the wider community, ensuring that the vibrant Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with its thousands of new jobs and homes, is well served.

We will need to travel only just over a mile from the Boleyn Ground to the Olympic Stadium. But in that small journey within our own borough, we would be taking giant strides for sport in this country.

Of course, rivals may now realise the only way forward is for West Ham and athletics to be allowed to deliver the legacy promised in the Queen's name.

We believe we are the home team. 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 that offers hope to so many.

The people of London, and particularly the East End, want a flagship stadium that will create jobs, opportunity and a community home for all.

We are committed to the borough of Newham. The area has been our home for more than 100 years and we understand the needs of local people.

We will never turn our back on our history and heritage.

We embrace it and recognise we must make sure the stadium works for our fans first and foremost.

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.

If the other clubs concerned felt the same passion and commitment for their own supporters and areas as we do for ours, we could all still achieve the wider economic, sporting and cultural boost for London and beyond that was promised with the awarding of the Olympics to the capital.

It is now mid-October and the Games are less than a year away.

When the New Year comes around and Olympic fever really takes hold in 2012, we will be ready, if allowed, to deliver in 2014. We remain on our marks. After all, when I stand in my office at Upton Park, I can see the Olympic Stadium.

The money has been spent, the venue is there and it is ready for action.

It is a magnificent structure that represents the very best of British to the world, right in the heart of a community that just needs a sporting chance to thrive.





the sun




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West Ham set for tenancy bid as Olympic Stadium purchase fails
The Olympic Stadium

WEST HAM will bid to become tenants at the Olympic Stadium after their move to buy it collapsed.

Speaking earlier today, sports minister Hugh Robertson confirmed the Olympic Park Legacy Company had pulled the plug on the Hammers' proposed purchase of the London 2012 venue.

But the latest development does not open the door for Tottenham to automatically pip their London rivals in the battle for the site.

The stadium is no longer for sale and will be made available for rental after the Olympic Games next summer — complete with permanent running track.

And the Hammers are determined to win the right to call the ground their home when a new bidding process for tenants opens in January.

Robertson said: "The key point is the action we have taken today is about removing the uncertainty. The process had become bogged down in legal paralysis.

"Particularly relevant has been the anonymous complaint to the European Commission over 'state aid' and the OPLC received a letter from Newham Council yesterday saying because of the uncertainty they no longer wanted to proceed.

"That was the straw that broke the camel's back and we thought it better to stop it dead in its tracks now.

"We know there is huge interest in the stadium out there from private operators and football clubs and, crucially, we remove any uncertainty."

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady insists the club's attempt to secure the stadium still has the full backing of Newham Council.

In a joint statement with council chief executive Kim Bromley-Derry, Brady said: "Uncertainty caused by the anonymous complaint to the EC and ongoing legal challenges have put the Olympic legacy at risk.

"Certainly a stadium, as we envisioned it, may not be in place by 2014 due as a direct result of the legal delay.

"Therefore we would welcome a move by the OPLC and Government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process.

"If the speculation is true, West Ham will look to become tenants of the stadium while Newham will aim to help deliver the legacy.

"Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promise of the Olympic Stadium — an amazing year-round home for football, athletics and community events of which the nation could be proud.

"The true legacy of London 2012 will be the creation of jobs and a generation of young people inspired by sport based around a community home for all by 2014.

"We remain committed to help deliver that legacy promise to the people of London and the nation."

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner welcomed the move to safeguard the future of the stadium's running track.

Warner said: "It's fantastic for UK Athletics and it is a bold and decisive move by the legacy company."







the mirror




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Barry Hearn exclusive: "I couldn’t be happier if we had beaten West Ham in the Cup final!"



Leyton Orient chairman Hearn was performing cartwheels in his Monte Carlo hotel room after learning West Ham’s takeover of the the Olympic stadium had collapsed yesterday.

Tottenham and the Os had both vowed to take the Government’s handover of the London 2012 venue’s keys to the Hammers holy trinity of owners David Gold and David Sullivan and vice-chairman Karren Brady to judicial review.

Olympic Stadium row: What happens next? By Martin Lipton

Now the stadium, which cost more than £500 million of taxpayers’ money to build, will return to public ownership after next summer’s Olympics after Sports Minister Hugh Robertson was forced to pull the plug on West Ham’s proposed tenancy because it faced years of “legal paralysis” in the courts.

Last night Brady was putting a brave face on West Ham’s setback, insisting the Eastenders planned to lease the stadium from 2014.

But Brady’s bravado was drowned out by Hearn’s triumphalism after the Os chief admitted he had mortgaged his club’s future on restoring a “level playing field” to the bidding process.

West Ham’s redevelopment of the Olympic stadium, costing £95m, was to be propped up by a £40m loan from Newham council and £35m from the Olympic budget.

The deal was doomed, however, by an anonymous complaint to the European Commission that West Ham’s receipt of state funds, at preferential interest rates, was illegal.

And Hearn, who did not make the complaint to Brussels although he shared its sentiments, crowed: “It’s a fabulous day - I was doing cartwheels in my hotel room this morning, and I couldn’t be happier if we had beaten West Ham in the Cup final.

“From the start, my motivation has not been to scupper their plans but to make sure that little old Leyton Orient were not trampled underfoot by giants muscling in on their territory.

“Basically, West Ham were being handed ownership of a £600 million stadium for £30m based on public money funding their private enterprise, which has now been proved to be against the law.

“In boxing terms, I was always confident that we would win the legal arguments on points, but this is a knockout. The Government and Olympic Park Legacy Committee have asked for the fight to be stopped to spare them further punishment.

“We gambled everything on the belief we would be proved right - we mortgaged the existence of Leyton Orient on winning this case, but we stuck to our guns and refused to be bullied by the big boys.

“All I ever asked was that the little guys’ voices should be heard, and at last someone is listening to us.”

So what now for the centrepiece of London 2012?

Before the OPLC deadline for new bids in January, West Ham are expected to submit a revised proposal to move in - but Orient, whose current Matchroom stadium is only 800 yards from the Olympic Park’s boundary, will put together their own package.

Hearn added: “Now we’re back to square one, but more importantly it’s not just a clean sheet of paper - it’s a level playing field. West Ham will bid again, we will bid again and market forces will determine what happens next.

“It is possible that Leyton Orient will end up as the anchor tenants in a 25,000-seater community stadium, it is possible that we will end up ground-sharing.

“But everything I’ve ever done in sport has been based on sustainability, and if we can come up with a deal, it will not be a drain on the public purse, prop up someone else’s business or leave us with a white elephant.”

Hearn’s preferred solution is thought to involve scaling down the 80,000-capacity Olympic stadium to a 25,000-seater venue, excavating beneath the existing floor to accommodate an extra tier of seats or the running track which OLPC insists is a non-negotiable element of any tenancy agreement.

West Ham, relegated to the Championship last season, would need to fill a £40m black hole in their financial blueprint to make their solution workable.

But defiant Brady insisted: “Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promise of the Olympic stadium.”

And Tottenham, whose plan to demolish the Olympic stadium and replace it with a custom-built 70,000-seater football ground was thrown out earlier this year, are thought to be quietly satisfied that their rivals will not be able to take over the venue for peanuts.

Spurs have since announced they intend to stay in north London and build a new ground on Northumberland Park next door to White Hart Lane.








the star





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WEST HAM STADIUM DEAL FALLS THROUGH


WEST HAM'S Olympic Stadium deal with Newham Council has collapsed, it was confirmed today.

Legal challenges by Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient, plus an anonymous complaint to the European Commission, have led to fears that court action could drag on for years while the stadium remains empty.

The stadium will now remain in public ownership and be leased out to an anchor tenant following a new tender process by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC).

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady confirmed the club will bid again to become a tenant at the stadium.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson said: "The key point is the action we have taken today is about removing the uncertainty. The process had become bogged down in legal paralysis.

"Particularly relevant has been the anonymous complaint to the EC over 'state aid' and the OPLC received a letter from Newham Council yesterday saying because of the uncertainty they no longer wanted to proceed. That was the straw that broke the camel's back and we thought it better to stop it dead in its tracks now.

"We know there is huge interest in the stadium out there from private operators and football clubs and, crucially, we remove any uncertainty."

Some £35 million already earmarked under the Olympic Budget will be used to transform the stadium after the Games. Prospective tenants will then be asked to bid for the stadium, with the running track remaining in place.
Mr Robertson added: "This is not a white elephant stadium where no one wants it. We have had two big clubs fighting tooth and nail to get it.

"The new process will be more like how Manchester City took over the Commonwealth Games stadium, which is regarded as a leading example of how to do it."

The tenants would pay an annual rent to the OPLC, which should prove to be less costly for the likes of West Ham.

The move will also remove uncertainty over the stadium ahead of London's bid for the 2017 world athletics championships, although that was not a major consideration in the decision to abandon the current deal.

The Government, the London mayor's office and the OPLC have moved to scrap the current deal as there were fears that the legal challenges could take years to come to a conclusion.

It is understood that no contract has been signed with West Ham, allowing the move to a fresh tender process, but the club will be encouraged to bid again.

A joint statement by Ms Brady and Newham chief executive Kim Bromley-Derry said they welcomed the move.

The statement said: "Uncertainty caused by the anonymous complaint to the European Commission and ongoing legal challenges have put the Olympic legacy at risk and certainly a stadium, as we envisioned it, may not be in place by 2014 due as a direct result of the legal delay.

"Therefore we would welcome a move by OPLC and Government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process. If the speculation is true, West Ham will look to become a tenant of the stadium while Newham will aim to help deliver the legacy."







the mail



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Olympic Stadium road still clear for Hammers, insists London Mayor Johnson



West Ham have emerged as unlikely winners in the race to move into the Olympic Stadium despite their plan to buy it collapsing.

It will remain in public ownership at an additional cost of up to £60million to taxpayers but London Mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘We will effectively rent it to a football club, almost certainly West Ham.’

It appears certain that the Government stopped West Ham buying the stadium because an anonymous complaint about the controversial process had been lodged with the European Commission, a development that could have subjected the parties to years of legal wrangling.

The upshot of the machinations is that West Ham remain favourites to be awarded the stadium — as indicated by the Mayor — without spending any money of their own.

But now taxpayers will foot the bill for the stadium to be converted for its post-Olympic use with West Ham, who were going to pay £20m, no longer contributing towards the remodelling as previously planned. Their partners, Newham Council, are not yet committed to spending £40m as originally intended.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said: ‘We will tender again with the same energy, vision and determination. We believe we are the home team. We are the ones who understand the area and its proud people.’

An anticipated rent of around £2m a year is a more palatable price for a club who are £80m in debt. Moving to the Olympic Stadium would also allow them to sell Upton Park.

The decision, which will keep the athletics track, is a boost for Britain’s bid to host the 2017 World Championships.

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner welcomed the bold and decisive nature of the move, adding: ‘I’m very hopeful that we will get the nod for 2017.’






the mail




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Taxpayers 0 West Ham 1: Club could still move away from Upton Park without having to stump up £20million



The news was good for West Ham. It was bad for the taxpayer. And, for all Barry Hearn's tub-thumping rhetoric, it was probably irrelevant to the other interested parties.

Those were the conclusions at the end of a topsy-turvy day in the endless and embarrassing story of the Olympic Stadium's post-Games fate.

Eight months to the day after the showpiece venue was awarded to West Ham, Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson announced that the whole process would start again.

This time, the stadium cannot be bought but leased out under public ownership. The reason for going back to the beginning was the fear of what Robertson called 'legal paralysis'.

Tottenham and Hearn's Leyton Orient were objecting to the process though the British courts. The bigger problem was an anonymous complaint filed to the European Commission about the £40million West Ham's partners, Newham Council, were contributing towards the scheme.

It was alleged that it amounted to 'state aid' and broke competition rules. The potential for intractable red tape was too much. So, embarrassingly, here we go again.

The deadline for new bidders is tentatively set for January. The exact criteria are not yet known but one stipulation is that the running track must be retained.

'Non-negotiable,' said Robertson, in recognition of the promises Lord Coe made to the IOC about leaving an athletics legacy beyond 2012 and a prerequisite for London's bid to host the 2017 World Championships.

The mood at West Ham was bullish, and no wonder when London Mayor Boris Johnson made the prejudicial utterance that 'almost certainly' West Ham would prevail once more.

Karren Brady, the club's vice chairman, wrote to fans to assure them that the collapse of the original deal was not a mortal blow.
All smiles: West Ham pose outside the 2012 stadium after their initial victory

All smiles: West Ham pose outside the 2012 stadium after their initial victory


In a joint statement with Newham chief executive Kim Bromley-Derry, she said: 'Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promised - and an amazing yearround home for football, athletics and community events of which the nation can be proud after 2014.'

That is the date by which West Ham, or whoever, will move in. Shame we have to go through the same procedure - at public expense, of course - to reach the near-certain conclusion Johnson hinted at.

The same conclusion that the Olympic Park Legacy Company reached by a unanimous vote of 14-0 back in February.

Shame, too, that the taxpayer will have to pay more: the old deal saw £95m being spent on turning the stadium from an 80,000-seat arena into a 60,000-seat multipurpose venue.

The same reconfiguration is planned this time, but West Ham (who have debts of £80m) will not contribute a £20m share. It remains to be seen if their partners Newham will still hand over their £40m.

The £35m already committed in public sector funding stands - though, minus West Ham's old share alone, that will rise to £55m.

But Robertson said: 'It is a little bit which way you cut it. The (£20m gap) will be replaced by an annual rental charge by whoever the tenant is.'

The rental rate is expected to be around £2m a year, meaning the stadium reconfiguration will not have paid for itself until a decade after the Games.

Even then the money will go into the Mayor's coffers rather than refund taxpayers. If it is such a good idea, why go through the original tender by different rules?

For all that negativity, though, a similar policy was implemented at the City of Manchester Stadium, home of the Commonwealth Games in 2002, where Manchester City pay the council rent for calling it their home.



Tottenham appear near certain not to bid again. They announced in the summer their intention to stay in north London, next to White Hart Lane. The insistence on a track legacy would seal their withdrawal.

Nonetheless, they issued a gloating statement: 'We welcome the OPLC decision to end the current Olympic Stadium bid process. We firmly believe that the bid we put forward was in fact a realistic sporting solution for the stadium, along with a substantial return to the taxpayer, community programming and athletics provision (the redevelopment of Crystal Palace).'

Hearn was more rumbustious. 'It is one of the greatest days of my life,' he crowed.

'We gambled our future on believing in our case. You can issue as many statements as you like but basically we have won. They have turned round and said, "Yes, you are right, we don't want to go through a judicial review. We know you are going to win. Your case is unanswerable. We messed up".

'The whole process is flawed and little Leyton Orient can hold our heads up because we fought our corner and came out on top. I thought we were going to win on points at the judicial review but we have won by knockout, which is even better.

'We will definitely be making an application. We have to look at the cost of doing that.'

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner naturally welcomed the 'bold and decisive move', with an eye on the 2017 bid. But Andrew Boff, the Conservatives' Olympic spokesman in the London Assembly, was less impressed. He blamed a Tory peer.

'This catastrophe is entirely down to Sebastian Coe's insistence that the stadium should retain an athletics track,' he said. 'Coe's masterplan has turned the Olympic legacy into the Millennium Dome Mk II but with a financial climate that gives it a less positive future.'

The blame should be spread more widely. There is plenty to go around.
Sorting out the mess - what happens now?

So, what exactly is happening with the Olympic Stadium?

West Ham will not be allowed to buy the stadium after London 2012 because
of legal challenges from Tottenham and Leyton Orient.

And that means they won't get the stadium?

Well, they can enter the new bidding process and are still favourites to win - even if Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson says there is 'huge interest' in taking up the tenancy.

Tottenham, who are potentially their chief rivals, are likely to stay put in north London, but Leyton Orient say they will re-enter the running.

And the tenants are still obliged to keep the running track?

Yes - it's needed for London's bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships and to fulfil Olympic legacy promises.

Why all this mess?

When the plans for the stadium were first drawn up nobody admitted there would be problems covering the cost of running the building after the Games unless a football
club was involved.

A proper solution would have been to install retractable seating to cover the running track when needed - but unfortunately that solution was never seriously considered.







the telegraph





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London 2012 Olympics: officials to be questioned by Parliament over collapse of stadium deal



Olympic officials involved in the collapse of the London 2012 Stadium deal will be questioned before Parliament to explain their use of public money, Telegraph Sport can reveal.
London 2012 Olympics: officials to be questioned by parliament over collapse of stadium deal



The news came on the day that the West Ham deal collapsed, leaving a black hole of £100 million that may have to be funded by the taxpayer.

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company responsible for negotiations with West Ham, is among the officials who will be called before the influential Public Accounts Committee on Dec 14.

Details of the inquiry can be disclosed as it emerged that the collapse of West Ham’s deal to take over the Olympic Stadium has left a shortfall in the public funding package.

Margaret Hodge MP, the committee’s chairman, said the cost of reconfiguring the stadium was certain to be raised by MPs. She said that the officials in charge “appear to be oblivious to the constraints that the rest of the public sector are experiencing.”

Dennis Hone, chief executive of the Olympic Development Authority, Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, and Jonathan Stephens, the most senior civil servant at the Department for Culture, Media and

Newham and the Government blamed “legal paralysis” caused by Tottenham and Leyton Orient, who have demanded a judicial review scheduled to be heard next Tuesday.

Newham were also facing an anonymous complaint to the European Commission, arguing that their loan constituted illegal state aid.

There was also the possibility that Newham-West Ham could lose the case if it went to a full hearing. Leyton Orient were increasingly confident about the strength of their case.

The hearing will come after the National Audit Office, the public spending watchdog, publishes a value-for-money review of the Olympics in the next few weeks.

The OPLC confirmed on Tuesday that it had ended negotiations with West Ham and funding partner Newham Council because legal challenges meant they could no longer guarantee to have the stadium open for the start of the 2014-15 football season.

The OPLC said it would issue new tender documents for a 60,000-seat stadium retaining the running track by early next month and is seeking expression of interest by January. The intention is for the stadium to remain in public ownership with the successful bidder paying an annual rent of around £2 million.

Under the new proposal, however, the cost of converting the stadium from its 85,000 Olympic capacity to a 60,000-seat arena with the facilities required by a Premier League football club will fall to the taxpayer.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson said on Tuesday that the cost was estimated at £95 million.

Some £35 million of that has already been allocated by the OPLC to a conversion fund, but the remaining £60million is likely to be met from public funds unless a tenant can be persuaded to contribute.

Estimates on Tuesday night suggested the costs could exceed £100 million.

The OPLC and Government would hope to recover the investment in rent over the lifetime of the stadium. They will also hope to attract other sports and concert promoters to show an interest.

Robertson suggested that Newham might be persuaded to provide £40 million to the conversion costs as under the initial deal with West Ham, but conceded that there was no requirement for them to do so.

West Ham immediately said they would bid to move to the stadium. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said the new tenants would “almost certainly be West Ham”. This drew an angry response and the threat of further legal action from Leyton Orient, who are also intent on bidding for the stadium, which is less than a mile from Brisbane Road.

“It appears from the mayor’s comments that he has not grasped the reality of an impartial tender process unless he knows something that we don’t,” club chairman Barry Hearn said.

“One would have thought that if there have been any lessons from this debacle of a bid process that they have not been learnt. We will be watching carefully.”

Chelsea and QPR, both exploring new stadium options, last night said they were not interested. Tottenham will examine the tender documents but if the track is non-negotiable they will concentrate on securing additional public sector funding for their new ground in Haringey.

Leyton Orient will go to the High Court on Thursday seeking to recover their full costs.

Andrew Boff, Olympic spokesman for the Conservative Group on the London Assembly, branded the collapse “a catastrophe” and blamed London 2012 chairman Lord Coe for insisting the running track be kept.

The announcement was welcomed by Johnson and UK Athletics, who believe the commitment to retain the track will enhance their bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

What the OPLC decision means for the key players in stadium drama

UK ATHLETICS
The decision represents a welcome boost to UKA, as it guarantees the retention of a running track – crucial for London’s bid to host the 2017 World Championships. Athletics is the major beneficiary without contributing any funding.

What they say: UKA chairman Ed Warner: "The legacy company has acted swiftly and smartly. They’re going to get a positive result.”

OLYMPIC PARK LEGACY COMPANY
A serious embarrassment. They had been confident the deal with West Ham would survive legal challenges. They will now have to spend up to £100 million of public money on transforming the stadium.

What they say: Sports Minister Hugh Robertson: "This is not a white elephant. The action we have taken today is about removing uncertainty.”

WEST HAM
West Ham appear to remain the OPLC’s preferred bidder for the £2 million-a-year tenancy. This new scenario could be a better deal for the club, who could not have afforded to move into the stadium without the £40 million of state aid promised by Newham Council. That money was under threat if Tottenham and Leyton Orient had won their High Court case against the West Ham-Newham bid.

What they say: Karren Brady, vice-chairman: "Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promise.”

TOTTENHAM
The club welcomed the decision and will look at the OPLC’s tenancy terms. But if a running track is non-negotiable, they have already stated they are not interested. Instead they will focus on securing public funding for a new stadium in Haringey.

What they say: Club statement: "The bid we put forward was a realistic solution.”

LEYTON ORIENT
A major victory for the League One club in the short term. The decision does not banish their big fear – West Ham moving in – but they will now bid to become the stadium’s tenant.

What they say: Chairman Barry Hearn: "If it’s not us moving in, we will continue to object.”









the express





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WEST HAM OLYMPIC STADIUM DEAL FALLS THROUGH AFTER TOTTENHAM PROTEST



West Ham have said they will look to become a tenant of the stadium, despite the deal collapsing


THE Olympic Stadium deal with West Ham United and Newham Council has collapsed, sports minister Hugh Robertson confirmed today.

Legal challenges by Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient, plus an anonymous complaint to the European Commission, have led to fears that court action could drag on for years while the stadium remains empty.

The stadium will now remain in public ownership and be leased out to an anchor tenant following a new tender process by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC).

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady confirmed the club will bid again to become a tenant at the stadium.

Mr Robertson said: "The key point is the action we have taken today is about removing the uncertainty. The process had become bogged down in legal paralysis.

"Particularly relevant has been the anonymous complaint to the EC over 'state aid' and the OPLC received a letter from Newham Council yesterday saying because of the uncertainty they no longer wanted to proceed. That was the straw that broke the camel's back and we thought it better to stop it dead in its tracks now.
ì
We would welcome a move by OPLC and Government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process
î

Karren Brady, West Ham vice-chairman, and Newham chief executive Kim Bromley-Derry


"We know there is huge interest in the stadium out there from private operators and football clubs and, crucially, we remove any uncertainty."

Some £35 million already earmarked under the Olympic Budget will be used to transform the stadium after the Games. Prospective tenants will then be asked to bid for the stadium, with the running track remaining in place.
Mr Robertson added: "This is not a white elephant stadium where no one wants it. We have had two big clubs fighting tooth and nail to get it.

"The new process will be more like how Manchester City took over the Commonwealth Games stadium, which is regarded as a leading example of how to do it."




The tenants would pay an annual rent to the OPLC, which should prove to be less costly for the likes of West Ham.

The move will also remove uncertainty over the stadium ahead of London's bid for the 2017 world athletics championships, although that was not a major consideration in the decision to abandon the current deal.

The Government, the London mayor's office and the OPLC have moved to scrap the current deal as there were fears that the legal challenges could take years to come to a conclusion.

It is understood that no contract has been signed with West Ham, allowing the move to a fresh tender process, but the club will be encouraged to bid again.

A joint statement by Ms Brady and Newham chief executive Kim Bromley-Derry said they welcomed the move.

The statement said: "Uncertainty caused by the anonymous complaint to the European Commission and ongoing legal challenges have put the Olympic legacy at risk and certainly a stadium, as we envisioned it, may not be in place by 2014 due as a direct result of the legal delay.

"Therefore we would welcome a move by OPLC and Government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process. If the speculation is true, West Ham will look to become a tenant of the stadium while Newham will aim to help deliver the legacy."






the independent




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Taxpayer left to foot bill as deal to sell Olympic stadium collapses



The Government has called an abrupt halt to negotiations to install West Ham United as the owner of the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games. Instead the stadium will be kept in public ownership and leased to a number of tenants – probably including West Ham – in a decision that could require an extra £60m of public funding on top of the £500m spent on its construction.

Hugh Robertson, the minister for Sport and the Olympics, said that the judicial review sought by Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient against the decision to award the stadium to West Ham had been further complicated by an anonymous appeal to the European Commission. That was "the straw that broke the camel's back". The review was due to be heard next week.

Mr Robertson said: "We had a process that was mired down in judicial wrangling. This could have gone on for months if not years. It is time to end this legal wrangling. This is the best way of stopping this becoming a white elephant. In order to stop this legal paralysis that is rapidly overtaking the whole process and to bring some certainty we decided overnight to suspend it."

The Olympic Park Legacy Company will now restart the bidding process with the aim of having tenants secured by January. That would allow them to meet the March deadline to have a planning application in place in order to have the stadium ready for its new use in 2014 as desired. London is bidding to host the 2017 world athletic championships and has given assurances to the IAAF, the sports' governing body, over the future of the stadium. That decision comes next month.

West Ham are almost certain to still move into the stadium – and could be allowed to buy it in the long term. They are likely to have to pay rent of £2m towards a predicted annual running cost of £5m. It is a deal that will appeal to the club. It is similar to the one Manchester City agreed with the city council in 2003 to take over the stadium built for the Commonwealth Games.

The remainder of the Stratford running costs will be met by hosting concerts, athletics and other sporting events, with the Government determined it will not prove a long-term drain on the taxpayer. But it will have to find extra funds to convert the stadium for post-Games use. It will still be scaled down to a 60,000 seats from its 80,000 Games capacity, a cost that was put at £95m under the original deal.

That was made up of £35m in the original Olympic budget plus £20m from West Ham and £40m from the local authority, Newham Council, which was West Ham's partner. Newham may still make some financial input to the reconfiguration of the stadium but it may also need public funding.

Q&A

Q. Why has the whole process had to begin again?

A. The threat of legal action by Tottenham and Leyton Orient – claiming the £40m put up by Newham Council to support West Ham's bid constituted state aid – threatened to drag on for months, leaving the stadium with an unsure future. There were concerns it could become the dreaded white elephant.

Q. So what is going to happen now? Are Spurs back in the running?

A. No. West Ham remain almost certain to be playing in a 60,000-seat stadium come 2014. But they will be just one of several tenants – "winter tenants" – and have to pay an annual £2m rent. UK Athletics, Essex county cricket club, and concert providers could be others.

Q. Why has it become such a mess? And who is going to pay for it all?

A. There is money in the Olympic budget but that will not be enough to convert the stadium. It could cost the taxpayer an extra £60m while annual running costs of some £5m could see a further hit if suitable tenants aren't found. The entire process is suffering from muddled thinking at the outset.







bbc sport





Football fans united in opposing Olympic Stadium move



Olympic Stadium Football fans say the athletics track will have an adverse affect on the atmosphere on match days

Fans of West Ham, Tottenham and Leyton Orient are united in their opposition of a move to the Olympic Stadium.

They want to remain in their own stadiums, claiming an athletics track will affect match-day atmosphere.

West Ham looked to have secured a switch to Stratford following the London 2012 Games but the stadium will now remain in public ownership.

Hammers fan Nigel Kahn said: "What I'm against is the aesthetics of the Olympic stadium."

The board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) decided to end negotiations with West Ham because of delays caused by ongoing legal disputes.
Continue reading the main story

At the Boleyn Ground you're up close to the action but at the Olympic Stadium the distance to the nearest seat is 35m

Nigel Kahn West Ham season ticket holder

West Ham season ticket holder Mr Kahn set up a petition against the club's proposed move, which has been signed by thousands of Hammers fans.

Mr Kahn, 41, said: "I'd be happy to leave the Boleyn Ground and go to Stratford.

"But at the Boleyn Ground you're up close to the action but the Olympic Stadium is oval-shaped and the distance from the track to the nearest seat is 35m."

Mr Kahn also points out that West Ham would only be able to half-fill a 60,000 seater stadium.

But he's not against the prospect of Tottenham moving from the north of London to the east - an area traditionally associated with the Hammers.

Mr Kahn said: "I've never gone with the argument that Spurs will take our supporters. Most West Ham fans don't live in Newham any more.
The Boleyn Ground at Upton Park The Boleyn Ground opened in 1904

"But most Tottenham fans don't want to go to Stratford and Leyton Orient will only get gates of 7,000 at best."

Spurs fan Paul Smith, of the spursodyssey.com website, said: "Hopefully Spurs are definitely out of the running now because most Spurs fans don't want to leave White Hart Lane.

"My from-the-heart reaction is I want Spurs to stay in Tottenham and White Hart Lane.

"I look forward to us filling a new stadium there without a running track and maintaining a proper atmosphere."

Mr Kahn said he would not be completely opposed to a ground-share as long as it was "neutral colours, with no crests or writing".

But Leyton Orient fan Barney Nash said on Twitter: "If there was to be a ground-share agreement, it simply would not work. We hate West Ham. Simple as that."

Rory Sheen, assistant editor of West Ham fanzine 'Over Land and Sea' urged the club's vice-chairman Karren Brady to reconsider the move to the Olympic Stadium.

The 24-year-old, from Buckhurst Hill, said: "I never wanted us to move from Upton Park. It's a proper old-fashioned ground in the streets and a lot of West Ham fans would agree that the ground has acted as our 12th man."







Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in Plymouth's 16-year-old winger Matt Lecointe, who is rated as "the next Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain".
Daily Mirror

Manchester City are targeting Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi, both of Napoli - who are in the same Champions League group as the Eastlands club.
Daily Mirror

Everton are being rivalled by Bayern Munich in the bid to sign Valencia midfielder Ever Banega.
talkSPORT

Stoke City defender Robert Huth is attracting interest from Wolfsburg as the German looks to catch the eyes of national team selectors.
FootyOnline

Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the chase for Fiorentina playmaker Riccardo Montolivo.
InsideFutbol

Villarreal's tough-tackling midfielder Bruno Soriano is wanted by Manchester United, who will have to pay more than €10m (£8.7m) for the Spaniard.
Inside Futbol

Tottenham and Liverpool are battling each other for £12m-rated Lille striker Moussa Sow.
CaughtOffside

Spurs are also planning a £15m January raid for Chelsea pair Didier Drogba and Alex.
CaughtOffside

Arsenal are facing competition for Lille midfielder Eden Hazard from Real Madrid, according to the Belgian's agent.

The Gunners are also looking to sign Porto striker Hulk, but his agent says that the north London club will have to pay more than £23m.
talkSPORT

Newcastle United are keeping an eye on European pair Eren Derdiyok of Bayer Leverkusen and Luuk de Jong of FC Twente.
FootyBunker

Arsenal are watching Tunisian defender Aymen Abdennour, who plays for Toulouse, according to the player himself.
FootyOnline

Fulham manager Martin Jol is planning to raid his former club Ajax with a bid for Mounir El Hamdaoui, a player that he has signed and managed twice before.
FootyLatest



Liverpool were "on the brink" and could have gone bust under former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, according to the club's managing director Ian Ayre.
Daily Mirror

Leeds chairman Ken Bates is backing Chelsea fans who are opposing the club's ground move.
Daily Mirror

Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa could be rewarded for his early season form with a new contract before the end of the year.
FootyBunker



Chelsea keeper Petr Cech has decided to take up the sticks instead of standing in-between them after making his live performance debut as a drummer for Czech band Eddie Stoilow.
Metro






babe of the day







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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby Chicken Run Supreme on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:47 am

Cheers CH as always.

Whether we stay where we are, move to OS or a.n.other site, I still think Hearn is a c*nt .
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby RyanWHUFC on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:53 am

Cheers CH :thup:
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby Muddy on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:08 am

Cheers CH.
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby westham,eggyandchips on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:26 am

Cheers CH.

I like Karren Bradys comments- Only West Ham can get it right. That would be a ****ing first! :shock:
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby beckton on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:34 am

Cheers CH.



I always thought that Hearn was a lying bullshitter, now add delusional to that! :lol:
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby davids cross on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:39 am

The Mail wrote:Taxpayers 0 West Ham 1


Collison (27)

8-)
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby davids cross on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:40 am

Thank you CH... :thup:
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby Blow Bubbles on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:40 am

Cheers CH.

Gentlemen, please form an orderly queue to punch that **** Hearn in the face...
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby claret parrot on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:43 am

Thank you CH.

So if there doubts about our filling the stadium, what chance Leyton Orient? Three blokes and a dog ... some Olympic legacy.

Karren Brady: "We are the ones who understand the area and it's proud people". Has she been learning Urdu and studying the Koran? (or should that be the Korran?)

I just hope that Tottscum don't get their £17m bribe from Boris now, or if they do that we mount a legal challenge. Nice one scumbags, you may or may not have fukced us as WHU fans but you've certainly fukced us as taxpayers.

As for that gloating c*nt Hearn, he was as I recall, perfectly happy for Tottscum to move into the OS. I can't reconcile this with his complaint that having us on his doorstep would kill off Orient. Why would Spuds as neighbours have been any better?
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby hammer on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:50 am

cheers cockers! :thup:
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby beckton on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:54 am

claret parrot wrote:As for that gloating c*nt Hearn, he was as I recall, perfectly happy for Tottscum to move into the OS. I can't reconcile this with his complaint that having us on his doorstep would kill off Orient. Why would Spuds as neighbours have been any better?



He's also on record as saying West Ham should get the stadium, I think he called it a 'no brainer' and that he didn't want it for Orient.

I just wish someone would pull him on his duplicity and flip-flopping, someone like Paxman interviewing him would have him squirming and be highly entertaining.:D
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby Philosophical Dan on Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:01 am

Yes, Orient will be perfectly at home at a 60,000 seater stadium, which will be packed to the rafters every home game.
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby AMC1964 on Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:07 am

Nigel Kahn...MYWhufc...you don't ****ing speak for me pal.
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby woodford on Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:28 am

an ideal scenario

Spurs confirm they wont bid

West Ham withdraw

Let the smug faced ****er Hearn take it over, both the Orient supporters will have a 60,000 stadium to themselves

Spend the money elsewhere, f*ck Orient, f*ck the runningtrack, f*ck Daniel Levy.

Mr Hearn i sincerely hope that you and your miserable little club get the OS as it would be a fitting tribute to a glorious British f*ck up. In his half arsed pathetic attempt to make his club more attractive to potential supporters, he's managed to piss off the people in the catchment he is hoping to work on. Genius

He's set his stall out, he has an agenda that he's working to. he knows full well that he has no intention of seriously bidding for the stadium, and god forbid he got it this countries olympic legacy would be a laughing stock around the world
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby Kitt the car on Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:47 am

Thanks CH, busy one today!

This whole OS thing is quite laughable and such a mess, I don't even get why Mr Hearn got involved in the first place? Us moving in would have no affect whatsoever on his small club.
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby chuffster on Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:52 am

Barry Hearn looks like Harry Enfields `Tory Boy`in that top pic.

Smarmy c*nt! :evil:
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby psychoscoredthelot on Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:13 am

i am bored of the OS crap
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby Doc H Ball on Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:20 am

That Sun article by Brady is truly one of the most nauseous things I've ever read.

Cheers again CH.
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Re: wednesday's news 12th october includes west ham

Postby kitthehammer on Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:24 am

A few very telling statements - Boris Johnson ‘We will effectively rent it to a football club, almost certainly West Ham.’

Andrew Boff, the Conservatives' Olympic spokesman - West Ham can enter the new bidding process and are still favourites to win - even if Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson says there is 'huge interest' in taking up the tenancy.

Barry Hearn - 'The whole process is flawed and little Leyton Orient can hold our heads up because we fought our corner and came out on top.

It will remain in public ownership at an additional cost of up to £60million to taxpayers....

At the end of all of this it could be, Spurs will get their money, west ham/newham council will save £40 mil and Leyton get **** all.
Yes Barry, Leyton are little, your argument relied on the support from another big club moving in from another area who would have taken your fan base away anyway, whereas west ham moving to the OS would make no difference, And you will possibly soon see that your club is completely ****ed. Maybe if there was some respect towards your current neighbours, west ham, you could have come out much better off. I hope you enjoy the taste of those sour grapes, because whoever wins this battle, Leyton Orient will lose.
I don't wish ill on Leyton Orient. I just believe Hearn is only saying all this to appease his fans and make him look like a big fish, sadly in a pool of great whites!

Funnily enough i just noticed this - http://www.whufc.com/page/Olympics/0,,1 ... 12,00.html
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