Filed: Monday, 16th January 2012
Karren Brady has claimed that West Ham United's board are considering redeveloping the Boleyn Ground - despite having categorically ruled the option out previously.
Brady, speaking in the wake of recent comments from Government sources that suggested football might not be the only option for the post-2012 games stadium told SSN that the club were keeping their options open - comments in stark contrast to those of her boss David Gold, who recently told supporters that redeveloping the Green Street ground was non viable.
Speaking about the club's proposals for Stratford - and the forthcoming tender application deadline - Brady said: "The new tender has come out and we're going through that at the moment.
"If we decide to tender again our application will go in by the 23rd of March and the deadline for a decision is the 21st of May, so it will come around pretty quickly.
"We're in the data room at the minute looking at the processes, looking at what's on offer, looking at being a tenant and an owner and working out whether that fits in with West Ham's plan.
"I think we'd look to improve and develop Upton Park if we stayed. If we moved it would be to the Olympic Stadium due to its close proximity. It's in our borough. It's in our heartland. It needs a legacy."
Brady's comments represent a complete sea-change in the board's view, for it was just 15 months ago that the club placed an advertisement requesting contact from developer's interested in redeveloping the site.
The Boleyn Ground's last remaining pre-1990s stand, the East Stand, was initially due to be redeveloped more than a decade ago after the club received the go-ahead for a 43,000 capacity stadium from the local council. However the plug was pulled when the council requested revisions to the club's plans in 2002.
* Read Paul Walker's thoughts on Karren Brady's comments.
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07:06PM 17th Jan 2012
''I would have thought that re-developing the east stand now would be much easier. One of the bigger obstacles was the bus garage at the end of the road, which would limit things due to height restrictions. I read that this was closing down so let us stay at our home and make it suitable for our use not some compromise stadium with poor views (even with retractable seating) that we couldn't call our own.
Stay at the Boleyn, you know you want to!''