Filed: Wednesday, 31st October 2012
By: Staff Writer
The latest revelation about the future of the Olympic Stadium has left many supporters wondering if West Ham United will ever have the opportunity to play in the iconic stadium.
Two weeks ago, when the London Legacy Development Corporation were expected to name their preferred candidate to take over the stadium yet another delay was announced.
And hours before the latest announcement was expected this week it was confirmed that no decision would be forthcoming - and that West Ham's owners may now have to wait until after Christmas before a final judgment is made.
The green light to West Ham's move to Stratford appeared to rely on Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, being granted access to a large portion the surplus funds from this summer's games - some £200million - in order to update the stadium and install retractable seating.
But a Government Treasury spokesman told a newspaper on Monday that there was no chance of the funds being appropriated for such a purpose. "Any financial benefits from the Olympics coming in under budget will be used to pay off our debts or help the economy", they said.
Despite the news, Johnson is reported to be preparing to approach Chancellor George Osbourse directly with his request, which he is understood to believe is the most economical solution for the future of the stadium.
However the waters were muddied further today after it was revealed that Johnson has held talks with American Football's NFL, who last weekend held their annual spectacle at Wembley Stadium.
They are reported to be exploring the possibility of staging more matches in the UK, with the Olympic Stadium viwed as a potential venue.
A spokesman for Johnson told The Telegraph this morning: "The mayor and his team have held a number of meetings with senior executives in the last few days to explore further opportunities for NFL in London. The talks were exploratory and we are at an early stage but the signs are encouraging."
West Ham re still considered to be favourites to take over use of the stadium, despite news of the NFL's purported interest.
* Discuss the future of the stadium with fellow Hammers fans on our Olympic Stadium forum.
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by Mikey D
07:03PM 31st Oct 2012
''For a long time now I have been a supporter of the move to the OS. However, it has now become a complete farce, with our owners digging into their pockets endlessly to keep the 'dream alive'.
For me, I would like to tell the OLPC to 'poke' their stadium where the sun doesn't shine and start legal proceedings for our costs incurred when lodging our first bid. I'm not sure there's much we can do about the money spent during phase two of the bid.
They don't deserve us, this process is a joke, but I'm afraid everyone knows we're in it to the end - I feel sorry for the Davids....they have no choice but to grit their teeth and get on with it.''
04:21PM 31st Oct 2012
''How can the NFL go in there? Were they part of the bidding process? I think not as they have never been mentioned before. I hope we sue the pants off Boris and his mates for all the time and money wasted in this farce. ''
by Dave Futre
01:47PM 31st Oct 2012
''I would have loved to see the Hammers in the Olympic Stadium. The reality is that it's become a case of 'West Ham are better than nothing but we will keep delaying a decision in the hope that something more appealing surfaces. We must keep telling them that they are in prime position though.'
I'd rather stay at the Boleyn now.''
by Alex P
01:23PM 31st Oct 2012
''West Ham should pull out now, it's dragging on too long. The LLDC will realise they will not generate as much income elsewhere to keep the stadium running effectively.''
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