The recent furore over who would take over the tenancy of London’s Olympic Stadium when the sporting festival ends next summer centred on the Premiership giants of West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur. West Ham’s bid was the preferred option of the Olympic Park Legacy Company but that decision has been challenged by Spurs. Yesterday the third party affected by this decision, League One side Leyton Orient launched a legal battle to prevent the Hammers moving to the Stratford site.
Orient’s Matchroom stadium sits just three miles away from the Olympic Park and their charismatic chairman Barry Hearn feels that seeing West Ham move into his catchment area will seriously damage their fan base. By questioning the legality of a £40M loan given to West Ham to assist in their bid by Newham Council, Orient have requested a judicial review at the High Court in London.
According to the BBC,
On the pitch attention has started to turn to the weekend’s fixtures, as clubs up and down the Npower Football League held their pre-match press conferences.
First up is the critical promotion clash between Norwich City and Nottingham Forest at Carrow Road. As reported yesterday, Grant Holt is a major doubt for the Canaries in a game they will feel they have to win to maintain their push for the second automatic promotion spot, behind runaway leaders Queens Park Rangers.
Norwich manager Paul Lambert has admitted that Holt only has a slim chance of making the fixture against his former club telling BBC Radio Norfolk: “There might be a slight chance, I’ll have to wait and see how Grant feels himself. He has to be right within himself, if he’s ready to go then I’ll have no hesitation in playing him.” Norwich have better news on playmaker Wes Hoolahan who is expected to return following two games out with a hamstring injury.
Forest need the three points themselves as a terrible run has seen them drop from challenging for automatic promotion to be outside the playoff places with just six games to go. However after a first win in ten against Burnley on Tuesday night, Billy Davies will be hoping his side can now push on and extend their season. They will still be missing Chris Cohen who serves the last game of the three match ban received for his controversial red card against Leeds United.
The pick of the Saturday games in the Championship are at the bottom of the table. Crystal Palace and Scunthorpe face each other at Selhurst Park with the home side sitting just outside the drop zone, six points clear of their visitors. Victory for the Eagles should almost guarantee their safety with just five games remaining after the weekend. There is also a do-or-die clash at Deepdale between Preston North End and Sheffield United. With both sides well adrift of safety, a loss for either one of them will almost certainly condemn them to League One next season.