West Ham United have today insisted they will still look to secure the Olympic Stadium as their new home, despite the Olympic Park Legacy Company calling off the deal to award it to them following an intense legal challenge from Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.
The stadium now looks to remain in public ownership and as a result, clubs looking to secure the stadium will need to arrange an anchor tenancy agreement instead. The decision also means that the controversial running track around the pitch will be maintained.
Speaking in unison with supporters Newham Council, West Ham United vice-chairman Karen Brady stated:
“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.
“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.”
It is also reported that whoever now wins the new tenancy battle, they will have to pay the OPLC an annual rental income of around £2 million. Any new competition rivalling West Ham for this new application however remains unclear.
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