Olympic Stadium still for West Ham, says Boris Johnson

12 October 2011 01:36
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.'

Nearing completion: An aerial view of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford

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 partiesto years of legal wrangling.

The upshot of the machinations is that West Ham remain favourites to be awarded the stadium as indicatedby 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.

Driving us mad: Mayor of London Boris Johnson has backed West Ham to still move in

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.'

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Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Pos Team Pld Pts
- Belgium 0 0
- Panama 0 0
- Tunisia 0 0
- England 0 0