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Gold baffled by Spurs' stadium bid
Published : 07 Oct 2010 08:27:00Rss feed
West Ham co-owner David Gold admits he cannot understand why Tottenham have launched a rival bid for the Olympic Stadium. Spurs made the surprise announcement last week that they had declared an interest in occupying the stadium when the 2012 Games finish. That brought Spurs into direct conflict with their East End rivals, who admitted they were keen on moving to Stratford when Gold and David Sullivan bought the club in January. Spurs' 11th hour bid to take over the stadium has angered West Ham, with Sullivan branding the move a "slap in the face for East London". The north London club have since issued a statement insisting that they would only move to the Olympic Stadium if their bid to build a new ground close to White Hart Lane fails. Haringey council's decision to approve planning permission for the Northumberland Development Project appears to have given Spurs the green light to stay in north London but they admit that a switch to East London is still a back-up possibility. Gold is bemused as to why the north Londoners have submitted a bid to occupy the stadium and insists that West Ham's bid will succeed. Gold said: "I find it difficult to understand that the Spurs regime have just got planning permission in Haringey council for their new stadium at Tottenham. Why would they want another one? "I think the issues they have over their other stadium are relatively small I think, so what I would say is that our bid is a joint bid with Newham council and is the right bid, the best bid, the preferred bid. "It brings more to the local community and I think our bid will be successful." Senior figures at West Ham are understood to be fuming at Spurs' bid, which would see the north London outfit move eight miles to their new home. If successful, West Ham would only have to move three miles and would remain in the borough of Newham. Tottenham submitted their bid to move to the stadium with the backing of sports and entertainment company AEG hours before the deadline at the end of last month. They could arguably be the more attractive option for the Olympic Park Legacy Company, who will decide the stadium's future in December. Harry Redknapp's team are currently playing Champions League football while West Ham are rooted to the foot of the table and are by no means certain of being in the top flight when the 2012-2013 season begins. But Gold remains confident that they would be able to fill the 60,000 capacity stadium if their bid is approved. "Our bid is that it will be for a 60,000-seater stadium which we will fill," Gold continued. "I believe there is a hardcore of around 50,000 West Ham fans which will help us and we'll be able to attract another 10,000 fans. "Young people and children will be able to come to the new stadium at very cheap prices. "Families will be able to come to matches that they haven't been able to afford before, so what our bid brings is added opportunities and that's why we believe it will be the preferred bid." Gold added that part of the club's plans for the stadium, which were submitted as part of a visit to 10 Downing Street last week, were to help redevelop the area around the ground. He continued: "We have received numerous bits of support. Lord Seb Coe has been very supportive of the bid, which includes athletics, and a number of sporting events. "West Ham boxing club is only a mile away from Stratford, their lease is up and their building is going to be redeveloped. "They would come if we were successful so 200 young boys would have a new club rather than end up on the streets."
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