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West Ham chosen as preferred Olympic Stadium tenant

West Ham United has been selected as the preferred club to move into the Olympic Stadium in east London after the 2012 Games. Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) executives chose the club's bid over a rival proposal from Tottenham Hotspur.

The decision must now be ratified by two government departments and the mayor of London, possibly next week. The vote in favour of West Ham's bid for the £537m venue was unanimous. It was judged to provide the best legacy. Spurs' plan was widely criticised because it would involve knocking down the stadium and building a new one.

West Ham co-owner David Gold said the endorsement of their bid to move into the 2012 Olympic Stadium represented a "great day for Great Britain". The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) chose the east London club's bid over a rival proposal from Tottenham. "We are very, very excited about what happened today and it is nice to be on the winning side," Gold told reporters at the Olympic site in Stratford. "We represented what is right, what is fair and what is honest."

The OPLC board voted unanimously in favour of the proposal from West Ham and their partners Newham Council, who had promised to retain the athletics track at the stadium. The Spurs bid would have involved knocking down most of the existing stucture to build a new one and expanding athletics facilities at Crystal Palace, rather than keeping the sport in Stratford.

Gold said a victory for the Spurs bid would have broken the promise of London 2012 chief Seb Coe, who had pledged to maintain a track and field legacy at the stadium. "It is a great day for England and Great Britain because we are keeping our promise," he added. "Lord Coe gave a promise on behalf of us all and it would have been a tragedy if that had been broken." The OPLC board's decision still needs to be ratified by London Mayor Boris Johnson and two government departments.

In a statement tinged with resignation, Spurs accepted the OPLC's verdict but demanded that West Ham's pledge to keep the running track at the stadium be legally binding. "Much has been made of the promise to keep the athletics track within the Olympic Stadium and, therefore, we should all expect to see the retention of this track firmly embedded and legally guaranteed by those entrusted with this legacy commitment, today and in the future," the statement read. "The OPLC's decision has still to be approved by two Government departments and the Mayor's Office.

West Ham delighted by Olympic Stadium bid verdict

Olympic Stadium: A Distant Dream?

Trevor Brooking says that the notion of West Ham playing in an Olympic stadium if London makes a bid for the 2012 games is a distant, if not inconceivable, idea. With a London bid a possibility, though no decision by the International Olympic Committee will be given until 2005, there has been suggestions that West Ham would fit the bill of going to the stadium after the  games finished.

Says Trevor. “It’s a little speck on the horizon. The Olympic bid is under discussion and the government are scheduled to make a decision towards the end of January 2003. “If the bidding process did happen then the region that is selected is in the east London and north east London area. “I suppose the two clubs that come to the surface are Spurs and West Ham. “What you are talking about is taking it on in 2013 or even 2014, 11 or 12 years away from that happening”

19th December 2002

Olympic Stadium Possibility Confirmed

16th May 2001

West Ham United have confirmed that there is a possibility of moving from Upton Park – in twelve years time!

Director Chris Manhire, who is overseeing the Dr. Martens stand redevelopment, says that the club have been approached about moving to a potential Olympic Stadium in Stratford if England are awarded the games in 2012, and reveals:

“All it is, we were approached by a consortium who are in the very early days are looking to bid for the 2012 Olympic for London. “We had a meeting putting a proposal to us about whether we would be interested in taking over the stadium after the Olympics in 2012, and our view was that we don’t want to shut any doors, and we basically said we would consider it.”But that’s as far as it is: it’s very early days and if it does happen it wouldn’t happen until 2013, the following season to the Olympics.

The ultimate decision about whether a bid for the games is made rests with the British Olympic Association, the government, and the Mayor of London.

Timeline to the Olympic Stadium - Stratford

6th July 2005

22nd September 2005

Olympic javelin champion, Tessa Sanderson OBE, has become the fiirst sports star toofficially support Newham’s Olympic preparations. The London Boorough of Newham, home to West Ham United Football Club, was confirmed a host borough for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in July. Ms Sanderson used the opportunity to thank West Ham United and its fans for their strong support of the bid and said she is excited to work with Newham Council.

Inspiring A New Generation Of Athletes To 2012 Olympic Glory!

London beats Paris to 2012 Games

The 2012 Olympic Games will be held in London, the International Olympic Committee has announced.  London won a two-way fight with Paris by 54 votes to 50 at the IOC meeting in Singapore, after bids from Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated. Prime Minister Tony Blair called the win "a momentous day" for Britain. Paris had been favourites throughout the campaign but London's hopes were raised after an impressive presentation by Lord Coe, the bid chairman. IOC president Jacques Rogge made the dramatic announcement. It will be the first time the Olympics has been held in Britain since 1948.

21st November 2006

A statement from Eggert Magnusson

Following his successful takeover of West Ham United, Eggert Magnusson has issued the following statement... “I am both delighted and honoured that Terry Brown and his colleagues wish to support our offer for West Ham United. We can now end the uncertainty of weeks and move forward into the next phase of development of this great club.....

 

“In terms of the club’s loction we are buying what we see, which is West Ham United at Upton Park. However, if there is an opportunity to discuss a long-term move to the Olympic Stadium I would like to explore that, recognising that there will also need to be an athletics legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games.

7th February 2007

West Ham United: Club Statement

West Ham United today confirmed that the decision by the 2012 Olympic Board to opt for a mainly athletics use for the Olympic stadium after the 2012 Games ended the club’s direct interest in the stadium project at this stage.

West Ham United had set out its assessment of the possibilities on the legacy use of the stadium in a letter to the Olympic Delivery Authority on 17th January 2007, following meetings between professional advisers. The club set outs its proposals on possible solutions but recognised the tight timelines on stadium desin and construction and the work already undertaken on a 25,000 seat stadium option.

23rd March 2010

West Ham United and Newham Council

The club has joined forces with Newham Council on a joint bid to occupy the Olympic Stadium after 2012

West Ham United and Newham Council are working on a plan for a joint bid to occupy the Olympic Stadiumj and guarantee it provides a viable and lasting legacy afte the 2012 Games. The proposal would be to make the venue a vibrant centre of sport, culture and education, featuring both football and athletics. Open dayand night all year round, it would have an active community use, inspiring learning and achievement and helping to create a better quality of life for tens of thousands.

The football club and the council believe the move could result in the first-ever successful post-Games use of an Olympic sradium, generating much-needed employment in the area and making for a healthier East London by increasing sports and physical activity.

Both parties are mindful of the pledge given to the International Olympic Committee that a London Games will leave a solid athletics legacy. But they are calling for a solution to be found that will allow football and other sports to share the venue and prevent it from becoming a “ghost of Olympics past”. The only realistic solution is to make the stadium work for a Premier League football team and that should be West Ham United.

28th March 2006

Mayor Ken Livingstone insists London's Olympic Stadium will not be turned into a football ground after the 2012 Games. Rumours persist that Premiership clubs West Ham or Tottenham could move to the stadium once the Olympics are over. But Livingstone said the International Olympic Committee would block any move to change the stadium's future use.  Livingstone said: "The deal we made is that it's an athletics stadium and we have a legally-binding contract which is more like an international treaty."

Orient open discussions over Olympic stadium move

Leyton Orient confirmed they have begun preliminary discussions over the possibility of moving into the Olympic stadium in Stratford following the 2012 London Games. The club have repeatedly expressed a desire to move into the stadium, but stressed they are yet to enter any formal negotiations. Chairman Barry Hearn, however, said on Monday he believed Orient were a "certainty" to move into the new stadium and has now confirmed that Olympic officials have spoken to the club. "We have been approached by the organisation shaping the legacy of London 2012 and the opportunity to move into the Olympic stadium interests us," said Hearn. "We believe that we are in an excellent position with regards our location and status as a professional football club, but we have not yet received the terms of any possible move. "There is no doubt that the opportunity to move into a brand new 25,000-seater stadium could be the catalyst that turns us from what we are now into a club operating at a much higher level."

Mayor makes Olympic Stadium vow

London's 2012 Olympic stadium could stage matches during the 2018 soccer World Cup if England wins the right to host the tournament. Brian Mawhinney, chairman of the Host City selection panel, named 17 stadiums in 12 candidate cities and towns as potential venues should FIFA award the 2018 event to England at next December's vote. The possible venues include Wembley Stadium and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London, with either Tottenham Hotspur's new White Hart Lane stadium or the 2012 Olympic Stadium to be added at a later date. The list will eventually be reduced to around 10 or 12 stadiums by FIFA who have the final say and will decide on the host nation in Zurich next December.

Olympic Stadium makes cut for World Cup bid

16th December 2009

29th November 2007

David Sullivan hopes to boost West Ham with move to Olympic Stadium

19th January 2010

West Ham United's new owners today reignited the debate about the future of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford by signalling their intention to occupy it after the 2012 Games, in a move welcomed by Tory politicians and local councillors.

David Sullivan who, with David Gold, took control of West Ham in a deal that values the club at £105m, said they are "hoping to persuade the government" they should be allowed to move just over two miles to the £537m stadium. Citing the precendent of Manchester City's move following the Commonwealth Games, any deal to take up tenancy at the Olympic Stadium could radically overhaul West Ham's financial model and enable them to turbo-charge revenues by boosting capacity to 55,000 and ­giving them a ready-made new home with excellent transport links. It could immediately make their £50m investment look a wise one, particularly as the club could sell Upton Park for redevelopment.

Sullivan's statement of intent is likely to be the opening salvo in a long running negotiation between the club and the Olympic Park Legacy Company, effectively a joint-venture between the government and the London Mayor, that is responsible for devising an economically feasible masterplan for the area and the venues in it.

West Ham 'not the only show in town' over future of Olympic Stadium

3rd March 2010

The body deciding the future of the Olympic Park today warned West Ham United they were not "the only show in town" when it came to finding a tenant for the main stadium and said the Premier League club would have to accommodate a running track if they were to move in.

Margaret Ford, chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, revealed that a decision would be taken on the stadium's future before the end of the financial year. West Ham's new co-owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, have made clear their ambition to move in but uncertainty remains over how the £100m-plus conversion costs would be met.

"We need to get this settled once and for all this year," Ford told the culture, media and sport select committee. "The planning status quo is for the stadium to be taken down and rebuilt into a 25,000-seat athletics stadium, the new Crystal Palace. If that happens, I don't think we should apologise for that. We have Wembley, we have Twickenham, we would have a new athletics stadium.

15th April 2010

Essex looking to share Olympic stadium with West Ham

Essex County Cricket Club have announced plans to share the 2012 Olympic Stadium with West Ham and Newham Council. Chelmsford would remain the home ground for Essex's County Championship matches but the club are keen to explore the possibility of playing Twenty20 cricket at the Stratford venue. Essex CCC chief executive David East said: "We are very much looking forward to exploring this with Newham and West Ham. "Our home ground will remain at the Ford County Ground in Chelmsford, but it would be fantastic to be able to play some of our expanded Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Olympic Stadium.

17th September 2010

Legacy plans for Olympic stadium are flawed, says London Assembly report

Plans to transform the Populous-designed 2012 stadium into a 25,000-seat athletics arena are “flawed” and have contributed to delays in securing a lasting legacy, a report today alleges. The cross-party report, from the London Assembly, said only a major football or rugby club could provide the huge crowds and regular use that would allow the stadium to pay for itself and properly boost local employment. While it acknowledged that the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) was now looking at a wider range of tenants, it found that the Olympic Board’s original insistence on an athletics-led future for the stadium was a“missed opportunity”. Len Duvall, chair of the committee that wrote the report, said: “With the right tenants, the Olympic Stadium has the potential to bring thousands of new jobs to the East End. “The only sustainable future for the stadium is regular, high-capacity events, and realistically that means football or rugby.”

5th October 2010

Olympic Stadium now first choice for Tottenham

The prospect of Tottenham Hotspur abandoning plans to rebuild White Hart Lane and moving instead to the Olympic Stadium moved a significant step closer yesterday when the club's corporate partners revealed plans to ditch the running track after the 2012 Games and spoke openly about outflanking West Ham's rival bid. AEG, the US sports and entertainment company that turned the Millennium Dome from national embarrassment to a huge success story as the O2 Arena, was bullish about its chances of securing the stadium and claimed its partnership with Spurs was the only one that could fulfil the Stratford stadium's commercial potential.

The Olympic Stadium option has previously been talked of as a "back-up plan" for Spurs but it is understood that the idea is now under serious consideration as an alternative to rebuilding White Hart Lane. Tim Leiweke, the president of AEG, said: "We've been pretty selective on the projects we get involved in here and, when we do, we haven't had many stumbles." AEG Europe's chief executive, David Campbell, added that Tottenham's fan base made it a more viable option than West Ham. "They have got 35,000 people on a paid-for waiting list. They can fill 60,000 seats. Can West Ham? I don't know but I don't feel as confident as I do about Tottenham."

11th October 2010

UK Athletics pledges support to West Ham's Olympic Stadium bid

West Ham United's bid to take over the London Olympic stadium after the 2012 Games has received a major boost in the form of formal support by UK Athletics. The Hammers, who have made a joint bid with Newham council, have committed to ensuring there is an athletics track as well as a football stadium. It is a big blow to the joint rival bid from Tottenham Hotspur and AEG who had indicated a running track was not part of their future plans. The UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said: "What has impressed me so much about the joint bid from West Ham and Newham is their clear commitment to the spirit of the Olympic legacy and not just athletics at the elite end, but with the retention of the community track, our future champions and club runners too. "It was clear from the start that only a partnership approach would bring to life the vision Seb Coe had when he committed to an athletics legacy in 2005 and we believe the collaboration of West Ham, Newham and UKA gives the strongest opportunity for a vibrant sporting legacy that will go well beyond 2012." West Ham have also made clear their support for hosting the 2015 World Athletics championships at the stadium – London is bidding against Beijing for the event.

12th November 2010

West Ham and Tottenham short-listed to take over Olympic Stadium

Bids by West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur to take over the London Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games have been included on a short list of two. The Olympic Park Legacy Company announced today that a consortium led by Tottenham and AEG and a rival consortium headed by West Ham and Newham Council would go into the final negotiations before a decision on who will occupy the stadium is taken in March.

Margaret Ford, the chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: "We are very pleased with the extensive and serious interest shown in the stadium. We started this process to ensure the very best legacy for the stadium and we are now at a point where we have selected the two strongest bids. We will go forward to start negotiations with the two consortia of Tottenham Hotspur and AEG and West Ham United and Newham Council. "The stadium is a vital and vibrant component of the Olympic Park – securing the most appropriate and viable solution is crucial for our long-term aspirations for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park area."

Tottenham plan to demolish Olympic Stadium and rebuild

12th January 2011

Tottenham Hotspur today went on the offensive in the increasingly bitter battle to win control of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, arguing that their bid rivals West Ham United would struggle to fill it and leave fans so far from the pitch that in some cases they would be unable to see the ball. Tottenham also unveiled plans to refurbish Crystal Palace as a 25,000-capacity athletics stadium to compensate for ripping out the track from the Olympic Stadium to knock down the venue and rebuild it as a dedicated football ground. Spurs, who estimate that moving to Stratford would be roughly £200m cheaper than an alternative plan to rebuild White Hart Lane, will also create an athletics "legacy fund" that they claim would fulfil the commitments made to the sport when London won the Games in 2005.

The plan was immediately labelled "woefully inadequate" by Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics, which is backing West Ham's joint bid with Newham Council. It would retain the track, reducing the 80,000-capacity stadium to 60,000 seats and promising a multi-sport solution with football in the winter and athletics and cricket in the summer.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company is expected to announce a preferred bidder by 28 January, although that could still slip into next month, with a final decision made in conjunction with the government and the mayor by the end of March.

13th January 2011

Jacques Rogge says he wants athletics legacy for 2012 Olympic Stadium

Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, today said that he favours London's Olympic Stadium retaining a running track after the 2012 Games, but he will not intervene on the issue. Tottenham Hotspur's bid to take over the stadium would see the running track removed but West Ham United's rival bid would keep the athletics track in place. The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) is due to make a decision between the two bids before March. Rogge told a news conference at IOC headquarters in Lausanne: "We would favour a solution with a track legacy – that goes without saying. But the decision is in the hands of the OPLC along with UK Athletics and Locog [the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games]. "If a solution could be found for the track we would be happy, but don't expect the IOC to intervene in an issue where we are not responsible." Tottenham say they would maintain an athletic legacy by rebuilding the Crystal Palace venue.

24th January 2011

Decision over the future use of Olympic Stadium postponed

The fierce battle for tenancy of the Olympic Stadium will rage beyond this Friday, after the body responsible for the decision indefinitely postponed the board meeting at which it was due to consider the rival bids from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Both clubs will be forced to recalibrate their lobbying strategies after the Olympic Park Legacy Company decided it needed more time to make the decision on naming a preferred bidder. "We are asking for further clarification from both bids. We need the process to be robust," said an OPLC spokeswoman. A new date for the board meeting is yet to be set, but it is understood that the delay could be of up to a fortnight. The OPLC has always made clear that it would postpone the decision if it felt more time was required.

"Given the detailed nature of both bids received, we need more time to seek further clarification with both bidders in order to identify a preferred bidder," said the OPLC. "The stadium is a significant public asset and we have a duty to run a robust process." Margaret Ford, the OPLC chair, and the chief executive, Andrew Altman, may also have been hoping the delay would take the heat out of what has become an increasingly charged debate. Given the likelihood of a challenge from the losing bidder, the decision will also have to be subject to significant legal scrutiny. The OPLC will work with the preferred bidder with the aim of signing the lease by the end of March, subject to approval from the government and the London mayor, Boris Johnson.

11th February 2011

3rd March 2011

Government and mayor approve West Ham Olympic Stadium bid

2012-Olympic-stadium

Photograph: Locog/EPA

The government and the mayor of London have approved West Ham United's bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games, the Department for Communities and Local Government has announced. The joint Newham council and West Ham bid was preferred to one from Tottenham Hotspur by the Olympic Park Legacy Company last month. Leyton Orient subsequently threatened to take legal action over the decision. Lawyers acting for Tottenham are also believed to be reviewing the process by which the decision was reached. The local government minister, Bob Neill, confirmed that he and the sports minister, Hugh Robertson, had approved the recommendation. Neill said: "This completes the first stage of this process and means that the Olympic Park Legacy Company are now able to enter into negotiations with the consortium comprising West Ham and the London Borough of Newham to agree a lease for the Olympic Stadium site on terms that are acceptable to government and the mayor of London and provide value for money to the public sector. "We are delighted with the progress that has been made and very pleased we have reached this very significant milestone in determining the long-term legacy for the Olympic Park following the Games." Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, said: "I am confident that West Ham will provide a secure future for the stadium which also sees its iconic design for the London Games retained for future generations to admire.

23rd June 2011

Spurs fail with bid to review Olympic Stadium decision

Tottenham and Leyton Orient have had their bids for a judicial review of the Olympic Stadium decision rejected. The two London clubs contested the Olympic Park Legacy Company's verdict that West Ham and Newham Council should be the future occupants of the venue. But Judge Mr Justice Davis told them there are no grounds for a review. Spurs and Orient said they would consider over the next few days whether to renew their applications at an oral hearing in the High Court.The statement on the Tottenham website added: "The club continues to hold discussions with both local and national government bodies in order to seek to determine a feasible stadium solution."

After Thursday's news was announced, the Olympic Park Legacy Company said: "We are pleased with the ruling and continue to make good progress in our negotiations with the preferred bidder in order to be in a position to agree the final terms for the stadium's lease."  West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "We welcome today's news as a further endorsement of our strong and viable legacy vision. "We were honoured to be unanimously chosen as preferred bidder by the OPLC. Their decision, after a robust and diligent process, was subsequently backed by the Mayor of London and government.

"Our vision - in partnership with the London Borough of Newham - remains for a globally-recognised destination for all, with community at its core, capable of hosting world-class sporting events, including top-level football and athletics."

The east London club, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, were unanimously chosen as the preferred occupant, having proposed to reduce the stadium's capacity from 80,000 to 60,000 seats after the Olympics for use it as a multipurpose venue, retaining the running track.

News stories compiled from various websites including West Ham United / BBC Sport / Metro / Guardian / Mail On Line / Evening Standard / Dail Mail / Daily Mirror

1st July 2011

Olympic Park legacy official suspended over West Ham clash of interests

Company director had been working as a consultant for east London football club during stadium bid which it won.

An employee of the Olympic Park Legacy company has been suspended after it was discovered she was working as a consultant for West Ham United during the Olympic stadium bid. The woman, who is not being named, has been suspended with immediate effect while the potential clash of interests is investigated. The OPLC board, in charge of securing the future of the Olympic Park site, voted 14-0 in February to make West Ham United the first choice to move into the £486m stadium. The club was in a head-to-head contest with Tottenham Hotspur.

A statement from the OPLC read: "It has come to our attention that an employee of the Olympic Park Legacy company has been undertaking paid consultancy work for West Ham United FC. "The company had no knowledge of this work and no permission was given to undertake it. This individual had no involvement whatsoever in our stadium process. "The individual concerned had declared a personal relationship with an employee of West Ham United FC when she joined the organisation and we therefore put robust measures in place to ensure our stadium process was not compromised. "The stadium team has been based at our law firm Eversheds' offices in the City and only the stadium team had access to information about the bids. "As soon as this new information came to light the company took immediate action and launched an independent investigation. "The employee has been suspended pending the outcome of this."

11th October 2011

West Ham Olympic Stadium deal collapses

The deal to award West Ham the Olympic Stadium after the London 2012 Games has collapsed

The board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has ended negotiations amid concerns over delays caused by the ongoing legal dispute with Tottenham. The OPLC, government and Mayor of London have instead agreed the stadium will remain in public ownership. A new tender process will be opened for an anchor tenant who will now lease the stadium for an an annual rent. The winning bidder would rent the stadium rather than purchase it outright and bear the majority of any redevelopment costs. The new tender process will be launched this week and any interested bidders will have to submit proposals by January.

A fund of £50m has been set aside from public money to convert the 80,000-capacity stadium at Games time to a 60,000-seater venue afterwards. The post-Games stadium will be capable of hosting major athletics events and Premier League football. That opens the possibility for Championship football club West Ham and their bid partner Newham Council to submit a new, lower risk proposal which could still see them move in after London 2012. With West Ham's finances under strain following their relegation from the Premier League last season, the new arrangement could be much more attractive as it would only cost around £2m a year to lease the stadium. That money will help offset estimated running costs of more than £5m a year. The OPLC has decided to take drastic action because of the uncertainty being caused by the legal challenges from Tottenham but also Leyton Orient. Both clubs are contesting the original decision to award the stadium to West Ham because of their reliance on a £40m loan from Newham Council, which they say is effectively state aid. Spurs are seeking a judicial review of the decision and the next hearing at the High Court was due to be held next Tuesday. But to complicate matters further, an anonymous complaint was made to the European Commission last week which could have meant even further delays. And despite London Mayor Boris Johnson's ultimatum to Spurs last week to settle the dispute before next Tuesday and accept a funding package to help redevelop their White Hart Lane ground, the OPLC had lost confidence in a quick resolution.

The clock is ticking for the OPLC because it has set a deadline of 2014 for the new tenants of the stadium to move in. For that to happen, planning permission must be submitted by March 2012 to ensure work starts immediately after the Games. The prospect of a never-ending battle in the courts raised fears that the stadium could lie idle for years after the Olympics had finished.

25th August 2011

Spurs win bid for judicial review

Tottenham Hotspur football club has won its bid for a judicial review into the government’s decision to hand over the keys of the Olympic Stadium to West Ham United, after a High Court judge questioned the £40m loan deal the east London club struck with its stadium partner, Newham council.

 Mr Justice Collins’ decision is very embarrassing for ministers and the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the body accountable to the government and the London mayor, which conducted a bidding competition between West Ham and Spurs for the right to take over the £486m stadium after the 2012 games. It raises the possibility of the stadium competition having to be rerun if the defendants in the judicial review, the OPLC and Newham, lose the case.

 The latest twist in what has become a rancorous saga came late on Wednesday when the Metropolitan Police confirmed it was looking into allegations made by West Ham and the OPLC about bank and telephone records of some of their executives being unlawfully obtained. “These allegations have been assessed and an investigation has now commenced by officers from the economic and specialist crime command,” the Met Police said.

Spurs may yet decide to drop the case depending on the progress of talks with the mayor’s office over public sector funding to redevelop its existing White Hart Lane stadium. Those talks were resumed in light of the London riots, which were sparked off in Tottenham, and Spurs may now use its High Court victory as leverage.

But Spurs are not the only barrier to the mayor and the government’s stated intention to work with West Ham and Newham on the Olympic stadium legacy project. Leyton Orient, the football club whose stadium is closest to the Olympic Park, is also an applicant in the judicial review, Orient claims the relocation of West Ham to the Olympic stadium would put its survival at risk.

Spurs and Orient put forward a number of arguments why the stadium decision should be re-examined but it was only on the specific issue of state aid that the judge was prepared to grant a judicial review. The bid from West Ham, a club which was relegated from the Premier League last season and which has debts of more than £100m, was contingent on a £40m loan from Newham. Lawyers for Spurs maintained that the Newham loan gave their bid rivals an economic advantage and should have been referred to the European Commission for approval.

Olympic Stadium

18th October 2011

Legal move over West Ham United’s move to Olympic Stadium is withdrawn

Spurs and Leyton Orient have withdrawn their bid for a judicial review into the handing of the Olympic Stadium to West Ham United, the government has said. The move, on the eve of a planned hearing this morning, follows the collapse of the deal to award the stadium to West Ham after the London 2012 Games. The Olympic Park Legacy Company said the collapse was due to delays caused by the legal wranglings. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) spokesman said that they had come to an agreement where all parties will bear their own legal costs. The OPLC, government and mayor of London currently agree the stadium will remain in public ownership. West Ham United has said it will bid to be the stadium tenant. The OPLC has been asked to start a new process to secure tenants for the stadium and any interested bidders will have to submit proposals by January. A fund of £35m has been set aside from public money to convert the stadium. Leyton Orient Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The whole process has been flawed. The last four or five years has been largely wasted and we have to go back to the beginning. If the OPLC try to fast track the whole process they will be challenged again.”

West Ham-Newham statement

The club have issued a joint statement with Newham Council regarding the Olympic Stadium

Karren Brady, Vice-Chairman of West Ham United, and Kim Bromley-Derry, Chief Executive of the London Borough of Newham said: "We understand Ministers will make a statement later and will not pre-empt that. 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."

20th December 2011

Olympic Stadium to share?

As bidding re-opens on the use of the Olympic Stadium after the London 2012 Games, the company in charge of the process have confirmed that they will accept a ground-share bid from a football and rugby team. West Ham remain favourites to become the tenants but the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) are looking to the example of Swansea's Liberty Stadium, which is used by both the city's Premier League club and the Ospreys. OPLC are continuing to insist upon retaining the athletics track but they are open to selling the naming rights on the stadium, with the tenants receiving a cut of the income. The original deal for West Ham to take over the stadium collapsed in October due to legal challenges from Tottenham and Leyton Orient, and under the new process the OPLC will spend around £95million on converting the stadium to a 60,000-seat venue for the new tenants. If the tenants want to have retractable seating over the running track, as West Ham are considering as part of their bid, they would have to cover those costs themselves. The deadline for the bids is in March with a decision due in May, and the stadium reopened in 2014.

11th December 2012

West Ham United win three-year battle for £429m Olympic Stadium after being named preferred bidder

After a three-year saga over the fate of the Olympic Stadium, it looks like it will become the new home of West Ham United. The east London football club have been named as the top choice to move in to the Olympic Stadium when it reopens, it was announced today. The London Legacy Development Corporation board (LLDC) unanimously made the decision in favour of the Premier League club ahead of rivals from Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, UCFB College of Football Business and Leyton Orient.

LLDC chairman and London Mayor Boris Johnson said: 'We had four good bids, as everybody knows.

'The bid that has been ranked top is West Ham United. I am very pleased about that. 'It will, if it goes through, mean a football legacy for the stadium but there is still a lot of negotiation to go on between the LLDC and West Ham United about the terms of the deal.'

The choice of West Ham as tenants on a 99-year lease came after a bitter drawn-out battle with other businesses over who would be chosen to have the tenancy of the 80,000 seat arena.

Three men have been charged with fraud after claims that Tottenham Hotspurs hired private investigators to snoop on West Ham as the clubs battled over the Olympic Stadium. The trio are alleged to have accessed telephone bills and other private records of West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady illegally. They appeared before Westminster Magistrates Court on November 28, and had their case sent to Southwark Crown Court, where they are due to appear on February 1, 2013.

The north London club denied putting officials under surveillance. There is still plenty of hard talking to go on before West Ham move in, which is not likely to be until the 2016-17 season if it happens. The decision for it to go to the club, which has long been regarded as inevitable because of the lack of any other long-term financially viable options, comes with a number of expected caveats.

The Mayor, who did not elaborate during the two-hour meeting said: 'There’s a lot of negotiations still to go on with West Ham. If we can’t do a deal, the stadium will still have a fantastic future with plan B.

'But we have plenty of time to get in a football solution by 2016-17.' The Barclays Premier League club, who have offered £15million in cash plus a minimum £9m-a-year in rent and share of commercial revenues to help pay for the renovation costs, must also help to fill the funding gap in the building work  necessary to transform a track and field venue into a multi-sports arena.

The hole in the projected £150m finances necessary to install a new roof, retractable seating over the running track and corporate boxes is now less than £20m.  West Ham believe the overall building costs could be less in the current market with no tenders yet taking place for the work.

West Ham, with partners Newham Council, were initially successful in their bid for the stadium but the deal collapsed in October 2011 after challenges from Tottenham Hotspurs and Leyton Orient and an anonymous complaint to the European Commission.

There is still the fear of a fresh round of legal disputes over West Ham’s occupancy led by Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn, whose bid for a groundshare was turned down by the LLDC.

Hearn, who fears that Orient will go out of business within five years of West Ham moving into a stadium so close to the League One club, was waiting until today’s verdict before deciding on whether to legally challenge  the decision in the courts. Newham Council's contributions of over £60m to the funding adds to the complications.

It was their original deal with West Ham in 2011 that caused a legal wrangle, after a complaint was lodged to the European Parliament, claiming that Newham’s financial assistance was an illegal subsidy.

There is now a European Commission investigating state aid in football, but the LLDC is confident that the West Ham deal will pass the state aid test.

23rd March 2012

Four New Bids Received For Olympic Stadium

Four bids are on the table from firms wanting to become tenants of the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) confirmed today. West Ham United, which won the now-disbanded process to move to the stadium in Stratford, east London, after the London 2012 Games, is one of the bidders. An OPLC spokesman said: "We have received four bids from parties interested in using the stadium after the Games.

"The Legacy Company will shortly start its evaluation process, with the aim of announcing which concessionaires will occupy the stadium alongside athletics before the Games. "Legacy planning is further ahead than any previous Olympic host city. "The stadium will become the new national centre for athletics and host of the 2017 World Athletics Championships and we remain on course to reopen the stadium as a multi-purpose venue in 2014." The OPLC will start evaluating the four bids with the aim of making a decision before this summer's Games. By today's noon deadline for submissions, the 16 would-be bidders who had shown an interest at the start of this new process had gone down to four.

 

22nd March 2013

Historic day for the Hammers

West Ham will be anchor tenants for the Olympic Stadium after the government agreed to put in an extra £25m towards the costs of converting the venue. The additional money takes the Treasury's contribution to around £60m. Adapting the stadium could cost between £150m and £190m. But the deal was secured only after West Ham agreed to increase their own funding of the project by £5m, to £15m. They will move in from August 2016 and pay around £2m a year rent.

Under conversion plans, the roof will be extended and the seating capacity reduced from 80,000 to 60,000, with a retractable system allowing the venue to be converted from an athletics arena to football stadium within days.

Seats will slide over the running track to bring West Ham fans closer to the action. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will begin work on the roof in the autumn and officials hope it will be ready for the autumn of 2015 - in time for the Rugby World Cup. After that the stadium will close again to reconfigure the stadium's lower seating bowl and re-open in time for West Ham to start playing their games there in August 2016.

Although West Ham were appointed preferred bidders by the LLDC three months ago, there were still fears the agreement could collapse over how to finance the transformation of the stadium. Initially the club had been reluctant to pay anything, but over time they increased their contribution to £10m and are now prepared to pay £15m.

The rest of the money will be drawn from a range of sources, including London Mayor Boris Johnson's budget, a £40m loan from Newham Council and around £20m of borrowings by the LLDC.

To guarantee the 99-year lease, West Ham also had to agree to pay a proportion of any future sale of the club back to the LLDC.Johnson argued that the move into the stadium significantly enhanced West Ham's value and that the public purse should share in any profits generated from a sale by owners David Gold and David Sullivan.

In response, West Ham have agreed to pay a one-off windfall back to the LLDC if they sell the club in the next 10 years. West Ham say that is a sign of Gold and Sullivan's long-term commitment to the club. The deal will be a huge relief to the mayor and the government, who feared the stadium could become a major drain on taxpayers.

As well as £2m-a-year in rent, the club will share catering and hospitality revenue with LLDC but it is understood West Ham will take all ticket and merchandising income.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn is seeking a judicial review of the decision but the LLDC is confident that will not stall the process. Sources insist Hearn is contesting the LLDC's failure to do a joint deal with the Premier League team and Leyton Orient, rather than the decision to place West Ham in the stadium.

The LLDC and West Ham will now work together to sell the naming rights for the stadium to a major sponsor. Initial talks with the International Olympic Committee and the British Olympic Association have begun on whether they can use the word "Olympic" in any future naming of the venue. This is thought to be extremely unlikely unless the sponsor of the stadium is also one of the Olympic movement's big commercial partners.

West Ham were today confirmed as the future tenants of the Olympic stadium in a deal which takes the public cost of the venue to at least £600m. Months of wrangling over who will pay to make the arena suitable for football concluded with an agreement that will see the East End club kick off the 2016-17 season in Stratford. Chancellor George Osborne has agreed an extra £25m investment, with a £20m loan from the mayor, bringing the total the cost of adapting the venue after the Games to £160m - the vast majority from the public purse.

West Ham’s owners agreed to meet £15m towards the cost in return for a 99-year lease that will see the Premier League team play in Stratford.

The 80,000-seat venue will be reduced in capacity to 54,000, with temporary seats over the running track to improve spectators’ view, and a new roof. The stadium has proved the most difficult of the Olympic venues to sustain after the Games and mayor Boris Johnson took personal charge by installing himself boss the legacy body.

He said today: “This is a truly momentous milestone for London’s spectacular Olympic stadium ensuring its credible and sustainable future. Through this deal with West Ham United, we are defying the gloomsters who predicted this landmark would become a dusty relic.”

Karren Brady, vice chairman of West Ham, said the club had a “bright future” having swapped their 35,000-seat Upton Park home for Stratford. She said: “It was important to me that we struck a deal that would stand the test of time that represented the right deal for West Ham and our loyal and patient supporters. We will create a stunning new home that befits the pride, passion and tradition that the world associates with West Ham.”

West Ham were selected as “preferred bidder” last year and have been in talks with the freeholders, the mayor’s London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) over the club’s contribution to building costs and safeguards for the taxpayer if the owners sell up.

Owners David Gold and David Sullivan have agreed to make an windfall payment to the freeholders if they sell within a decade, although the details remain undisclosed.

West Ham will pay an annual £2m rent and take all receipts from tickets and merchandise, although they will share catering and hospitality revenues with the LLDC. A multi-million pound deal will be struck for the naming rights to the stadium with proceeds going to the legacy body which is confident of charging a premium because of the prestige of the site.

 

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn is seeking a judicial review of the decision but the LLDC is confident that will not stall the process. It is understood Hearn is contesting the LLDC’s failure to do a joint deal with the Premier League team and Leyton Orient, rather than the decision to place West Ham in the stadium.

West Ham will vacate the Olympic stadium during the summertime when the venue is used for athletics events. Local clubs and schools will have priority use of the stadium and warm-up athletics track in an agreement with Newham council which has a 35 per cent stake in the venue in return for a £40m loan.  

Today’s deal raises hopes that the stadium will be ready in time to host several matches as part of 2015 Rugby World cup. Rugby chiefs are expected to confirm next month that Stratford can play host to semi-final games in the autumn of 2015.

 

Building work will then resume after the rugby and be completed by spring 2016 with an athletics test event staged in the summer just weeks before West Ham kick off the 2016-17 season.

Stratford will play host to the World Athletics Championships in the summer of 2017 which means West Ham are likely to be forced to play away from home at the start of their second season in Stratford.

The mayor came under pressure today to clarify the potential exposure to London council taxpayers. Assembly member Andrew Boff said: “The Mayor must confirm who will be responsible for paying for the costs of converting the stadium to be fit for football. Londoners will want to know how much they will have to cough up, given the vast amounts that the tax payer has already contributed, and also how much West Ham will be contributing.”

The official cost of building the stadium is £429m. Estimates of the cost of conversion range between £160m and £200m. The Government will provide £60m (£35m from the Olympic budget and a further £25m unveiled today), with a £40m loan from Newham and a £20m loan from the LLDC. Legacy sources insist estimates contain a contingency cash which may not be needed.

West Ham seals the Olympic Stadium deal and will bid farewell to Upton Park

22nd March 2013

23rd April 2013

Olympic Stadium Supporter Poll

West Ham United are inviting supporters to have their say on the Club's move to the iconic Olympic Stadium as the Independent Supporter Consultation process gets underway from Tuesday (23rd April).

The Hammers have selected highly-respected pollster SMG YouGov to undertake the survey on their behalf, allowing the Club to fully engage with their supporters as they seek to create a stunning new home in the heart of east London. The poll will be split in two; the first part consists of educational material about the Olympic Stadium and the second part seeks to gather supporter opinions on the move.

West Ham were announced as the anchor concessionaire of the Olympic Stadium in March 2013 and plan to make it their new home following the transformation the central venue of 2012 London Olympic Games to a football stadium of the highest possible standard for the start of the 2016/17 season.

The converted stadium will be a UEFA Category 4 Stadium, boasting the largest-spanning tensile roof in the world and state-of-the-art retractable seating which will bring fans close to the action.

The consultation process will allow supporters to share their opinion on all aspects of the move, including their overall feelings towards it, giving both the club and its fans the ability to work together and make the most of the fantastic opportunity.

The consultation process will run from 23-30 April 2013 inclusively and will be open to a cross section of supporters aged 18 and over including Bond holders, Season Ticket holders, Academy members, Corporate members and match attenders. Supporters will receive emails on 23 April, which detail how they take part. All eligible supporters for whom we hold a valid email address will receive their invite during the course of the day.

West Ham United Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said: "The Supporter Consultation will be the first real chance we have had to garner the detailed thoughts of our wider supporter base about this massive move for our club.

"From the conversations we've been having with supporters it seems most are as excited about this proposal as we are, however we welcome and encourage feedback from all supporters whatever their viewpoint.

"We are grateful for the fans' patience and loyalty to help us get to this stage and now it's vitally important that everyone has their say as we look to develop a world-class new home for the Club and lead it towards an exciting future. This is every West Ham fan's chance to shape the club's future so it is imperative they don't miss out."

Frank Saez, Managing Director of SMG Insight-YouGov, added: "SMG YouGov is delighted to have been chosen to provide the independent supporter consultation solution to West Ham United.

"Our role in the process is to provide supporters with the vehicle to share their attitudes towards the move to the Olympic Stadium. We will ensure that the process is transparent, robust and fair and that the opinions of a wide cross-section of fans are taken.

"Once the survey is complete we will collate their responses and provide a selection of the key stats to the Club to publish on its media channels."

YouGov

26th April 2013

Judicial Review

West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium overcame its final hurdle when Leyton Orient's application for a judicial review of the process was thrown out. However Orient chairman Barry Hearn may still pursue legal action against the Premier League.

19th September 2013

West Ham United have responded to the decision to not grant permission for a judicial review

West Ham United welcome the decision to not grant permission for a judicial review into the LLDC's process that awarded the Club the opportunity to make the Olympic Stadium its home in 2016. Although the application for a judicial review would not have had any impact on West Ham United's move to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Club have always believed the process was robust, fair and transparent.

The Club and other key stakeholders in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park can now focus fully on progressing their groundbreaking plans to create a stunning venue of which the whole country can be proud, alongside a long-lasting and tangible Olympic legacy with a real community club at its core.

West Ham United will continue its consultation with supporters to ensure the Hammers' new home is the pride of east London and the envy of the rest of the footballing world.

19th September 2013

Leyton Orient lose latest Olympic Stadium court battle as judicial review refused

Leyton Orient have lost the latest battle in their fight for a share of the Olympic Stadium in London. The League One club claimed that the London Legacy Development Corporation was wrong to award sole tenancy of the stadium to West Ham, and their bosses wanted the High Court to intervene.

Lawyers representing Leyton Orient asked a High Court judge to give the club the go-ahead to pursue a judicial review of the corporation's decision. They outlined arguments to Mr Justice Lewis at a hearing in London. But the judge, who also heard arguments from lawyers representing the corporation and West Ham, refused to allow Leyton Orient to pursue a judicial review.

10th February 2014

West Ham United agree the sale of the Boleyn Ground to local developer Galliard Group

West Ham United confirm that Award-Winning local London developer Galliard Group has reached an agreement to purchase the Boleyn Ground Football Stadium once the Club completes its move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016.

Following a competitive bidding process, West Ham United selected Galliard Group as the purchaser for the site ahead of a number of other national and international companies. The Club was impressed with Galliard Group's links to the local community and their commitment to honouring the history of the Hammers at the Boleyn Ground as part of their proposed development.

West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: "We opted to reach an agreement with Galliard because they are a local London developer and employer with origins in east London. We know they are committed to working closely with the local community and Newham Council on proposals to transform the site into a residential and retail village, which will benefit the local community and east London's regional economy. The deal demonstrates that we have been true to our word by securing the regeneration of two areas of east London through our move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016.

For the Record Ground

20th August 2015

Fans' petition calling for public inquiry into West Ham's Olympic Stadium deal nears 10,000 signatures

A petition calling for a public inquiry into the deal struck by West Ham over its future rental of the Olympic Stadium is close to 10,000 signatures in 24 hours.

The petition, set up by fans of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs, needs to reach 10,000 names to prompt an official response from the government and 100,000 to be considered for debate in parliament.

Its supporting statement reads: "West Ham has only contributed £15m towards the £272m conversion costs of the Olympic Stadium, with the taxpayer footing the rest of the bill.

"Considering the cost to the taxpayer, and the effect of this taxpayer subsidy on competition between clubs, a full public inquiry into the deal is needed.

"On top of the minimal conversion contribution, West Ham has been allowed to keep the sale proceeds of their current stadium, valued at £71m. Rental is £2.5m a year, halving should WHU be relegated.

"Taxpayers will cover the costs of stadium utilities, security, pitch maintenance, goalposts and corner flags - estimated to be worth £1.4m - £2.5m a year. Public money should be used responsibly, and in a way which does not distort the competitiveness of independent sports bodies and businesses."

 

4th September 2015

Government responded

West Ham United has a concession at the Stadium and their contributions reflect that status. The contract, awarded after an open public competition, has been widely scrutinised and tested in court.

 

Read the response in full

Following the completion of its transformation programme the Stadium will be - unlike so many previous Olympic Stadiums - a world-class multi-use arena with a long-term future, and one that won’t require continuous support from the taxpayer. The stadium remains in public ownership (E20 Stadium LLP – a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council) and the profits from its multiple uses will flow to the taxpayer.

 

As a long-term concessionaire West Ham United will only access the full stadium facilities for and shortly ahead of home matches, anticipated to be an average of 25 games a year. The stadium’s other anchor concession-holder, British Athletics, has a concession for one month a year. The stadium will be available for commercial and other uses at all times outside of these existing commitments.

 

The Stadium is a multi-use venue, which has already hosted a major athletics meet this year, the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, and will host a range of other events in 2015 including five matches during the Rugby World Cup this autumn, a Rugby League international between England and New Zealand and the Race of Champions motorsport event. In addition the Stadium will host elite athletics including the IAAF and IPC Athletics World Championships in 2017.

 

A world class stadium operator has been appointed and it is part of the operator agreement that the Stadium will host concerts and other events.

 

None of these events will financially benefit West Ham United. All revenues from these events will be shared by the operator and the Stadium owners. The stadium operator has a proven international track record of success in managing and maximising revenue from multi-use stadia and is contractually incentivised to generate maximum income.

 

The agreement with West Ham United, including their contribution to transformation costs and rent, followed an open competitive process, which was delivered under EU rules, conducted visibly and exposed to significant scrutiny. The outcome has been tested in the courts and upheld. As the winning bid this constituted the best available return for the taxpayer and secures the commercial viability of a national asset for the next 100 years.

 

The European Commission (EC) is responsible for assessing whether public investment distorts the competitive market. The EC has considered this issue on more than one occasion and has done so with full sight of the contractual terms, comprehensive detail of the tender exercise and in depth legal opinion on compliance with UK and EU law. It has found no case to answer. Therefore we do not believe that a public inquiry is necessary.

 

The detail of the rental agreement between the Stadium owners and West Ham United is commercially sensitive. Disclosing details of the contract would undermine the future negotiating position of the Stadium's operator, Vinci, who are working hard to bring in future events to get the greatest possible return and ensure that the Stadium is a commercial success.

 

It is important that the stadium owners and operator are able to negotiate future contracts in a way that derive maximum value and are not constrained by any one agreement. Such arrangements are standard practice and are designed to both protect the previous public expenditure and maximise the return on this investment.

 

Department for Culture, Media and Sport