Belfast Telegraph

Brady reiterates Hammers stance

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has warned that Britain's reputation in the sporting world would take a big hit if Tottenham won the right to move to the Olympic Stadium.

West Ham are committed to hosting athletics meetings in the refurbished stadium after the Games if they win the bid, and will keep the running track, while Spurs plan to tear down the stadium and rebuild a 60,000-seater football ground in its place. Tottenham insist they are committed to keeping Britain's promise to create a post-Games athletics legacy by refurbishing Crystal Palace.

But Brady denied those suggestions, saying "On 6 July 2005, (when Britain won the right to host the 2012 Olympics) a promise was made in the Queen's name. We believe in that promise and we believe in legacy. It's important for the UK's credibility as a sporting nation - especially in the wake of the 2018 FIFA World Cup disappointment - to keep that promise."

Brady claimed on Monday Spurs' plans to rip down the £537million stadium were a "corporate crime".

She re-iterated that stance by saying: "Pulling down the stadium would also waste half a billion pounds in taxpayers' money."

Tottenham have defended their plan to remove the athletics track by insisting retaining it would kill the atmosphere inside the stadium.

Hammers legend Paolo Di Canio, who played for the Hammers between 1999 and 2003, has spent a large part of his career playing for Lazio in Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

The 72,000-capacity stadium in the Italian capital has a running track around it and Di Canio insists the atmosphere inside the Olympic Stadium will be just as good if West Ham move there in 2014.

He said: "Having played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for Lazio which also had a running track, the atmosphere has always been fantastic.

"I am certain the passion of the West Ham supporters will create just as much of an amazing atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford as they do at Upton Park."


From Belfast Telegraph