Hammers make stadium claim

03 April 2012 / 19:24

West Ham claim that moving to the Olympic Stadium is the only way that they will be able to develop in to a major player in English football again.

Two weeks ago the Hammers, who were relegated to the npower Championship last season, declared that they had renewed their application to move to the Olympic Stadium after their original bid collapsed in the wake of complaints from Tottenham and Leyton Orient.

The Hammers have now had to apply for a 99-year lease of the London 2012 showpiece in Stratford, which will be converted in to a 60,000-seater stadium following the Games, after the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) reopened the bidding process.

Some fans are against the move, mainly because the OPLC insist the running track must remain as it was part of organisers' commitment to provide the capital with a post-Games athletics legacy.

Having inherited a club saddled with £100million of debt, co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are keen to bring in more money to the club and the Hammers' marketing director Tara Warren today insisted moving to Stratford was crucial to the east London outfit's development.

She said: "It's an opportunity that we think is too good to miss and it's the only way that the club can really grow. This is the only way we can move to the next level.

"We wouldn't be doing this if this wasn't going to benefit us commercially.

"It will do that and it will improve our stability. It will improve our profile as a club on a global stage.

"There are many financial benefits associated with the move.

"We have twice the capacity for general admission, we have increased hospitality opportunities and we would benefit from the profile of this new fantastic stadium."