West Ham close the door on any Tottenham move to share ground

She did not directly name Spurs – who had wanted to move to the stadium themselves – but West Ham’s vice-chairman Karren Brady left no-one in any doubt who she was referring to at a media conference on Tuesday to announce West Ham’s new hospitality facilities when the club move from the 110-year-old Boleyn Ground in two years’ time.

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After explaining that one of the prime concerns for West Ham was that the stadium, being reconfigured after hosting the Olympic Games in 2012, should look and feel like West Ham’s own home, she was asked if another club could play there on alternate Saturdays.

“In reality they probably could,” she answered. “But only with our permission, and no-one has asked us for permission. And even if they had, we would probably say no, depending on who it is — if you catch my drift,” she replied, pointedly.

“We are the anchor tenant for the winter matches and nothing else can happen in that time without our permission, and our football matches take priority over everything else.”

Now that Leyton Orient’s legal challenge to share the ground has ended, and given that Spurs will be needing a temporary home at the time, there was no-one else she could have been referring to.

ACRIMONIOUS CHALLENGE

West Ham’s plans to move to the stadium were challenged by Tottenham in an acrimonious legal battle three years ago before the Olympic Park Legacy Company decided that West Ham should be the anchor tenants.

Tottenham, meanwhile, have concentrated their efforts on building a new 58,000-capacity stadium, adjacent to their current White Hart Lane home, but building work is expected to be delayed for up to a year because of a High Court challenge to a compulsory purchase order that gave the green light for construction to begin.

Despite the animosity created by Spurs’ attempt to move to the Olympic Stadium, it was suggested that Spurs could share the stadium, or even use West Ham’s old vacant ground, but neither of those proposals are viable ones.

Brady, meanwhile, said the new stadium would enable West Ham to create the revenue for the club to consistently challenge for a top-six finish in the Premier League and to enjoy an eventual return to European football.

Announcing what West Ham have called “Club London” — the most luxurious members’ club in the city, according to their publicity handout — she said: “This is an incredibly exciting milestone for us, as it is the first announcement on the way to revealing our world-class plans for the new stadium.

“The details released today show that we have been true to our word in that the new-look stadium will look and feel like West Ham’s home.”

Tottenham announced they would need to move away from White Hart Lane while their new stadium was being built and needed to find a temporary home for either the 2016-17 or the 2017-18 season, or both.

Stadium MK, the home of League One club Milton Keynes Dons, is 55 miles (88.5 kilometres) from Tottenham but appears to be one option, while Wembley is another.

The Olympic Stadium had been another option, but that has clearly now ended, with Arsenal’s home at the Emirates another highly unlikely one for obvious reasons.

(Editing by Martyn Herman)

Posted by at 26/06/2019
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