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West Ham wins backing of Olympic bosses for 2012 stadium Special

By Kev Hedges     Feb 9, 2011 in Sports
Stratford - East London football club West Ham United have beaten Tottenham Hotspur's bid to play football at the newly built Olympic Stadium. A Spurs fan discusses his reaction to the decision.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) decided West Ham's bid, which would see them retain the athletics track, was better than Tottenham's. The preferred bidder announcement will be officially made on Friday following London mayor, Boris Johnson and the government's expected announcement to back the OPLC's decision. It is unlikely they will overturn the recommendation.
West Ham, currently bottom of the Premier League, have told the company they would retain the athletics track and use the stadium as a venue for other sports and concerts. Tottenham had wanted to dismantle part of the stadium and rip-up the athletics track, reports UK Wired.
The Tottenham bid proposal has faced huge criticism from the athletics world, MPs and even a large majority of Tottenham's fans. A campaign to stay in the N17 postcode by We Are N17 stated: Any move to Stratford [in east London's E15 postcode] would be detrimental to future of the football club and its long heritage to remain in north London.
It was only yesterday that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy told talksport radio: "All I would say is that Stratford is where we want to go and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to get us there."
Lifelong Spurs fan Ray Hilliard told me on Skype that Levy's determination to move to Stratford showed how little he cared for the club, "Tottenham fans do need a bigger stadium but it has to be within our borough. Our home is in N17 and any attempt to move us away from there just goes to show that the chairman and the board don't care about the club and its history. They are only motivated by money, first and foremost."
Tottenham's current ground at White Hart Lane holds 35,800 and Mr Levy says more than 36,000 people are on the waiting list to get a season ticket. I asked Mr Hilliard what is the alternative plan now?
"We need to progress with the Northumberland Park development plan. I say, congratulations to West Ham, they will enjoy having the best stadium in the Championship league".
Q: Would you have still supported the club if they had moved to Stratford.
A: Yes, I could not possibly have changed my team having supported them since I was six. But I would not know how I would've dealt with the constant jibes from rival fans saying things like "Are you watching Stratford Hotspur this weekend?"
Q: Today's decision by the OPLC has been good for everybody all round except for Daniel Levy hasn't it?
A: For most, yes. Levy did not consult the fans and failed to ask them what they wanted. It was that lack of consultation that so angered those who opposed the move.
Tottenham's claims that they could deliver the best plans for London were released in an article on its website. I also tweeted some members on the We Are N17 twitter page. The general consensus is that no discussions, or plans to discuss, with the fans were ever a priority in its decision to move the club.
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