Imperfect, Impractical And Immoral, The Olympic Stadium Fiasco Holds A Mirror Up To The True Values Of British Sport

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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18 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    One thing hidden amongst all the cockfighting of who whether West Ham or Spurs should Franchise themselves into Leyton Orient’s territory, is the cost of the stadium, and who foots the bill.

    Do West Ham buy the stadium at cost price, or for a reduced fee at the end of the Olympics – nope, it appears that Londoners will continue to pay for the building of West Ham’s new stadium, through their council tax until 2017.

    No wonder Karren Brady sounded as smug as she did in her newspaper column.

  2. If multi-million pound football clubs playing in a billion pound league want new grounds they ought to pay for it. If West Ham (and/or Spurs) want the Olympic ground they ought to pay full price.
    I think it ought to stay a 25,000 seater track and field facility. Let the UK track organization figure out a way to pay for its upkeep. They can find groups willing to fill the ground for other events.

  3. Tolkny says:

    ++It seems impossible to believe that the parachuting of a Premier League football club into a site barely a couple of miles from their ground will not negatively impact upon them to a massive effect and it is to the shame of the Football Association and the Premier League that existing rules designed to stop clubs moving into the direct territory of another club. Leyton Orient, it feels, aren’t fashionable enough for anybody in control of these matters to care very much about.++

    A good review but the intent of the quoted section is unclear. The Premier League HAVE already broken their own rules, by approving such a move. They have also not provided any explanation beyond a statement quoted from Peter Scudamore in the Daily Mail to the effect that Barry Hearn should have complained louder, particularly about the Spurs bid.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-1349930/CHARLES-SALE-Leyton-Orient-chairman-Barry-Hearn-bays-Olympic-Stadium.html

    Peter Scudamore is quoted as saying If Hearn had complained as much about Spurs as he has about West ham both would have been blocked, that does not explain why both have been approved!

    Also it is less than one mile from Orient to The Olympic Stadium and I estimate that once direct access across the Olympic Park site is possible it is unlikely to take longer than 15 minutes to walk there from the Council Sponsored, traditionally named ‘Leyton Stadium’ that is the home of Leyton Orient which is adjacent to the independent Community Sports Project that operates under the banner of ‘Leyton Orient’ and has strong links and encouragement from the football club.

    Sadly the criteria of the Olympic Park Legacy Company do not say anything about avoiding damage to the sporting and community legacy that already exists, which in Orient’s case has already lasted for 130 years!

  4. Martin says:

    The whole thing is one long unedifying bunlight between people who would sell their own grandmothers for sixpence.

    Leyton Orient RIP.

  5. CTT says:

    Superb article – worth of a ‘blogitzer’ prize or something.

    Excellent ’90s Guardian’ style headline too!

  6. Pedantic Wanker says:

    1) The stadium is less than 1 mile from Orient’s home ground.

    2) The LB of Haringey is spelled with an ‘e’. [Harringay with two 'r's and an 'a' is an area on the other side of Haringey from Tottenham.]

  7. Rob says:

    Whilst I don’t like that the Olympic Stadium has been moved in on by the Premier League as if it should have some sort of birth-right to any large stadium, I do have some sympathy with West Ham. The problem for London clubs is that the geography and economics of London makes movement and ground development a nightmare. After all, the distance that West Ham are moving is only 3.5 miles – this is only 1 mile further than Leyton Orient are from the ground, and indeed Google Maps suggests an equal driving time. The clubs will still be further apart than, say, Notts County and Notts Forest.

    By comparison, Southampton and Bolton have both moved between 3 and 5 miles over the last 20 years to little fanfare indeed, I’d argue that Bolton’s move was much more of a betrayal than West Ham’s. Ultimately, the club has stayed in East London, which is their ‘town’. By contrast, Bolton moved out to Middlebrook and Spurs wanted to migrate from North London to East London.

  8. Rob (2) says:

    BTW, just noticed the first poster also took the name ‘Rob'; we are different people!

  9. Martin says:

    Rob, the pure distances involved aren’t the biggest factor. A meaningful dialogue with the people who pay for everything – the fans – should be the most important factor.

    Moving to Horwich didn’t seem to annoy Bolton fans as much as it would have done some, possibly because of the obvious potential progression it represented. But as Spurs can’t realistically get much higher without more crazy competition-destroying foreign backing (they turned down Abramovich remember) their fans reacted to a similar move differently.

    The feelings of Spurs, West Ham and Orient fans have been scandalously ignored by this whole circus.

  10. Dermot O'Dreary says:

    This whole saga reflects very poorly on football in England in 2011

  11. Steve says:

    Excellent article Ian – and some excellent comments too. No doubt someone will be along soon to tell us we’re just jealous.

    The fact that nobody is prepared to disclose how much rent the tenant will be paying is also a scandal. The poorest council in London will loan West Ham money at a time of implementing some savage cuts. This won’t turn out to be good for West Ham, but it’s undoubtedly great for the contemptible Sullivan, Gold and Brady .

  12. kt says:

    Did I miss the bit where you say what you’d have done?

  13. Lee says:

    Why do Leyton Orient get so overlooked?

    Leyton Orient have a press conference planned for Wednesday, where Barry Hearn will announce his legal team will put forward a case for compensation or try to stop the move of a, for now Premiership team moving in on Leyton Orients patch. its disgusting Leyton Orient doesnt even get mentioned!

    Go Barry Hearn you & your legal team have a great case, if it happens you should be compensated Millions if you are forced out of your home you have been playing football at for last 130+ years!!!

    Just because Orient are in lower division, doesnt mean West Ham can just walk in & kick them out!

    Anyway by the tme West Ham move in to OS they will be a championship or div1 side with 10k fans in a 60k stadium where you will need binoculars to see whats going on & Orient will be an established Championship team playing in Harlow under new name Harlon Orient in front of 15k fans week in week out.

    Today was the day West Ham United died as a football club!

  14. Lee says:

    Why do Leyton Orient get so overlooked?

    Leyton Orient have a press conference planned for Wednesday, where Barry Hearn will announce his legal team will put forward a case for compensation or try to stop the move of a, for now Premiership team moving in on Leyton Orients patch. its disgusting Leyton Orient doesnt even get mentioned!

    Go Barry Hearn you & your legal team have a great case, if it happens you should be compensated Millions if you are forced out of your home you have been playing football at for last 130+ years!!!

    Just because Orient are in lower division, doesnt mean West Ham can just walk in & kick them out!

    Anyway by the tme West Ham move in to OS they will be a championship or div1 side with 10k fans in a 60k stadium where you will need binoculars to see whats going on & Orient will be an established Championship team playing in Harlow under new name Harlow Orient in front of 15k fans week in week out.

    Today was the day West Ham United died as a football club!

  15. Micky F says:

    Don’t know why everyone is so surprised about the F.A. allowing a Premier League team to parachute itself into another club’s area, they allowed the same thing to happen with MK Dongs. The plastics have been trying to steal support away from Luton and Northampton ever since they moved in.

  16. Mark says:

    Any West Ham fan that cannot work out that a Premier League team that receives a gift of a 60000 stadium (more than double their normal gate), right on the doorstep of a club that attracts less than 5000 per match, is going to have an adverse effect on the smaller club, clearly has the IQ of the average amoeba.

    Perhaps they would like to consider this scenario. Let’s move Manchester United into the Olympic Stadium, and make the capacity 120000 i.e. double their normal gate. I wonder who would be squealing then. Somehow, I don’t think Karen Brady would be quite so smug in that scenario.

  17. Arteee says:

    Just looked on a map of London and West Ham are actually the closest football team.

  1. February 10, 2011

    [...] That out the way, I have to admit I’m not impressed with the club’s manoeuvres and machinations in the Olympic stadium saga. [...]

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