Tag: West Ham United

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

If, as seems likely, the decision to grant the post-2012 use of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford to West Ham United is rubber-stamped over the next few weeks, we should perhaps pause for a moment to consider what the decision says about the state of English sport at the start of the new century. For the last few weeks, we have seen an unseemly attempt at a land grab between two large sporting organisations who both seemed to cherish one thing above all else – a site in East London with outstanding transport links, a relative rarity in London, that was available on the cheap. Money, as ever, trumped all other concerns. The Olympic legacy, a central part of the reason why the games are being held in London in the first place, were put firmly on the back burner and the future of the football club nearest to Stratford feels a little less certain today after the parachuting in of one of the game’s behemoths, but very few people seem to care very much about that. In thrall to the twin false gods of Mammon and the Premier League, the timbre of the debate on the subject had a thoroughly modern feel to it, yet both the Spurs and West Ham bids had the feel of being thoroughly imperfect for completely different reasons. The one aspect of the...

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91 Years Of Football Through 7 Players: From Leeds United, 1920 to West Ham, 2011

An article on the front page of the When Saturday Comes website bemoaned the airbrushing from history of anything from before the beginning of the Premier League, but the time-line of football is considerably more textured than this. With this is mind (and from a post on the WSC forum, which is probably the best place on the internet to discuss football), here is a rambling six degrees of speculation. From Leeds United’s first season in the Football League to West Ham United vs Blackpool in the Premier League on the 2nd February 2011 in seven players. Feel free to have a go at this in the comments and knock mine into a proverbial cocked hat. Centre-half Ernie Hart joined Leeds United in September 1920, a year after they were formed. He was a regular in that team – he left Leeds in 1936 – alongside… …Jack Milburn (cousin of Jackie), who signed for Leeds in November 1928. Jack was in the Leeds team until the outbreak of war in 1939, and in January 1938 Leeds signed the sixteen year-old winger… …David Cochrane, who went straight into the first team and became a regular himself. David’s career was interrupted by the war, but he re-signed for Leeds after it and, in April 1949, he played alongside… …John Charles, who played for Leeds for nine years, before going to Juventus...

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A Rant Or Three

While I was ‘away’ at the Asian Cup, English football ‘personalities’ maintained their capacity to infuriate – through stinking hypocrisy as much as the usual pig ignorance. Brady Everybody on the planet bar a couple of Buddhist monks in Bhutan (only a couple, mind) has had their say on Andy Gray’s and Richard Keys’ departures from SKY. So I feel almost duty-bound to join in, late though I am. Although at the risk of upsetting a few feminists who aren’t concentrating (a risk I’ve taken before), Karren Brady is the source of my ire. At least the Key/Gray sackings haven’t been turned into ‘Graygate’ or ‘Keygate.’ And the “only a bit of banter” excuse has been well and truly squashed. But Brady’s attempted climb to the moral high ground fell ay base camp. As well as being unoriginal and unfunny (“perhaps Richard thought I was too busy making the tea and washing up to take his call”), Brady’s suggestion that she refused to take Keys’ call of apology because she was “heavily occupied with the West Ham and Newham Olympic Stadium bid” doesn’t wash. How long would it take to tell Keys to shove his apology where the sun doesn’t shine because he wasn’t sorry for his views, just for getting caught airing them? I’ve just timed it. Admittedly, I speak quickly. But it took me ten seconds –...

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The Olympic Stadium’s Legacy Must Be As It Was Intended

The final submissions, then, are complete and now comes the waiting game. The tug of war over the Olympic Stadium has become one of the more unseemly events of the football season so far, a desperate battle for a piece of land that very few people involved in football had a great deal of interest until it became clear that there was a chance of building a vast, new stadium there on the (relatively) cheap. With an open letter issued by a group of former British Olympians stating that removing the track from the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 games would mean that the stadium would, “effectively become an Olympic Stadium with NO Olympic connection or legacy”, the question of whether Premier League football should be muscling in on what was supposed to be a legacy for British athletics is one that has finally become something of an issue over the last few days, and this is a question that should be at the forefront of the minds of those making the final decision over this issue. Tottenham Hotspur’s bid for the stadium seems to have little going for it other than that they will get a new stadium for £200m less than if they stay in N17 (which is questionable in itself) and the fact that they will be able to turn an operating profit from it. How...

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Spurs And The Olympic Stadium: Stratford Hotspur Or A New Beginning?

Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club are well-versed in the history of where their club comes from. The stories of grammar boys meeting under gaslight on a street corner are well woven into the fabric that makes up the history of the club, but the question that their supporters are now asking is not where they have come from, but where they will go going to in the near future. For a long time, it felt as if their move in the Olympic Stadium, five miles from White Hart Lane to Stratford, was either an attempt to lever concessions from the bodies involved in their already-public redevelopment plans to rebuild their existing ground or as a back-up plan for if they ran into difficulties over what was presumed to be their Plan A. Over the last few weeks, though, it has started to become increasingly clear that the owners of the club are serious about this move, and it is threatening to divide the club’s support in a season that, on the pitch at least, could yet end up being their most successful in decades. From the perspective of the club itself, a move to the Olympic Stadium makes pure, economic sense. The redevelopment of the White Hart Lane site will be expensive, in no small measure on account of the work required to be done the area immediately...

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