Tag: West Ham United

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

Read More

Match Of The Week: Sunderland 1-0 West Ham United

They could have been forgiven for believing that they had turned a corner, of sorts. Going into this afternoon’s match at the Stadium Of Light, West Ham United had won two straight matches following a run of just one win since the end of September. Now that this particular semi-inflated balloon has been pricked, though, a feeling of claustrophobia has begun to lower itself upon the Boleyn Ground this evening following a defeat at Sunderland that leaves West Ham back at the bottom of the Premier League. While they are still in touch with the pack of clubs above them (they could yet be out of the relegation places by Christmas), this season long ago started to take the feel of a relegation season. Recent messages from the club regarding Avram Grant’s future at the club had been mixed, with talk of his position being untenable being coupled with a statement from Karren Brady to the extent that Grant would not be replaced, even if relegated come the end of this season, should they have failed to beat Wigan Athletic last weekend. They managed this and followed it up by thrashing a second string Manchester United in the League Cup during the week. This may have left Grant feeling a little more secure than he was eight or nine days ago, but the fragility of such confidence was in...

Read More

Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and The Olympic Stadium

A week ago, it all seemed to be just about decided. A public meeting with Haringey Council ended with a vote that was unanimously in favour of the planning proposals for the new Tottenham Hotspur on a site adjacent to their current ground on White Hart Lane. The plans now only have to be signed off by the Mayor of London in order to be able to begin. Spurs supporters were understandably jubilant. The new ground would bring critical redevelopment to one of the most run down quarters of North London and would might perhaps finally bring out the latent Spurs support, which has long since been frozen out of the old White Hart Lane’s relatively meagre 36,000 capacity. Within seven days, however, there are question marks over whether Spurs might actually be more interested in moving to the Olympic Stadium, a move that has been framed by a very, very public exchange of words with the owners of West Ham United. Indeed, many are now wondering aloud whether Spurs’ interest in White Hart Lane might have been engineered for the benefit of both parties. Earlier this week, some curious headlines started to appear in the press suggesting that the Olympic Stadium was starting to gain ground as at the very least a back-up plan, should anything go wrong with the plans to redevelop the White Hart Lane site....

Read More