Soccer

Friday 1 August 2014

Hammers stay out of stadium talks

Published 18/11/2013|20:31

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A House of Lords report was published recommending that the clubs work together to resolve the Olympic Stadium issue

West Ham believe Leyton Orient need to hold discussions directly with the London Legacy Development Corporation without involving them if they are to come to a satisfactory solution over the Olympic Stadium.

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A House of Lords report was published on Tuesday which recommended the two clubs work together and even suggests the League One side be granted occasional use of the stadium, something they have long been pushing for.

It adds another layer to what has been a seemingly interminable saga over who would move into the stadium and one that twisted this way and that for years before negotiations ended in March this year with the LLDC signing off West Ham as anchor tenants.

The agreement saw the Barclays Premier League club take on a 99-year lease, with the stadium to be transformed into a 60,000-seater venue in time for the 2016-17 season.

While Orient chairman Barry Hearn wants there to be three-way talks between the two clubs and the LLDC, for West Ham any discussions should be just between the League One club and the LLDC which owns and manages the stadium.

"Looking forward, our focus is solely on creating a stunning new home for the club and its supporters in 2016, alongside a long-term legacy for the community of east London," a spokesman for the Premier League club said.

"What goes on with other interested parties is very much a matter for (Leyton Orient) and the LLDC and not West Ham United.

"We welcome the committee's comments and are happy the House of Lords have recognised that West Ham United's selection will ensure the stadium reaches its full legacy potential."

Orient welcomed the report and on their website a statement from Hearn read: "I agree with the House of Lords recommendation - ourselves, West Ham and the LLDC should sit down and work this out together once and for all.

"Leyton Orient is a local club which undertakes a huge amount of community work in one of the poorest areas in London.

"It has been said that Orient did not bid enough to cover its costs of using the stadium, but we were bidding within our means and against ourselves - we do not know what the LLDC want from us because they will not tell us.

"So we ask them again, publicly, to say what we have to pay to share the stadium, a national asset which is on our doorstep.

"We are writing to the LLDC seeking a meeting so that we can have an open and transparent discussion about what part we can play in the future use of the Olympic Stadium."

A spokesman for the LLDC was not immediately available for comment.

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