Clegg backing stadium move
IPSWICH Town chief executive Simon Clegg is backing a move that could see West Ham play at the new Olympic Stadium in east London.
IPSWICH TOWN: Blues chief executive Simon Clegg is backing a move that could see West Ham play at the new Olympic Stadium in east London.
Former chief executive of the British Olympic Association and a prime mover in the 2012 Games coming to London, Clegg wants to see the stadium used for football after the Games are over.
He said: “There are other options but I’m convinced that the best possible long-term solution and the least drain on the public purse is a football club going in and operating as the anchor tenant.
“West Ham is just up the road and in need of a suitable facility, and it looks like a very good solution.
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“I have been in contact with West Ham and offered them my support in any possible move.”
An athletics track would have to remain as part of a commitment made during the bid phase to the International Olympic Committee.
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“That was a big commitment we made as part of the host city contract and that has to be delivered,” added Clegg. “They would have to retain the athletics track.”
The plan is to take the stadium capacity down from 80,000 to around 25,000 although this is flexible with Clegg adding that no long-term plans were made when the deal was struck to bring the Games to England.
He went on: “We hadn’t decided what the long-term legacy was going to be for the stadium with the athletics track as an integral part of it.
“There are several national athletics tracks around the country and quite rightly UK Athletics want to spread the competitions around the country.
“They also have their National High Performance Centre down the road at Pickett’s Lock in the borough of Enfield so they could not become the sole anchor tenant for the stadium.
“Therefore it’s going to have to be a shared facility and it seems to me that football is the primary user of large stadia in this country and West Ham fit the bill.”