Fresh delay on Olympic stadium

By Giles Broadbent on October 16, 2012 12:07 PM |


The dream of West Ham to take over the iconic Olympic Stadium continues to recede with a decision over a new tenant delayed yet again.

The stumbling block appears to be the £160million bill to convert the stadium into a venue suitable for football, notably with retractable seating.

The board of the London Legacy Development Corporation met on Monday but was told that negotiations with the club had yet to reach a conclusion. It seems increasingly likely that if a deal is done, it will not begin before the 2014-15 season, a year later than originally planned when the bid was first entered.

West Ham co-owner David Gold said: "Sadly the decision on the Olympic Stadium has been postponed. We must be patient but resolute."

While the next fortnight has been earmarked as the timetable for a conclusive decision, LLDC chief exective said that it was more likely to take a couple of months.

The stadium has been a thorny issue since a joint bid by Newham Council and West Ham was abandoned after legal objections centring on the use of public funds.

Since then the tortured tug-of-war between the needs of football and the athletics legacy, as well as the money, have elongated the decision-making process.