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2013-03-22T10:03:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:04:51

Board welcome Stadium decision

West Ham United Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold and Vice-Chairmen Karren Brady have welcomed the decision to name the Hammers as anchor tennants for the Olympic Stadium.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed that the club will move into a world-class UEFA category 4, 54,000-seater Stadium for the start of the 2016/17 season, with negotiations between West Ham and other relevant parties having come to a successful conclusion.

The decision to make the Olympic Stadium West Ham's new home was confirmed at a press conference held at Forman's Fish Island, the historic smoked salmon factory which is the closest restaurant to the iconic London 2012 venue.

Joint-Chairman David Sullivan said: "We really feel privileged to be going into this stadium. We realise how important it is for east London and the community.

"We've had 13 sell-out games in a row at Upton Park and we desperately need a bigger stadium to make football affordable for all and we will be continuing our policies of 'Kids for a Quid' and half-price games for adults. We want football to be affordable for the ordinary working-class man and not just the corporate people and that's why we want a bigger stadium.

"With the retractable seats on the running track, it really will feel the part. The sight-lines are better than Wembley so it will be a smashing stadium in the end.

"I would just like to thank Boris because he and his people fought us very hard over everything but I think it's ended up being a great deal for everyone. I know it's a cliché, but I think this is a win-win situation for London, for the legacy and for West Ham United Football Club.

"Hopefully, in five or six years' time, when we've got the increased revenue from this stadium, we can be a force to be reckoned with. It's the only way forward for the club and it's fantastic for everybody.

"I would like to thank Karren, who has done 98 per cent of the work on this. I've just come in at the end and had a 'Thank you' from Boris but really it has been Karren's work!"

David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady

Joint-Chairman David Gold said: "This is very exciting. I'm absolutely thrilled at the news that we've signed this deal today - particularly that it was done while I am still young because I thought this would go on indefinitely.

"It's a new exciting future for West Ham and I think this is a great deal for London and for the country. I think this will generate jobs when the stadium is renovated and made fit for purpose and of course there will be ongoing jobs in the future.

"I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Karren Brady and her team, who have been absolutely magnificent throughout. They have burnt the midnight oil and without them this deal wouldn't have been done.

"David Sullivan has driven this and driven us to what is a momentous day for West Ham United Football Club.

"This is the fulfilment of a dream and it's our intention to be at this football club, and I hate using the 'D' word, until we die. There is every possibility that we would hand over the ownership of this great football club to our children. It's very important to us to continue the stewardship of this club and then pass it on to our children."

Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: "The first and most-important aspect of this deal from our point of view was the fact that this was a world-class football stadium that has the right sight-lines. It is a UEFA Category 4, which is the highest that you can get and that doesn't only mean that it can host West Ham matches, but hopefully one day it can host World Cup matches and other big international tournaments.

"Anyone who thinks we got a free ride, we most certainly haven't. We want to pay our way and accept that we have to pay our way and the two owners of West Ham have been very clear on that. We will put in a lump-sum and pay a rent that will cover most of the running costs and then we will share naming rights and other revenues.

"We accept that the cost of making it a world-class stadium is coming from the Government. We hope, over 99 years, that we will not only pay back that but an awful lot more than that. We are there for West Ham and for football and it will have the look and feel of West Ham's home ground.

"The most important thing is that we have primacy for our fixtures - that is a requisite for having permission to move from the Premier League and the Football League, which we have. Secondly, it is, as you can see from the visuals, important to us that it has the look and feel of a home for West Ham.

"When we are not using the Boleyn Ground, we are using it for other events and that is what makes it really a powerful venue - the fact that people are using it does give it that sense of community. We can only use it for as many matches as we have, and on other days others will use it because that's the right thing to do.

"We have a very close relationship with UK Athletics. We believe in the legacy for the community and we want to help to deliver that.

"When you come to the stadium for West Ham's opening game of the 2016/17 season it will look and feel like West Ham's ground and look and feel like a football stadium."

The club are now set to embark on a detailed, independent supporter consultation process to help ensure the Stratford stadium matches the high standards Hammers fans would expect from their new home.

Moore than a Football Stadium

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