Tuesday 18 October 2011
whufc.com - Olympic Stadium update
West Ham United continue to press ahead with our legacy proposals for the Olympic Stadium.
The club remain committed to east London and believe we are the right choice. In contrast, back in May 2009, our neighbours Leyton Orient were looking at a move away to Harlow or Basildon.
The Olympic Stadium is in Newham and Leyton Orient is in Waltham Forest. We will not move away from Newham, after all its our home borough.
We have always focused on our legacy plan for the stadium, and in turn the East End and London as a whole, and already have the right permissions from the game's governing bodies to tender again.
We know we can make the Olympic Stadium work for the capacity required for a successful staging of major sporting events like the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
Our attendances and fanbase are both on the up and we are confident that we have a revenue model and ability to generate the income that will make the stadium legacy a lasting success.
Tuesday 11 October 2011
whufc.com - West Ham United-Newham statement
Karren Brady, Vice-Chairman of West Ham United, and Kim Bromley-Derry, Chief Executive of the London Borough of Newham said:
"Uncertainty caused by the anonymous complaint to the European Commission and ongoing legal challenges have put the Olympic legacy at risk and certainly a stadium, as we envisioned it, may not be in place by 2014 due as a direct result of the legal delay.
"Therefore we would welcome a move by OPLC and government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process. If the speculation is true, West Ham will look to become a tenant of the stadium while Newham will aim to help deliver the legacy.
"Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promise of the Olympic Stadium - an amazing year-round home for football, athletics and community events of which the nation could be proud.
"The true legacy of London 2012 will be the creation of jobs and a generation of young people inspired by sport based around a community home for all by 2014. We remain committed to help deliver that legacy promise to the people of London and the nation."
Sunday 3 July 2011
whufc.com - West Ham United statement
West Ham United can confirm the club are taking legal action in relation to allegations made in today's Sunday Times.
We are certain of the robustness of our successful bid for the Olympic Stadium.
The newspaper's statement that Tottenham Hotspur employed the investigators who obtained private information illegally is one we are treating with the utmost seriousness and no doubt data protection and prosecution agencies may also do so.
The only wrongdoing here is by those who have broken the law and obtained private information. It would appear that no stone has gone unturned trying to find a way to undermine our bid including apparently targeting the 14 Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) Board members who had voted unanimously on the bid in our favour.
The suggestion of 'secret cash' in the Sunday Times article is absolutely and categorically denied. As such, legal action is being taken against the Sunday Times, as well as Tottenham Hotspur.
Dionne Knight's work for the Legacy Stadium Partnership (LSP) owned 50% by London Borough of Newham and 50% by West Ham United was in relation to the procurement of a construction partner after the Olympic Games.
A number of companies applied for the procurement contract. It was awarded to Ms Knight as she was able to provide expertise at a significantly competitive price. The work that she subsequently undertook for the LSP was of a very high standard.
The OPLC has confirmed that Ms Knight had absolutely no involvement in the bidding process and we repeat that secret cash was not paid to her.
Her work was very transparent and the bidding process was never compromised. The work was never hidden, for example she personally attended meetings. There is considerable documentation to confirm the existence and quality of her work. Two firms of solicitors are able to confirm those facts. The price we paid for the work was extremely competitive.
The LSP, including Karren Brady who is named in the offending article, has not paid any member of the OPLC for any information in relation to the bid process, and has not received any unauthorised information from the OPLC or any other source in relation to its bid.
The OPLC has further confirmed that she and other employees of the OPLC did not have access to confidential information as it was held at the OPLC's external solicitors' offices.
The LSP believed Ms Knight had authority to do the work as that was what it was informed. The fact that the work was undertaken is wholly irrelevant to the Olympic Stadium bid process and only raises issues of employment law.
To reiterate, the allegations are the subject of legal action. If there is any further publication of the allegations, further action will be taken.
We are so confident in the probity of our actions that we will take the strongest action possible against any suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of West Ham United or its officers, as well as involve the police and the data protection registrar in regard to the accessing of private information by illegal means.
Thursday 23 June 2011
BBC - Spurs fail with bid to review Olympic Stadium decision
Tottenham and Leyton Orient have had their bids for a judicial review of the Olympic Stadium decision rejected.
The two London clubs contested the Olympic Park Legacy Company's verdict that West Ham and Newham Council should be the future occupants of the venue.
But Judge Mr Justice Davis told them there are no grounds for a review.
A Spurs statement said they would consider over the next few days an option to renew their application at an oral hearing in the High Court.
The statement on the club's website added: "The club continues to hold discussions with both local and national government bodies in order to seek to determine a feasible stadium solution."
After Thursday's news was announced, the Olympic Park Legacy Company said: "We are pleased with the ruling and continue to make good progress in our negotiations with the preferred bidder in order to be in a position to agree the final terms for the stadium's lease."
Newham Council, who have arranged a £40m loan to finance West Ham's move to the stadium, said: "We are continuing to focus on securing a lasting legacy for the stadium and, together with West Ham United, are progressing well with the Olympic Park Legacy Company on bringing the matter to a commercial and financial close."
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "We welcome today's news as a further endorsement of our strong and viable legacy vision.
"We hope we can now focus all our energy and passion on delivering a fantastic multi-use Olympic Stadium for the whole nation.
"We were honoured to be unanimously chosen as preferred bidder by the OPLC. Their decision, after a robust and diligent process, was subsequently backed by the Mayor of London and government.
"Our vision - in partnership with the London Borough of Newham - remains for a globally-recognised destination for all, with community at its core, capable of hosting world-class sporting events, including top-level football and athletics."
Spurs had turned their attention to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, after deciding their plans for a new development at Northumberland Park next to their existing north London White Hart Lane home were not economically viable.
Their plan was to rebuild the stadium without the running track and, by way of a commitment to athletics, rebuild the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace.
But east London club West Ham, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, were unanimously chosen as the preferred occupant, having proposed to reduce the stadium's capacity from 80,000 to 60,000 seats after the Olympics for use it as a multipurpose venue, retaining the running track.
Thursday 3 March 2011
whufc.com - Olympic Stadium plan endorsed
West Ham United and Newham Council's joint-bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games has been formally ratified.
The Government and Mayor of London confirmed on Thursday morning the Olympic Park Legacy Company's decision to recommend the club as the preferred bidders for the Olympic Stadium.
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: "I am pleased and proud the Mayor of London and Government have today endorsed the Olympic Park Legacy Company's recommendation that West Ham United and Newham Council be preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium.
"I am grateful for their support and the clear recognition of the strengths of a financially strong, community-based bid that will do much for the regeneration of east London. At this time, I must also personally thank Baroness Ford and Andy Altman of the OPLC for the thorough and professional way they have handled this entire process. I look forward to working with them in the future and making their vision a reality.
"At West Ham, we have been entrusted with a great responsibility and the OPLC's unanimous backing will only inspire us further to make good on our legacy promises. In many ways, the hard work starts now. The starting gun has been fired and we are off and running. This will be an Olympic Stadium to make everyone proud, a multi-sports, multi-event arena that will be both a spectacular local and global attraction. We will not let anyone down."
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: "We are pleased the Government has recognised the strength of our bid, which is focused on guaranteeing community benefits for our residents and contributing to a meaningful legacy for east London, the capital and the country.
"We are working with our partners West Ham United on the commercial aspects of our joint bid and look forward to a handover of contracts later this year with the Olympic Park Legacy Company."
In welcoming today's developments, the OPLC said: "We are pleased that the Mayor and Ministers have approved our recommendation. We look forward to working with the preferred bidder, West Ham United and the London Borough of Newham, in order to bring the future of the Stadium to a financial close."
Friday 11 February 2011
whufc.com - 'Today is a momentous day'
The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has today announced that it has chosen West Ham United and Newham Council as its preferred bidder to take over the 2012 Olympic Stadium after the Games.
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: "We are delighted by the announcement. We think this decision is the right one and the nation will be the biggest winner.
"We are pleased the OPLC has recognised our bid. London won the right to host the Olympics by making a promise to leave a lasting legacy, not just for us and our children but for future generations. It will inspire people in Newham and beyond.
"We were delighted when public opinion supported this view, and this overwhelming public support has been recognised by the OPLC.
"Our bid is about giving something back to the community, to London and the country. We will make the stadium a magnet for visitors across Britain, Europe and the world, to view and participate in a wide range of sport and entertainment fixtures.
"We want to create a situation where people will feel good about community education projects and more. That means every member of our community could access the Olympic Stadium. Spectacular events drawing huge crowds could sit side by side with community activities. You could go to a Madonna concert - then sing on the same stage in a community choir the next day."
Karren Brady, Vice Chairman of West Ham United, said: "Today is a momentous day. I would like to thank the Olympic Park Legacy Company for making us preferred bidder and acknowledge everyone involved in what has been a truly professional process.
"I would also like to recognise the significant contribution of Newham Council, who have shared in our exciting vision from day one, and thank our supporters for trusting in us to take West Ham United to a new level.
"We are proud to have been passed the Olympic torch and fully embrace the responsibility we have for keeping the flame alive.
"We have been working on this project for some time now and are just at the starting line of the race to make this a stadium that will really make the nation proud.
"With our partners we know exactly how to do it. We are working on realising our proposals already. We would like to say far more but fully understand we are still under the process and must continue to respect it - as we have to this point.
"To West Ham supporters, I look forward to extending our consultation process - now that we have the mandate from the OPLC to do so - and I guarantee their views will continue to be heard. We simply cannot wait to show them around this impressive and intimate stadium so they can truly experience the awe and excitement that all who visit are compelled to feel.
"The club is run by supporters and today is another great day in our proud history. This will be your stadium and an atmospheric home for generations to come. Our vision is to move forward always with an eye on the past. We have been granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to grow our club in a way its huge fan base deserves and to really give something back to the community of which it is such an intrinsic part.
"The nation has kept its promise and we'll keep ours. I promise.''
Monday 15 November 2010
Local residents and influential partners including UK Athletics and LiveNation show their support for the West Ham United / Newham Olympic Stadium proposals on this short film used to support the bid. Click here to view.
Friday 12 November 2010
whufc.com - West Ham United statement
West Ham United and Newham Council have issued the following statement in response to today's announcement - Friday 12 November - that their joint bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games has been shortlisted by the Olympic Park Legacy Company:
"We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the next stage of the Olympic Stadium process. We now look forward to discussing further with the Olympic Park Legacy Company how West Ham and Newham can deliver the best legacy for the stadium by making it a busy, iconic centre of sport, education and culture that benefits not just East London, but the nation as a whole."
Saturday 23 October 2010
whufc.com - 'Keep an open mind'
Our amazing Olympic Stadium project is gathering momentum.
We have secured the support of Live Nation and UK Athletics. These are two huge players in the global entertainment and sporting worlds respectively that have fully endorsed what we and Newham Council are striving for - a lasting legacy that best serves the public's needs.
Much has rightly been made of what the Olympic Stadium would do for east London in terms of community, health, education and opportunity. But, we will make sure that in so doing, the stadium is fit for purpose - football. That it is right for West Ham and you, our superb supporters.
While there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to our plans, we know some are wary of change. Moving after more than a century is a big step, even if we are going 'home' to West Ham. We also know that some have concerns over the running track, viewing distance, atmosphere and hospitality facilities.
All we are asking is for people to keep an open mind at this stage. Trust us. We are busily exploring lots of ideas to make the stadium right for us, but it's all very doable and is a great opportunity to grow and secure our future for decades to come.
Once we have a full and proper understanding of how the stadium can be adapted, we will present detailed proposals to supporters. That's a promise. We have asked for stadium tours where we can take people inside and we are confident that all who visit will see the huge potential of a fantastic home that will secure our club's future for many generations - and give us the best chance to move to a new level.
Every proposal will be considered to make it work for you while preserving the club's soul. Remember this club is run by fans for fans.
The only certainty is our conviction that West Ham United, above all others, belong in the Olympic Stadium.
If you are supportive of us making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and would like to request a place on one of the tours we are hoping to arrange soon, please email email@example.com and we will be pleased to send regular updates to you to keep you fully up-to-date with our plans.
Monday 11 October 2010
BBC - UK Athletics boost for 2012 stadium bid
West Ham's hopes of striking a deal to move into the 2012 Olympic Stadium after the Games received a huge boost today when British athletics chiefs put their official support behind the east London club's bid.
UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner, who last week dismissed a rival bid from Tottenham Hotspur and 02 owners AEG as "an insult to the whole Olympic project", said he had talked to several bidders.
But Warner has now decided to put all of his support behind the plans of West Ham, Newham Council and entertainment giant Live Nation.
Mr Warner said: "What has impressed me so much about the joint bid from West Ham and Newham is their clear commitment to the spirit of the Olympic legacy and not just athletics at the elite end, but with the retention of the community track, our future champions and club runners too."
"It was clear from the start that only a partnership approach would bring to life the vision Seb Coe had when he committed to an athletics legacy in 2005 and we believe the collaboration of West Ham, Newham and UKA gives the strongest opportunity for a vibrant sporting legacy that will go well beyond 2012."
AEG executives have been very bullish about their bid together with Tottenham. But their plans not to leave an athletics track in the stadium angered Warner and I understand relations between UK Athletics and the entertainment company have been very strained.
London 2012's bid promised a major athletics legacy. The stadium is at the centre of Britain's bid for the 2015 world athletics championships and 2012 chairman Seb Coe's career in international athletics politics would be severely damaged if London was left with no legacy in the sport.
Live Nation, a serious rival to AEG which organises more than 20,000 concerts around the world every year, now looks in a much stronger position to snatch the stadium away from the 02 owners.
If Live Nation also takes over an indoor arena at the Olympic Park, it will make east London a music business battleground and the 02's position as the world's top music venue would come under pressure.
Tottenham are still keen to go ahead with their plans for a new stadium at White Hart Lane but the club appeared to be using the Olympic Stadium as another serious option because of hurdles to the north London project.
But Warner said West Ham's support for the 2015 World Championship bid was important.
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady added: "This is fantastic news. We believe ours is the only bid that can deliver London's legacy commitment to the International Olympic Committee. UKA's endorsement is a powerful and highly-valued testament of that.
"Our plan is not just to have a new stadium for West Ham but a real sporting centre for London and the rest of the country. We want to create a home of sport, featuring two of the greatest sports, football and athletics, side by side where they can grow and flourish together both in terms of spectatorship and participation at every level.
UKA have been great in helping us develop that vision over the past eight months and, together with Newham Council, we are ideally placed to make our dream a reality."
UK Athletics are still struggling to convince the Government and Mayor Boris Johnson to support the world championship bid financially ahead of the Government's Spending Review on October 20. But it is very likely that some of the contingency cash from the £9.3 billion budget to build the facilities will be used for this.
UK Athletics needs London Mayor Boris Johnson and the Government to provide £8 million each to help stage the event.
This is a relatively small sum and it would be a huge embarrassment to 2012's pledge to stage major events in the stadium after the Games if it is not found.
Friday 8 October 2010
Evening Standard - Concert giant joins West Ham's bid for Olympic Stadium
The world's biggest concert promoter has teamed up with West Ham in their bid to take over the Olympic Stadium.
United States-owned Live Nation, which promotes events for U2, Madonna and Jay-Z, was unveiled today as part of the Hammers/Newham Council consortium.
Based in California, Live Nation promotes 22,000 live outdoor events with a total audience of 50 million.
The company is also interested in running some of the official live events at the London 2012 Games such as a giant concert in Hyde Park, where it already stages annual concerts.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said the deal enhanced the consortium's legacy ambitions.
Giving further details of the club's business plan, she also insisted the consortium would require no "ongoing public subsidy" although this does not rule out a large taxpayers' contribution to conversion costs of the venue.
Live Nation's involvement means the bid to take over the stadium now pits rival clubs and concert promoters against one another.
Initially, West Ham hoped to partner AEG but, after a disagreement over who would be the majority partner, the entertainment giant switched its backing to a rival bid by Tottenham.
Live Nation expressed an interest in the stadium months ago but talks with West Ham only started recently as the club's differences with AEG became clear.
Brady said: "This fantastic support from Live Nation will take our legacy ambitions to another level.
"Over the past eight months we have been talking to the biggest and best global names to ensure we can make the Olympic Stadium dream a reality. We will make a multi-million pound investment but it will be free of ongoing public subsidy and gate receipts will be shared with Newham Council, ensuring financial benefits are passed on to the community."
The Spurs/AEG bid has been plunged into disarray after saying they had no intention of retaining an athletics track after the Games. Olympic chiefs insist the track must remain to meet the promise made by London 2012 boss Sebastian Coe.
AEG is intent on winning the bid but Spurs say it is only a back-up option to redeveloping White Hart Lane.
Thursday 30 September 2010
whufc.com - Hammers at No10
Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Mark Noble today delivered the club's joint bid with Newham Council to run the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games to Number 10 Downing Street.
They were joined by Newham Young Mayor Kaycee de Belen and pupils from Cleves Primary School, Upton Park, to hand in the radical plan. The proposal is to make the venue a vibrant centre of sport, education and culture.
West Ham and Newham formally delivered their bid to the Olympic Park Legacy Company earlier in the day.
The plan would see most of the iconic stadium structure retained after the 2012 Games. It would be adapted to have a 60,000-capacity and host football and athletics, alongside other major sports, concerts and community facilities.
The joint bid has already been welcomed by Lord Sebastian Coe and Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics, as well as a number of major businesses in East London.
Parker said: "I've been around the stadium and it is fantastic. It is going to be a superb venue for the Olympic Games and one we can all be proud of. But it also offers great potential after 2012, not just for West Ham and sport in general but for the local community. I really hope we get it."
The Premier League football club and the council believe the move could result in the best-ever legacy for an Olympic Stadium. It would generate much-needed employment in the area and make for a healthier East London by increasing sports and physical activity.
Newham Young Mayor Kaycee de Belen, aged 16, said: "The London 2012 bid promised a legacy of regeneration in East London and local young people have so much to gain from living in the Olympic host borough. But it's essential we secure the use of the stadium to benefit Newham's youngsters as well as those living in the neighbouring host boroughs."
The plans would see the stadium playing a key role in inspiring learning and achievement, with thousands of youngsters visiting each year to make use of its facilities. It is hoped the venue will house innovative and exciting education resources.
Local adults will also be encouraged to take up health and well-being programmes at the venue.
West Ham and Newham say the initiative could bring a wider benefit too. One of the proposals is to incorporate an Olympic visitor centre and football museum at the stadium. Together with the other attractions in the Olympic Park and the neighbouring Westfield Stratford City shopping centre it could make the venue one of the nation's favourite destinations.
The relocation of West Ham to the Olympic venue would also offer the opportunity for the current Upton Park stadium site to form part of a regeneration scheme that would include new homes, shops and community facilities.
Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: "The 2012 Games promise to be the best yet. Our proposal with West Ham is the natural and logical solution that will provide a legacy for decades to come.
"Our plans will deliver upwards of two million visitors each year and provide a significant beacon in the East End that will fulfil the original London 2012 bid commitments.
"A busy stadium will enhance the regeneration of the wider area and importantly, there will be no cost to the public purse after the stadium's conversion."
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: "We believe this is the only bid that can deliver London's legacy commitment to the International Olympic Committee.
"The last thing anyone wants is for the Olympic Stadium to become a ghost of Olympics past. The only realistic solution is to make the stadium work for a Premier League football team and that should be West Ham United.
"As a top-flight football club we have the necessary expertise in running a major multi-purpose venue. Working with Newham Council we could ensure extensive use of the stadium that would create prosperity in the local area and see this club grow and move on to another level. Our plan to keep most of the stadium in place protects the public investment."
Monday 16 August 2010
Inside the Games - Coe delighted with West Ham pledge to keep on track
Sebastian Coe has publicly backed West Ham United's bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games in London following their pledge to keep a permanent athletics track.
As insidethegames exclusively revealed last week, the Premier League club have announced that they are prepared to accommodate a track, which was one of the key promises Coe made when he presented London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
Coe told insidethegames: "I think it's obviously the situation that everybody is looking to and I think it's a sensible acceptance that we were always going to live within the bid commitment."
West Ham had initially been against plans to retain the track but have now included it in their plans presented to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) and claim that they are fully committed to its inclusion.
But Coe, the chairman of London 2012, who is attending the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games, which opened here last night, hailed the takeover of the club by David Sullivan and David Gold as the turning point.
They brought 60 per cent of West Ham from Icelandic company CB Holding in May earlier this year.
Coe said: "In fairness, this is a different West Ham to what it was a few years ago, where, with the best will in the world, it was a fairly transient [administration].
"These are two owners that are committed to the club, committed to the community, that recognise there is a sensible mix here, of serving a community, but also of having a permanent tennant in there, which has got to be a good idea."
It is a victory for Coe, the former double Olympic 1500 metres champion, who has fought passionately to ensure that anyone who took over the Stadium after the Games kept the track.
Coe, the vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said: "I'm always going to fight my sport."