The Dugout: Allardyce: West Ham only choice for Olympic Stadium

Sam Allardyce says West Ham must be awarded the Olympic Stadium if the site’s legacy to sport and the local area is to be protected to the utmost degree.


Allardyce: West Ham the only choice for Olympic Stadium

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The Hammers were told on Monday that they will be forced to endure another postponement as their lengthy bid to take ownership of the £468 million stadium in Stratford continues.

Leyton Orient are also bidding for the site, along with a group planning to host Formula One races in East London and a football business college, with discussions reportedly continuing over how best to fund the implementation of retractable seats, which could cost as much as £160 million.

West Ham initially won the bid in February 2011 before a legal challenge forced the agreement to collapse and the tender process was relaunched. But as a final decision draws slowly closer, Allardyce says West Ham’s bid will be the most beneficial for the local area and the most able to fulfill legacy requirements.

“I think that for the area itself it’s very, very important that we do move there, you know in the East End of London and making sure that we keep the standards up,” Allardyce said in an interview with Eurosport-Yahoo!, which you can watch in full above.

“It’s a superb venue. The Olympic Park is a superb park and that is its monument to it and if that’s not going to be used in the right way, and I seriously can’t see anybody else using it to the maximum as we could, then you know, we must be the next team, I think, to move in there and play our football there.

“I think that moving from West Ham into the Olympic Stadium is a must for the growth and the development of the club. And of course 60,000 seats are planned, I think, and that will satisfy everybody who wants to come to West Ham and a fantastic venue it could be too.

“We experienced what the atmosphere was like at the Olympics, you know, [and] from that point of view that same atmosphere could be recreated as West Ham football team playing there.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Allardyce also admits that there is a “big problem” in overcoming the running track whilst still preserving it, whilst also addressing claims in the wake of the Olympics and Paralympics that footballers have something to learn from athletes.

The West Ham boss goes on to explain why Andy Carroll was a “big, big signing” for the club this summer, and why players should be very careful when using Twitter. 

Sam Allardyce was speaking to Yahoo!'s 'The Dugout' through its partnership with the League Managers Association