The two Davids make large promises as West Ham celebrate their big day

Co-owners barely manage to contain their excitement at being handed the keys to the Olympic Stadium, writes Sam Wallace

No major announcement by West Ham United these days is complete without a story from their co-owner David Gold detailing his youthful exploits growing up in east London, be it playing for the club's youth team or something equally heroic.

Yesterday, on the occasion of the most monumental news for West Ham since the previous owners discovered there was an issue with Carlos Tevez's registration, Gold pulled out all the stops with a tear-jerker about life in the 1950s at Burke Secondary Modern in Plaistow. It ended with him gesturing triumphantly towards the Olympic Stadium framed in the window behind him as if that answered any doubts his sneering careers teacher may have had about him.

It was, in fairness, lost on the local schoolchildren brought in to share the moment. The men from Newham council smiled politely in the manner of those who have heard the story before. Then, Gold's co-owner David Sullivan saved the day by saying something rude about the quality of Amstrad computers in reference to Alan Sugar, a long-term critic of West Ham's bid, and suddenly everyone was back on the same page.

It is not every day that a club of such relatively modest fortunes as West Ham get the keys to a £537m stadium which will transform their future. But they deserved their big day yesterday celebrating in a restaurant overlooking the stadium and making big promises to the local population which will come back to haunt them if they are unfulfilled.

These are exciting times at West Ham, particularly if they can stay in the Premier League this season. Just how exciting was obvious in the giddy mocked-up pictures of a future Hammers team playing in their new home. There was Champions League livery visible on the perimeter advertising.

The club are adamant that their business plan is not predicated on survival and even if they do go down this year they will have three seasons to return before the grand opening in 2014. Of course, three seasons outside the Premier League would be unthinkable especially with the debt of £75m, according to Sullivan yesterday.

Karren Brady, the vice-chairman, predicted optimistically a turnover of £100m by 2014. But even that was less optimistic than the 700,000 fans West Ham claim to have on their database who they hope will throng to this new "multi-use" mecca of football, live music, shopping, athletics and cricket.

There is still the formality of approval from the Mayor of London but already there were grandiose ambitions being outlined yesterday. The mayor of Newham council, Sir Robin Wales, predicted the first 73,000 crowd for a cricket match in this country. "Why not India v Pakistan?" he asked.

It is telling that when Bayern Munich moved into their former Olympic Stadium home after the Games in the city in 1972, they had just three Bundesliga titles. By the time they left in 2005 they were easily the biggest club in Germany with 16 more titles and five European Cups. The stadium, complete with running track, had made them rich and successful. West Ham would settle for a fraction of that.


Is an anagram of which club?

a) Tottenham Hotspur b) West Ham United c) Leyton Orient

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits