West Ham enter 'serious' talks over move to Olympic stadium

West Ham United are in "very serious negotiations" with the Olympic authorities about moving into the 2012 stadium, the Sports Minister, Richard Caborn, confirmed yesterday.

The Premiership club have been interested in the stadium for some time and earlier this week the chairman Terry Brown held talks with officials while also conducting negotiations over a possible £75m takeover.

The move does not hinge on the success of one of the two bids although it will undoubtedly help Brown in his discussions if he can claim that the club can move from Upton Park to the site at Stratford, east London.

Brown and West Ham's managing director, Paul Aldridge, are understood to remain far more enthusiastic about the bid fronted by the Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian and financed by the Israeli property magnate Eli Papoushado, who has also personally engaged the bankers NM Rothschild and is currently in London.

An alternative bid led by Eggert Magnusson, an Icelandic businessman and also head of his country's football federation, has received little encouragement. Magnusson has also been in London and is believed to be frustrated at the way he is being treated. "There has been no meeting and no meeting is intended with those people at the moment," said Phil Hall, West Ham's public relations consultant, who also represents Joorabchian.

Papoushado, in particular, is interested in the "real estate" possibilities of acquiring the Upton Park site if West Ham move and has already admitted that he is not a great football fan and knows little about the club.

West Ham's interests in the Olympic Stadium pre-dates any talk of a takeover although the board is understood to be split as to whether it is a good idea. Caborn is supportive of the move, although it has met resistance from the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

Caborn said yesterday: "There is a very serious negotiation going on between West Ham and the Olympic authorities about the stadium. Talks are going on about whether they could do a similar thing to Manchester City when they took over the Commonwealth Games stadium in 2002."

The minister added: "I've have not had any contact with either of the reported bidders at any point - nor would I if they approached me as this would be totally inappropriate."

Manchester City spent £20m on the changes needed to the Commonwealth Games stadium and have a 250-year lease. Under their deal, they also pay a percentage of their ticket revenue back into grassroots football.

If a football club does move to the Olympic Stadium, London 2012 are keen that the ground would still be able to hold athletics events.

Tottenham have also looked at the viability of moving to the stadium but the sporting director Damien Comolli said they would not want to move to a new home where there would be an athletics track.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)