Kicked into touch: Jowell deals a blow to West Ham's stadium plans

Minister insists the London Olympic site must remain primarily a venue for athletics

The Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has dealt a blow to West Ham United's proposed move to London's Olympic Stadium by insisting that the venue's primary purpose will be to host grand prix athletics.

David Gold and David Sullivan completed a takeover of the Premier League strugglers last month and immediately set about looking at ways to improve the financially perilous state of the club. The main policy of the duo's bid to rescue the Hammers was to leave Upton Park and move to the capital's 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

Officials insist that the Games must leave a legacy to athletics in East London and are adamant that grand prix meetings will be held at the stadium.

That could prove a stumbling block for Sullivan and Gold, who would prefer to host matches without having an athletics track around the pitch.

"Let's be clear about this. It will be a grand prix athletics stadium because we need one," Jowell said. "We have made that commitment, that was one of the reasons that we bid to win the Games and so that is a given."

The government has set up the Olympic Park Legacy Company to resolve what the stadium's purpose will be after the Games. Jowell criticised the new owners' decision to publicly state the club was ready to relocate to Stratford, and insisted that any move will have to be sanctioned by the committee.

She said: "I don't think you can jump from a press conference where the new owners sit down and say 'we'd like to move to the Olympic Stadium' to how it might work. In order to make sure we maximise the legacy of the park, we have set up the Olympic Park Legacy Company and they will shortly be inviting bids and business plans from any business that wants to apply for a commercial stake in the stadium and if West Ham want to made a bid at that time it will be considered alongside all the others."

One issue that was settled yesterday was West Ham's dispute with their former manager Alan Curbishley. Curbishley is now free to return to management after agreeing a pay-off over his Upton Park exit 17 months ago.

The 52-year-old recently won a claim of wrongful dismissal against the Hammers. He walked out after the club sold Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney to Sunderland against his wishes – sales which breached his contract. But Sullivan and Gold acted quickly to bring the matter to an end.

In a statement given to the League Managers' Association, Curbishley spoke about his record at the club, before adding: "I would like to thank David Sullivan for acting quickly and concluding the settlement since his arrival at West Ham.

"It has taken many months to conclude this case but I am proud of my record at West Ham which included a win ratio of 40 per cent, after initially keeping the club in the Premier League and a 10th-place finish in my only full season in charge.

"I would also like to thank the LMA, Mike Morrison of Hill Dickinson and Paul Gilroy QC for their support, hard work and confidence in my case. I am now looking forward to the future and getting back into management."

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Flat out: Michael Flatley will return to the stage in his show Lord Of The Dance
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape