Sam Allardyce talks up importance of Olympic Stadium move for West Ham


West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes a move to the Olympic Stadium is imperative if the club are to compete with London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal.

The future of the stadium in Stratford has long been a topic of debate, with the Hammers denied tenancy last October following a legal dispute involving Leyton Orient and Tottenham.

Allardyce is aware of the heritage of the club’s cherished Boleyn Ground but insists a move is necessary to take the club on to the next level.

“I understand the history and tradition of Upton Park or the Boleyn Ground, but to really become one of the true top clubs in London, if not in this country, then a new stadium, is of the utmost importance to host the huge fan base that West Ham United have,” he said.

Allardyce, who today celebrates his 58 birthday, has pointed to the growing stadia of Premier League sides as a reason to follow suit and claim the Stratford venue so the East London side do not get left behind.

“We’ve seen Chelsea’s stadium grow and we’ve seen Chelsea grow into a major European side over the last decade, because of Roman Abramovich’s money,” he added.

“We’ve seen Arsenal move into a brand new stadium, 60,000, at the Emirates, we’ve seen Man United grow their stadium to 75,000, and 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, from that point of view that same atmosphere could be recreated as West Ham football team playing there.”

The move to the stadium has not gone as smoothly as expected as the need to preserve a home for athletics was central to London 2012's legacy aims, while fans have been cynical of the move, claiming the running track would kill the atmosphere generated at Upton Park.

However, Allardyce believes it is still worth uprooting as other European giants, including Bayern Munich and Juventus, have taken state-built stadiums for themselves.

“I’ve travelled the world of football and I think that every stadia, in most countries is built by the city or the town which is a stadium which is shared by all, it’s a multi-purpose stadium, so lots of big clubs have had to play there, particularly Bayern Munich for instance,” he said.

The former Bolton manager understands fans’ frustrations about the running track which will surround the pitch and agrees that it will be detrimental to the atmosphere generated by the West Ham faithful.

“But you look at what they’ve (Bayern Munich) built now and moved away from the running track and got themselves their own stadium where the fans come much closer to the touchline and that creates a much, much better atmosphere,” he said.

“If you go to Spain, with the old stadiums that creates an even better atmosphere. Because their health and safety rules aren’t as strict as ours, their terracing is steeper, much, much steeper, so the fans are even closer to the pitch than they are in England and that does create the very electric atmosphere that you’re looking for.”    

For more insight from Sam Allardyce and other leading managers plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights go to

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little