West Ham 'close' to reaching Olympic Stadium agreement

Co-chairman David Gold says Hammers could be days away from agreement

West Ham could be days away from agreeing a move the Olympic Stadium, according to co-chairman David Gold.

The Hammers' long wait to secure a move to the £429million venue has reportedly moved closer this month following talks with the the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

London Mayor Boris Johnson described those discussions as "positive" and Gold today revealed an agreement could by secured as early as March 16.

"I think we're close. It's only what I'm being promised. As we speak I'm being promised March 16," Gold told talkSPORT.

"We would sign the agreement then."

The 76-year-old stressed that date was not set in stone though after the potential agreement - that would see West Ham move to the stadium in 2016 - had suffered late glitches before.

"I'm embarrassed because I've tweeted 10 times that it's going to be next week or next month and here's a date," he said.

"The date comes and goes and then I give another date. But I think we are close."

West Ham were handed 'preferred bidder' status in December and talks with the LLDC have since focused on details of the proposed move.

One of the key points has centred on how much West Ham would pay towards conversion costs of the Stratford stadium.

Part of that conversion could see temporary seating erected for West Ham matches to cover the running track, with Gold saying a move would only go ahead if the stadium was "fit for use".

"There are certain things I can't share with you because of the confidentiality agreement. We will only go there if it is fit for use," he said.

"I won't go there if I have to look over a running track. But I believe we are in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Let's face it. They've built a stadium - albeit wrong shape and size."

Part of London's successful Olympic bid centred on a promise to keep athletics at the Stratford venue in the future.

Gold believes, however, that for athletics to remain in the long term it requires a football club to help provide financial support.

"Most Olympic Stadiums have failed because they haven't embraced the legacy and also saying the Olympics is over," he said.

"Athletics needs football to support it. There's no other way."

The LLDC will discuss the future of the stadium at their next board meeting on March 26, although they can call an extraordinary general meeting if they reach an agreement with West Ham before then.

Any possible agreement will come as comforting news to organisers of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, who need to know by the end of next month whether they will be able to use the stadium.

The Olympics Stadium is presently on a long list of 17 venues, with five to be cut before a final announcement in the coming weeks.

Gold was unable to confirm the future of boss Sam Allardyce beyond the end of the season, but admitted he expected him to remain.

Allardyce is due to meet the West Ham board to discuss a new deal, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

"What we promised and, what Sam promised us, is that at the end of the season we would sit down and discuss Sam's position," Gold said.

"I'm very optimistic that Sam will be our manager next season. But we have to sit down.

"The agreement with the board was that we would sit down at the end of the season, not when we're safe - we are not mathematically safe as we speak."

Asked if he was worried Allardyce could agree a move elsewhere before then, he added: "There's always the danger that a bigger club comes in. There is that danger.

"Having said that Sam has given his word that he will sit down and discuss his contract at the end of the season and I trust him."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas