West Ham vs Tottenham. Surely it's a home win?

Keeping the athletics track, and keeping Spurs out of east London, are the big issues as rivals go head to head for Olympic site

On Friday, the Olympic Park Legacy Company choose their preferred tenant to lease the 2012 Olympic Stadium at Stratford after the Games. The candidates are rival clubs West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur, whose intentions differ in one crucial aspect.

Although each would play in a stadium holding 60,000, West Ham would retain the track surrounding the pitch for use as the country's principal athletics venue, whereas Spurs would do away with it. Instead, Spurs wish to develop the existing national stadium at Crystal Palace for athletics, leaving the Olympic Stadium for football and concerts.

The arguments for and against are outlined below. Supporters of both clubs are split about leaving popular – if cramped – grounds. Many Spurs fans are additionally concerned about moving from their area. The wider issue concerns the pledge given by London's bid team that the stadium would be "a purpose-built home for athletics for generations to come".

TOTTENHAM

For the move

Tottenham's plans would deliver a commercially sustainable and iconic venue centered around a world-class 60,000-seat stadium, filled week in, week out. Designed to deliver the best fan experience in Europe, it would include concerts and sporting events managed by AEG, the company that created the O2, with a programme of community projects delivered by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

The athletics legacy would secure a significant redevelopment of Crystal Palace Sports Centre with a 25,000-seat modern stadium used by athletes every day of the year, and long-term funding for grass-roots athletics. The proposals deliver a true legacy and avoid the need for an unsatisfactory compromise solution which would not be sustainable in the long term.

Tottenham Hotspur statement

Against the move

It says a lot that Tottenham have chosen to employ a leading PR company to sell us the virtues of moving away from their home of 127 years; the place which provides the club with a romantic identity in the eyes of thousands of fans. The fact that the club has switched its priority from the redevelopment of White Hart Lane tells me they are deadly serious about moving to Stratford and, more troublingly, that the club is more in touch with its bank balance than the opinion of many fans.

We cannot be asked to "cut through the emotion" and "see the bigger picture". It is this emotion that drives a fan. Without it, it's just 22 men and a ball; it is the same feeling that leads us close to the financial precipice, just to see our team play. Trophies have been won thanks to and in spite of the club's location. I have been a Spurs fan during good times and bad. In the end, any victory achieved by Tottenham in Stratford would be as hollow as the name of the club that plays there.

Tim Framp, co-founder of WeAreN17

WEST HAM

For the move

The 2012 Olympics was won on the commitment of keeping the stadium for athletics. It's important for the UK's credibility as a sporting nation – especially after the 2018 World Cup bid – to keep that promise. Pulling it down would waste a fortune in taxpayers' money in a time of austerity. It will put east London on the map. We can attract the 2015 Rugby World Cup, 2017 World Athletics Championships, NFL expansion and more boxing.

We have strong links to the local community and a vested interest in the rejuvenation of east London. This is the only way profits will be shared for the benefit of the community.

Fans' groups are behind the move. This will open up the club to fans for whom the cost of watching Premier League football has until now been prohibitive. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the club to grow commensurate with its fanbase.

West Ham statement

Against the move

As a loyal West Ham fan, I am opposed to moving to Stratford on every level. First is the damage that I feel moving will do financially. The maths don't add up. There's rent to be paid, a debt to Newham Council and rebuild costs. Naming rights for a stadium are fine for Champions' League clubs, but who's going to pay top dollar to a club bumping around the basement of the Premier League or in the Championship?

The Boleyn ground is our home, steeped in history, and leaving there will be the end of West Ham. Any soul left in the club, any link with the fans and heritage, will disappear. At a soulless bowl with a running track it will be hard to create any atmosphere. Our club has always had an intimate feel, and the players always react positively. The inclusion of Spurs into the mix has led to a groundswell of opinion saying "we can't let them move into our manor", rather than concentrating on the detrimental affect the move will have on us.

Graham Godfrey is from West Ham fans' website www.kumb.com

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
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
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

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
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