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
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
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 crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project