West Ham write cricket into plans for stadium

West Ham United yesterday submitted their formal bid to move into the £547m Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games in London. The club's plan, which has the full support of the local authority Newham Council, is to reduce the stadium's capacity from 80,000 to 60,000 and to retain the running track around the pitch so athletics events can still be staged there.

The move has also won the backing of Essex County Cricket Club who are interested is possibly holding Twenty20 matches at the ground. Experts estimate it would cost around £100m to convert the stadium to a permanent football ground, and it remains to be seen how West Ham propose to meet that cost.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "We believe this is the only bid that can deliver London's legacy commitment to the International Olympic Committee. The last thing anyone wants is for the Olympic Stadium to become a ghost of Olympics past. The only realistic solution is to make the stadium work for a Premier League football team and that should be West Ham United.

"As a top-flight football club we have the necessary expertise in running a major multi-purpose venue. Working with Newham Council we could ensure extensive use of the stadium that would create prosperity in the local area and see this club grow and move on to another level. Our plan to keep most of the stadium in place protects the public investment."

AEG, the firm that has turned the failing Millennium Dome into a hugely successful concert venue, is also bidding for the stadium.

A more pressing need for West Ham concerns appointing a new manager following the sacking last week of Gianfranco Zola. Portsmouth's Avram Grant is expected to be appointed in the coming days, and that move came a step closer yesterday when Andrew Andronikou, the south coast club's administrator, said he would not stand in the Israeli's way.

Andronikou said: "We'll sit down this week and have a discussion about his future. I want to make it clear we will support which ever decision he comes to. He's given unconditional support for us over the last four months when maybe other managers would have walked.

"If he wants to leave we won't stand in his way. We'll give him our full support. We're not going to hold anyone to ransom. If he wants to move on we'll be behind that. I think all the fans would be behind that decision, too."

Grant is the favourite for the job but he is not the only candidate being considered by the West Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

The other names believed to be on the West Ham shortlist include Blackburn Rovers' manager Sam Allardyce, Dave Jones at Cardiff and Blackpool's maverick manager Ian Holloway.

Mark Hughes, Slaven Bilic and Steve McClaren have all been ruled out, after either asking for too much money or being put off by the way Gold and Sullivan handled Zola's situation once they bought the club in January.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
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'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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