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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?