‘Olympic Stadium not suitable for football’
LONDON - Reuters
The Olympic Stadium is the subject of a lengthy battle between London clubs.London’s Olympic Stadium is not fit for football and risks turning into a white elephant after this year’s Games, the chairman of third-tier English club Leyton Orient warned yesterday.
Barry Hearn, whose club is close to the 500 million pound stadium in a previously rundown part of east London, has long been against a bigger side like second tier West Ham United moving into the venue and his patch after 2012.
A football tenant for the stadium, which will host the 2017 athletics world championships, seems the most likely.
“The more I look at the stadium, the more and more convinced I am is that it is not fit for football purposes,” the businessman told Britain’s Sky Sports News. “...I have to say after my tour of the stadium, wonderful stadium though it is, I don’t think it is good for football.”
His club was involved in a legal challenge against West Ham taking over the stadium and although an initial deal collapsed, “the Hammers” are still widely expected to eventually call the arena their home once capacity is cut from 80,000 to 60,000. A new process has started to find tenants for the stadium.
“No-one has actually taken responsibility or admitted they have built the “wrong” stadium,” Hearn added.
“We have to face these problems and be honest. Let’s use some common sense otherwise it is going to be a horrendous white elephant.”