English Premiership

Hammers committed to move

2011-05-16 16:10
West Ham United logo (File)

London - West Ham have insisted their relegation from the English Premier League will have no bearing on their plans to move to the Olympic Stadium.

Top-flight football is worth around £90 million a season in revenue, but the Hammers, currently based at nearby Upton Park, still expect to make the £486 million Olympic Stadium their home after the 2012 London Games.

"We remain totally committed to it," a West Ham spokesman said on Monday.

"Our target is to move there in three football seasons time and we would hope that we would return to the Premier League as soon as possible.

"Our bid (to move into the stadium) was based on several different areas. It was modelled on Premier League, Championship and different scenarios - that has been the case from day one.

"As far as our plans for the Olympic Stadium are concerned, we are continuing at a pace.

"All things are connected but the club will obviously set about rebuilding so that we are in a position to challenge at the highest level in the Championship and get back into the Premier League as soon as possible.

"No doubt we will be doing things in the coming weeks in order to prepare the club to hopefully get back. We just have to get on with it."

West Ham sacked manager Avram Grant barely an hour after a 3-2 defeat at Wigan sealed their demotion to the Championship on Sunday.

The Hammers, in a joint bid with Newham Council, intend to convert the 80 000-seater stadium into a 60 000-seater stadium, keeping an athletics track.

They plan to move from Upton Park in 2014-15 with a 250-year lease and to give a 250-year lease to UK Athletics.

However, rival London football clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient are considering possible legal action regarding the process by which West Ham were announced as the preferred bidder for the stadium site.

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