Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Cockerel has landed

Tottenham Hotspur have released an artist's impression of their desired new 60,000-seat home on the site of London's Olympic Stadium.
After it was initially thought Spurs were merely seeking leverage to persuade Haringey Council to approve their White Hart Lane redevelopment, the picture leaves no doubt that Stratford is their intended destination in 2012.

Chairman Daniel Levy is talking of East London as their one and only
option right now as the postponed decision on the preferred bidder is due within a week.

West Ham have the support of most of the athletics community, including the IOC and 2012 chief Sebastian Coe, as well as the majority of Londoners polled, but Spurs' greater financial clout seems to be edging ahead as the Legacy Committee pore over the economic promises. The call for more time to decide must be ominous for the Hammers - on paper they should have been crowned winners already because unlike Tottenham they had pledged to retain the running track.

While West Ham's Vice Chairman Karren Brady
invokes the Queen's name and speaks of a "corporate crime" should Spurs triumph, she is equally aware that Spurs have stolen a march on the issue of athletics legacy: They are promising to develop Crystal Palace athletics stadium into a 25,000-seater open all year when West Ham will only leave the larger Olympic Stadium open for track and field for 20 days.

It is impossible to miss the Canary Wharf skyline lurking strategically above the stadium in the artist's impression, a symbol of the big money Tottenham are hoping will carry them across the finish line.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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