Brady slams Spurs’ ‘money-driven’ Olympic Stadium bid

West Ham vice-chairman brands Tottenham’s proposal for stadium as “outrageous” as decision is delayed

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
karren brady
Karren Brady says Tottenham's proposal to rebuild stadium is 'outrageous' (Photo: J Morris)

karren brady

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady claims Tottenham’s bid to inherit the Olympic Stadium is purely money-driven and has branded the north London club’s proposal to rebuild the arena as “outrageous”.

Brady’s comments are the latest in a bitter war of words between the two clubs as they wrangle over the future of the stadium in Newham. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp had last week warned that the Hammers would turn the site into a “desolate graveyard”.

But Brady has hit back by insisting that West Ham’s bid offers something for the whole of the east London community, while Tottenham’s is based purely on financial considerations.

“Tottenham have clearly decided north London is no longer good enough, which is why former legacy champion Sir Keith Mills and Daniel Levy have their eyes on moving closer to Canary Wharf,” Brady wrote in The Sun. “Is football only ever about money?

“Theirs is a spur of the moment money-making bid. Ours is a phenomenal partnership proposal which came together with a true united approach.

The former Birmingham City chief executive added: “To demolish the Olympic Stadium would be an outrageous waste of money and resources. The energy used to build it for £500m, knock it down and then rebuild a football ground would be the equivalent of running the Olympic Stadium for nigh on 90 years.”

The decision on the future use of the stadium—originally scheduled for Friday—was postponed by the Olympic Park Legacy Company after it said it needs more time to study both bids.

Tottenham plan to demolish the £537m stadium and build a football-only arena in its place, while West Ham have pledged to retain the ground’s athletics track and turn it into a 60,000-capacity venue for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy insists athletics stadiums are not suitable venues for football. “Football and athletics cannot co-exist successfully in the same stadium,” said Levy.

“There are examples all over the world of where clubs have removed tracks or moved stadiums simply because of the poor spectator experience and the lack of sustainability in the long-term due to decreasing attendances. We never considered for one moment placing our fans in such a stadium environment.”

But Brady is unconcerned by the criticism of running tracks within football stadia. She added: “Uefa and Fifa clearly don’t think they [running tracks] are an issue. Champions League and World Cup finals only go to the best venues – and they generally have tracks, including next year’s Euro 2012 final.”

Meanwhile, London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has publicly voiced his support for West Ham’s bid by claiming there is a “moral obligation” to preserve the site as a multi-sport facility.

“It’s really serious that we deliver on what we said we were going to deliver, unless we are prepared to trash our international reputation,” he said. “The bid was very clear and unambiguous. This was a community facility, multi-sport, track and field.

“I remember delivering a vision to leaders of world sport about a generation of young people being inspired to take up Olympic sports. I remember talking about young people in east London fashioning their futures through sport.

“I’m prepared to revisit my words that day, but I genuinely don’t recall a whole heap about bulldozing down a publicly-funded facility, replacing it with a Premiership football club and inspiring a generation of Tottenham season ticket holders, however many there may be on a waiting list.”

Coe added: “We must be really clear here. What we pledged in Singapore was not ambiguous. I took those words very seriously – I delivered them.”

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