West Ham 'fully committed' to Olympic Stadium move

The Hammers have been chosen as the preferred bidders for the site but are yet to be confirmed as permanent tenants, with a final decision set to be further delayed
West Ham have insisted they are still eager to move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford despite an apparent breakdown in the bidding process.

The Hammers won the right to play at the £486 million arena last year, but that decision has since been quashed following protests from fellow bidders including Premier League rivals Tottenham and League One side Leyton Orient.

West Ham owners David’s Gold and Sullivan revealed their interest in moving to the Stratford site during their takeover in early 2010, and despite the latest discussions, the club have announced they are still focused on moving to the venue.

In a statement, the club said: "It is now 20 months since West Ham United were initially named as the preferred bidder to occupy the Olympic Stadium post-Games. We are obviously disappointed, that three bids later, a decision has yet to be reached.

"We do however remain fully committed to becoming the catalyst to galvanise the Olympic Park by bringing people, jobs and a robust and sustainable commercial offer that guarantees a return to the taxpayer of the money already invested."

Despite recent setbacks, the east London club have set their sights on starting the 2014-15 season as the main tenants of the site.

That target may prove ambitious however, as tense negotiations are taking place between the club and the London Legacy Development Corporation over a £160m fee to make the stadium more ‘football friendly’.

A decision on the future of the Olympic Stadium is set to be made by the end of October, however chief executive of the LLDC Dennis Hone, told The Guardian that the date may be revised.

He said: "The stadium is tricky. But it's tricky because we want to get it right.

"I would hate to bung someone in there and see it fall apart in five years. If it takes a couple of extra months to get there, then so be it. We've had discussions with all of the bidders.

"The difficulty is that we're balancing the adaptations we have to make to the stadium against the proposals that have come in and the benefits – financial and otherwise – that those proposals bring.

"If it was a knockout [verdict] it would be an easy decision, but it's not."