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No argument – Hammers are in the driving seat

I’ve got to hand it to Martin Samuel. He’s one of the clearest thinking and balanced journalists out there and in a new column for the Mail he has nailed an issue which might have caused the Hammers more than a little frustration.

He’s been addressing the London Stadium priorities this summer which include – possibly – the Irons remaining fixtures and the Anniversary Games.

He’s been addressing the comments from UK Athletics chief executive Joanna Cross that the Hammers hould waive tenancy rights to allow the event to take place.

Martin always has strong views but they are balanced and on this occasion there’s not many – Hammers fans or not – who can argue with his view on a scenario which would be fraught with problems.

He points to the problems of reconfiguration of the stadium at a time when we don’t even know whether crowds would be allowed into the event

He explains: ‘There really shouldn’t be an argument over the London Stadium’s priorities this summer. Whether what remains of West Ham’s Premier League fixtures or the Anniversary Games take place is unknown. but, as anchor tenants, the football club has clear primacy.

Any hope of compromise probably took a hit, too, when the new chief executive of UK Athletics, Joanna Coates, blundered unhelpfully into the conversation by calling on West Ham to waive tenancy rights so a dwindling crowd can wallow in past glories at enormous cost to the taxpayer.

The reconfiguration also takes several weeks and it cannot be known from a reasonable distance whether large gatherings will be permitted, or whether stadium workers are even allowed in proximity for the refit.”

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

5 comments on “No argument – Hammers are in the driving seat

  1. I remember watching (on tv) the last athletics event at the LS. There were an awful lot of empty seats.
    The bill to the taxpayer and yet another big loss to the stadium owners perhaps UK Athletics should wait until their Midlands purpose built new stadium is up and running?
    It must be doubtful if the LS would be ready in time anyway in the aftermath of the Coronavirus?

  2. With the Olympics cancelled why havn’t the Anniversary Games been cancelled also, Athletes will not be up to it if, as they say, they wont be fit enough for the Olympics and anyway, West Ham have it in their contract that they have priority.
    There are other Athletic Stadiums around the country that could host the Games if it is so important but the last time they were at the London Stadium there were loads of empty seats, they couldn’t give them away apparently, which they tried by the way.
    Let them go to a smaller stadium that maybe they could fill.

  3. Isn’t the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace still open?
    It can host around 24,000 for International events with temporary seatings.
    Surely that is more than enough and similar to the size that the ‘bowl’ would have been had the sport legacy idea had been carried out and the upper section taken down as planned

  4. I’ve no way of contacting Martin Samuel. But if I did I would suggest to Martin that he writes more about the disgrace of London Stadium losing tax payers money, when they could offer the West Ham owners the chance to buy the London Stadium. That would save tax payers money and go towards funding things needed to help defeat the Coronavirus. There won’t be a better time to sort the stadium out for the good of everyone.

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