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Spurs' Olympic Stadium plan outrageous - Newham chief

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Newham chief slams Spurs' 2012 plans

By Dan Roan
BBC sports news correspondent

Tottenham Hotspur's proposal to demolish the Olympic Stadium is "outrageous", the chief executive of Newham Council has told BBC Sport.

The east London borough is a partner in West Ham United's rival bid to take over the £500m facility after the 2012 Games.

Their plan is to retain the running track and use the stadium for both football and athletics.

Spurs intend to build a new football stadium on the site while redeveloping the existing Crystal Palace arena for athletics, and the battle between the two proposals is intensifying.

Newham supremo Kim Bromley-Derry criticised the environmental and financial impact of the Spurs proposal.

"I think it's outrageous to be honest," he said.

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"The carbon footprint created by knocking down such a stadium and building a new one is equivalent to us running our stadium for 93 years.

"It's also a huge waste of public money. We want to put money into the local community, not take it out."

Spurs say they would demolish the stadium because the club feel the venue is not suitable for football, with seats being too far away from the action on the pitch.

However, Bromley-Derry insisted that under West Ham's plan, "no one will be sat further away from the pitch than at Wembley".

"The sight-lines for our stadium will exceed those there," he said. "We refute allegations that this will mean a worse spectator experience.

Tottenham, who have the backing of entertainment group AEG, will borrow around £200m to fund construction, while West Ham will use money from the sale of Upton Park, as well as £40m borrowed from the Treasury by the borough of Newham.

Architect's plan of the stadium

Bromley-Derry added: "We don't see this as a further drain on public money. We're lending to West Ham at commercial rates. It's a significant sum but we're not using any of our revenue budget.

"We've got guarantees for that funding, and we're not basing it on Premier League football. We're absolutely confident we'll get a return on the loan, even if West Ham are relegated. The business case stacks up."

West Ham's joint bid with Newham has the support of the world's biggest concert promoter, Live Nation, while the University of East London and Essex County Cricket Club are also on board.

The stadium would house an Olympic Museum and be used as the centrepiece of an anticipated bid for the World Athletics Championships in 2017.

Critics of Spurs' plan say knocking down the stadium would be a betrayal of the London bid's promise that the Games would provide an athletics legacy.

"Ours is a bid about legacy and community," said Bromley-Derry. "Football is key but it's also an opportunity for other sports.

"We're fulfilling the obligations made in London's 2012 bid book. Other bids will struggle to honour these promises. We tick all the legacy boxes. We're confident."

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) is expected to make a decision on 28 January about who will take over the stadium.

Former Olympic javelin champion Tessa Sanderson, who sits on the OPLC, was informed on Wednesday that she would be excluded from taking part in the vote because she also has a contract with Newham Council.

Bromley-Derry commented: "We ask people to declare interests and assumed it had been done, but it doesn't affect our chances and is not embarrassing to us."



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see also
Spurs & West Ham fans in the dark
20 Jan 11 |  London 2012
West Ham Olympic loan 'risks abuse'
21 Jan 11 |  London
Athletics boss fears 2012 'lie'
20 Jan 11 |  London 2012
40m loan to West Ham is approved
20 Jan 11 |  London
Palace unveil new stadium plans
20 Jan 11 |  Crystal Palace


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