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Daily Archives: August 23, 2012

Is Olympic move the best option for the Hammers?

Is Olympic move the best option for the Hammers?

Football comment: It is no secret that the owners of West Ham United, David Gold and David Sullivan, want the club to move into the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.

The deal looked done and dusted 18 months ago but was then abandoned amid threatened court cases from other clubs. At the moment the stadium does not have a new tenant to take over once the Paralympics are completed next month.

West Ham still look the most likely new tenants, though neighbouring Orient have also expressed an interest, along with two other bidders.

Yet there remains substantial opposition from Irons supporters, many of whom want to stay at the Boleyn Ground where the club has been for the best part of the last century.

The ground is modern, with three new stands built since 1993. The capacity is just over 35,000, which the club has managed to fill most weeks over recent seasons, whether in the Premier League or Championship.

The old ground also carries all the great tradition of the club with it. Two of the stands are named after legendary players Bobby Moore and Trevor Brooking. There is a lounge in the Bobby Moore stand, named after the club’s two most outstanding mangers Ron Greenwood and John Lyall. Then there is the hallowed turf that has been graced by the likes of the World Cup winners Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, as well as Paolo di Canio, Alan Devonshire, Alvin Martin and Rio Ferdinand.

The two camps, for and against the move, represent two distinct visions for the future of the club.

A move to the Olympic stadium will require more than a team that spends most of its time at the wrong end of the table.

The Olympic stadium once scaled down will take a capacity of 50,000 to 60,000. In order to fill that arena West Ham will require a team on a level with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. That is, a top four, Champions League team.

As recent history has proved, money is required to create such a team — big money. Co-owner Sullivan admitted as much prior to West Ham’s Championship play-off victory against Blackpool in May.

He indicated that the present owners could be prepared to sell the club one day if someone with sufficiently deep pockets came along who could take it to the next level. A move to rent the Olympic Stadium would, of course, benefit Sullivan and Gold with the sale of the Boleyn Ground no doubt clearing the club’s present debts and providing the owners with a nice little dividend on top.

Remaining at the Boleyn would mean West Ham probably continuing along its present path.

The ground is filled to capacity for most home games. The present owners have brought a stability to the club. Manager Sam Allardyce seems in accord with the club’s board and has made all the right moves since coming in at the start of last season. And, after all, he got West Ham back into the Premier League.

Allardyce has been as keen as the owners to move to the Olympic Stadium. Yet the ex-Bolton manager, unpopular with some fans due to his favoured style of play, could become a casualty were there a change of ownership.

New owners like to bring in their own man — as Sullivan and Gold proved when they came in and appointed Avram Grant.

Much of this is speculation, but the decision must be coming soon as to whether West Ham do make the switch — one which could mark a whole new era for West Ham and their fans.

The club could become a winner, just like Team GB at the Olympics, but it could also lose its soul.

For better or worse, all Hammers fans can do now is watch this space.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Defender James Collins believe West Ham are capable of finishing inside the Premier League’s top 10

Collins targets top-half finish for West Ham

James Collins believes West Ham can secure a top-half finish in their first season back in the Premier League following their opening-day win against Aston Villa.

The defender was outstanding in the 1-0 victory on Saturday as he made his second debut for the Hammers – against the club he left just a few weeks ago.

And after helping his new outfit to a confidence-boosting three points, the Welshman insists that West Ham can enjoy a very successful campaign with no worries about relegation.

Collins, 28, said: “If we play like we did against Villa, there’s no reason why we can’t aim for a top-10 spot.

“We’ve got some strong and quick boys in midfield, a great team spirit and a good mixture of youth and experience.

“We may not have passed the ball as much as Villa, but the fight and team spirit got us through.

“Our home form is going to be massive. And if we keep playing like that then we can have a great season.”

After leaving Cardiff City in a joint-deal with defensive team-mate Danny Gabbidon, Collins spent four years at Upon Park before making a £5m move to Aston Villa in 2009.

He enjoyed a successful three-year period in the midlands, making 109 outings for the Villans before returning to West Ham for a fee of £2.5m.

And the defender admitted it was “strange” facing his old club on his second debut for the Hammers – in which skipper Kevin Nolan bagged the first-half winner.

Collins said: “I’m not sure me knowing Villa so well helped me personally because obviously you don’t want to make a horrendous mistake against your old club.

“On the other hand, I do have an insight into their team which could have helped.

“It was strange. One minute you are playing with them and the next minute you are not. I still speak to a lot of the Villa boys on the phone because it was only two weeks ago that I left.

“But as soon as I got onto the pitch, I was just concentrating on getting three points for West Ham and playing well.”

Competition for places and various injury problems restricted Collins to just 65 appearances for the Hammers in his first spell at the club.

And the defender, who has 39 caps for Wales, insists he is a much better player than the one who left three years ago.

He added: “I’ve got a love for the club from when I was previously here.

“I left when I didn’t really want to, but I’ve come back and I’m a much better player now.”

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

HAMMERS SIGN MATT JARVIS AND GILLS EARN £1m+

Wolverhampton Wanderers have accepted a West Ham bid of £10m for former Gills and England winger Matt Jarvis landing Gills Chairman Paul Scally a substantial £1m+ windfall.

A clause in the terms of the original deal that sent the talented winger to Wolves from Priestfield stated that Wolves had to pay Gillingham up to 15 per cent of the profit if they ever sold Matt Jarvis.

The accepted West Ham offer equates to £1.5m on a £10m fee, some of which Paul Scally might use to further strengthen Martin Allen’s squad.

Wolves had rejected a number of bids from the Hammers over recent weeks including £9m just a few days ago as it wasn’t enough to tempt Wolves into selling, because Jarvis, who cost Wolves around £600k in 2007, having three years left on his contract and the club not needing to cash in on another of their star assets.

However, everybody has a price and the increased £10m bid was accepted when Matt passed a medical last night leaving Gills highly delighted with their unexpected early windfall. The terms of the Hammer’s deal is that around £3million of that figure is dependent on appearance-related clauses but the sum represents the highest transfer fee paid by West Ham in five years.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized