Big Sam fires stadium warning

Robin van Persie has insisted he had no hesitation in deciding

to join Manchester United in the summer after also attracting

interest from Manchester City.

Van Persie is preparing for his first Manchester derby on Sunday

after deciding to bring an end to an eight-year stint with Premier

League rivals Arsenal.

The Dutchman had the chance to sign for City but insists he is

happy with his decision to head to Old Trafford.

“I made my mind up very quickly and I am coming into work with a

big smile on my face every day,” Van Persie told


“It is not really work, it is my hobby – I love football. But

everyone has been so nice to me and I have been having the time of

my life here.

“So I don’t regret that – but of course in a derby you have lots

of people involved – the fans and the players.

“Everyone is really committed and wants their team to win and

we’ll do all we can to win too.”

Van Persie is eager to help United claim victory at the Etihad

Stadium and extend their advantage at the top of the table to six


He added: “Anything can happen but that’s the case with us every

week. We want to stretch our lead and keep our run going.”

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A unanimous decision from the London Legacy Development

Corporation board (LLDC) was to make Premier League club the

preferred bidder for the use of the Olympic Stadium.

Allardyce believes the relocation could be “outstanding” for the

Hammers but has issued a stark warning that the club must continue

to develop and progress to make the Olympic Stadium move work.

“There is one thing you have to bear in mind, you cannot build a

white elephant and the white elephant is a great stadium and no

team – disaster,” he said.

“We have to manage our finances carefully because of the

over-riding debt of the football club.

“I think what (co-chairmen) David Sullivan and David Gold do is

top that up with their own wealth but there is somewhere down the

line where they want to create a situation where that doesn’t


“The long-term future of the football club is not only a new

stadium but a new training facility that needs to go with the

stadium as well – there are years of good financial management

needed as well as success on the field.”

The 58-year-old Allardyce took charge at Bolton two years after

they had opened their new stadium and soon led the Trotters to the

Barclays Premier League.

The ex-Blackburn boss reckons his success in Bolton would not

have been possible if the club had not moved to their newer, modern


“There is always a lot of disruption when a club decides to move

form somewhere which has a huge history,” he said.

“It is always going to be upsetting to some of the very loyal

supporters we have but in the end, when you look to what happened

at places like Bolton, I couldn’t have built that sort of success

without those fantastic facilities – not that a facility has ever

produced a player but it doesn’t half help.”

Allardyce is also aware that the extra revenue that comes from

selling out a bigger stadium could make a difference in football’s

modern era.

“I suppose it has got bigger facilities and could then create

bigger revenues and I think you have got to judge a football club

by its revenues these days – by its spending power,” he said.

“Its spending power is the ultimate now when we look at what

Roman (Abramovich) has done at Chelsea and certainly what Mr.

Mansour has done at Man City, so if you increase your spending

power you can increase the size of your football club.”

Sullivan and Gold have already backed Allardyce in the transfer

window and also stumped up the wages to bring Andy Carroll to the

club on loan.

The Liverpool striker has had some off-field distractions during

his career to date but, following accusations of attacking a

photographer in Dublin after the Hammers’ Christmas party,

Allardyce is not worried about Carroll’s reputation.

“We have got 25 players out there and this is just a little

minor blip for me that was caused by a photographer and not by Andy

Carroll,” he said.

“He just wants to get on with his football, he doesn’t get

distracted, he would prefer not to have it but like I said with the

way he is he has got to cope with it as best as he possibly