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
“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