Gold baffled by Spurs’ stadium bid

Spurs made the surprise announcement last week that they had

declared an interest in occupying the stadium when the 2012 Games

finish. That brought Spurs into direct conflict with their East End

rivals, who admitted they were keen on moving to Stratford when

Gold and David Sullivan bought the club in January. Spurs’ 11th

hour bid to take over the stadium has angered West Ham, with

Sullivan branding the move a “slap in the face for East London”.

The north London club have since issued a statement insisting that

they would only move to the Olympic Stadium if their bid to build a

new ground close to White Hart Lane fails. Haringey council’s

decision to approve planning permission for the Northumberland

Development Project appears to have given Spurs the green light to

stay in north London but they admit that a switch to East London is

still a back-up possibility. Gold is bemused as to why the north

Londoners have submitted a bid to occupy the stadium and insists

that West Ham’s bid will succeed. Gold said: “I find it difficult

to understand that the Spurs regime have just got planning

permission in Haringey council for their new stadium at Tottenham.

Why would they want another one? “I think the issues they have over

their other stadium are relatively small I think, so what I would

say is that our bid is a joint bid with Newham council and is the

right bid, the best bid, the preferred bid. “It brings more to the

local community and I think our bid will be successful.” Senior

figures at West Ham are understood to be fuming at Spurs’ bid,

which would see the north London outfit move eight miles to their

new home. If successful, West Ham would only have to move three

miles and would remain in the borough of Newham. Tottenham

submitted their bid to move to the stadium with the backing of

sports and entertainment company AEG hours before the deadline at

the end of last month. They could arguably be the more attractive

option for the Olympic Park Legacy Company, who will decide the

stadium’s future in December. Harry Redknapp’s team are currently

playing Champions League football while West Ham are rooted to the

foot of the table and are by no means certain of being in the top

flight when the 2012-2013 season begins. But Gold remains confident

that they would be able to fill the 60,000 capacity stadium if

their bid is approved. “Our bid is that it will be for a

60,000-seater stadium which we will fill,” Gold continued. “I

believe there is a hardcore of around 50,000 West Ham fans which

will help us and we’ll be able to attract another 10,000 fans.

“Young people and children will be able to come to the new stadium

at very cheap prices. “Families will be able to come to matches

that they haven’t been able to afford before, so what our bid

brings is added opportunities and that’s why we believe it will be

the preferred bid.” Gold added that part of the club’s plans for

the stadium, which were submitted as part of a visit to 10 Downing

Street last week, were to help redevelop the area around the

ground. He continued: “We have received numerous bits of support.

Lord Seb Coe has been very supportive of the bid, which includes

athletics, and a number of sporting events. “West Ham boxing club

is only a mile away from Stratford, their lease is up and their

building is going to be redeveloped. “They would come if we were

successful so 200 young boys would have a new club rather than end

up on the streets.”