ALLARDYCE FEARS OLYMPIC STADIUM "WHITE ELEPHANT"

West Ham United are back on the trail of obtaining the Olympic Stadium lease.

The club's manager, Sam Allardyce, has expressed his opinion on the matter warning London's Olympic Stadium could become a "white elephant" if the Hammers are not granted to relocate there.

The Olympic Stadium's purpose was to be the main venue for the London Olympic Games and its future has been debated for many months before, during and is continuing after the closing ceremony of the Games.

West Ham United, who are back in the Premier League after a season in the Championship, were initially the favourites to obtain tenancy but were denied last October following a legal dispute headed by fellow London clubs Tottenham Hotspur and League 1 Leyton Orient.

From the outset, the central part of London 2012's legacy aims was to maintain a home for athletics at the stadium, but Allardyce warns that without the regular use provided by Premier League football, the stadium and surrounding areas would fall into decline.

Allardyce said: "If they keep it for athletics, the only time it will ever get a big crowd again after the Olympics is when they hold the World Championships there in five years time.

"You only have to look around the world at some of the Olympic Stadiums that have been built. They're white elephants now. There are weeds growing there. Look at the 'Bird's Nest' in Beijing, look at Athens.

"The Olympic Park is a fantastic place, but it can't be left to rack and ruin. If a club with the history and fanbase and potential of West Ham don't go there, the concern would be that the park is left empty the vast majority of the time."

If the Hammers are successfully granted the stadium's 99-year lease it would see them move out of Upton Park, their home since 1904.

Posted on 13/08/2012