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Board 'committed' to OS move

Filed: Wednesday, 5th December 2012
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United have issued a statement confirming their delight at being named as "highest-ranked bidder" in the race for the Olympic Stadium.

London mayor Boris Johnson confirmed this lunchtime (Tuesday) that the club had beaten off competition from the three other bidders to be nominated as the London Legacy Development Corporation's choice as chosen cadidate to take on the 99-year lease.

And speaking on behalf of the club's board, vice-chair Karren Brady - who has been leading negotiations on behalf of the club for the last two years - said that the club were "committed to delivering our promises".

"For the last three years it has been my firm, unwavering belief that the Stadium can truly become a multi-use destination of which east London and the nation as a whole can be proud," said Brady.

"I have never lost sight of our vision to play our part, along with the Stadium's major stakeholders, in ensuring it grows into a global asset. It is the 'jewel in the crown' of the Park, watched by the world.

"Our vision for the Stadium has always been about standing up for the promises made for London back in Singapore in 2005. We are committed to delivering our promises as set out in our bid.

"The hard work really does start here and work is already well underway to ensure that we really bring our community, which includes 500,000 supporters in east London and Essex alone, with us.

"We are already working with key strategic partners to ensure that unemployed east Londoners in key target groups will have access to sustainable employment in the Olympic Park via the 700-plus job opportunities that West Ham's tenancy will create. We guarantee millions of visitors and customers, which will galvanise the Park and act as the catalyst to spark a thriving economy in this part of east London.

"In selecting West Ham United, the LLDC have secured a long-term viable financial future for the Park. On behalf of West Ham United, I feel privileged to have been granted the responsibility to play a key part in delivering a true Games legacy.

"I would like to thank the loyal, passionate and patient West Ham supporters who have given their time to share their opinions on our proposed move and, despite the considerable constraints and confidentially agreements we were required to enter into, I can assure them that their feedback was instrumental in shaping the Board's approach to our bid.

"I guarantee they will not be disappointed when our full vision for a Stadium that is world-class in terms of supporter experience, sightlines and facilities is revealed. We will seek to share full details as soon as we are able to do so.
"We are now committed to working closely with our new partners and stakeholders in the Stadium to successfully conclude our discussions and bring our collective ambitions to fruition."

Co-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold - who are understood to have confirmed that they will not look to sell the club in the near future - issued a joint statement.

''We believe that this move, together with the realisation of other key goals that the Board set out to achieve from the outset, will play a huge part in helping to realise our ambitious vision to move the Club to the next level on behalf of our fantastic and deserving fans," it said.

"Our absolute priority is to take them with us, as well as enticing those supporters that have previously eluded us due to barriers such as affordability and accessibility.

"We also wish to extend our social inclusion agenda to encourage greater community cohesion and expand our equalities and diversity work to make both West Ham and football as a whole more accessible to key target groups. We realised our lifelong ambition upon becoming Chairmen of the Club we both so passionately support. We are dedicated to West Ham United and the Stadium for the long haul. We are now committed to working with the LLDC in full consultation with our supporters to finalise our plans to make the Stadium our home.

"We are ambitious for our great club and aim to set the benchmark for visiting away and neutral football supporters from across the globe to come and enjoy the iconic Stadium and be part of our Premier League club experience."

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