Betfred Sport

Hammer blow as stadium move hits stumbling block

West Ham and Newham council's joint bid for the 2012 Olympic stadium has suffered a major blow, as it was revealed that the stadium will remain in public ownership.

The legal disputes involving Tottenham, West Ham and Leyton Orient have made the Olympic Park Legacy Company change its mind, after originally naming West Ham as the preferred bidder.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson insisted the decision was vital for the stadium's future legacy, saying: "The process to sell the stadium has become bogged down. We are acting today to end the legal paralysis that has put that legacy at risk."

West Ham United and the Newham Council have also issued a statement, which reads: "Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promise of the Olympic Stadium - an amazing year-round home for football, athletics and community events of which the nation could be proud."

But all is not lost for the Hammers. It is now thought that the east Londoners will look to become tenants of the stadium, renting it on an annual basis.

By Daniel Nussbaum

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