(N34) - "trash our international reputation"? - 24 January 2011, 0935 - Jonathan Birchall, Goal.com

We are not prepared to ‘trash our international reputation’
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe slams Tottenham's Olympic Stadium plan

24 January 2011, 0935 - Jonathan Birchall

West Ham chief Karren Brady also continues to attack Spurs' bid

Chairman of the 2012 London Olympics Lord Coe has slammed Tottenham's plans to occupy the Olympic Stadium in east London following the Games.

Spurs are currently battling West Ham for the right to take control of the stadium and if successful, plan to knock the stadium down and replace it with one that they say is more suitable for hosting football. They do, however, state that they would redevelop the current athletics facilities at Crystal Palace.

Olympic announcement

David Beckham, Lord Coe and Andy Anson,David Beckham, Lord Coe and Andy Anson, FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022 Host Countries Announcement(Getty Images)

However, Coe, who led the bid in 2005, isn't convinced and claims that Spurs' plans would undermine the Games' legacy.

"It’s really serious we deliver on what we said we were going to deliver, unless we are prepared to trash our international reputation.

"If we don’t, it would be difficult to be taken seriously in the corridors of world sport.

"I remember delivering a vision about a generation of young people being inspired to take up Olympic sports. I’m prepared to revisit my words that day but I genuinely don’t recall a whole heap about bulldozing down a publicly-funded facility, replacing it with a Premiership football club and inspiring a generation of Tottenham season-ticket holders.

"I find it inconceivable grandparents will take children back to a Premiership football ground and say somewhere among this lies dormant the memories of Jessica Ennis or Usain Bolt reaching the heights of sport. It just does not smell right."

Meanwhile, West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has also furthered the debate, questioning Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp's impassioned call for Spurs' plans to go ahead.

She said: "Harry has got his own agenda, no doubt given to him by his board to deliver. When he was asked before for his view of Tottenham moving to the Olympic Stadium, he said, 'That's West Ham territory, isn't it?' It's amazing what pressure can be put on you to change your opinion.

"Harry seems to have been briefed that we are simply moving our goalposts there. That is not true. This is being built by Westfield, an outstanding company, and one of the ideas is to move seats closer behind the goal. I'd be a lot more worried about Spurs filling their stadium because of all the demonstrations I have seen from the Tottenham supporters who are against moving.

"But this is much bigger than Harry's point of view. He is bordering on hysteria."


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24/1/2011 Last updated 24/1/2011