West Ham could still afford to move to the Olympic Stadium if they were relegated from the Premier League, according to their vice chairman Karren Brady.
The Apprentice star claims the east London club’s desire to leave their Upton Park home and move to the venue in Stratford, east London, after the 2012 Games is a long-term plan and one they would not risk if they could not afford it.
West Ham’s campaign with Newham Council is now a head-to-head battle with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Both plans are being scrutinised by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) which is deciding the future of the £537M venue.
Nevertheless, Brady is confident that the Hammers can get one over their rivals with a successful bid.
She said: “We have been planning our bid, let us not forget this, for the last 12 months.
“Everything we are doing has been meticulously planned and well worked out. This is a not a last-minute application.
“I think that if you think about it the hint is in the title – it is the Olympic Park Legacy Company and that is what it is intended to be.”
The former managing director of Birmingham City believes West Ham may have the edge as they are a local club and if Tottenham’s bid was successful, they would have to move cross-town from Haringey.
Furthermore, West Ham plan to covert the 80,000-seater stadium into a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use, while Spurs have admitted they have no plans to retain an athletics track. West Ham’s bid has also been boosted by the revelation that UK Athletics and Westfield, a new retail landmark in the region, favour them as a potential bidder.