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Fans poll on West Ham Olympic Stadium move

Category: England

Published: 11th Apr 2012 17:44:36

West Ham United fans have started a poll seeking views on the club's proposed move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

The group behind the ballot - WHU's View - claims the club does not want to hear supporters' opinions on the move.

The club said it was unable to have discussions about the proposed move because of a confidentiality agreement.

West Ham's bid to use the stadium after the Olympics is one of four.

WHU's View is seeking an independent poll so that supporters can express their opinion on the move.

Peter Caton, of WHU's View, said: "If the club wins the bid and the keys are handed over, we don't believe that the club are then going to want to ask supporters because it'll be a fait accompli."

Over two home games, WHU's View will hand out 15,000 ballot papers.

West Ham hope to move about four miles (6.44km) from their current home at Upton Park in east London to the new venue.

West Ham said it had been in contact with WHU's View about a poll and has agreed to carry one out after 21 May, the date a decision on the successful bidder will be made.

A club spokesman said: "The club is currently bound by such stringent confidentiality constraints whilst in the bidding process that we are unable to conduct it until after 21 May.

"The May deadline will not be the final opportunity for supporters to have their say, but it is a legal deadline that we have to respect and adhere to.

"It remains the desire of West Ham United to work with all supporter groups and the club is in constant dialogue with them."

The Football Supporters' Federation said it did not believe West Ham had broken any rules on fan consultation. It expects rules to come into force soon that should see the club carry out a thorough consultation on their proposals.

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the federation, said: "In line with the spirit of the rule which the Football League are going to introduce, we believe that West Ham should carry out a proper independent consultation with their fanbase."

Essex County Cricket Club and The University of East London have also tabled a joint bid to use the stadium. The two other candidates are unknown.

West Ham were initially awarded the stadium in a partnership with Newham Council in October last year, but the deal fell through following complaints from rival clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.

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BBC News, 2012. Fans poll on West Ham Olympic Stadium move [Online] (Updated 11th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1421825/Fans-poll-on-West-Ham-Olympic-Stadium-move [Accessed 1st Sep 2014]

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