Hammers co-owner David Gold has made a big West Ham stadium claim and lifted the lid on problems faced at every turn.

Many West Ham fans were – and remain – unhappy with the London Stadium since the big move to Stratford in 2016.

The major bone of contention has been the distance from the stands to the pitch.

Given what West Ham fans had at their beloved Upton Park and the vision sold to them on leaving the famous Boleyn Ground, it is easy to see why.

Changes have been made to the stands behind both goals at the London Stadium to square them off in line with more traditional football stadia.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

And the redevelopment of the west stand coincided with a stadium capacity increase from 60,000 to 62,500. That is part of a wider plan to eventually raise capacity to 66,000.

But some supporters will never forgive the club’s owners over the decision to leave Upton Park for an arena of such stark contrast.

Many wanted the club to instead improve the Boleyn Ground by redeveloping the chicken run and filling in the corners.

Plans were at one stage drawn up along those lines. But the Hammers hierarchy instead bid to take over the Olympic Stadium as anchor tenants.

Those against the move feel more should have been done to try and remain at Upton Park.

But ‘every possibility’ was explored according to one of the men behind the decision to leave for Stratford.

David Gold has made a big West Ham stadium claim and lifted the lid on problems faced at every turn.

Speaking in a newly added chapter of his autobiography, Gold claims he was seriously torn over leaving the old ground and insists he and David Sullivan did look at redeveloping Upton Park.

Dagenham and Redbridge v West Ham United: Friendly
Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“Whilst on the one hand I was excited by the possibilities of moving to the Olympic Stadium, I knew it meant demolishing Upton Park and having the site redeveloped into flats, which really troubled me,” Gold says in his updated autobiography.

“I also knew a lot of fans didn’t want to move but ultimately we all, as fans, want success. We want to win the FA Cup, we want to get into Europe and challenge the top teams in the Premier League.

“We had explored every possibility of rebuilding Upton Park but there were road blocks and restrictions at every turn. So the reality was that, to secure the commercial future of the football club, we simply had to move.”


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