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Tight London Stadium turnaround on horizon as West Ham sweat on clearance for home opener
Photo by James Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images

Tight London Stadium turnaround on horizon as West Ham sweat on clearance for home opener

West Ham United face a tight turnaround to have the London Stadium ready for the opening game of next season.

That’s after the dates for the annual athletics meeting, the Anniversary Games, was announced on Thursday.

There has been a 15-day turnaround on converting the ground back into football mode from athletics mode.

Photo by Shaun Brooks Action Plus via Getty Images

Athletics forces tight turnaround

As a result West Ham had to get special dispensation from the Premier League to start the first two seasons at the ground with matches away from home.

That has not gone down well with Hammers fans who were promised by vice-chairman Karren Brady that West Ham fixtures would always take priority when they moved to Stratford.

Some of the world’s top track and field athletes will be in action at the London Stadium when the Muller Anniversary Games takes place on the weekend of July 20-21 (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park).

Photo by Tom Jenkins

Stadium should be ready in time

That means the earliest the stadium conversion can get underway is July 22nd.

With an uninterrupted 15-day turnaround it would be ready by August 5th. That is five days before the opening game of the 2019/20 season.

That means West Ham would then have four days at best to get all their branding back in place and operations in order should they pull a home fixture.

Photo by Artur Widak NurPhoto via Getty Images

Premier League will want guarantees

However there may be another problem.

The Premier League could be reluctant to allow for the possibility of a home opener at West Ham if they cannot guarantee the stadium will be ready given the fixtures are announced a month prior in mid-June.

However the league has been very understanding of Tottenham’s stadium issues this season so a precedent has now been set.

It could be argued the stadium issue has directly hampered the team. West Ham have got the last three seasons off to the worst possible start with defeats on the road.