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Football tenant for Olympic Stadium not an option

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Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and the chair of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), Seb Coe, have effectively ruled out the possibility of the Olympic Stadium being used to house a football club after the 2012 Games.

Speaking over the weekend, Jowell and Coe both reiterated that the commitment to athletics outlined in the bid for the Games would be honoured, effectively rejecting the possiblity of a football club acting as anchor tenant for the stadium.

In recent weeks, sports minister Richard Caborn had indicated that West Ham FC was in talks with a view to taking over the stadium. Caborn is a keen advocate of tying in a football club, along the lines of the arrangement made with Manchester City FC following the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

However, Jowell has poured cold water on the idea, telling the Sunday Telegraph "I want to be absolutely clear about this. The decision by the Olympic board is that the legacy use will be for athletics.

"Not only are we bound by what we were told by the IOC, but we are bound by a belief in the importance of there being an athletics legacy."

Coe told BBC Five Live Sport: "If football wants to play within the confines of a track and field configuration, are prepared to give track and field primary usage and are coming to the table with £100m to make this a viable option of course we would look at it."

Jowell indicated that the substantial cost, coupled with the headaches of maintaining a dual-purpose stadium with a permanent athletics track, had effectively closed the door on a football club tenant in June.

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Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and the chair of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), Seb Coe, have effectively ruled out the possibility of the Olympic Stadium being used to house a football club after the 2012 Games.
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