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London Mayor confident West Ham will move to Olympic Stadium

London Mayor Boris Johnson believes it is "overwhelmingly likely" that football club West Ham United will secure the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium despite the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) having extended the bidding process in an effort to attract further interest, reports SportBusiness. The Corporation said it would allow a further eight weeks to allow all parties that registered to receive the Invitation to Tender (ITT) additional time to submit a bid, with the intention of securing a new tenant by October.

The Hammers has been leading the race to secure usage of the stadium. The club has twice been told to resubmit its bid because of legal challenges from others, including Tottenham and most recently Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn. However, Johnson believes the club will ultimately emerge victorious.

"I don't think we should read too much into this (delay)," he said, according to The Telegraph newspaper.

"It is very important to get all the legal nails hit squarely on the head so that the thing does not come unstuck. That is taking a bit of time. I still think it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be a footballing solution and that would be a good thing, but it is not in my view absolutely essential. I can envisage all sorts of other legacy solutions for the stadium."

Johnson added: "It is very important that it should be legally watertight, and if you look at the fate of stadiums around the world - look at Beijing and Athens - stadiums are the most difficult things to make sure you get a serious legacy proposition for. In London we are incredibly far advanced compared to other Olympic cities and it is important that we button it down, and that is what this process is about.

"This is a difficult process. This is a major piece of public infrastructure with big state aid implications that we are trying to transfer to commercial concerns and that is always going to evoke very complicated legal problems."

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Dave Williams

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