Grounds for optimism

WEST HAM are expected to move into their new training ground for the start of next season - but a new stadium is likely to take a whole lot longer! One of the effects of coming to an agreement with Sheffield United over compensation payments is that the H

WEST HAM are expected to move into their new training ground for the start of next season - but a new stadium is likely to take a whole lot longer!

One of the effects of coming to an agreement with Sheffield United over compensation payments is that the Hammers can now move forward in their development plan, and that means a new training ground.

The club will keep their site at Chadwell Heath, at least until the Crossrail Link plans are finalised, but they will look to confirm their purchase of the Ford Sports & Social Club in Rush Green Road, Romford during the summer.

There is some work to be done at the site, but there is one main pitch with a grandstand, which was used by non-league outfit Ford United.


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There is also a lot more space to develop a top quality facility, and though the West Ham Academy is expected to move into Chadwell Heath, there is the possibility that all of the Hammers' teams could be eventually housed on one site.

West Ham had considered leasing the site in Rush Green Road, but with prices dropping during the current recession, it may be a better long-term strategy to buy it outright.

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West Ham's deal with Sheffield United, which has spread the �26million payment to the Blades over five years, means that the club will certainly have some extra cash to spend, but it seems that the possibility of a new arena is not a top priority at the moment.

The Recorder understands that the prospect of a new stadium has certainly not been written off, but with the chance of a takeover at the club in the summer, as well as the current economic climate, it is very much on the back-burner.

Nowhere has been totally discounted either.

West Ham are still looking at the prospect of moving into the Olympic Stadium, especially if the political mood over the legacy for the Games' major arena changes.

While the site originally pinpointed by former chairman Eggert Magnusson, close to the West Ham Station, has also not been ruled out.

There are still difficulties with both possibilities, and West Ham are also considering another - yet unnamed site - as a third alternative.

It seems that all this is part of the long-term Hammers' plan.

Get the team into Europe, get the training facilities right so that they can continue to play on the Continental stage, and then if they can continue their success, the time may well be right for a move to a new stadium with a bigger capacity.

Watch this space!

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