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Hammers in talks with Fords

PUBLISHED: 16:53 14 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:21 11 August 2010

WEST Ham United are believed to be negotiating a deal that would see them move away from their training ground in Chadwell Heath. The Hammers have confirmed that they are looking to move from Westlands Playing Fields, and find a new base for training, wit

WEST Ham United are believed to be negotiating a deal that would see them move away from their training ground in Chadwell Heath.

The Hammers have confirmed that they are looking to move from Westlands Playing Fields, and find a new base for training, with the club's favoured site rumoured to be Ford's Sport and Social Club in Rush Green Road.

If the move goes ahead then it would end the club's 40 year relationship with the area.

Currently the sports club is only taking booking until August, suggesting that the deal could be fully completed by then.

A spokesman for Fords said: "We have received an unsolicited offer to purchase our entire Rush Green Sports and Social Club site, and are in discussion with the interested party.

"Assuming a sale proceeds, it is the club's intention to consolidate its Rush Green activities into Ford's neighbouring Newbury Park site four miles away, as far as is possible.

"Consolidation of the two sites into Newbury Park offers the Club the opportunity reverse substantial losses of recent years.

"The 28-acre Rush Green site and our 38-acre Newbury Park club have co-existed for more than 40 years. Since the 1980s, employee membership of Rush Green has reduced by 80 per cent.

"Since 2002, Ford employee membership from the Dagenham estate has reduced from over 10,000 members to less than 5,000 . Given these changes, a consolidation of facilities is the logical and prudent next step."

A spokesperson for West Ham added: "I think it's well documented that the club are looking for a new training ground, and we are considering a number of options. We are going to take our time, and ensure that we get the right place."

West Ham enjoys strong support from residents of the borough, and this is in no small part to the location of its training ground.

Many residents who have grown up in the borough regularly watch training sessions at the facility in Chadwell Heath.

Fans in the area have said they hope that the club can find a way to continue its affair with Westlands, which is based in Saville Road, just off the High Road.

Dan Jones, 46, who lives close to the park said: "I think it will be a shame if they move, even if it's only a couple of miles down the road.

"I've always supported West Ham and I'm proud to say I live near the training ground."

Mark Stevens, 20, added: "I can understand why they want to move, all top teams need top class facilities.

"If it makes a difference to performances on the pitch, then they should move on and find somewhere else to train.

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