West Ham are contacting Tottenham to gauge their interest in a potential ground-sharing scheme for the 2012 Olympic Stadium.
ESPNsoccernet can reveal that Hammers officials are to make contact with Spurs this weekend to see whether they are serious about relocating to the 80,000-capacity stadium in Stratford.
West Ham were stunned when Spurs provided unexpected competition by entering a bid in conjunction with AEG, the US operators of the O2 Arena, on the deadline for applications for the Olympic Stadium.
Since then, the Hammers have been trying to contact their London rivals, and the possibility might be to become partners rather than rivals. A West Ham insider told ESPNsoccernet: “In reality, we wouldn’t rule out sharing the Olympic stadium, but we cannot be sure Tottenham are serious as they have also sought planning consent for a new stadium in Harringey, so it might just be a back-up option.”
Charlton temporarily ‘shared’ Upton Park at one time and the source added: “There is a precedent as far as West Ham United are concerned about ground sharing, so it would be something we would think about again.”
Former Tottenham chairman Lord Alan Sugar has told ESPNsoccernet that he believes it makes more sense for Spurs to move to the Olympic Stadium rather than risk massive debt by spending huge money on a new stadium in Harringey.
The former Spurs chairman is “confused” about why Spurs have bid for the Olympic Stadium if they have pursued and obtained planning consent to build a new stadium in North London, but he feels the East London stadium represents the more sensible financial solution.
“I am confused why Spurs are pursuing both options,” he said. “I’m confused because I am not sure which one they really want.
“Personally it makes more financial sense moving to the Olympic Stadium than building your own stadium and finding something like £400 million when you’d rather spend your money on new players.
“Of course Spurs haven’t got that kind of money and would need to borrow it, and you end up with the same sort of problems you found at Manchester Untied and Liverpool, where clubs pay so much interest on their loans it can only come from the coffers of the football club.
“Renting a stadium from the council makes sense, as Manchester City have done, and it has worked for them. However, Spurs fans would ideally want to keep their club in North London if at all possible.
“It would also be interesting to find out from our friends at West Ham what they think about Spurs applying for the Olympic Stadium when they have also done so, and it makes more sense from them from an emotional and location point of view.”
Sugar speaks as a Spurs fan, but his Apprentice co-star Karren Brady is part of the board at West Ham.