New hope for West Ham owners over future stadium plans as Germans show the way

General view outside the stadium before the match
	hammersos

A large section of West Ham United fans are unhappy with how the club's heralded move to the Olympic Stadium has panned out so far.

Match stewards attempt to make West Ham United fans sit downMatch stewards attempt to make West Ham United fans sit down

The Hammers' move to Stratford from their beloved Upton Park was beset by problems from the start.

From in-fighting among the club's fans over persistent standing to segregation issues, violent scenes between home and away supporters and a general dissatisfaction with the atmosphere and feel of a ground many refer to as 'soulless', it left a bitter taste in what was supposed to be a memorable and historic campaign.

Ahead of the stadium move, Hammers fans were promised a genuine retractable seating solution in communications from the club.

In reality they have been left with a temporary lower tier built on a complex scaffolding which will reportedly take weeks to deconstruct and reconstruct each season at a cost of £8 million - some £7.7m more than the original estimate.

West Ham's Olympic Stadium v DomizaleMind the gaps: Supporters hate the big chasms between the stands and the pitch

The distance from the stands to the pitch is a major bone of contention for many fans with the bowl shape of the venue the biggest problem as the stadium was not built with football in mind.

Having signed a 99-year lease many supporters are disillusioned at the prospect of a long-term future at the ground in it's current state.

But there could be new hope for the Hammers from Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

Hertha, who play in the German capital's own Olympic Stadium, have announced that the ground is set to lose its running track and athletics field under renovation plans to make it a football only arena, as revealed on the club's official website.

Olympic Stadium BerlinOlympic Stadium Berlin

Built in 1936 for the Berlin Games, it was renovated before hosting 2006 World Cup matches and then held the 2009 IAAF World Championships.

But now the Germans have announced it will now be a football first stadium, just as West Ham's own Olympic Stadium home undergoes its costly transformation into an athletics arena for the summer.

West Ham co chairman David Gold poses on the pitch before the matchWest Ham co chairman David Gold poses on the pitch

The London Stadium will host the IAAF World Championships this August meaning the Hammers will likely have to play their first three games of next season away from home.

Supporters are already desperate to see the stadium redeveloped to make the seats closer to the pitch.

Well placed Hammers fans' website Claret and Hugh, which often gets exclusive club news first, claimed last month that UK Athletics could be paid to quit the London Stadium after August's Championships.

The report states that the huge £8m cost of moving what it more accurately describes as 'relocatable' seating is not feasible long term and one idea being explored is paying UK Athletics to relocate the Anniversary Games to their home base in Birmingham, giving up their 50-year agreement to use the London Stadium.

Athletics - Men's 200m Round 1Usain Bolt at the Olympic Stadium

Cancelling the agreement would cost millions but could work out cheaper than the annual transformation bill.

Like Hertha, that would free up West Ham's owners David Sullivan and David Gold to properly convert the stadium as the running track would no longer be required.

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