By Andrew Warshaw

Karren Brady_David_Gold_and_David_Sullivan_in_front_of_Olympic_Stadium_February_11_2011October 11 - West Ham United insisted today they still want to take over the Olympic Stadium despite the collapse of the deal allowing the club to move in straight after next year's Games.

The Board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) suddenly ended negotiations because of the concerns caused by the ongoing legal dispute with Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.

Both clubs are challenging the process by which West Ham were allowed to secure a £40 million ($62.5 million/€45.8 million) loan from Newham Council, describing it as state aid.

But in a joint statement with her counterpart at Newham, West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady said the East London outfit, the nearest major club to the Stratford site, still had the best case.

"Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promise of the Olympic Stadium," Brady said.

"We would welcome a move by OPLC and Government to end [the] uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process."

Orient chairman Barry Hearn, who would be willing to groundshare, inevitably welcomed the news.

"Today is a fabulous day for Leyton Orient fans," said Hearn, who is afraid his club will tumble out of existence if West Ham are given sole rights.

"It puts the whole thing back in the public domain as it should be.

"West Ham are not a shoo-in, that's very good because they will be competing with a host of other people who have claims on and plans for the Olympic Stadium."

As well as the legal challenges by Tottenham and Leyton Orient, the OPLC were particularly concerned about an anonymous complaint to the European Commission, which invariably takes years to make decisions, and would have rendered the stadium a virtual white elephant in the meantime.

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The Stadium will now remain in public ownership and the OPLC will try and find a range of tenants willing to pay rental on the stadium, which will be reduced to 60,000 seats at a cost of £50 million ($78 million/€57 million) drawn from OPLC funds.

Interested parties will have until January to submit their bids and the OPLC will then try and put together a package of tenants that makes the stadium viable.

There was no immediate comment from Tottenham, the club who started the whole debate off.

The Premier League club are waiting for the outcome of the October 18 judicial review before announcing their next move.

But ironically, with the insistence that any lease-holder must retain the running track, the North London club - which would have ripped it up - appear closer than ever to abandoning the idea, instead pursuing the far more popular option of turning their White Hart Lane stadium into a 56,000-capacity ground on an adjacent site.

Spurs chair Daniel Levy is adamant that Haringey Council plays its full role in contributing to the local infrastructure.

But with Newham no longer lending West Ham pots of money, there are bound to be questions about whether Levy has overplayed this particular hand and whether he has rendered Tottenham's quest for a much-needed new ground more rather than less complicated.

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Sport and Olympics Mnister Hugh Robertson (pictued above with London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe) said the whole Olympic Stadium process would now be better served.

"This is not a white elephant stadium where no one wants it, we have had two big clubs fighting tooth and nail to get it," he said.

"The new process will be more like how Manchester City took over the Commonwealth Games stadium which is regarded as a leading example of how to do it."

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) also claimed they were happy with the decision, which UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner says boosts London's chances of hosting the 2017 World Championships.

"I think it is clear that this is very good news not just for the 2017 bid but for the future of athletics in Great Britain," a source at the world governing body told insidethegames.

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