After the 14 members of the Olympic Park Legacy Company meet this morning, it will be time for Newham council to pull out its cheque book and write out a payment for £40 million of council taxpayers' money. Like other news sources today, the Guardian confidently reports:
Meanwhile on Saturday, West Ham will continue their increasingly desperate attempt to become only the second club to stay up after being bottom of the Barclays Premier League on Christmas Day, with an away game against West Brom.
It is understood that key figures on the OPLC board feel that only West Ham's bid fulfils the five criteria laid out in the tender document. And while [OPLC chair Margaret Ford] has insisted they will judge purely on those five criteria, others raised the emotional stakes. Interventions by the likes of Lord Coe and the IAAF president Lamine Diack, who said Britain's reputation would be trashed if the stadium was demolished, raised the political temperature. It became clear that neither the coalition government – who view the London Games as a potential turning point in their first term – nor London's mayor, Boris Johnson,, shortly facing his own battle at the ballot box, would want to become known for ordering the wrecking balls to go in weeks after the closing ceremony.
At least they'll have one full season to try and avoid bankruptcy and clamber back into the Premiership before the keys to their new stadium are handed over.