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West Ham’s McAvennie: Hammers won’t stay at the London Stadium

PUBLISHED: 12:01 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:29 11 July 2017

A general view of London Stadium during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

A general view of London Stadium during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Hammers legend believes that the club will move out of their new stadium within five years

Frank McAvennie as he is today outside the new German Doner Kebab shop in WestfieldFrank McAvennie as he is today outside the new German Doner Kebab shop in Westfield

West Ham legend Frank McAvennie believes that the club may not be at the London Stadium in five years time.

The Scotland international striker, who formed such a devastating partnership with Tony Cottee back in the mid-eighties, paid the London Stadium a visit on Friday and praised the supporters for selling out the club’s season-ticket allocation, but added a warning.

“West Ham fans have done it again,” he said. “They’ve gone and bought out all the season tickets which is incredible considering they’ve not bought anyone.

“But I don’t think they will be in that stadium in five years time. I would lilke somebody to come and if Mr Gold and Mr Sullivan want out, to sell to one of the big boys.

West Ham United's Frank McAvennie scoring West Ham's 2nd goal against Oxford United at Upton Park.West Ham United's Frank McAvennie scoring West Ham's 2nd goal against Oxford United at Upton Park.

“I like Tottenham, they’re doing the right thing building a stadium next to White Hart Lane, that’s what we should have done at Upton Park. I don’t think West Ham will stay there, I have a feeling it’s not forever.”

McAvennie, who was a hero of Upton Park, said that the atmosphere needs to improve at the stadium too.

“I would probably give it a five or six,” he said. “It was good at times, the best being against Tottenham with the atmosphere, which shows to me that there can be atmosphere in that ground.

“But say you’ve got to stay there for three years, then you have to build a football stadium. If you ask West Ham to do something they can’t do it, because they’ve got to go and ask somebody.

Frank McAvennie has been impressed by the way Tottenham have gone about building their new stadiumFrank McAvennie has been impressed by the way Tottenham have gone about building their new stadium

“That’s not right. A Premier League club that is earning hundreds of millions of pounds, come on?!”

McAvennie, who scored 57 goals in 186 appearances in claret and blue over two spells, is a Hammer at heart, and he wants the club to succeed at the new stadium, but he thinks that has to be down to the players.

“The problem is the players,” he said. “At Upton Park it was the fans who created the atmosphere, they started it, whereas the players have got to do it in the new stadium because it’s a long way from the pitch.

“That dictates what happens on the pitch, which is very sad, but it’s down to the players to do it. Football pitches are all the same, they’re all about the same size, but the players have to create the atmosphere, it’s a catch-22 situation, but I’m hopeful that it turns round.”

McAvennie was shown round the stadium on Friday, but admitted it was not the best moment for a tour.

“It’s the wrong time for me to come down because they’re turning it into an athletics stadium,” said the Scotsman. “But it doesn’t matter what way you wrap it up, it’s an athletics venue.

“I’m old school and I think most of the fans are too, but the kids like it over here, they love it, so it’s a new generation. And the players coming in who are not used to playing at Upton Park anyway, they don’t remember it so that will enjoy the new stadium.”

McAvennie was speaking at the launch party of the new German Doner Kebab (GDK) restaurant in Stratford.

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