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Sebastian Coe calls on UK Athletics to ditch talks with West Ham over deal to leave London Stadium.

World Athletics chairman Sebastian Coe calls on UK Athletics to suspend talks with West Ham over a £15m deal to leave London Stadium… two-time Olympic champion says it would be ‘bizarre’ not to world class location to have field in the capital

  • UK Athletics has access to the London Stadium for one month each summer
  • But the cash-strapped governing body is ready to cash in and move
  • Stadium requires £3million transformation every time it is converted for athletics
  • Sebastian Coe says it is important that the sport remains present in London

Sebastian Coe has stressed it would be ‘bizarre’ for athletics to gain a foothold in London as UK athletics associations deliberated on how to cash in on their right to use the London Stadium.

Under the terms of a 50-year deal signed in 2013, UKA will have access to the home of the 2012 London Olympics for one month each summer, but thanks to the governing body’s flimsy finances, they are in buyout talks that will eventually lead to West Africa. would enable Ham to operate a football field.

Now that Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium has been redeveloped ahead of the Commonwealth Games, there is an option for UKA to move and receive the money, which could be as much as £12million to £15million.

UK Athletics in talks with West Ham over £15m deal to leave London Stadium

UK Athletics in talks with West Ham over £15m deal to leave London Stadium

But World Athletics chairman Coe thinks it is important that the sport remains present in the capital.

The World Athletics president, who was previously head of the 2012 Olympics, said: “I’m very clear: we need to maintain a truly world-class athletics presence in London, we need to keep it.

“It would be bizarre not to. I want London to remain a stopping place for international athletics.’

The stadium will require a £3m transformation cost each time it is converted for athletics

The stadium will require a £3m transformation cost each time it is converted for athletics

Sebastian Coe says it would be 'bizarre' if athletics lost their foothold in London

Sebastian Coe says it would be ‘bizarre’ if athletics lost their foothold in London

The stadium, which requires a transformation cost of £3m each time it is converted for athletics, has not been used for its original purpose since the 2019 Anniversary Games and will return in 2023 at the earliest. The only alternative that currently exists in London, at Crystal Palace, has been neglected to a state of ruin.

If London doesn’t have a premier athletics venue, Coe indicated it could be more difficult for UKA to attract future World Championships: “I don’t want to speculate on that because World Championships don’t always go to capital cities. But I think we have to recognize that the quality, the natural resources that London has in an Olympic stadium is still an attraction.

“We had member federations within minutes of the 2017 World Championships came to me and said, ‘Can’t we just bring them back to London every two years?’ So it is a great asset. That is of course a great asset.’

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