Ideally you would not want track around your pitch, says Wenger

Arsene Wenger believes "99 per cent of managers" would rather play in a stadium without a running track.

Both Tottenham – who would tear up the athletics circuit – and West Ham, who would keep it, yesterday gave final submissions to the Olympic Park Legacy Company setting out plans for the Stratford site after the 2012 Games.

IAAF president Lamine Diack has claimed it would be "outrageous" if Spurs moved in, declaring Britain's position in world sport will be "dead" and "finished".

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, meanwhile, feels the Hammers' proposals for a multi-purpose venue would see the stadium become a "desolate graveyard" and "kill" the atmosphere.

Wenger believes in general it is better to have a football-specific environment. "Without interfering in the bid of Tottenham or West Ham, if you ask 99 per cent of managers they will say without the track," he said. "Ideally you wouldn't like a track.

"You have Manchester City who transformed the track with the stands and they did that quite well."

Arsenal moved from their traditional Highbury home at the start of the 2006-2007 season to the state-of-the-art 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium at nearby Ashburton Grove.

Wenger said: "We have built our own stadium because at the time we thought about sharing with Wembley, but at the end of the day we thought it would be better to build our own stadium."

Back to the top of the page