By Chris Harris at London Colney
Arsène Wenger believes he speaks for “99 per cent of managers” when he says that football stadia are better without running tracks.
The issue cropped up at the Frenchman’s pre-match press conference on Friday as Tottenham and West Ham enter their bids to take over the Olympic Stadium in Stratford following the 2012 Games.
If West Ham’s bid is successful they plan to keep the athletics track in place while Spurs intend to remove it with manager Harry Redknapp claiming that “the windblown no-man's land between a pitch and the stands can kill football.”
Wenger refused to be drawn on which club he would prefer to see at the Olympic Stadium but his view of running tracks is not dissimilar to his Tottenham counterpart’s.
“If you ask 99 per cent of managers they will say [they like a stadium] without the track,” said Wenger.
“If you have been at Leeds on Wednesday night - 38,000 people with great passion - where do you get that?
“Ideally you wouldn't like a track because if you like a track everyone would build one. The question is not completely right. Would you like no pitch or no stadium or a stadium with a track?
“You have Manchester City who transformed the track with the stands and they did that quite well at Manchester City.
“I wouldn't want to get involved in the bid. We have built our own stadium because at the time we thought about sharing with Wembley but at the end of the day we though it would be better to build our own stadium.”Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source