Rio Ferdinand says West Ham must be careful to retain their culture when moving to Stratford.
Ferdinand spent the early part of his playing career at Upton Park before heading to Leeds and then to Manchester United, where he spent 12 seasons.
The 37-year-old, who played in West Ham captain Mark Noble’s testimonial this week, said: “I’ve been going back to Upton Park year after year and you see the same people. It’s the same at Manchester United.”
“I just hope that remains the case when they move. You need to keep the heartbeat of the club. It’s not just the players, it’s the other people around the place who give it soul, to help make it a proper club.”
“West Ham are great at appreciating kids who have come through the academy, I know that at first hand. They weren’t in a position to keep us all but they are in a much better place now, thriving in the League and FA Cup.”