(N40) Spurs challenge Games stadium decision - Guardian Thursday 31 March by Jamie Jackson

Spurs challenge Games stadium decision

Tottenham Hostpur's lawyers have written to the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the mayor of London, two government departments and Newham Council regarding the awarding of the 2012 stadium in Stratford to West Ham United.

A statement on Tottenham's website said: "At this stage the Club has not issued any proceedings against the Olympic Park Legacy Company or any other party in respect of the decision regarding the award of the Olympic Stadium. The Club's lawyers have written letters to the OPLC, the mayor of London, the Minister of Sport and the Secretary of State for Local Government and a separate letter to the London Borough of Newham raising a number of concerns with the processes which led to the award.

"The letters also requested - in the interests of transparency - for the provision of certain information concerning the processes, which the Club considers that it is entitled to. Tottenham Hotspur will determine its next step as and when it receives a response to these letters."

The OPLC defended last month's decision to award the stadium to West Ham. A spokesman said: "The Olympic Park Legacy Company ran a very rigorous and transparent process in its selection of the recommended preferred bidder. We have been supported by independent experts in their field in terms of legal, financial, commercial and technical advice. We have been consistent, fair, objective and entirely equal in our dealings with the bidders from start to finish. We are confident that, if these judicial review proceedings are pursued, our approach will be entirely vindicated by the courts."

The OPLC voted unanimously for West Ham before Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and the government backed the decision. It is understood that Tottenham are prepared to mount a legal challenge, potentially regarding points of procedure and due process.

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, said: "I'm deeply disappointed that Spurs are still looking to move to Stratford. A judicial review is a costly and lengthy process that will only line the pockets of lawyers, leaving the club, its fans and the Tottenham community in limbo. We have made real progress to kick-start the redevelopment at White Hart Lane.

"We have got a Mayoral Development Corporation and we want an enterprise zone to boost Spurs. I'm calling on both sides - the club and the government - to come back together to work out how to get the Northumberland Development Project back on the road. That is what fans want, it is what Tottenham wants and it is what London wants."
Barry Hearn, the Leyton Orient chairman, has written to the prime minister, David Cameron, and London mayor. He is concerned that Orient may be affected by West Ham moving to the stadium.

Top of page; Back to news index;

31/3/2011 Last updated 31/3/2011
Ed. original article had a picture of Boris Johnson (?)