West Ham and Spurs: Olympic stadium latest
West Ham United have claimed Tottenham Hotspur have offered to drop their legal challenge to the Olympic Stadium move if the Irons scrap a police probe into a private investigator.
Their claim came in a statement issued on their website after Spurs won the right to challenge the decision to hand over the 2012 Olympic Stadium in Stratford to the Hammers.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) opted for a joint bid put forward by West Ham and Newham Council.
Spurs and its partner in the case Leyton Orient made a second attempt to secure a judicial review, claiming the OPLC’s decision was unfair.
High Court judge Mr Justice Collins ruled they had an “arguable” case. A full hearing will begin on October 18.
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The OPLC’s chairwoman Baroness Ford said: “We are delighted Mr Justice Collins upheld all grounds relating to the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s decision-making process when recommending a preferred bidder. We are disappointed that permission for a judicial review has been granted on some limited points but we are confident in our case.”
Mr Justice Collins said the decisions made by both the OPLC and Newham Council, which promised a �40m loan to West Ham, should be reviewed.
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The West Ham bid, approved by the OPLC, will remain on hold until a decision is reached in the judicial review, he added.
Dinah Rose QC, for Tottenham, argued the �40m promise by Newham was “a critical component” of the bid and gave an unfair economic advantage to the bid through “state aid or through state resources”.
Following the ruling, Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn said: “This is a great day for the little man. We haven’t won the war but we have won a major battle. Now we will at least get the opportunity for our case to be heard. We feel we’ve been totally ignored in the process so far, and that can’t be right.”
However, Spurs are also involved in talks with London Mayor Boris Johnson to remain near White Hart Lane in Tottenham.
West Ham said they looked forward to the judicial review “and a successful conclusion whereby we can deliver the multi-sport legacy that Lord Coe envisaged for east London and the rest of the nation”.
But their statement on their website said: “Seperately, and only for clarification, we have been inundated with inquiries with regard to a Scotland Yard statement. We can confirm the Metroplitan Police’s Economic and Specialist Crimes Unit is dealing with the serious matter of a private investigator acting unlawfully. This is in relation to reported breaches of the Data Protection Act and Computer Misuse Act as a result of the unlawful acquisition of bank and telephone records belonging to senior executives at the club and OPLC.”
The statement went on: “In response to media inquiries, we can confirm that West Ham today received a document from Tottenham asking us to give up our claims against them in return for Tottenham withdrawing their judicial review proceedings. West Ham naturally refused.”