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Is emotion driving Spurs' High Court bid?

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Adrian Warner | 16:13 UK time, Tuesday, 30 August 2011

So, why are Tottenham Hotspur still fighting a legal battle to take over the 2012 Olympic Stadium after the Games?

That's the question being asked by people who have followed the arguments around the stadium since it was awarded to West Ham.

I reported last week that Spurs were very close to a deal with London Mayor Boris Johnson to build a new ground close to their current home at White Hart Lane. Johnson has offered £8m to improve the infrastructure around a 56,250-seater stadium.

I was told by very senior sources that the club was ready to pull out of its court case for a judicial review over the 2012 stadium and that the documents for the deal were ready for signing.

Now, I trust the sources and I still expect Tottenham to do a deal with the Mayor and build the stadium at Northumberland Park. I also understand that Johnson is prepared to put more public money into the project.

So everybody close to the negotiations was very surprised when Spurs still went to the High Court last week to force through the judicial review which will take place in October.

It does seem strange for Spurs to go ahead with the legal case.

Firstly, why upset the Mayor, who supported the West Ham decision, when you've already done the deal to stay near White Hart Lane? The deal for Northumberland Park could be put at risk, especially with Boris Johnson facing re-election next year.

Secondly, Tottenham seem to have lost their moral argument against the West Ham decision. It focused on why Newham Council was ready to loan £40m to West Ham for the Olympic Stadium redevelopement when it wasn't prepared to offer Spurs the same deal.

BBC London has asked this question many times in our reports in the last six months, especially since the money is being offered by the poorest borough in London. I've said again and again that it's the weakest link of the decision to award the stadium to West Ham.

But Spurs are in the unusual situation, now, where they appear ready to accept public money for their plans at White Hart Lane at the same time as protesting in court about West Ham being offered state cash for the 2012 ground. How does all that square up?

It seems to me that the reason Spurs are in court has more to do with emotion than considered thinking.

West Ham have alleged that Spurs offered them a deal around the current Scotland Yard investigation into accusations that a private investigator hacked into the personal banking and phone records of West Ham and Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) staff during the bidding process.

West Ham claim Spurs offered to drop their bid for the 2012 stadium if the hacking accusations are dropped. As I reported last Thursday, the same offer has allegedly been made by Spurs to the OPLC. Both West Ham and the OPLC have turned it down.

Spurs refused to comment on the claims when we contacted them but the OPLC chair Baroness Ford told me she wants a "full investigation" from the police and takes the hacking accusations very seriously.

If Tottenham were to back out of the judicial review, it wouldn't be over, of course. Leyton Orient are also involved in the appeal. But Orient didn't make a bid for the stadium.

The club and many of the supporters argue that West Ham moving into their territory will damage their fan base.

It's a fair argument and it is one that the football authorities need to answer as well as the High Court.

Visit: BBC London 2012
Twitter: @BBCLdnOlympics


  • Comment number 1.

    Do you ever research your stories first or just rely on innuendo and rumour? I'm not surprised Spurs refused to talk to you.

  • Comment number 2.

    Very poor article
    Spurs being given reassurances that Boris will spend money improving traffic links to the Tottenham area - the money is not for the stadium (the stadium is looking like costing £400-600m - what difference is £8m going to make?) Newham lending West Ham £40m is completely different.
    The legal argument is:
    Why did Newham not offer the same loan to Spurs?
    Why did no private investors want to stump up the £40m?

    West Ham are a club in crisis - huge debts, huge overheads and a left with a legacy of poor financial management.

    As you hint there are far better arguments for not giving West ham the stadium - sadly to give Spurs the stadium to redevelop would be admitting that the original stadium plans were poorly conceived and executed. Too many egos involved at LOCOG to ever let that happen.

    In terms of Leyton Orient the argument is simple - West Ham have been given preferential treatment by Newham and that West Ham will have to offer "kids for a quid deals" to fill the stadium thus removing any sense of value from customers and essentially consigning LO to footballing history

  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Adrian, most surprised by your naive article, which perhaps should have been retitled "Is finance driving Spurs' High Court bid?" Spurs are quite rightly 'a little' aggrieved at the huge public finance support offered to West Ham with their taking over the Olympic Stadium. Effectively West Ham get an enormous stadium (well beyond their supporting capacity, as a 'Championship' quality team) for a fraction of the overall cost (an estimated £450m-£500m including infrastructure), I believe approx. £150m with £40m contribution from Newham CC. Not a bad deal really!! The Spurs Northumberland re-development project in Tottenham is forecast to cost approx. £450m with Spurs being liable for the majority of the necessary improved infrastructure costs. Now I can't claim to be a top class mathematician, but by my reckoning, the paltry offering of the Mayor a 'whopping' £8m equates to just over 1.7% of the overall cost of the Spurs new stadium development. Perhaps put in this context it doesn't perhaps seem a terribly 'generous' or fair contribution towards a development that is very borderline happening (because of the extremely large costs), in one of London's most deprived areas. Whilst it would be desirable for the majority of the THFC fans, and obviously the Borough (and everyone that directly/indirectly benefits from the football club being based in Tottenham) for Spurs to stay in the neighbourhood, there is no obligation (morally) for the club to do so, if this would financially cripple them in the process. Which is the very real risk of continuing with the proposed Northumberland red-development project without 'State' aid.

    You only have to look a few miles down the road, to see what has happened to Spurs 'arch-rivals' Arsenal, who had to spend a similar amount of money (without public finance support), and how it has crippled them. Ten years ago, most would agree they were the 'second' team in the country, regularly winning titles and other trophies. Six years on, now perhaps best considered fourth or fifth best in the country. Unable to spend big money on players to compete with the 'top four' because of the chain of debt existing because of their new stadium. This is despite of a generous £100 sponsorship deal provided by 'Emirates' in the naming of the new stadium.

    Bearing this in mind, if we think about Spurs, currently perhaps considered the fifth or sixth best team in the country, about to embark on a similar project as Arsenal, but now under far less favourable economic circumstances. In the new recession of the last couple of years, finance is more difficult to come by (and more expensive to borrow), and the return on investments far less certain. The chairman of Spurs, Daniel Levy, quite rightly has good reason to be very concerned for the future of his club should they proceed with their new stadium in Tottenham. It has the potential to financially destroy the club, and place them in an extremely perilous position. A currently well run tight 'ship' of a club (whilst most big European teams find themselves in huge debt) could be well and truly sunk!!

    Given such a serious risk to the football club and its future, is it no wonder that Levy, cannily continues to fight in court for appeal against the Olympic Park Legacy Company's decision. West Ham have done extremely well, thank you very much, after this fiasco of a vote. Given this bizarre decision to grant an unsustainable future of the Olympic stadium to a lowly 'Championship' team, I think Levy has every reason to feel he still has a moral battle to 'win'. And as for alienating Boris Johnson for his 'generous' £8million (lol), somehow I think Levy isn't going to be too worried at this prospect. Just how badly does the government want the 2017 World Athletics Championships? Well, Levy just might push the 'right buttons' to find out, only time will tell! A new Mayor with a bit more savvy and common sense might not be a bad move for Tottenham (in the scheme of things). Yours truly, Sandy.

  • Comment number 4.

    Is emotion driving Adrian Warner's blog entry?

    tl;wr - the Newham loan to West Ham is potentially in breach of EU competition law, because it distorted competition between Spurs and West Ham for the Olympic stadium - West Ham couldn't have won without it; the public money that Spurs might get for the NDP won't distort competition because no one else is looking to develop a stadium in Tottenham, nor would they be likely to.

    As the Olympic Correspondent, and a human being, it is understandable that you may have developed an attachment to the idea of the Olympics, and, by proxy, athletics in general - assuming such an attachment did not exist a priori. It is, therefore, understandable that the actions of Tottenham Hotspur FC, with respect to the Olympic Stadium - from wanting to "rip up" the running track and leaving an, arguably, stronger legacy at Crystal Palace, to challenging the OPLC decision in the high-courts - might be viewed by you in a negative light. Given that we are all prone to confirmation bias, we can afford some compassion when considering the latest blog entry; however, compassionate action doesn't mean excusing actions, but rather understanding where they arise from, and offering help where possible.

    So, as there appears to be a lack of understanding with regard to the argument against the Newham loan, and the apparent, contradictory request for public funding, for Spurs' own Northumberland Development Project, I can only offer my own limited understanding.

    Basically the argument against the Newham loan to West Ham is that it is a breach of EU competition law. It represents public funding which has distorted competition; Spurs and West Ham were in competition for the Olympic Stadium and without the loan, West Ham could not have won the bidding process. They did howerver win the bidding process, so the loan clearly distorted the competitive process, and should, therefore, be in breach of EU competition law, assuming there are no technicalities - which a judicial review should discover if there are any; hence the need for one.

    The difference with the public money spurs are seeking, is that it would not distort competition, as no other club is seeking to move into the area, nor would they be likely to - given that they probably wouldn't be able to get planning permission for a stadium, among other things. As far as I am aware, it would be similar to the public funding Arsenal received with respect to the development of the Emirates.

    Hopefully that is of some help in clarifying the issue of the public money, and the objection to the Newham loan to West Ham - I am no expert on the issue, but that is my own understanding of it.

    With regard to upsetting the Mayor, one would truly hope that the Mayor of London would not be upset at the prospect of EU law being adhered to and upheld. It seems as though you are suggesting that the Mayor would be quite happy to allow a breach of the EU regulatory framework, and would favour sweeping it under the carpet, rather than seeing justice upheld. But, even if poor Mr.Johnson were to be somewhat put out by having his,perhaps not-so-considered, backing of the OPLC decision challenged, he would surely be magnanimous enough to view the serving of the greater good as entirly preferable.

    It would be possible to adopt a cynical perspective and cast futher aspersions on Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and their reasons for wanting to "upset" poor Mayor Johnson - one word, "leverage" - but you would think such a concept, with regard to busniness men, politicians, and negotiations would be so entirely obvious as to warrant omission.

    As for the alleged offer by Spurs to drop the high court proceedings for reciprocal action from West Ham, with respect to the issue of the private investigation, it makes sense that Spurs would press ahead with the request for a judicial review, if West Harm refused to drop their legal proceedings. It would simply be a matter of - again - leverage, as a judicial review could see West Ham lose their rights to the stadium, which they presumably don't want. If Spurs had not pressed ahead then any leverage they had would have been lost. In short, why drop the proceeding if West Ham refuse to drop theirs? That is, of course, making the fairly large assumption that the alleged offer actually took place!

    Of course, it would be easy to get caught up in the whole drama of it all and forget the one overriding issue in it all, and that is the issue that the Newham loan to West Ham may be in breach of EU competition law, meaning that the West Ham bid might not be legal - hence the need for a judicial review.

    As a spurs fan I might be a little guilty of allowing this post to have been driven by emotion, but I hope, at least, it was able to clarify some of the issues raised in the blog entry - I'm sure that somewhere in the middle is the truth!

  • Comment number 5.

    Another poor article Adrian. I had almost forgotten about some of the half-truths and misinformation that you came out with just before and after the original decision was made; thanks for reminding me about it!

  • Comment number 6.


    Why would I take anything you write about this issue seriously. Last week you had me believing that Tottenham were about to drop thier court case after 'intense' negotiations with the Mayor of London. And what actually happened. The very next day Spurs were not only in court but were about to win the right to go to a full judicial review.

    I'm not sure what your editor thought of your scoop but as one of the BBC's punters i was very unimpressed. You need to get some better sources Adrian and you also need to start to giving some clearer thought to what you write, and if you can't then don't write. This latest offering only confirms that you don't have a clue. You clearly don't understand the competition issues involved. I think you'd be doing us all a favour if you just left the stadium issue to someone who can actually grasp the detail. If anyone reading this wants to really understand some of the issues steer clear of Adrian - try Roger Blitz at the FT - facrt, facts and more facts.

  • Comment number 7.

    Folks, your views are fascinating and it's interesting to read them. But the one thing I won't allow you to claim, without reaction, is that I "don't research my stories" or that I "deal in half-truths or innuendo".
    This blog is based on detailed conversations with many of the key people involved. I don't touch a computer keyboard before I have done that. Just because Spurs won't comment on the record doesn't mean I haven't spoken to them in detail.
    If you deal in half-truths, you don't break stories and we have broken all the big stories at BBC London in this case -- such as the deal being done for Northumberland Park with the Mayor on the eve of the High Court case and indeed the original decision to give the stadium to West Ham which we reported on BBC One and online before anybody else.
    We even reported first that Spurs were going ahead with a judicial review in the first place.
    I also reported first that Spurs were expressing an interest in the stadium to Olympic officials, a story which was rubbished by many people before the club eventually confirmed it much later.

  • Comment number 8.

    Adrian, you are the reporter and I am a reader. Now, if you write that a major court case will be dropped after a deal has been struck, and then that doesn't happen, I lose faith in what you write. And, I for one get a bit tired of reporters citing 'sources' - if you can't name the source how much credibility can a reader give to what the 'source' is saying?

    I'd far rather wait a little longer and get a proper report, with solid facts.

  • Comment number 9.

    "Spurs are in the unusual situation, now, where they appear ready to accept public money for their plans at White Hart Lane at the same time as protesting in court about West Ham being offered state cash for the 2012 ground."

    This is based on an entirely incorrect comparison.

    There is nothing especially unusual about a private developer pursuing a major development on privately owned land and accepting public assistance to carry out essential infrastructure works that would permit the project to go ahead. The default assumption for such improvements is "the developer pays", which is why they're in the Section 106 Agreement for the Tottenham development; but if the development isn't going to happen without assistance and the local government decides that there are compelling reasons that it should be built, then they can help the developer arrange some public investment.

    The problem with Newham's loan to West Ham is not simply that it is arguably public funding, it is that the Olympic Stadium bid is not a private development being constructed on privately owned land. It is a project that has been constructed with a huge amount of public money and is now being sold into the private sector by the public sector, ostensibly on a strictly-controlled competitive basis. It's illegal for a private sector bidder to use public funding to buy an asset that has been developed using public money, because it does not enable to government to get best value wheh selling the development that it built using taxpayers' money. It destroys the probity of the tendering process if one of the private buyers has circulated public money from local government straight back to central government.

    I find it hard to believe that the writer didn't understand that.

  • Comment number 10.

    "The club and many of the supporters argue that West Ham moving into their territory will damage their fan base.

    It's a fair argument and it is one that the football authorities need to answer as well as the High Court."

    No doubt you're a serious journalist as you assert, but could you please explain to me how West Ham moving to a stadium in the borough once known as West Ham, a couple of hundred yards from West Ham town hall, and a short walk from West Ham station in an area which has unsurprisingly always been seen as producing West Ham fans, could be seen as West Ham encroaching on LEYTON Orient's turf?

  • Comment number 11.

    "I was told by very senior sources"

    "I trust the sources"

    "So everybody close to the negotiations"

    Studies show the vast majority of officially know sources are poor.

    There is evidence that most of my posts are full of weasel words.

    Some argue that up to 70% of my posts clearly upset the reader.

  • Comment number 12.

    Adrian, forget any of the accusations about a lack of research or dealing in half-truths or innuendo, such comments are themselves based on emotional responses. It could only be beneficial for yourself if you can examine the blog entry honestly, and challenge your own pre-conceptions.

    We can all be guilty of confirmation bias; we can all be guilty of basing our opinions on pre-conceptions; it's a natural part of the human condition; but, we should all endeavour to challenge our biases and examine our pre-conceptions, because [obviously] they affect our perspective on reality, but when deployed directly or indirectly they can illicit unhelpful responses, such as anger, pride, hatred, fear, etc. etc. This is particularly important for anyone employed to write in the public domain.

    The main issue is that there are a number of people on here, who would not be paid to conduct the same level of research as yourself, but yet can point out some glaringly obvious issues with the piece; chief among them the issue of the potential breach of EU competition law.

    Now, being the Olympics correspondent you obviously cater to a certain audience; that may have developed organically as a result of your own interests, and you may be expressing your honest opinion, or you may be purposely catering to their tastes, against your own better judgement. The entirely natural phenomenon of confirmation bias may have lead you away from information, or opinions, that went against your own, but being presented with this information subsequently it should be food for consideration.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.


    You wrote below

    "If you deal in half-truths, you don't break stories and we have broken all the big stories at BBC London in this case -- such as the deal being done for Northumberland Park with the Mayor on the eve of the High Court case and indeed the original decision to give the stadium to West Ham which we reported on BBC One and online before anybody else. "

    It may interest you and your editor to know that from at least this reader/viewer/listener's' point of view that accuracy is at least as important as speed in reporting. It sounds from your words that being first to break the news is everything, well it's not, if by doing so, you get it so wrong.

    It's almost as if you want the BBC to be the story - 'we broke it first', isn't that great!

  • Comment number 15.

    Stratford is West Ham territory, I'm still waiting to hear an interviewer correct Mr Hearn.

    Spurs were and are quite happy to receive state aid when they're the beneficiaries but don't like the idea of someone else possibly getting it.

    They were generously going to use it to give Crystal Palace a lick of paint and now want some to improve the transport infrastucture in Tottenham.

    They really do sound like sore losers.

    West Ham aren't getting a loan, Newham Council are to set up a joint company.

    All money will be paid back, unlike the money Spurs want from the government.

    The loan is not to buy the Olympic Stadium, that's just nonsense and Spurs propaganda.

    Lets hope that Spurs are held to account for their despicable behaviour over all this.

  • Comment number 16.

    The loan is to the stadium company, as has just been pointed out. Regardless of whether you think West Ham will be a Premiership or 'champonship quality' team (if youre a very sour Spurs fan), the revenue from gate reciepts for football alone would cover that loan, not to mention all of the other revenue generated from the stadium.

    Newham teamed up with West Ham because of the clubs long tradition and patronage within the borough, and because West Ham's bid guarantees that the stadium will be accessible to Newham residents for special events, and a technical school will be set up there.

    The government have made clear that even if the bidding mechanism were re-opened, a running track would remain within the stadium. With Spurs totally against that idea, their ongoing dispute should be clearly seen for the blatant attempt at extracting more money from the public purse that it is.

    As for Orient, Hearn has made clear that if they were given the site on Eton Manor (even closer to the stadium), he would drop the case. Why? Because then he could sell Brisbane Road for development.

    These attempts at blocking West Ham's progress to the Olympic Stadium positively reek of self interest. Neither Spurs or Orient would take the Stadium in its current form, which is something the government demands. West Ham are the only club that will, and for that reason West Ham's bid has been chosen as the winner.

  • Comment number 17.

    @beckton & Gavrosh

    regardless of the structure of the deal between Newham and West Ham, it is still a [potential] case of public funds being used in a manner that distorts competition, which is potentially in breach of EU & UK competition law - hence why the judge said that the spurs case was "arguable"

    @Gavrosh - if the retention of the running track was an absolute must from the outset, then Spurs would never have put together a bid. The fact is, it wasn't a pre-requisite when the bidding process started, it only became one when a fuss was kicked up over the legacy of the Olympics.

    Misguided opinion is that a better legacy would be left for Athletics by allowing them to have access to the Olympic Stadium for little more than 20 days a year, outside the football season, as opposed to having the current home of UK athletics revamped (with more than just a "lick of paint") to which they would have year round access and not play second fiddle to a championsip football team.

    As for spurs looking to extract more money from the government, see it more as an attempt to recoup the money they paid out to take part in a flawed and biased bidding process; also see it as an attempt to get the government to shoulder their share of the responsibility in regenerating one of the poorest areas in country.

    If the Newham/West Ham deal is in breach of competition law, then if the bidding process is re-opened and the retention of a running track is an absolute pre-requisite, without the funding from Newham, the likelihood is that West Ham can't afford the OS, and Spurs won't bid for it; then Athletics really will be left with a legacy of huge, empty white elephant.

    Again, just in case the main point in all this has been missed: the Newham/West Ham agreement is potentially in breach of EU & UK competition law, because it potentially represents the distortion of competition through the use of public funding. This is the reason that the judge granted the judicial review; and he is, as far as we can tell, emotionally detached from all of this with no self interetst.

    Time to stop tilting at windmills and try and face up to the facts!

  • Comment number 18.

    "Regardless of whether you think West Ham will be a Premiership or 'champonship quality' team (if youre a very sour Spurs fan), "

    Good point. The only reason you could think of West Ham as a championship quality team is because you're a very sour Spurs fan.

    Surely West Ham aren't actually playing football in the Championship.

  • Comment number 19.

    Spurs keep crying that their Northumberland Park development is not viable, but they won planning permission for a large ugly slab of a supermarket, as well as for the new stadium (which does look good). That retail development will cause congestion requiring a fair chunk of Boris's £8m to sort out, but must be one of the few guaranteed ways of making money at the moment - though it won't be good for the local small shops.

  • Comment number 20.

    Given some of the points put forward here, with regard to Spurs legal challenge of the OPLC decision, would it be possible for Adrian (and others bemoaning spurs actions) to, at the very least, acknowledge the fact that there might be some validity to the legal challenge brought forward by Spurs; if only in relation to the potential breach of UK & EU competition law?

  • Comment number 21.

    I have an interesting question about why Spurs were in the bidding process at all? Could it be that some of the officials wanted some competition to up the price finally obtained for the stadium? Without Spurs there was no competiton so would there have been any encouragement given to Daniel Levy to put in a bid? If so, is it a surprise that Spurs are a little miffed if the competition doesn't appear to have been on a level playing field (Sorry - pun intended)

  • Comment number 22.

    It absolutely staggers me that Spurs are chasing the OS at all - let alone still. The rights and wrongs of Newham Council stumping up £40m to West Ham for the stadium may come under some sort of judicial review in terms of legality, but morally?

    Newham Council probably want West Ham in the stadium because the ground is in West Ham and the £40m will come back to the council later in terms of what WHU want to do with the stadium! The council can expect to make millions from the athletic side alone if, as seems likely, London were able to stage the Commonwealth Games or one of the other big events. I'm not suggesting that some of the decisions made were based on not wanting a north London club moving into the east end ...but I really hope they were!

    Spurs shouldn't even be allowed to move there and if there are investigations to be made then they should center on why the FA hasn't told Tottenham to stay in their own area. I suspect they're still smarting from Arsenal moving across the river.

    With regards to West Ham's current status in the Championship and the ability to fill the stadium, well you just have to laugh. I've never seen so many fans from another club concerned at the welfare of another. I'm not bothered if West Ham can fill the stadium or not and neither should any Tottenham fans.

  • Comment number 23.

    There are really two main issues here:

    1. Was the bidding process for the stadium fair?
    2. Are West Ham the most appropriate occupier of the stadium?

    Firstly, there has been a great deal of emotive comment due to the two main parties being rival football clubs. If you ignore this fact and consider that two companies were asked to tender for a government contract; the question is does the fact that one company received financial backing from the same government mean that the tendering process was not fair. Obviously the losing company incurred considerable expense in submitting a bid and at the very least, if the bidding process was flawed, should be compensated for the cost and effort in producing the bid.

    Secondly, it now strikes me as rather unlikely that Tottenham will be allowed to move to the Olympic stadium regardless of the outcome of the review and furthermore I am not sure they really want to. It may cause a great deal of uproar from the fans and may compromise the identity of the club. With regards to the Leyton Orient issue, hypothetically if West Ham were to increase their current ground capacity to 60k and issue lower price tickets it would probably have a similar impact on Orient, so it is clearly not just a location issue but a factor of the crowded London football scene. Practically this suggests that if West Ham ever want to increase capacity they will have to reach some sort of understanding with Leyton Orient.

  • Comment number 24.

    Because Mr Warner, you cannot it seems, take on board any of the legal or financial issues regarding this bid, and the bigger picture problems they raise, you seem to think that it may all be down to emotion?
    Two comments from the judge at the last hearing were:

    Mr Justice Collins said that given no commercial bank would have made such a loan to West Ham, “state aid comes into the picture”.

    Mr Justice Collins also said that "it looks bad to say the least" that West Ham were paying undeclared fees to an OPLC official during the bidding process and has invited Spurs to further raise the issue on October 17th

    I suspect the only person driven by emotion is yourself Mr Warner, but I do enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks for simplyfing such a complex issue for me.

  • Comment number 25.

    Oh dear poor Mr Warner , it is obviously to complicated for you to understand and the Pearly Kings and Queen ( Gold,Sullivan and Brady ) have wrapped you right around their fingers.
    West Ham are buying a state owed stadium with the help of £40 million worth of state money! £8 million that the Mayor is going to give towards the infrastructure at Tottenham is a drop in the ocean. ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY and WHUFC don't have a great deal of it.

  • Comment number 26.

    this is now an unholy mess and down to horrendous planning in the first place,or lack of it.Spurs were duped into bidding in a flawed process that has clearly broke EU law with state aid to a small club with a large debt. The judicial review is now compromised as this government has ordered the track must stay.So if the bidding process is re-opened there will be only one bidder,what should have happened in the first place before the goalposts got moved .
    Give spurs the 40m for their ground and this all goes away,if not it will cost double that in the long run

  • Comment number 27.

    Kids for a quid as part of the deal for the Olympic stadium?

    Surely they'll have to pay them more than that?

  • Comment number 28.

    Why should anyone take any notice of what any bbc staff write as the choose to ignore completely thousands of questions from F1 fans,

    Best close this blog I guess

  • Comment number 29.

    As a Spurs fan I was not in favour of a move to East London. However I have been dismayed by the clear bias towards West Ham at every stage in the so called bidding process. I am now of the opinion that any delay in the finalising of the deal caused by the judicial review, and the potential failure thereby to be able to bid to stage the 2017 Athletics Championships, is just retribution falling on the shoulders of those responsible for allowing this situation to develop, namely the 'great and the good' who sit on the board of the Legacy Board.

  • Comment number 30.

    Summed up rather well Adrian. West Ham won the bid fair and square including the £40m loan to the stadium company from NC, a financial agreement which happens all the time for community projects across Europe, so no-where near against EU law.

    No - this is simply Spurs using the situation to gain favourable terms for their own developments including money. Orient, the same. It's funny how Orient supported the Spurs bid of course. What happened to the big club moving near to us with that. Talk about hypocrasy.

    Makes me laugh when people moan about West Ham Utd moving back to a West Ham location. Nothing to do with any other club in Harringay or Waltham Forest.

    The whole issue is a joke debacle and should not be entertained at the expense of a proper business and community initiative.


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