TOTTENHAM have raised fresh questions about the role of Newham council in helping West Ham’s successful bid for the Olympic Stadium after taking the first steps towards seeking a judicial review of the contentious decision to award the £530m venue to the Hammers.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) yesterday confirmed that Spurs had sent a letter to them regarding “potential judicial review proceedings” relating to their choice to recommend West Ham, and not Tottenham, as preferred bidders last month.
Tottenham insist no legal action has been initiated yet and would not be until they have received responses to the letter “raising a number of concerns with the process that led to the award”, which was also sent to mayor Boris Johnson and government ministers.
Spurs said they had also sent a separate letter to the London Borough of Newham, which was West Ham’s official bid partner and helped the club underwrite their proposed £90m relocation plan by controversially securing them a £40m loan from the treasury.
And City A.M. understands that the council’s role is one of particular interest to Tottenham as they ponder whether to request a judicial review – a process that could take until late this year to play out, and at considerable financial cost.
Spurs, headed by chairman Daniel Levy (inset), have until early May – three months after the OPLC’s decision – to lodge any request for a judicial review.
Leading sport lawyers contacted yesterday by City A.M. were quick to play down the club’s chances of succeeding with such a bid, but acknowledged that the role of Newham would be likely to feature highly in their possible legal arguments.
Andrew Nixon, associate at Thomas Eggar, said: “There is no question the involvement of Newham and this £40m payment will form a significant part of Spurs’ case.”
A spokesperson for the OPLC said it had run “a very rigorous and transparent process” in anointing West Ham as long-term tenants of the stadium after next year’s London 2012 Games.