SPORTS MINISTER Hugh Robertson last night urged Tottenham to accept a £17m public funding package and drop their legal battle for the Olympic Stadium.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson made the take-it-or-leave-it offer, which would helps Spurs build a new ground in north London, yesterday in a bid to head off next month’s scheduled High Court judicial review.
Tottenham have contested the decision to hand the £430m stadium to West Ham after London 2012 since losing out to the Hammers in a bitter bidding process in February.
“They’ve had a very good and final offer from the mayor,” Robertson said. “The chairman of Tottenham has very encouragingly said it’s their intention to stay in Tottenham, to redevelop and to help the local community after the summer riots.
“There is no reason whatsoever to keep that judicial review in place. I very much hope they’d want to remove that judicial review.”
The £17m package comprises £8.5m from the Greater London Authority, while Haringey council would also contribute £8.5m. The money would not be spent on construction of a new stadium, for which Spurs have already received permission, but on the cost of improving local infrastructure.
Spurs’ concession, ahead of the High Court date on 18 October, would boost London’s bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championship. West Ham have committed to keeping the Olympic Stadium’s running track, whereas Spurs want to remove it.
White Hart Lane chairman Daniel Levy said it would be “irresponsible” to proceed “without the appropriate agreements and support firmly in place”. He also added: “Discussions are continuing.”