Tottenham consider legal action over Olympic Stadium decision
Mon 14th Feb 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Tottenham Hotspur are understood to be considering legal action after West Ham United was confirmed as the ‘preferred bidder’ to move into the London 2012 Olympic Stadium on Friday.
But Sport Minister, Hugh Robertson told the Radio 5 Live Sportsweek programme that he is satisfied the OPLC process was “independent and robust”.
“People tend to think of a 1980s’ mixed-use stadium. This is a much more modern stadium, the sightlines are much better, the fans are closer to the centre spot than they would be in the outer seats at Wembley so it is a very modern state-of-the art design,” said Robertson.
“Anybody who has stood in the middle of where the pitch will be will tell you that it looks much, much better. If West Ham want to bring in retractable seating and can still fulfil the promises they made to athletics then that’s fair enough.”
Tottenham’s unsuccessful joint bid with sport and entertainment giant AEG involved demolishing the Olympic Stadium and rebuilding a football specific stadium on the site.
But it was West Ham’s had pledged to retain an athletics track around the pitch that helped to win over the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC).
Tottenham released a statement which read, "The Olympic Stadium site is an essential element in the creation of a viable Olympic Park and we know that, together with AEG, we provided a first class proposal to support the sustainability of the whole project,"
"It was never an option, however, that we would retain the running track as we believe this to be unacceptable for our supporters and therefore wholly unviable in the long term,” it continued.
“Much has been made of the promise to keep the athletics track within the Olympic Stadium and, therefore, we should all expect to see the retention of this track firmly embedded and legally guaranteed by those entrusted with this legacy commitment, today and in the future.
"The OPLC's decision has still to be approved by two Government departments and the Mayor's Office. We shall continue to monitor the bid process over the coming weeks up until its final determination, whilst reviewing our position and holding discussions with our advisors.
“We shall spend time assessing our situation in respect of a new stadium and when we have any further information we shall update our supporters."
West Ham co-owner David Gold said he was "overwhelmed" by the OPLC's decision to make West Ham its official preferred bidder to become the tenant of the £537 million venue after the Games. West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady added: "We are absolutely thrilled - not only to be named preferred bidder but also to be named unanimously."
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