Independent Investigation Give Thumbs Up to West Ham’s Bid for Olympic Stadium

August 22, 2011

An independent investigation has given bias to the decision to award West Ham the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

The review concluded there is no reason to re-open the bidding process.

The inquiry came after allegations that a director of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) was paid by West Ham during the contest with Tottenham.

But forensic accountants from Moore Stephens decided that was not relevant to West Ham being named tenants.

A Sunday newspaper claimed in July that Dionne Knight, OPLC’s director of corporate services, was on the West Ham payroll.

Despite declaring she was in a relationship with Ian Tompkins, a West Ham director, she was accused of failing to tell her employers that she also received around £20,000 from the club for consultancy work.

Following a six-week inquiry, Moore Stephens have concluded that there is no evidence to suggest Ms Knight had any influence over the decision or that she had access to any sensitive material or papers relating to the process.

The outcome of the inquiry will be a huge relief to West Ham, who were awarded the bid as long a go as February.

West Ham conducted their own independent inquiry into the allegations involving Ms Knight and reached the same conclusion as the OPLC investigation.

But Tottenham will not take this decision lying down as they are still challenging the decision.

They want a judicial review and, despite having their first request rejected, are due to present evidence again at an oral hearing at the High Court on Wednesday.

If the court rules in Tottenham’s favour then that could cause serious problems for the OPLC who have been trying to negotiate a final agreement with West Ham and their partners Newham Council but have had no luck with this impending review putting their deal in doubt.