Tottenham Take Legal Action Against Newham to High Court
April 14, 2011
English Premier League soccer side Tottenham Hotspur, who crashed out of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals at the hands of Real Madrid last night, has officially launched legal action at London’s High Court for a judicial review of London rival West Ham United’s successful bid for the London Olympic Stadium.
Tottenham has said it had sought permission from the court to bring a claim against the east London Borough of Newham after the Council arranged a £40m (US$65m) loan to finance West Ham’s move to the stadium after the 2012 Games.
Following a proposal made to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), Tottenham lost out to West Ham to become the tenant of the stadium following next year’s Olympic Games.
The crucial factor in the decision of the OPLC to award preferred bidder status to West Ham, a process which still required ratification by the Mayor of London and UK Government, revolved the league strugglers plans to convert the 80,000-seater stadium into a 60,000-capacity facility, most importantly, retaining the athletics track.
It is believed Tottenham will ask the judicial review to consider whether Newham Council was right to use public money for the loan, and whether it went through proper processes before doing so.
In a statement, Tottenham said: “The club has today sought permission from the High Court to bring a claim against the London Borough of Newham for judicial review of Newham’s process in providing a loan for the conversion of the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.
“The club wrote to Newham asking it to explain its reasons and justification for its decision, but Newham has declined to respond to this request for information.
“Due to the time limits which apply to claims for judicial review, the club has had no alternative but to issue these proceedings in order to protect its position.
“The club continues to hold discussions with both local and national government bodies in order to seek to agree a feasible stadium solution.”
It was revealed in March that Spurs had sent letters warning of court action to Newham Council and the OPLC after their bid was rebuffed as they had hoped, in their joint bid with AEG sport and entertainment group, to create a soccer-only stadium without the track and to redevelop Crystal Palace for athletics..
West Ham plans to move from Upton Park as of the 2014-15 season, though whether they will have maintained Premier League status by then is less certain.