Minister Calls On Spurs To End Olympic Stadium Bid

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 154 months ago

Last Updated 29 September 2011

Minister Calls On Spurs To End Olympic Stadium Bid

Like a poker player convinced that the next turn will present an unlikely flush, Tottenham Hotspur are relentlessly pursuing a legal battle to acquire the Olympic Stadium, despite the likes of West Ham, the Mayor, Haringey Council, the Olympic Park Legacy Committe, an independent inquiry, the team's own fans, and other interested parties inveigling upon them to drop it.

The latest to join them is Hugh Robertson, minister for sport and the Olympics, who has urged the club to accept the £17m funding package that the GLA and Haringey council have promised them should they build a new ground at Northumberland Park, near to their existing White Hart Lane home. Plans for the stadium were unveiled last year when Haringey council gave their approval, but the project has been sidetracked by Spurs' unsuccessful bid for the Olympic stadium and their continued calls for a legal review since the decision was made.

Not everybody see the Mayor's munificence in the same way: Speaking to TalkSport, Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn, whose club is threatened by what he sees as an existential menace from a souped-up West Ham parking in their manor, described the £17m as a "bung".

Orient supported Tottenham's call for a judicial review of the decision to award West Ham the stadium, which will begin on 18th October. Should the decision go against Spurs, one would hope this would finally put the matter to rest, particularly as the lingering uncertainty about the stadium's future is affecting the proposed bid for the World Athletics Championship in 2017 (Tottenham, lest we forget, would demolish the stadium and rebuild anew, sans running track). The club's best bet would be to seize the generous offers put forward by municipal and city-wide authorities and press ahead with plans for a new ground in Tottenham.