February 10 - Tottenham Hotspur today described as "premature" reports that they has lost out in the bid to take over the Olympic stadium after next year’s London Games.
Reports last night suggested that West Ham have won the battle to turn the Stratford site close to their current ground into a 60,000-capacity ground after the Olympics and Paralympics and share it with athletics.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) Board are set to select West Ham as their preferred bidder tomorrow at what is bound to be a packed venue in central London.
Tottenham said in a statement: "Whilst we are concerned to read that there appears to have been a leak of information from the OPLC about what their recommendation and decision may be, we regard it as premature to make any comment at this stage."
The Board's decision has to be ratified by two Government departments and the London Mayor's office.
Even if the verdict favours West Ham over Tottenham, who play six miles away in north London, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has previously suggested the club would consider applying for a judicial review if they believed their bid, which involves private rather than public funds, was not given fair consideration.
The Tottenham consortium are understood to be concerned that the dispute over whether an athletics track should be retained has become too much of a political hot potato and that their bid is far more commercially viable.
West Ham would retain the running track while Tottenham's plans would be to create a football-only stadium, with the sweetener of redeveloping the Crystal Palace athletics stadium.
Tim Leiweke, the president of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) who are partnering Tottenham, claimed yesterday the Olympic Stadium would "go broke in 10 years" if an athletics track is retained.
But Tottenham’s member of Parliament,David Lammy, has expressed his delight that West Ham appear likely to get the nod and that his local club can instead concentrate on building a new 56,000-capacity ground adjacent to its current location.
"I wish that they had not bid for the Olympic stadium in the first place," said Lammy.
"I hope we can very quickly get back to the White Hart Lane development for which Spurs got planning permission just three months ago.
"If there is a judicial review North London will remain on tenterhooks and there will remain confusion about what the future is to be."
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February 2011: Long-term legacy paramount for Olympic Stadium's future, says AEG President
February 2011: Whole country behind West Ham Olympic Stadium bid
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