Spurs May Sue If Olympic Bid Fails

Tottenham Hotspur chairman David Levy has told the Daily Telegraph the club may take legal action if it fails to win the bid to take over London’s Olympic Stadium.

He’s concerned that the choice of preferred bidder – which may be named in the next few days – will be based on political expediency rather than financial principles.

He says Spurs, which is making its bid in cahoots with U.S. entertainment giant AEG, may seek a judicial review if the decision goes against them.

Levy believes politicians, who will ultimately decide whether Spurs or Premier League rivals West Ham United take over the stadium, should stay out of the debate regarding its future use.

Former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has been among those critical of Tottenham’s plans because she says they mean going back on the promises London made when it made its successful bid for the Games.

London’s Olympic Games Organising Committee chairman Lord Coe has also been very vocal about backing the West Ham bid – which would put the soccer field inside the athletics track – as the only one that meets the undertakings he made to deliver an athletics legacy.

The north London club has tried to divert this criticism by offering to contribute to the refurbishment of the National Sports Centre at London’s Crystal Palace.

Levy says his club, which would tear up the athletics track and demolish part of the £570 million building to replace it with a custom-built 60,000-capacity soccer ground, has made the more financially sustainable bid.

“It’s no different to a shopping centre,” he told the Telegraph. “If you don’t get the right anchor tenant to start with, it is destined to fail. If you get the right business model, the legacy can thrive.”

Live Nation international chief ops officer Paul Latham, whose company is bidding alongside West Ham and its local Newham Council, believes the politicians should be entitled to have their say.

“Spurs keep muttering about outside influences from Coe and Jowell but – given they were the ones that committed to the athletics legacy – they have a reason to have their say,” he told Pollstar.

At the end of January, when the Olympic Park Legacy Company postponed making a decision because they needed more information from both bidders, Latham said it should take as long as it likes as long as it reached the right decision.