Why Levy wont necessarily get what he wants:

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Tottenham’s latest move in the Olympic Stadium saga is a sign of the increasing bitterness of proceedings. They have demanded that West Ham can never remove the running track around the pitch. The reasoning is simple enough but not admirable. They believe that West Ham’s promise to keep the running track was a defining selling point of the Hammers bid and that, were they allowed to remove it, they would have a ground capable of competing with Tottenham’s proposed new stadium but at a vastly reduced cost.

Daniel Levy is a terrier and he will not let the Olympic Stadium bid go and rightly so. A man who stubbornly refuses to take a loss on David Bentley must barely be able to sleep at night at the thought of West Ham securing a £600 million stadium for £30 million. Despite Mayor Boris Johnson’s best attempts to placate Levy with an offer of £17 million to kick-start redevelopments in Tottenham, the Spurs chairman is not happy.

Whilst Levy’s latest demand is undeniably mean-spirited, it makes sense. Spurs have already spent £85 million on new stadium projects without touching a brick, and the bitterness at missing out on the Stratford site will only increase as the spending escalates.

For West Ham this latest demand must be painful. Although they have shown no intent to get rid of the track, it would vastly improve their stadium. At times people will be over 200 metres away from the action and the atmosphere will certainly suffer as a result. Of course, right now, West Ham understand that their pledges to protect the Olympic legacy were instrumental in the success of their bid and would not jeopardise proceedings so early on but there must be long term desires to dig it up and bring the game closer to the fans.

Levy has a point. If West Ham manage to find a loophole or Gold and Sullivan sell the club, complete with new publicly funded stadium, off to a billionaire (like Shinawatra did with Manchester City) at staggering personal profits then that running track may well disappear and everyone will have been taken for a ride. This would be a terrible exploitation of public funds and a massive two fingers up to the Olympic legacy.

It is unlikely that Levy’s demands will be met but there is certainly no harm in safeguarding against some potential profiteering.

Written by Phillip-Wroe for

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  • nonfickle says:

    As I understand it,Levy wants a guarantee that the athletics track must remain for a minimum number of years as the retention was the non-negotiable condition that caused the egacy committee to ward it to West Ham. Anyone with a half decent knowledge of the law will know that a refusal to make this commitment leaves the government and Olympic Legacy authority wide open to legal findings against them. If the retention is critical, what possible reason could be advance for NOT putting this condition into force? I look forwward to reading of your case for ther condition not to be imposed legally as without one, the article has no basis and would indicate a paucity of research.
    The comment “Whilst Levy’s latest demand is undeniably mean-spirited” seems rather prejudiced against Levy and lacks fairness or balance. Would the writer,havbing been mislead in an encouragement to spend a vast amount of time and £millions just walk away and say,we wre mislead and don’t mind if the conditions are flawed. Obviously the writer favours the borrowing of £millions by one of the poorest boroughs ,who then guarantee a football club ,whilst subsidising them when they are imposing cuts in services. Balanced reporting ! my….-as Jim Royle would say.

  • cb says:

    But West Ham are installing temporary seating over the track in the season (slides out from stands as they have in Paris)

    So the whole track must remain is completely a redundant argument anyway

    As they plans stand there will be a track in the summer and seating close to the pitch in the football season

  • cb says:

    oh and re the loan

    It’s interest bearing and will make the borough a profit so why the fuss?

    Levy is using all this as leverage to get cash from the Govt, and to try to make West Ham drop the police investigation into the Spurs hired hacking of phoens and bank records of Government officials

  • TommyHarmer says:

    I agree with nonfickle. We were ENCOURAGED to bid, and that encouragement was on the basis that removal of the running track was acceptable; then the goalposts changed. Why should West Ham be given a stadium on the cheap any more than us. They are assured the stadium, we are told, simply because they are prepared to retain the track permanently. If that is not the case we have grounds for damages of a very high order, Add in a very dubious grant from Newham to West Ham (why if the stadium is given so cheaply?). There’s nothing mean-spirited about our objections; they are in the interests of honesty and fairness

  • Bert says:

    Tottenham are a vile club with lod mouthen vile fans. They belong in North London in their riot shitehole. Keep your big noses out of it.

  • jizzmonkey says:

    dear dear so its cost you 85 mill has it never mind you have been buying up property around white hart lane at a knockdown price aide by the local council.honesty and fairness do me a favour you are bitter whingers and have forgotten where you come from ,north the way levy can whinge all he likes he cant make demands about the running track its got sod all to do with him and more fool him for wasting your money in any other business a man responsible for costing the company that amount of money would be out on his ear.

  • Totti Irons says:

    The fact that Spurs wanted to remove the track and West Ham didn’t but were allowed to use retractble seats on the running track tells you everything about the so called intelligence of Spurs!

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