West Ham sues Tottenham, newspaper

Updated: July 3, 2011, 9:46 AM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- West Ham is suing a British newspaper and fellow soccer club Tottenham over allegations of corruption in its bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 London Games.

West Ham released a statement in which it "absolutely and categorically" denied claims by The Sunday Times that the club made secret payments to an executive on the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the body that chose the preferred tenant of the $777 million east London venue.

OPLC unanimously selected West Ham over a bid from Tottenham.

"Legal action is being taken against the Sunday Times, as well as Tottenham Hotspur," the West Ham statement read.

The club said it was "certain of the robustness of our successful bid" for the Olympic Stadium, adding that "no stone has gone unturned trying to find a way to undermine our bid."

The OPLC said Friday that it had suspended one of its directors who had also been employed as a paid consultant for West Ham, sparking fears of a possible conflict of interest in the bidding process.

West Ham responded immediately by saying it was "of the firm view that the integrity of the bidding process has not been compromised."

West Ham hopes to leave its current 35,000-seat Upton Park home and move into the Olympic Stadium for the 2013-14 season. The club plans to downsize the stadium from 80,000 to 60,000 seats and use it as a multipurpose venue, fulfilling Britain's promise to retain a running track at the facility.

Tottenham had proposed knocking down most of the stadium and building a 60,000-seat, soccer-only venue on the same site, without a track.

Tottenham applied to London's High Court last week seeking a judicial review into the OPLC's decision to pick West Ham as the preferred tenant.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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