Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Daniel Levy

Facts are the enemy of truth...


Tottenham Hotspur have decided to continue their battle over the Olympic Stadium, and have gone back to the High Court in attempt to force a judicial review of the decision to award the venue to West Ham United. Spurs are refusing to accept defeat after last week's decision by Judge Mr Justice Davis to reject their bid and that of Leyton Orient's. Backing the Olympic Park Legacy Company's decision, Judge Davis said there were no grounds for a review and dismissed Tottenham’s challenge as "more the product of ingenuity than of substance"; or the legal semantics equivalent of Todd Margaret protesting: "I didn't shit myself, I pissed myself. I just fell in some shit after I pissed myself." He subsequently warned both clubs that he hoped renewal [appeal] on all points would not be "a knee-jerk reaction and careful consideration will be given to the extent of renewal, if any." Failing to take heed, Tottenham are again challenging the legal process that gave the stadium to West Ham United, and will now have the chance to make a case in an oral hearing at the High Court. That could be held as early as next week and could potentially be heard by a different judge.

Orient chairman Barry Hearn revealed yesterday that his club would also be appealing the decision and had already lodged oral submissions. The club are concerned about the implications of having the Hammers moving closer to them, fearing the loss of support at the club. Orient's Matchroom Stadium home, which seats 9,271 supporters, lies within a mile of the Olympic site, closer to the Olympic Stadium than West Ham's Boleyn Ground. The club fear the implications of suggestions the Hammers could offer free or heavily discounted tickets when they move into their new home.

Having consulted with their solicitors, Hearn made it clear this was not a compensation claim, but an appeal made in order to protect the future of Leyton Orient. "We believe we have a strong case,” he said. "We need to make it clear we are not in favour of West Ham moving into the Olympic Stadium – it's not about compensation. We are trying to stop West Ham getting the Olympic Stadium. We made it quite clear from the beginning, the move by West Ham threatens the very existence of Leyton Orient. I suppose if every council in the country was able to loan their football club £40m we wouldn't have an objection. I believe in the medium term it will eventually put Leyton Orient out of business."

Now, their north London cohorts are following suit. A statement placed on the Spurs website this afternoon confirmed they have also applied to the High Court again to renew their challenge. It said: 'The club has today applied to the High Court to renew its application for permission to bring a claim against the London Borough of Newham and the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the Mayor of London and Government Ministers for judicial review of their decisions underlying the bid process for the conversion of the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games. Under this process the club now has the opportunity to present its case at an oral hearing at the High Court.'

Tottenham and Leyton Orient had until 4pm today to decide whether to appeal against last week’s rejection of their attempts to block West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium, writes Paul Kelso, but already attention is turning to their options if the move goes ahead. Last week the judge dismissed their request and effectively warned them to think twice before appealing. Should the West Ham decision stand, Tottenham face a major challenge to rebuild relationships strained by the judicial review process. The club’s decision to challenge the government and London mayor’s office in court has caused major friction, with Westminster insiders describing a "trust deficit" as a result of the legal process.

After Thursday's news was announced, the Olympic Park Legacy Company said: "We are pleased with the ruling and continue to make good progress in our negotiations with the preferred bidder in order to be in a position to agree the final terms for the stadium's lease." Newham Council have arranged a £40m loan to finance the move from Upton Park for West Ham, who are promising to develop a venue capable of hosting "world-class sporting events, including top-level football and athletics".

Spurs turned their attention to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, after deciding their plans for a new development at Northumberland Park - next to their existing north London White Hart Lane home - were not economically viable. Planning permission has already been granted but rising costs means the club would have to find potentially half a billion pounds to go ahead with the so-called Northumberland Development Project (NDP) - unless they manage to acquire sufficient public backing. The amount of residential property that could be built to offset the development costs has also been reduced, notes Andrew Warshaw, and Spurs will now step up talks with Haringey Council to try and strike a deal over the massive local infrastructure costs.

Tottenham’s other alternative site at Tottenham Hale would also require significant public subsidy to be viable, states Kelso, and diplomatic bridges will need to be built to achieve that. "Obviously we are taking a fresh look at things and are trying to find viability to drive the NDP, but it won't happen without public sector support," executive director Donna Cullen told insideworldfootball. Their original proposal, part of a joint bid with AEG sport and entertainment group, had been to knock down the Olympic stadium, rebuild it as a football-only venue and, by way of a commitment to athletics, redevelop the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace. Now, following the recent court judgement, their need to find an alternative strategy is even more pressing. "We never stopped looking at the NDP as an alternative option," insisted Cullen. "Of course we will have to fund a degree of it ourselves but no stadium ever happens in this country without public sector support. All we are asking for is the right balance."

Daniel Levy's need to expand is increasingly desperate as he aims to stay competitive with a stadium that holds only 36,000 fans, but Cullen insisted the club were not prepared to go heavily into the red to realise their dream of a stadium on a par with neighbours Arsenal. "We're going to go back and see what might be possible but there is only a certain level of debt the club can take on and sustain. It cannot and will not go beyond a peak level." She admitted the quest for a new ground had been made tougher by the failure to acquire a judicial review of the Olympic Stadium process. "We are not in an economic period where there is a situation of generous grants and we are obviously not asking at the best of times. However, our ask is very relevant. A stadium would absolutely affect the regeneration of an area of London that has long been ignored."

For their part, Spurs believe that they were receiving so little support from government that they had nothing to lose from the challenge. It is as if Levy has become locked in a Kafkaesque hell in which from a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. Playing Sancho sidekick to it's quixotic ally, Orient have asked the Football League to consider whether West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium should be permitted under their rules. Any ground move has to be approved by the board. They are currently appealing the Premier League’s decision to approve the move, and the Football League may wait until after an arbitration hearing in October before declaring its position.

Meanwhile, with West Ham’s move to Stratford looking increasingly likely to happen there is mounting talk in football and Olympic circles that shopping centre giant Westfield is set for an active, possibly decisive role in the club’s future. Westfield already own the shopping centre on the edge of the Olympic Park, notes Kelso, and there is speculation they could eventually add the club that will be playing a few hundred yards away to their London portfolio. The company has already been heavily involved as a partner in West Ham United's stadium bid, and are considering bidding for the contract to convert the stadium, as well as being linked with a naming rights deal.

Writing in today's Telegraph, Kelso states it has long been suspected that the Stratford move is part of a strategy by West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan to sell the club on. Given Westfield’s interests in the Olympic Park, and owner Frank Lowy’s football links – he is chairman of the Australian FA and headed its failed 2022 World Cup bid – they make logical suitors. According to the Londoner, the potential dominance of the Westfield brand in the Olympic east may well be counterbalanced by an increased presence in the former Olympic west as plans for expansion of Westfield at White City are also revealed. In this bullish spirit of expansionism, redevelopment of the site next to the complex could mean 1700 homes and a further 48,000 square metres of retail space. The plans go on display for public consultation in July.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hang on, just 2 weeks ago he said that Modric isn't going anywhere. There's few chairman that don't see the £££ signs when someone mentions a sky-high fee.

Anonymous said...

as a tax payer i think it is disgraceful that the park is not simply being sold to the highest bidder. buuger the legacy, if athkletics can support it then it will be a high bidder. athletics had ridden the coattails of two pornographers who will dump the athletics track at the first opportunity. and for thos guys to then sell out and take the profit out of the game, well it is outrgaeous. first it shd not go into the game, it shd go to the govt under a proper auction. failing taht it shd be made to stay in the game, altho hardly fair if one club over another. but then to put it straight into the pocket of those two; well shame on you seb coe for you self-indulgent nonsense that comes at such a high price to the birtish taxpayer, shame on you

Peabody said...

There's some willfully obscure references here even for you Trilby. I thought I was the only person in the world who watched Todd Margaret..!

Bonzo said...

You do know that Spuds fans get very angry when their sainted overlord gets prodded with a blog-shaped stick? I hope you're prepared.

Max said...

With a bit of luck Levy can save a bit of cash by sharing a cab to the court with that crook of a manager of his.

Anonymous said...

You lot stole the stadium and you know you did. Any impartial study of the situation could see the Spurs bid was the more (only) viable option, but you happened to have some very big players in your corner who were intent of serving their own interests as opposed to the interests of the tax payer and common decency. We didn't want the stadium anyway but that doesn't make the situation stink any less.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile, who the f**k are west ham?

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha its so funny to read these yids so upset ahhh,just get over it,did you really think it was ever going to happen?get real all levy is gonna do is just incur more costs to that pathetic club.

Anonymous said...

ive heard on good authority that the police will not rest until they nick that chicken hawk redknapp,i cant wait for the day,street parties in portsmouth,southampton,and west ham to follow.

Anonymous said...

Who are West Ham? We are the ones with the big new stadium.

Anonymous said...

Shame that some of the comments have started to degenerate a little bit- this article deserves better as does Trilby and his excellent blog... and I'm a Spurs supporter.

Spurs est_1882 said...

I started reading this getting ready to complain about a West Ham hash, however, its really well written. I do think the award to West Ham needs to be fought, it was not the strongest bid, nor was the loan entirely legal in accordance with FA regulations and local voting laws. As far as the NDP is concearned, the council/mayors office have pushed Spurs to re-generate the area, and develop new transport links and job opportunities, yet are not willing to help in ANY way. The emirates got a help by the Mayor at the time forsaking some planning laws about affordable housing thus increasing the profits. To put it blunt, the all the London boroughs hate us anyway (even our own) so stuff them and prove them all to be corrupt. GO LEVY!! (oh, most Spurs fans actually agree with you that we should drop it)

Anonymous said...

Most Spurs fans are delighted that we are not going to move to East London. And as for Levy well the less said about him the better. We'll leave the white elephant Olympic stadium to you and I look forward to you trying to fill 60000 against Doncaster, when you couldn't even get 35000 against Man U, Goons or indeed any team last season.

Anonymous said...

It's the orient who are getting screwed in all of this and It's unfair on them I'm a spurs fan and don't particularly want us to move there but the whole decision making seems odd there's no way west ham had best bid I hope they will have some decency and give the O's a percentage of gate receipts

Anonymous said...

no one said it was'nt en excellent piece but everyones getting a bit sick of levy and his jewish mafia,i think spurs fans are becoming dragged into this thundering oafs rhetoric, and as a consequence are being looked apon as joke much like uncle harry!

Anonymous said...

jewish mafia???
now we are seeing the true colours.
a significant number of the cttee are season ticket holders at w.ham or well connected with the newham council. with all due respect to the sicilians, that is the only behaviour that i have seen that is remotely akin to that of the mafia.
buying favours and fixes are in. meanwhile the pron kings pocket about twoo mill of value from the taxpayers when the public sector are having their pensions cut. the simple fact is the whole thing stinks and coe shd be strung up by his toenails for his role in this crap. he promised the international olympics cttee a legacy, well he also promised all of us no cost on a net basis. that cost is currently estimated at around 3 bill and yet he thinks we shd give away another 200mill, why? so he can be voted on all sorts of olympic cttees and get freebies around the world. as i say, it stinks. and hearn is right to be upset, he believed, rightly or wrongly, that spursw ould fill it without discounts. west ham have already staed that they might close off each end and all they want to do is dump tickets on the market to fill it, as big a breach of competition law as the state aid that got it for them to begin with.
well written piece by the way

Anonymous said...

if most spurs fans are pleased that they wont be the tenants(and lets face it every home match for them would've been a riot if they were)then why are they questioning the validity of west hams claim to the stadium?or is it just a case of overbearing arrogance on the part of the fans and a childish"we didn't want the stadium anyway but the manner in which whu got it just was'nt cricket"please fucking grow up and move on,at the end of the day you're club will be forgotten news in a short while.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing as a supporter of both Orient and West Ham that Barry Hearn can claim us moving to the OS will affect his support, there are a 1000 or so Leyton Orient supporters and many of us who support other teams in London that also go and watch the O's as a second team. He just wants to get a compensation payout... As for Spuds and the O's claims, last time I visited Tottenham was in Haringey and Leyton Orient is in Waltham Forest, also neither set of supporters and you can even include most WHU in that really want to move there, the only advantage is parking and shopping.

Max said...

Orient deserve the least sympathy out of anyone. How does Hearn's claims- that a top flight team at the OS would be detrimental to his club's attendance figures- stack up when the Premier League have alreasy exposed the hypocrisy of him giving his consent to Spurs moving there?

Besides, Orient were offered the new hockey stadium at Eton Manor and already turned it down. As pointed out in a post on here a few months ago, Hearn is playing the Duchy of Brisbane Road role and simply looking to kick up enough fuss that he might prosper from the largesse that the 'big forces' might bestow on their vanquished enemy once the battle is invariably lost. Flint hearted self-interest dressed up as moral imperative and nauseating in the extreme.

Lawrence said...

I don't have a foot in any of the camps involved but as someone who lives near Crystal Palace I find it outrageous that Spurs can suggest Crystal Palace park, an area of outstanding beauty, can just be redeveloped. The arrogance of a club who want to move into a stadium in an area of London that doesn't belong to them, and at the same time trash another area of London that doesn't belong to them just to serve their purpose, is breathtaking. Spurs had the best bid? For who exactly? Absolutely laughable.

Anonymous said...

every west ham supporter needs to have a think about the future,no one will miss upton park more than me,but we really need to get a grip on reality if we want to achieve any type of success we have to move it is such a simple thing to grasp, i don't know why anyone would have it any other way.its amazing to think certain people want us to stay,why???tell me any benefits to staying,i for one have my special memories til i die,but i want my club to be as good as it can be is that so bad?as sad as it is finanancial muscle is the future,we need to be competing.

Anonymous said...

i hear west ham are gonna start giving out free binoculars with every season ticket bought so you can see whats happening on the pitch during each game.

Anonymous said...

anon at 17:02
i do not think you should assume that people feel that just because spurs dont want or cannot have they are childlike in saying others cannot have. perhaps it is the view of some but you do a disservice to many more let me be clear, after all the indirect taxes and direct taxes i am paying over 65 % of my earning to this bloody govt so where the hell do they get off giving a stadium away? and that is before we get into the issue of the bloody reprobates they are giving it to. it is public asset bought and paid for by the taxpayers. and therefore it shd be sold not to keep lord effing coe happy but to return max value to the british taxpaying public. why shd the taxpayers in liverpool or manchester or newcastle be giving a gift to the porno kings?. it has, quite frankly, jack shit to do with spurs versus west ham. and the thrust of the state aid case is that govt shd not subsidise one private business over another as it distorts competition. and w ham can afford to offer cheaper seats because they wont have a market rate mortgage to pay (ie on the full value of the stadium) and that state aid does hurt orient. i do not expect levy to drop this any time soon and brussels might well be the next step and if puts a couple of hundred mill in to the public coffers then more power to him.

Anonymous said...

does the spurs board even pay tax in this country?NO!levy is a little bitch who whines and moans about everything.all the yid scum are the same.forget about the stadium and the champs league and keeping hold of any decent players and just shut the f**k up ball bags

Anonymous said...

hotspunk sports franchise, stay in your hovel and smell the kebeb fat

Anonymous said...

"You lot stole the stadium and you know you did. Any impartial study of the situation could see the Spurs bid was the more (only) viable option"

The more viable option for Tottenham Hotspurs absolutely. But everyone knows that Spurs fans do not have the capacity to form an impartial opinion on anything. David Levy and Lord Sugar proving that point perfectly by throwing their toys out of the pram when the decision went against them.

Anonymous said...

Being a west ham fan obviously love the fact we finally beaten spurs at something haha on the pitch hasn't been going so well other than this season! However what I don't get all spurs fans don't want the stadium why would you want to be in east london? Sort of hypocrites comsidering why you hate Arsenal! But because west ham got it your bid is more 'viable' not because you know anything about the bid its just what levy has branded your bid in the media, how is it viable to knock down a 500 million pound stadium? Oh sorry I forgot that's peanuts to you lot, it was always going to be us because its in Newham and it makes sense we are not changing our borough, however I don't say why we can't share a stadium with the money from both clubs it would be a fantastic stadium and fixtures wouldn't be a problem, only problem would be is that the pitch would have to be relayed at christmas! I think spurs fans and hearn need to accept defeat and stop wasting their money, if they go yeah we accept your bid for judical review then west ham would go to court, and I asif you would win going against the government! Ha

Anonymous said...

ha ha i know its silly but"kebab fat"he he.by the way i did'nt hear of any man u fans bleating on about man city getting the ground after the commonwealth games,oh yeah thats right they don't pay taxes so it does'nt matter!!!!we all pay fucking taxes get over it yids will always be moaning about everything.

MarcO said...

Orient have been shabbily treated in all this. Their ground is nearer the Olympic Stadium regardless of the fact that it's not in the same borough which is completely irrelevant. It would be appear to be against the League's own rule I6 which does not allow a club to move to the detriment of another. The 40m loan from Newham appears to be in direct contravention of the European Treaty which does not allow a local council to give one enterprise a competitive edge over another. WHU's bid is clearly not viable without Newham's backing. Having said all that, the fix has been in for some time - the OPLC make FIFa look like choirboys. We always knew Lord Seb was an iron!

Colin said...

Hey why dont The Hammers go to WHL and Spurs have the OS then they will have the right size space for their number of supporters. Then Spurs could become West Spurs and the Hammers could become Totten Hams. (I am so over this)
Colin

bexo said...

Geographically, west ham have the only real claim. But it's not about post codes is it? Hearn is clear about his favouring spurs bid over the hammers, spurs are NEVER going to pump out discounted tickets that'll harm his clubs existence. I don't need to talk about newham's 40mill as it's already been said and there is no argument it's wrong. West ham will never fill that stadium, will never prosper with the porn kings and Brady in control. Levy's argument is valid on all counts, the stadium should've gone to the best bid on a commercial stand. It's ludicrous to believe in a fair system that west ham's bid was even on a par with spurs let alone better. If the same allowances given to west ham were given to levy's ndp proposal then the Olympic stadium row would go away. But that would still not make the west ham bid just. They can't afford to run it, simple as that. The tax payer loses again and the dodgy dealing continues. Levy and spurs have attacked no one during this process unlike Sullivan and Brady, and gold hasn't been much better. Levy and enic are not the sort to slope off from a battle and I agree that this will go all way to European justice and then, things will be totally different. That said, I'd rather the npd be given backing, it's a far superior proposal and the stadium is where spurs should be.

Kevin Boatang said...

"with the so-called Northumberland Development Project", bizarre turn of phrase. It is called the Northumberland Development Project, that's it's name.

I'm a Spurs fan and I don't want us to move, and I don't buy the public subsidy argument. What Levy really wants is the housing obligation to be lowered and the 106 contributions to be reduced.

Sadly he has taken the court action on a point of principle rather than sound judgement.

West Ham and their porn barons are more than welcome the white elephant of stadium. Spurs fans are simply getting annoyed that the stadium we need is being delayed by the strong arm tactics of our board rather than proper discussion with the Mayor's office.

colin said...

whether the bid is viable or not the stadium is in there manor we are a north london club and thats where our home should be spurs fan from essex

Sid said...

Lets all laugh at West Ham....its sooooo easy.
This poor excuse of an article was obviously written by a halfwit.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, thanks, I will subscribe to you RSS soon!

 

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