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Pudding Mill Stadium: property partners from hell

The raid on public funds to persuade West Ham and Tottenham football clubs to stay in their home territories has escalated to £57million with Haringey Council matching Bojo's offer of £8.5million with another £8.5million in relief for planning costs. This has drawn criticism from Spurs' courtroom allies, Leyton Orient, whose Chairman, Barry Hearn, described the offer as a 'bung'.

BoJo has countered with the standard claim that the Tottenham deal will produce regeneration benefits: "The discussions that took place yesterday outlined a comprehensive plan for the regeneration of the area that is in the interests of not just the club, but the residents and businesses of Tottenham." Evidence already cited on Games Monitor disputes these claims.

Either way, property development is at the heart of all this manoeuvering. Spurs stand to make a packet if they can get out of White Hart Lane and redevelop the ground while West Ham can get a similar result if they leave Upton Park.

By turning the Olympic Stadium into a Premiership auction London 2012 has opened a can of competing worms. As Hearn put it: "Frankly, West Ham are getting a great deal. David Gold said, and I quote, 'We know the stadium's not perfect but this is a £600million stadium and we're getting it for £30 million, so it's too good a deal to turn down'. Well, good luck to him, but if that's not state aid then I don't know what is." Hardly surprising then that Spurs' Daniel Levy is fighting his corner with such gusto. And if he can't get the Stadium he's determined to tie it's Olympic running track like a millstone around West Ham's neck insisting that they be forced to retain it if Spurs abandon their bid.

Back in 2003, Gareth Blacker, then LDA head of property and development and later responsible for 'losing' £160million, said: "We don't think it will be difficult to get partners. If we do the site assembly we're proposing to do, we're creating a prime opportunity for the property industry."

London 2012 can't say they didn't know what they were getting into.


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