The London Olympic Stadium Legacy Is Like A Spy Novel Or Something

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

The Olympics aren’t even until next summer, but there’s already a debate raging over who gets to use the competition’s showpiece. Various proposals from Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Leyton Orient have been considered, with varying ideas on whether or not the stadium should retain its running track and athletics legacy. And it’s gotten pretty cutthroat and not wholly unlike a Tom Clancy novel.

A deal had been struck to sell the stadium to West Ham had been agreed, but later collapsed, and it turns out a loan to the club from the local government council might not have been wholly legal.

As it turns out, Tottenham Hotspur are pretty desperate to get a new stadium, having seen what the Emirates Stadium has done for the coffers of bitter local rivals Arsenal. So desperate, in fact, they’ve resorted to spying on all fourteen members of the Olympic Park Board.

According to Baroness Ford, Chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the North London club hired private inspectors to tail the members of the board in hopes of digging up dirt.

“All 14 members of my board were placed under surveillance by Tottenham Hotspur, the chairman of Tottenham and the Metropolitan Police are investigating that.

That is the kind of behaviour I did not anticipate and it has not been pleasant.”

And it’s worked. At least one member of the board was revealed to have earned £20,000 doing consultancy work for West Ham, something known in the business as a “conflict of interest.”

We like to imagine there was some Cold War era skulduggery going on during the whole process. Dead drops of stadium renderings, interrogations of football players who insist they don’t know anything (and being footballers, they don’t), high-octane chases through FA headquarters that end up in hijacked cars being flipped into the Thames…

Full Story: The Telegraph

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