| 5.1°C Dublin

Spurs left reeling by stadium verdict

West Ham's victory in the race to take over the London Olympic Stadium leaves Tottenham's plans to cement their place in football's elite in tatters.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company's (OPLC) board will announce their choice of tenant for the post-2012 stadium at a news conference in Westminster this morning, with board members being recommended by officials to choose West Ham.

That will see the athletics track retained inside the stadium and avoid huge embarrassment to British ministers and the London mayor Boris Johnson, who would otherwise have been accused of breaking promises to the International Olympic Committee.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has previously suggested the club would consider applying for a judicial review if they believed that their bid was not given fair consideration. The likelihood of that has receded slightly, although all options are still being kept open.

Levy has already declared Spurs' alternative stadium plan to be financially unviable and the club now face the grim prospect of remaining at their less lucrative old home until a third way out of White Hart Lane can be found.

The recommendation from OPLC executives does not automatically mean that West Ham will win the backing of the board members, but it would be a major surprise if that was not the case.

Tottenham's consortium will look for guarantees that the row over the athletics track, which became a highly-charged political issue, did not count against them. Their plans were to create a football-only stadium without the track and redevelop the Crystal Palace athletics stadium for that sport.

It will be years, however, before it can be determined whether the running track does have any effect on the long-term viability of West Ham at the Olympic Stadium.

  • Newcastle have confirmed the signing of Finland international striker Shefki Kuqi until the end of the season.

Irish Independent