Spurs would need to put up deposit if picked for Olympic Stadium move

First published in Save White Hart Lane Haringey Independent: Photograph of the Author by

TOTTENHAM Hotspur is likely to have to put up a multi-million pound deposit if chosen to take over the Olympic Stadium in east London, it has emerged.

Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said at a debate in Parliament that the winning bidder for the Stratford site would likely have to put up an initial bond, believed to be around £20m.

He said on Tuesday: “I am absolutely sure that some form of deposit or bond will be taken from whichever preferred bidder emerges from that stage, and the decision will then come back to the founder members of the Olympic Park Legacy Committee board - the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Mayor of London.”

Spurs and competing bidder West Ham are waiting for January 28 when the legacy committee is expected to decide which club will take over the stadium after the 2012 Games.

Spurs are facing opposition to a move to Stratford from sections of its own fans, who are campaigning for the club to focus on rebuilding White hart Lane rather than leaving Tottenham.

Chairman Daniel Levy has said the club was right to bid for the Olympic Stadium, to keep options open, but the prospect of a deposit may mean the club would have to commit to one of the two projects if chosen as preferred bidder.

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, and Andy Love, Labour MP for Edmonton, spoke passionately during the debate about why Spurs should remain in Haringey.

And Mr Love suggested the move to Stratford may be a “plan B” for the club if its stadium redevelopment falls through.

But Mr Robertson replied: “I am probably in danger of overreaching my brief, but I am not sure that that is an option B, as all the information I have seen indicates that Spurs is pursuing that option very seriously indeed.”

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