Home Business News Mayor’s office denies £17m “bung” accusation

Mayor’s office denies £17m “bung” accusation

by LLB Editor
30th Sep 11 10:19 am

Boris Johnson’s office has denied an accusation the £17m offer to help Tottenham Hotspur build a new a stadium at Northumberland Park in north London is “a bung”.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn made the allegation after the London mayor offered £17m in infrastructure improvements to Tottenham to help develop a new stadium nearby to its current ground, White Hart Lane. Johnson wants Spurs to end its legal fight over the Olympic Stadium, which will be used by West Ham United after the Games.

The move has been criticised by Hearn, whose club has joined Spurs in applying for a judicial review into the Olympic Stadium decision.

  • Read: Mayor offers £8.5m to Spurs to end Olympic stadium battle

Speaking to talkSPORT, Hearn said: “Boris has made his move to try and placate Tottenham and if I’m being cynical, it looks like a bung just to get him out of a court case. I come from the real world and I can recognise a bung when I see it.”

Johnson’s office has dismissed the suggestion the offer from Haringey Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA) is inappropriate. The mayor’s office said talks were ongoing with Tottenham and denied a report that the football club has until the end of September to accept the offer.

A spokesman from the mayor’s office said: “To suggest that the proposed offer from the GLA and Haringey Council towards Tottenham Hotspur is an inappropriate use of funds is entirely inaccurate.

“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.”

Leyton Orient is due to take Newham Borough Council and the Olympic Park Legacy Committee to court in mid-October, claiming West Ham has been handed a “state subsidy” in the form of the Olympic Stadium.

Hearn said: “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 £600m stadium and we’re getting it for £30m, 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. What West Ham do is up to them and what Tottenham do is up to them,” he said. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that if West Ham do take off they’ll put us out of business.”

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