‘Jarndyced’ view on West Ham Stadium collapse

It is hard to know where to start in response to news that the deal to sell the Olympic Stadium to West Ham and Newham has collapsed.

My first view is that surely the months upon months of negotiations and reviews of the respective bids and counter arguments from West Ham/Newham and Tottenham/Anschutz would have taken into account the potential legal challenges and ramifications. For the entire deal to collapse now when the High Court is still to decide on Spurs and Leyton Orient’s legal challenge seems strange to put it mildly.

The line given in  most reporting this morning is that  the OPLC has decided to take what it sees as necessary and decisive action given the gathering prospect of Jarndyce and Jarndyce-type legal obfuscation creating a white elephant. But, as I say, it seems impossible to believe the company was not prepared for this eventuality.

There surely has to be another reason. Perhaps it is the alleged anonymous complaint to the European Commission about ‘state aid’ from Newham that has changed the OPLC’s mind, or perhaps it is rapidly changing views on West Ham and Newham’s position. The changing nature of the global economy in recent weeks has scuppered plenty of other deals that is for sure.

Anyway, with that off of my chest, I will try to find out more about what has really driven this decision and report back!


About Paul Norman's Olympics blog

News Editor of CoStar News, a commercial property news service. Regular blogger on the London 2012 Olympics and what it means for property and the the regeneration of East London
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2 Responses to ‘Jarndyced’ view on West Ham Stadium collapse

  1. Your posts will attract more attention if you put a link on to permit them to be Tweeted and Facebook linked.

    I think we need to await the ministerial statement at noon and see what comes from that and the questioning.

    You are perceptive in saying surely they would have realised before they even bid. Of more concern is the persistent Government obfuscation, as soon as they realised they may be in trouble with European legislation they should have consulted rather than just ploughed on, spending ever more money.

    I don’t know where this will leave the Judicial Review set to start on 18th October, in any event many thousands of pounds have already been spent on preparation so there could be a claim for costs against Government and its agencies from Spurs, Orient, West Ham etc.!

    I say that OPLC’s own operating terms are flawed because they do not give due regard to the ‘legacy’ already in place such as the 130 year sporting, community and commercial legacy of Leyton Orient that inevitably will be harmed by unfair competition.

    the competition is unfair to ALL UK football clubs because whichever club gets the benefit of the public stadium spend all the others are commercially disadvantaged

    • Thanks Andrew, It seems that every decision the OPLC makes around the Olympics is fraught with legal difficulties, and it is a growing concern. The Wellcome Trust bid for the entire park was another clear example of a decision clouded by the knowledge that other parties would have taken legal action immediately. As first evidence of how brittle these decisions are in the face of a committed legal challenge, this is not encouraging and sends out a worrying message going forward. I think Leyton’s position has always been easy to understand – a West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium could potentially decimate Leyton’s support. Tottenham’s position is far harder to understand – do they really want to move to the stadium? Thanks for the tip on retweeting by the way!

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