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!