West Ham Olympic Stadium decision "exonerated"

By Simon Hayes on August 4, 2011 10:36 AM |

aa-whstadium142.jpgWest Ham United have released details of an independent investigation into their acquisition of the Olympic Stadium which they claim exonerates the decision by the Olympic Park Legacy Company to make them the preferred bidder.

Rivals Tottenham Hotspur claimed there was a conflict of interest by an OPLC employee involved in the process.

Dionne Knight had carried out work on behalf of the club relating to finding a construction partner to adapt the stadium after the 2012 Olympics. She is employed by the OPLC, prompting Spurs' complaint.

West Ham appointed an independent barrister to examine the case, and he reported yesterday that there was no issue over the integrity of the decision to award the stadium to West Ham.

The report concluded that Ms Knight's work had in no way affected the integrity of the joint West Ham United-London Borough of Newham bid which was approved by the OPLC board.

West Ham issued a statement last night which said: "The report found no confidential information was passed by the OPLC to West Ham United through Ms Knight. Similarly, it found that no person at the club has at any point considered themselves to have an improper source of information or influence within the OPLC.

"With regard to Ms Knight, by far the bulk of the invoiced work took place after the decision of the OPLC to confer preferred bidder status and consisted of the transparent preparation of extensive procurement-related documentation.

"West Ham United have handed over the contents of the entire independent investigation to the OPLC as they are conducting their own separate inquiry into the matter."

West Ham confirmed they are in contact with police over an allegation that a private investigator employed by Tottenham obtained confidential information illegally.

Tottenham Hotspur declined to comment but are continuing their legal challenge.