West Ham cleared by Olympic Stadium inquiry
West Ham United have issued a statement concerning the inquiry findings into their involvement a member of the Olympic Park Legacy Company
West Ham have been cleared of any wrongdoing over winning the rights to the Olympic Stadium by an independent inquiry, it has been revealed.
But the club’s Olympic Project director Ian Tompkins will remain suspended until the results of the inquiry being carried out separately by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) have been announced.
The inquiry, conducted by barristers’ firm Blackstone Chambers, looked into the relationship between West Ham and OPLC director of corporate services Dionne Knight during the bidding process for the Olympic Stadium.
Ms Knight carried out consultancy work concerning the prospective procurement process both before and after a final decision had been made, receiving over �20,000 in payment from the Legacy Stadium Partnership (LSP) formed jointly by West Ham and Newham Council.
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Knight is also the girlfriend of Tompkins, something that she had disclosed to her employers, though whether she also revealed to them that she was undertaking work for the LSP is something being looked at by the OPLC’s inquiry.
West Ham’s statement confirmed: “The findings – which completely exonerate the club over the matter and showed it acted lawfully at all times – came after the consideration of all relevant correspondence and documentation, along with statements from all relevant officials.
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“The barrister had total and unfettered access to all emails and other documents sent and received, along with any imformation required.”
It continued: “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.”
West Ham have now handed the results of the investigation to the OPLC to aid their separate inquiry.
The results merely back up what West Ham have been saying since news of possible irregularities came out in an article in the Sunday Times at the beginning of last month.
The newspaper acted on information gleaned by a private investigator, allegedly working under the jurisdiction of Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham were keen to emphasise that they remain committed to this being investigated too.
“West Ham remain in contact with police with regard to the serious matter of a private investigator acting unlawfully, reportedly under instruction from Tottenham Hotspur,” their statement read.
“This matter is being treated with the utmost seriousness by the club.”
It seems that West Ham have overcome another hurdle in their prolonged battle to take over the running of the �535 million stadium in Stratford after next year’s Olympic Games. The OPLC inquiry should be completed within the next week or so and if that too exonerates the club, then Tottenham will be left with little recourse in their fight for a judicial review of the decision.