Tottenham’s recent revelations show that a woman called Dionne Knight, an ex-Newham Council official, now a hugely paid member of the Olympic Park Legacy committee, had been paid £20,000 by West Ham – without revealing the payment to her Legacy committee – authorised by West Ham’s director Ian Tompkins, who also worked for Newham Council and into the bargain, is the lover of Ms. Knight.
The Hammers insist they are purity personified and are taking legal action against Spurs, who themselves have been busily taking such action to defy a judge who wanted to deny them an appeal from his decision that West Ham were entitled to have the stadium, after the Legacy committee had voted 14-0 in their favour.
That irreplaceable magazine, Private Eye, has added fuel to the flames by revealing that Newham Council, who though the poorest borough in all London, has agreed to lend the Hammers £40 million, has previous links with West Ham. Tomkins, in 2002, when head of Newham’s publicity, spent £15,000 on an exclusive hospitality box at Upton Park.
Knight, for her part, when head of procurement for Newham, had organised a whole day’s ‘Strategic Procurement Meet The Buyers’ event for 200 businessmen at West Ham’s costly Trevor Brooking suite. The Legacy committee are investigating.
Yet I still feel, as do most of Tottenham’s thousands of fans, that Spurs should never relocate so far east. There is word anew that they may try to rebuild their own White Hart Lane Stadium, where they have played since the 19th century, or shift to nearby Northumberland Park. Though it will cost money that they’d still need to borrow.
West Ham – whose owners, kings of pornography, are clearly anxious to sell, may get help from retail giants Westfield who are looking for new land to develop.