(WFI) West Ham United of the English Premier League is a step closer to taking over London Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.
West Ham will move into the London Olympic Stadium in time for the 2014-15 season (Getty)
An independent review of the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s bidding process has found no evidence of wrongdoing with the selection of West Ham as its preferred tenant, the OPLC announced Monday.
“After considering the report, the Olympic Park Legacy Company Board has concluded there are no grounds for re-considering their recommendation to select the consortium of West Ham United FC and the London Borough of Newham as the Preferred Bidder for the legacy use of the Olympic Stadium,” the OPLC said in a statement.
“The Legacy Company’s Founder Members, the Mayor of London and Government, have also concluded that there are no grounds for re-considering their decision to select West Ham United FC and the London Borough of Newham as Preferred Bidder.”
The stadium’s post-Games legacy was caught in a protracted fight earlier this year with both West Ham and Premier League rival Tottenham Hotspur bidding for its future use.
Nearly every key figure in British sport, and many in the government, soundly denounced Tottenham’s proposal of removing the track after the Games, especially considering the athletics legacy long promised by London bid leadership.
After a two-week delay in its deliberations, the OPLC revealed in February that the Hammers would be the stadium’s future occupants.
Allegations later surfaced in July that an OPLC director was on West Ham’s payroll, prompting both the Hammers and the OPLC itself to commission investigations into the bidding process.
An independent barrister’s inquiry launched by West Ham concluded earlier this month that Dionne Knight’s apparent conflict of interest in no way affected the integrity of the stadium decision.
And now another independent investigation, this time commissioned by the OPLC and conducted by auditors Moore Stephens over the past six weeks, says the same is true.
“There is no evidence to suggest that this employee had access to confidential
information relating to the stadium process,” says the report.
Moore Stephens also told the OPLC nothing suggests Knight had any influence in West Ham’s triumph over Tottenham.
The Spurs are currently challenging the original stadium decision in London’s court system.
According to the OPLC, an oral hearing to renew applications for a judicial review of its bidding process is scheduled for Wednesday.
All previous appeals by both Tottenham and a third-tier club based nearby have been rejected.