In the new this week around the Premier League this past week, Tottenham has gone forward with their lawsuit over the 2012 London Olympics Stadium which was awarded to West Ham United. I had discussed the two proposed plans that both of these clubs had for the Olympic Stadiums and their bids in a previous post. After West Ham United’s bid was chosen as the winner, Tottenham had been considering about whether it would be worth the risk of paying around $1 million in legal fees to launch a lawsuit. As this article notes, Tottenham has begun their legal proceedings and have claimed there were issues with the process in which the winning bid was chosen. As the stadium is said to be worth around $777 million U.S. dollars, it is not surprising that Tottenham was quite unhappy with this decision. While their bid required them to put money into the project, it was much less than the cost of having to build a brand new facility, especially a state of the art one like that which is being built for the Olympics. Clearly, Tottenham believes the $1 million in legal fees is a small risk, when the potential payoff is a three-quarter of a billion dollar brand new facility.
It’ll be curious to see how this plays out, however the Olympic group which is in charge of the stadium have already come out and said they believe that their decision to award the bid of converting the Olympic Stadium into a stadium for West Ham and other events will be vindicated in the courts. It is interesting to note that if the season ended today, Tottenham would be playing in the Europa League next season, while West Ham United would be relegated down to the nPower Championship League.
In one other piece of strange news… Fulham’s owner Mohamed Al Fayed decided to erect a statue of Michael Jackson in front of the clubs stadium. Mr. Al Fayed who was a good friend of the late King of Pop did have some curious words for any Fulham fans who questioned his decision to put up the statue:
“I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in, they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else.”
I checked the iTV site which has attendance numbers, and Fulham are at about 94.2% capacity in their 26,000 capacity stadium this season… while Chelsea are around 98% in their 42,000 seating stadium. It seems to me that there is a higher demand for Chelsea, and another of the other clubs in London based on both percentage of capacity and total number of fans going to the games of other clubs. Furthermore, Fulham is in the bottom quarter of the league in regards to average attendance. I don’t why Mr. Al Fayed would even think of suggesting that fans go to other clubs, especially ones like Chelsea who are battling near the top of the table, while Fulham hovers at mid-table with no chance of playing in Europe. If I was Fulham I would be worry about bringing fans into the games, not putting up statues for individuals who haven’t even really affected the Premier League on or off the field.