In a East End town, a dead end world
So on the one hand you might agree that Levy's legal sniping has pushed West Ham United, the OPLC, UK Athletics and the Government all into a corner with Boris serving up cups of tea in panic discussing issues raised. Issues pertaining to fairness and the running track which concludes with the break down of the Brady bunch owning the OS out right. But there was no panic. More of a swift counter-move on a dirty chess board that needs binning.
Instead they'll (probably) get a 125 lease (as good as owning it), except its not as good as owning it in terms of potential corporate profit you'd make if you did, to name just one reason. The running track is supposedly now cast in stone to remain. Or is it? I'm sure over time it will disappear. They will find a reason (or add it to the small print of the new bid) and validate it and let's be honest, few will care. By that point, the NDP will be in full swing and Levy will be past bothering himself with further court room dramatics. Anyone who moves into the OS and retains its current structure is asking for trouble either way. No atmosphere with running track, no atmosphere without it. Its an athletics stadium, its not purpose built for football. If its leased, what chance of a complete overhaul of its structure? Unlikely.
Not sure anyone has 'won the day'. Look at the money spent in the original bidding process. There has been plenty of manoeuvring and posturing and politics. But little has changed. They always wanted WH to 'win' the OS. They used Tottenham to consolidate the bid but the fallout now means they just have to swagger on in as tenants.
Levy's legal push is now redundant so perhaps they have won after all. They've defused all the bad publicity. They can now agree a new proposal that we (Levy) can hardly object too. It was of course the original process we had issues with. Still, as someone pointed out to me, WH can hardly dump debt as an asset onto a stadium they do not have ownership of. Affordable as tenants, but not in the long term.
At least the media cant be arsed to prolong this tiresome saga by suggesting we might want to pay rent in East London. We'll have to wait to see what all the official statements detail.
The most prominent THFC question, in terms of Machiavellian tactics, is whether Levy still retains any cards to bolster the redevelopment in N17. The concern is, he might still wish to bite back. This is Levy. Shrewd, hard as rock. We still await to see whether the fight for admission on the original process is now dead.
End game in sight, right?
Or perhaps not. Read this article by Martin Cloake. There are still plenty of questions that require answering, relating to accountability.
We can all agree (no matter Lilywhite or Claret and Blue) that this has been an absolute mess.