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Levy defends stadium bid

Daniel Levy

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy insists there is no moral obligation to retain a running track in the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games and claims a takeover of the venue by Spurs would see money pouring into the public purse.

Spurs are bidding against West Ham - who would keep the track - to take over the stadium and have faced criticism from those who say London should honour the promises made to the International Olympic Committee when they were awarded the Games.

"There is no moral argument to retain the running track. Any bid process sees commitments made and then things change," said Levy.

"The original plan was to reduce the stadium to a 25,000-seat stadium just for athletics and nobody wanted it. The minute they went away from that commitment then it all changed.

"The commitment to have no white elephants is also relevant. London 2012 also planned to hold certain events in a venue next to the O2 arena and now they are being held in Wembley Arena - circumstances change.

"From the viewpoint of the taxpayer and therefore the Government a lot of money has been spent on the Olympics and it is important the taxpayer is not asked to put more money into it in the future.

"We will actually be providing significant returns to the taxpayer through lease payments."

Spurs' plan would see the Crystal Palace athletics stadium redeveloped for that sport instead, and Levy insisted the plan to demolish the Olympic Stadium and construct a purpose-built football ground in its place was not a waste of the £500million public money already spent on it.

"That's a myth," said Levy. "The £500million is the total investment for the total site and it was always intended for much of the structure to come down after the Games - at a cost of £80million.

"Under our proposal the vast majority of the stadium will be reutilised in the new stadium or at Crystal Palace. The notion that the whole thing is being knocked down and wasted is incorrect."