Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Given a 'Take It or Leave It' Ultimatum by Boris over Stadium Plan

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Given a 'Take It or Leave It' Ultimatum by Boris over Stadium Plan

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak City Hall Correspondent

BORIS JOHNSON today issued Tottenham Hotspur with a remarkable "take it or leave it" ultimatum to convince the football club to stay in north London.

The Mayor gave Spurs chief Daniel Levy a stark warning that there is "no more money available from the public purse" to fund their regeneration plan.

As the two sides met for crunch talks, he called on the club's chairman to accept a [pounds sterling]17 million package from City Hall and Haringey council and drop a court battle to gain control of the Olympic stadium. Mr Johnson says the money offered will allow Spurs to press ahead with the [pounds sterling]400 million redevelopment of White Hart Lane rather than continue a judicial review over the 2012 arena, which has been awarded to West Ham United.

A deal is on the table that will mean the Mayor's office will provide [pounds sterling]8.5 million for regeneration around the new 56,250-seat stadium development.

Mr Johnson's senior aides, Sir Edward Lister and Sir Peter Rogers, today met Tottenham chiefs and insiders said there was hope that a deal would be reached.

A source close to the negotiations said: "There is an extremely generous deal on the table. This is a sizeable chunk of public money. We cannot understand why the club is dragging its feet if it claims to be committed to the area.

"If they don't take it we will start exploring other options and talking to other people."

Haringey council would provide a further [pounds sterling]8.5 million for improvements around the new ground -- meaning the club would be relieved of the "planning gain" requirements that are often associated with large scale developments.

The club was last week given official planning permission to go ahead with the project by Haringey, but is still pressing ahead with a court battle over the award of the Olympic Stadium.

In a significant intervention Mr Johnson today told the Standard: "Tottenham Hotspur has long been an integral part of the community and by staying true to its roots the club now has the power to revolutionise an area of the capital that has been neglected for far too long. …

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