A man was arrested on Tuesday after new claims that Tottenham Hotspur hired private investigators to snoop on West Ham and the Olympic Park Legacy Company during the Olympic Stadium bid.
The Metropolitan Police revealed that they had held the 29-year-old from Sussex after Baroness Ford, chair of the OPLC, attacked Spurs’ ‘vexatious’ behaviour and claimed that all 14 members of her board had been ‘put under surveillance’ by the club.
The man was arrested on suspicion of fraud offences and taken to a Sussex police station. Detectives from the Economic and Specialist Crime Command have also searched a home and business premises in Sussex, a second private address in Sutton, south west London, and a business in Westminster.
Baroness Ford told the London Assembly’s economy, culture and sport committee, who are responsible for scrutinising the Olympics on behalf of the Assembly: ‘My board were put under surveillance by Tottenham Hotspur and the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur felt confident enough to say in The Sunday Times several months ago that all 14 members of my board were put under surveillance.
‘The Metropolitan Police are now conducting an investigation into that surveillance. There has been all kinds of behaviour here that I could not have anticipated which, believe me, has not been pleasant in the last 12 months.’
A Tottenham statement, issued through the club’s lawyers, insisted the accusations were ‘wholly inappropriate and irresponsible’.
It added: ‘The club did not undertake, instruct or engage any party to conduct surveillance on any member of the OPLC committee. We totally reject the accusation in the strongest possible terms.’
Tottenham lost out to West Ham in their bid to take over the Olympic Stadium in February. The OPLC have launched a new tendering process.