Upton Park board hit back at White Hart Lane club.
West Ham United will report Tottenham Hotspur to the police for allegedly accessing bank accounts and tapping phones as the dispute over the Olympic Stadium gets nasty.
The Hammers are angry at claims they secretly paid executives at the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), who decided who won the rights to move into the stadium once London 2012 was over.
Payments of £20,000 were uncovered by private detectives who allegedly gained access to the executive’s bank records on behalf of Tottenham.
Spurs were bidding against West Ham for the keys to the Olympic Stadium but reportedly missed out as their plans did not include a running track.
A couple at the centre of the row have now been suspended: a female executive, Dionne Knight, at the OPLC, and her partner, Ian Tompkins, the West Ham Olympic project director who helped the east London club win the bid.
West Ham insist they had taken their director’s word that his girlfriend had received approval from her employers to be hired as a paid consultant by them.
In fact, the OPLC learnt about the arrangement only last Thursday when the woman was contacted byThe Sunday Times.
The London borough of Newham, a host borough for the Olympics, is embroiled in the controversy because the executive was formally hired by a partnership half-owned by the council and West Ham.
The local authority is already subject to legal action as it faces applications for judicial reviews over its role in the stadium’s post-Olympics future.
West Ham officials are calling for a criminal investigation in the light of allegations of unauthorised accessing of bank accounts by Tottenham’s private investigators.
Hammers sources also claim phones had been tapped and internet accounts hacked into.
Ms Knight, 34, from Surrey, has been an £84,000-a-year director of corporate services at the OPLC since May last year.
She declared her relationship with Ian Tompkins, 53, when she took on the role.
The sensitivity of the relationship was such that the OPLC decided that the stadium bid process must be handled from its external lawyers’ offices in the City of London.
The couple had previously worked together at Newham council, which is responsible for the Games site and West Ham’s ground at Upton Park.
Mr Tompkins, who served as the council’s director of communications, joined West Ham in 2008 and was given the job of handling the bid for the Olympic stadium.
Her boyfriend, who was responsible for appointing her, assured Karren Brady, West Ham’s vice-chairman, that Ms Knight had permission from her employers. The Legacy Stadium Partnership was aware of their relationship.
The payments came to light because Tottenham, whose bid for the stadium was rejected unanimously by OPLC in February, hired detectives to look into that decision.
West Ham have begun an inquiry into the matter. The club emphasised that they had not paid any member of the OPLC for any information in relation to the bid process or received unauthorised information.
They stated on their website: “The suggestion of secret cash in the Sunday Times article is absolutely and categorically denied. As such, legal action is being taken against The Sunday Times, as well as Tottenham Hotspur.”
Tottenham Hotspur said: “We are currently in a legal process and cannot comment on the matter.”