Filed: Sunday, 3rd July 2011
By: Staff Writer
The secret payments allegedly paid by West Ham to an officer of the OPLC prior to United being granted preferred bidder status for the Olympic Stadium totalled just £1,868.
As you're almost certainly aware by now, this morning's Sunday Times led with a story entitled 'Olympic Boss Paid Secret Cash' in which it is suggested West Ham paid a member of the OPLC to influence the decision concerning would be granted use of the site post-2012.
However the story also reveals that the sum paid to Ms Dionne Knight - the OPLC's director of corporate services - prior to the decision being made totalled just £1,868; the sum constituting two seperate payments of £566 and £1,302.
Ms Knight - who purportedly earns a salary of £84,000, making the £1,868 payments roughly the equivalent of a weeks' wages - is said to have received further payments of £3,400, £4,646 and £4,800 - but only AFTER West Ham had been granted preferred bidder status.
The total sum paid to Ms Knight, who was employed in a consultancy role by West Ham - is said to stand at less than £20,000 - less than a quarter of her OPLC salary.
Meanwhile the veracity of the story had also been called into question due to the transparent nature of the payments made by West Ham to Ms Knight.
It has been suggested that had West Ham genuinely wanted to keep the payments secret, it is extremely unlikely that they would have paid money into Ms Knight's personal bank account directly from the club's bank account - a transaction naturally evident on Ms Knight's personal bank statement procured by corporate investigators acting at the behest of Tottenham Hotspur, whose underhand tactics have been slammed since the story was published.
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