The catering equipment company at the centre of a legal dispute with Tottenham Hotspur has blamed Haringey Council and the football club’s “secretive directors” for the adjournment of a High Court hearing that was due to take place this month.
Directors of Archway Steel Metal Works have issued a strongly worded statement following the delay to a hearing in which the fabricator was expected to contest a ‘Compulsory Purchase Order’ that would force it to move premises so that Spurs can build a new stadium on the land.
The case was due to be heard in the High Court last week but was put back by around a month, with Spurs posting a statement on their website about the matter last Wednesday.
It read: “Following the Secretary of State confirming the Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of the last remaining land to be acquired for the stadium site, the landowners, Archway Sheet Metal Works Ltd and the Josif Family exercised their right to seek to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision in the High Court and this was due to be heard in court today and tomorrow — 15th and 16th of January 2015. Due to the fact that not all parties were ready to proceed today, the Court has adjourned the hearing for a short time and this will now be heard on the 17th and 18th February 2015.
However, the directors of Archway and the Josif Family Trustees have branded Spurs’ statement “incomplete” and said it “failed to make clear that they were in reality responsible for the adjournment”.
Archway claims Spurs should have provided information to the High Court by 4pm on Wednesday 7 January 2015, but alleged this was delayed.
It said: “This information relates to secret discussions between the Club and various public bodies concerning major changes to the Club’s scheme on which the case for Compulsory Purchase of our land was based. We are advised that this information should have been made public before the decision to confirm the CPO was taken by the Secretary of State and the failure of Haringey and Spurs to provide that information made the decision to confirm the order unlawful and unfair.”
Archway says its formal application for a disclosure order was made on 24 November 2014. It followed earlier unsuccessful requests it made in correspondence dating back to October 2013 and in requests under the Freedom of Information legislation starting in August 2014.
The directors continued: “The required information was finally provided on Monday afternoon (12 January 2015) and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, as the First Defendant, understandably decided that the information had been disclosed too late for him to prepare fully for the hearing starting yesterday. We respect that decision in the circumstances, although Archway were themselves perfectly ready and willing for the hearing to go ahead as planned, because the disclosed information vindicated our genuine concerns in this case.
“In view of the Club’s incomplete and misleading account of the true reasons for the adjournment, we made a friendly request for a slight amendment to the news item on the their website. This was to ensure that the fans were not misled into believing that we were responsible for the delay, but Spurs refused to make that amendment.
“Archway makes this clear statement so that Spurs fans, the news media and other interested parties are not misled as to who is responsible for this ongoing delay: clearly, Haringey Council and the secretive directors of Spurs.”
The directors said they were “very much looking forward” to presenting their case when the hearing takes place on February 17 and 18.