The club has denied making secret payments to an Olympic Park Legacy Company executive to win the stadium bid

West Ham United Football Club has hit back at claims it made secret payments to ensure it was awarded the Olympic Stadium over London rival Tottenham Hotspur.

The east end club has been accused of making more than £20,000 worth of secret payments to Dionne Knight, an executive with the Olympic Park Legacy Company - the body that chose West Ham to be the stadium’s post Olympic owner over a rival bid by Tottenham.

West Ham has taken legal action against Tottenham and the Sunday Times newspaper, which published the claims at the weekend.

It has emerged that Knight carried out paid consultancy work for West Ham during the bidding process.

The work was related to the procurement process for the £95m construction contract required to convert the stadium after the 2012 games.

It has also emerged that Knight is in a relationship with West Ham executive Ian Tompkins who was involved in the Olympic stadium bid.

The OPLC, which suspended Knight last week, insists she was working for West Ham without its knowledge.

Tompkins is understood to have been suspended by West Ham pending the outcome of an internal review.

The OPLG also insisted there was no impact on the bidding process.

The latest row over the post games future of the  Olympic Stadium comes as Tottenham insisted it will press ahead with plans to force a judicial review of the decision - taken by the OPLC and rubber stamped by the government and the London mayor - to award the £486m stadium to West Ham.

An earlier application was rejected by the High Court last month.

The payments, reported to total £20,400, were made by West Ham because the joint bid company - 50/50 owned by the club and the London borough of Newham - did not have a bank account of its own at that point.

West Ham said: “Dionne Knight’s work for the Legacy Stadium Partnership (LSP) owned 50% by Newham, and 50% by West Ham United was in relation to the procurement of a construction partner after the Olympic Games. Her work was very transparent and the bidding process was never compromised. The work was never hidden, for example she personally attended meetings.”