Time to come clean: is Firoka deal dead in the water?

The Chairman of Alexandra Palace Board of Trustees wrote that the trust continues to explore how to achieve the significant investment needed (Gambling licence can t lead to casino, H&H Broadway April 24). This may or may not be news to Firoka, the p

The Chairman of Alexandra Palace Board of Trustees wrote that the trust ''continues to explore'' how to achieve the significant investment needed (Gambling licence can't lead to casino, H&H Broadway April 24).

This may or may not be news to Firoka, the property developer with which Haringey council signed a 125-year lease.

For some time now, the trust and its PR company Lexington have claimed that Firoka will deliver £75m or £55m or - most recently - £45 million of 'investment'. Why does the exploration for cash continue? Has the trust lost its way?

The contract with Firoka specifically promises a casino in the 'user clause' section. Despite much obfuscatory bluster, this is not denied. The chairman has not yet offered an explanation for the casino clause or even acknowledged it. Is the clause an embarrassment? Perhaps the next chairman will address it.


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Another sign the deal is dead is that the chairman has, for the first time, publicly opined that a casino ''would be totally inappropriate at the Palace''. Is the reason that this was not said earlier, because of a fear of offending Mr Kassam, who insisted on the casino promise?

If a casino fails to materialise it will be because the whole Firoka deal is off or because Haringey reneges on its promise of a casino in the legally enforceable lease.

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Recently we heard a renewed offer to takeover AP from Ken Livingstone, in which the Haringey council leader expressed glee and interest. Is this another signal the Firoka deal is dead?

The chairman is keen on always being clear, or at least saying he wants to be clear. Can he please clarify whether or not the Firoka deal is on or off?

Will the Trust proceed with the Firoka deal or consign it to the dustbin where it always belonged? The uncertainty is not helpful and some of the trust's concerned beneficiaries would like to know. They need fewer vacuous platitudes and more information.

Clive Carter

Stapleton Hall Road, N4

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