by Andy Rogers, Associate Director and Mediator, CEDR
When someone takes a position in a challenge or competition in order to win, they become dedicated to that position and to a large extent it will dictate their actions and how they respond to subsequent events. It is with this in mind that we might interpret the actions of Tottenham Hotspur FC in the news this week that they are looking into the decision by the Olympic Park Legacy Company to grant the 2012 Olympic Stadium to West Ham United FC, which might ultimately lead them to request a judicial review.
Dissatisfaction with an outcome is not an untypical reaction from one party in a contest scenario. However, it does not always have to be that way – especially when the contest involves elements of negotiation – using a neutral in the process can get not only get both parties to look at what is best for them, but to understand the other side’s position, giving the advantage of seeing a wider view of the dispute.
To the neutral observer when one side in a contest has been unofficially but publicly named by the media as a favourite in a contest, such as West Ham, they appear to be the natural choice and the actions of Tottenham Hotspur in looking at exploring if they might overturn a decision, can seem hard to understand when taking a dispassionate view. What that fails to recognise however is that a contest, particularly where the stakes are high, naturally generates passion and that does not always fall at the first hurdle, no matter the other obstacles that may lie ahead.