We need a new stadium; there is no doubt about that. If we want to be considered as a top 4 team and world class we need a stadium to match our ambitions. Thirty-five thousand all-seater is a poor capacity for a club like Spurs. It is one of the lowest for a club that looks towards the stars. According to Spurs there is a about a 40,000 waiting for those who want to become season ticket holders (granted not all members on the list want to be season ticket holders, and probably wouldn’t be able to afford it), but nevertheless a good portion of that 40,000 would pay out to have a season ticket (me being one of them).
The talk has been going on for years about us building a new stadium. Granted we’ve started building a Sainsbury’s on the site (which will give us extra revenue) but not the Stadium itself. However, it has been recently stated that we will be starting the building processes next year. At the same time there has been speculation that we could go into a partnership with an American company to build a 72,000 seater stadium so that an American football team could share our ground (with sliding pitches; separate pitches so the different sports won’t damage each other’s playing area). But so far this is just speculation. At the moment we are looking at a 56 or 60,000 seater stadium.
Daniel Levy had looked into using the Olympic stadium and moving away from White Hart Lane, but to me this was just a ploy to get more concessions from Haringey council and it seems to have worked. They’ve got a reduction in their contribution towards the transport problems and other community improvements from £16.4 million to £0.4 million. £41 million of public money from the council and the mayor of London’s office have now been promised for the area around Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium. It also seems that originally the deal – with the council – was for a housing development (which would include 50% affordable houses) – has now been waived. This was because Levy argued – and rightly so in my mind – that to make the new stadium financially viable, the club needs all the money it can make from selling the planned apartments on the site of the current ground at the full market rate. There was other such deals that he requested before moving head (and got). Once more Levy has shown himself to be an astute business man who wants the best deal for Spurs.
I also discovered that a lot of Spurs money is registered in the Bahamas (to avoid taxes). Even though the morality of such a move has been questioned I again support this. What fool falls on their own sword and damages their chances when other businesses are doing exactly the same? No law has been broken and if it is wrong then it is down to the government to change the law; it is not for companies/ business to take the moral high ground.
Mr Levy has been working hard for years in trying to make Spurs competitive on a 36,000 seater stadium. An almost impossible task in today’s climate. Spurs approximately make £100 million a year from the stadium seating (compared to Arsenal’s £245 million). Which is 60,000 seater stadium and profits in somewhere the region of £245 million.
Once we have a 55,000 seater stadium or more we will be able to sell 20,000 more tickets (including increasing season ticket allocation) and corporate packages, together with selling the name of the stadium, which will launch Spurs into the Premier and European financial elite. So the sooner this happens the better it will be for Spurs. I have no doubt that tickets and season tickets will go up but there is a waiting audience to snap those tickets up. If Spurs are to compete with the best they need a top manager, an excellent squad, which we have, and a stadium to reflect that and our ambitions.
Of course I know the criticism and the other side of the coin and the risks we take; but to achieve anything there will always be risks attached. To Dare is to Do, and not do so leaves us floundering and probably the eventual decline into football’s quagmire.
Spurs have a proud history and proud tradition and now need that stadium to reflect all of this. Tottenham played their first matches on Tottenham Marshes on the available public pitches and remained there for six years. But growing support and status forced them to move. In 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. Spurs only remained at this ground for a year. From there they moved to White Hart Lane. Over the following years the ground made improvements upon improvements; with the capacity changing every time. When it was mostly an all standing ground, and before strict regulations, their biggest capacity was approximately 75,000 (which was for a cup match). An all-seater stadium reduced capacity. The same for other grounds so all the top teams had to either move (City and Arsenal) or extend their current ground (clubs such as Man United).
Once Tottenham Hotspur FC has started it will take approximately 5 years to complete. In the meantime Spurs must continue building the team and aim high so that when the stadium has been built their progress will reflect in that stadium.
So it is not just a case of “come on you Spurs” but also “come on you stadium”. We are waiting.
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