Tottenham deny claims they charged local council five-figure sum to host food bank

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham have defended themselves against reports that the club hit Haringey Council with a bill for over £30,000 for using the underground car park at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as a food bank during the coronavirus crisis.

The club’s stadium was re-purposed to aid the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic as it housed the North Middlesex Hospital Women’s Outpatient Services and was used to operate drive-through testing and swabbing for NHS staff.

The venue was also being used to to produce as many as 1,000 face shields per week for NHS staff on the front-line of the pandemic, back in April.

A report in The Private Eye (as relayed by The Telegraph) claimed that Spurs passed on a bill of £33,280 to the council for additional security and cleaning in the underground car park.

However, the report confirms that it was the council who requested and offered to pay for the extra services and that it was not a case of Spurs just passing on the bill.

Responding the reported £33,280 bill, a Tottenham spokesperson is quoted as saying: “The club established the food distribution hub at our stadium in April in collaboration with Haringey council to serve some of the most vulnerable people within our community and every single cost to deliver this operation has been absorbed by Haringey council and the club.

“Any costs paid by Haringey were those paid to third-party suppliers and no costs whatsoever have been passed to any charitable organisation involved in this project.

“The third-party costs were requested by Haringey as additional services. The club did not pass on any costs which it itself incurred and covered several other costs too.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It is telling that the bill sent to Haringey Council was reported without any fact checking to make Tottenham look bad, despite the club going out of their way do their part to aid the NHS in the fight against pandemic.

You only need to see the relatively muted reaction to Arsenal laying off workers, in comparison to the meltdown that ensued when Spurs furloughed a few staff (a decision which they reversed), to see that there is always an agenda with the way different clubs are portrayed by parts of the British media.

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