Spurs Lose the Olympic Stadium But the Real Conflict Has Only Just Begun

Politics. All down to politics, as this blog has been saying for a while. The BBC has ‘learned’ that West Ham will win the Olympic Stadium bidding process. In the language of politics, it’s a leak from a sound source, otherwise the BBC would not have gone so big on it. It will happen. Rejoice, oh rejoice unto the heavens! Yet the abiding feeling this morning is the realisation that far from being over, the real issue for Spurs fans, the plans that will affect our development in the next hundred years, that battle has only just begun.

This decision has nothing to do with football or the clubs. It’s a political settlement based on the promises around the Olympic Stadium that date from the bid itself, the legacy and the perceived public reaction if the nod went to an organisation prepared to knock down Britain’s showpiece. The arguments advocated by Levy or for that matter the odious Sullivan in yesterday’s Standard (“the decision is about a promise made in the Queen’s name”) count for virtually nothing. Coe and the athletics lobby as 2012 approaches, Cameron and Boris with cold shudders down their spines as they imagine themselves pictured with the wrecking ball, the government being seen to renege on Olympic undertakings in the most public of ways – these are the factors.

I’ll tell you why this choice was made – my office. Two blokes in the workplace, me and one other who’s not interested in football in the slightest. The rest are women, only one of whom is keen on sport. Lovely people, and yes of course women like football, but not these. There’s not a lot of footy banter going on.

Except over the stadium move. Everyone knows about it. They have no idea who Daniel Levy is, no club allegaince or the faintest notion of a legacy. But they all know Spurs plan to demolish the stadium and they are livid. Many of them blame me personally, even when I point out my opposition. To them, it’s simple: ‘How dare they knock down our stadium?’ Our stadium. There it is. Not Spurs’ or West Ham’s. Ours.

The fans of both clubs, and Orient’s too for that matter, are so embroiled in claim and counter-claim about territory, heritage, revenue streams and sightlines that we fail to appreciate the big picture so beloved of politicians in local and national government. The public want the Olympic Stadium. They are proud of it and proud Britain is hosting the Games. Woe betide a politician who ignores the public mood, whatever they may consider in private, especially so in these straitened times when election promises are returning to haunt members of the government.

In saying that the arguments advanced by both clubs have been so much pissing in the wind, it has to be acknowledged that West Ham have caught the public mood much better than Levy and his PR department. To me, the notion of the Porn Barons and Karren Brady as champions of the people is incomprehensible and frankly nauseating. However, they have successfully presented themselves as guardians of the Games and upholders of decent, honest values, of keeping promises and keeping faith with ‘the youth of London’, whilst at the same time burying the news that theirs is the option that uses public money. Levy meanwhile has been caught on his heels, belatedly desperate to catch up as West Ham set the agenda and the pace. It helps to have a column in the Sun, mind.

Above all, the public and the media like a simple story, and West Ham have successfully cast Spurs as the baddies. This debate about the future of sport in this country has been dramatised as a battle between good and evil and we have lost. Serious damage has been done to our reputation, unwarranted in my view because this was not what it was about at all, but real in the eyes of the public nonetheless. Levy the Loser is the tag he will find hard to shake off, never mind the public, in the eyes of the media and his fellow Premier League chairman. Remember this is the guy who drives a hard bargain and as the deadlines approach, does not blink. Until now.

My opposition to Stratford has been implacable from the start. I’m pleased with this decision but this is just the beginning, because it throws the long-term problems of THFC into sharp focus. If not Stratford, then where? The club cannot challenge the top teams in the long run in a ground that holds fewer than 37,000 people. Figures published today by Deloittes show that of the top 7 clubs, only one, L’arse, made a profit. Spurs have the dubious honour of making the least loss, about £6.5m compared with Man U at nearly £80m, Chelsea at £70m and Man City £121m. The matchday revenues at Spacecity North London are 5 times greater than ours, their profit £56m last year.

I hope we can return to the NDP: I understand the costs have risen but remain wary of Levy’s sudden change of tack. Let’s leave the specifics for another day. One thing is certain, that Daniel Levy remains the key figure who holds not only the balance sheet but also our hopes and dreams. There’s no one else we can turn to: he’s the man in charge. Yet after this mauling, I wonder if he still has the stomach to fight a series of new, possibly protracted battles. We need him to be at his best but he must be feeling battered, sore and bruised. Despite his decade or so in the hotseat, he’s never given the impression of being a passionate man on a mission. Whatever you think about Stratford, it will be hard for anyone to generate the motivation for the challenges to come. It would not be a surprise if he  walked away.

This to my mind is the biggest problem Spurs and Spurs fans have to face in the coming weeks and months. If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that Levy should have done so much more to take the fans with him. Most accept his arguments that the club must change in some way. The fans and board united has to be the way forward. I’ve been an opponent, at times showing a degree of bitterness that is not part of my character, but Daniel, here’s my hand. Reach out and take it.

 

 

 

 

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36 thoughts on “Spurs Lose the Olympic Stadium But the Real Conflict Has Only Just Begun

  1. At the end of the day you would never have been welcome in east London and could quite quickly return to having the likes of Gary Docherty plying their trade at n17 so stay in your manor and get on with it because we are the only club capable of making the east end a happy place and hopefully when we are at Stratford we can with the right choices make West ham united londons premier club.

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  2. congratulations to the non-stratford gang. One question for you, no matter how much any of you hope we wont be returning to the NPD plan, and before you ask ‘why’, its because of the massive massive cost that would bankrupt the club. Add to the the nightmare that is tottenham now on matchdays with 35k people there, imagine the horrors of 60k people !! So forget it, it aint happening.
    So while you celebrate the fact the club are now forced to stay, now what ?? has the last two years been as good as it gets or are we to move up a level to compete?? or didnt any of you think of that whilst you were so annoyed at moving 5 miles down the road?

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  3. Can anyone explain why a dog is posting on here. Bonzo sounds Ok but my dog, Scruffy is far more literate. Scruffy says that the club that brought us that riotously funny and entertaining characters, the IFC are indeed the only group that have made the east end such aa HAPPY place. Bonzo gives the game away with his example of Gary Doherty(I think that’s who he meant but of course if it’s Docherty he might mean Tommy-very confusing for those challenged by the english language) as he’s obviously on the Hammers wish list. No shame,Bonzo, in aspiring for an upgrade on your current playets. Well, you don’t get much for £100 grand a week e.g. Bridge(LMAO).
    Personally, I feel charitable and believe on humanitarian grounds, that Hammers like Bonzo, should get the Olympic stadium. After all from the seats 50 metres away even football in the Campionship probably will seem an improvement on the current fare. Please will Bonzo pay my share of the loss on the loan when his club finally go bely up and welch on the loan as, charitable that I am, I don’t wish to particpate as a taxpayer in the nect losses in the east end.
    Best woofs…

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  4. I’ll start off by saying I’m a West Ham fan, but i think this a really well written article and is completely devoid of all of the drivel that has been written (from all sides).

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  5. Well done anti Stratford fans.Join hands with Haringey council,you and they have done nothing to help Spurs.The
    NPD will bankrupt us but never mind,we are still in N17, bankrupt and way behind Arse-, now you can lobby the council and English heritage ,sorry to late.

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  6. Tottenham’s was the best football bid and if the two bids had been the same Tottenham are at the moment more financially sound. But at the outset it was made quite clear that the running track was not an option it was a must. Would west ham’s bid been different if they thought they could have not had a running track. Almost certainly yes. If you enter a race you first read the rules, you cannot enter a colt in a filly’s race and then clam to be suppressed when you are disqualified.

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  7. This is another black day in the History of our great club our lads Lennon Defoe and Walker have bean snubbed by the Mad Italian. And if you believe the pundits he will be replaced by his tormentor after the World Cup England’s Sir Harry Redknapp then it will be Spurs Eleven. No the real black day is Gareth Bales back has had a twinge, now that should not make our shares drop dramatically but it will make Sir Alex Ferguson have a sly grin to himself and a smug realization his master plan to get Bale with his saved war chest is going well. This could all go up in smoke if Spurs win the next three games then we can tell our bad back he is going nowhere you see Ferguson asked Spurs again would they sell and we again told him no the trouble with that is Giggs told Gareth and he was upset so here we are with a quack saying he needs rest and now Spurs are sending him for a proper scan, my fingers and toes are crossed but not for Bale but that we win the next three and finish fourth and then we can tell Fergus no no. Levey is working on plan c buying West Hams ground oh Bollocks

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  8. there is no way the npd goes ahead. impossible to support the financing for 450 mill project. even if the banks would lend, which they wont right now. i have always said that it is stratford or stay as we are where we are. i am happy with eithr frankly. but i am quite sure that there are many fans who would have been happy to go and the anti crowd had the rallying point and made more noise than their number suggests. i also believe that many of them firmly believe that the ndp will happen, it wont and i am convinced that levy has known that, more or less, for some time but just carried it out to conclusion, after all, a rich russian oligarch might have nibbled with the permission in place. but as a self-finacing venture, just not going to happen. so lets all settle back and enjoy this year and maybe next, and then be a future fulham; and i quite like fulham, just a limit on the dreams

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  9. Why would Levy shake the hand of someone who had campaigned against the best interests of the Club?

    You had a choice and you chose mediocrity. I hope you’re not bitching and moaning about our inability to compete or keep hold of our blossoming players in five years.

    You, and everyone like you, have let us down.

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  10. You can’t have it both ways. You state that your opposition was implacable. Then you have the nerve to criticise Levy for not doing enough to take the fans with him. Your opposition was implacable. He would have been wasting his time.
    Frankly, assuming West Ham do get the nod, I am far from convinced that they will be able to make a go of their scheme in any event. When Gold and Sullivan took over last season, they announced that their new club’s debts were around £110 million, and that relegation would be catastrophic for the future of the club. Having escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth, sacked and paid a large amount of compensation to their management team and paid more to their replacements, then taken on various new loan players at exorbitant salaries, while remaining at the bottom of the Premier League, and giving out persistent rumours to this day that the latest manager is to be replaced, while he is also on a long contract, they can apparently now afford to take on more debt even if they get relegated. It just doesn’t add up.

    Whether this disaster waiting to happen occurs in the short term or not will perhaps determine Levy’s course of action. Then, if the Club gets some financial or infrastructure encouragement to go ahead with the NDP, no one should kid themselves that this is a comparable alternative to the Olympic site. Even in the unlikely event of a cost reductioon of say £50 million the scheme would still cost £150 million more than the Olympic site. A total cost of £400-450 million is mind-boggling. Arsenal have shown that servicing the debt of their new stadium has drastically limited.their ability to compete since 2005; and Arsenal started from a much higher base and have a manager who has worked wonders by keeping them in the Champions League with little or no money to spend on players.
    If we truly lose this bid, then unless something absolutely outlandish happens, like renting Wembley, then we can all kiss goodbye to the prospect of Champions League and winning trophies, probably for ever.

    You reap what you sow.

    But at least you won’t have to change the songs.

    With regard to the politics, I’d have thought that as far as the Government and Boris Johnson were concerned, they would worry much more about the likelihood of another white elephant and drain on public finances, than the witterings of a couple of women in your office. But they aren’t making the decision, unless they have the cojones to reject the Committee’s findings.

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  11. We could raise about £100,000,000 for the NPD easily.
    Bale £45,000,000
    Modric £40,000,000
    VDV £15,000,000

    There you are,only an extra £100,000,000 needed so the
    the difference between Stratford and staying in N17 is not as bad as first thought. Easy.

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    • Philip are you a gooner? Sell our best players to raise cash? You MUPPET!!!! then we’d be right back to where we started, in fact we’d probably go down to the championship…. What a COCK!!!
      COYS

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  12. excellent piece gezzer, who is that prat bonzo, and who is jim a part timer sorry mate your wrong well wrong i have watched spurs as a kid 60,000 in the ground 48,000 in eighties then all seaters come in, it was harder then to get WHL nobody moaned then or probably did but still went.
    Why not just develope WHL own a lot of the ground around it, extend east stand paxton rd could be west can be whats wrong with that
    Funny i agree with some people i would neaver have gone
    to that crap hole in east lundon ,but yes it doesnt feel any
    better
    But good luck to the spammers they are truely going to need it in the championship/2nd division with 20,000 empty seats at £1 ,and a running track as well,so you will need binocholars to see the game and no atmosphere to boot !

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  13. I’m a West Ham Fan, and found this quite an enjoyable article.

    To be honest the whole thing was wrong from the start. The stadium should have been designed from day one with a suitable purpose after the games. Athletics is a spectator sport which probably generates less money from ticket sales than Darts and Snooker.

    West Ham should have been approached and asked to contribute funds towards the construction of the ground with retractable seats included.

    This whole mess could have been prevented a long time ago if you guys were given the support you deserve to redevelop white hart lane.

    They held Levy to ransom for transport costs and this headache is the price they’ve paid.

    If you got the Olympic Stadium the public wouldn’t stand for the short life of such an expensive stadium. And they will vent their anger through votes. There is no way the politicians (major) will want to take the flack for someone else’s poor planning. West Ham’s plan doesn’t rock the boat and if it fails West Ham will be blamed. Though the idea to redevelop Crystal Palace instead is obviously the most viable in the long term.

    If I were Levy I’d listen to the fans and do everything to remain in North London. Your club wont be popular if you got the stadium and believe me high profile stuff like this sticks.

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  14. As the spammers were supported by Seb Coe,it should go on record that he and the others who voted for them should have a plaque on the stadium with their names on it.That way everyone knows who to blame when it goes belly up. They should also promise to NEVER take the track out. Seb Coe, why were we told the olympics would cost us only £2.5 billion when the true cost is nearer £9 billion?
    Why did’nt heads roll ?

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  15. it will not work for west ham to dump lots of seats for a pound. after they have doone it once regular fans will wait for it to happen. and how do you explain to one man that he should pay 1,000 for his ticket and 600 for his son’s when for half the games the kids are getting in free. it just is not possible to do that for more than one or two games a season without upsetting the balance and losing those who will pay. there is a reason that flag carriers (not the easy jets) will fly with empty seats rather than do ahuge discount sale two days before the flight, everyone would wait for the discount

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  16. WH fan in peace.

    That’s the most insightful and well written article i’ve read on this laborious, distasteful and divisive saga in both clubs histories.

    I particularly liked “…the odious Sullivan…” !

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  17. Chris the west ham fan.
    You have made some good points. All these problems stem through no proper planning, ie NPD (getting ripped off by Haringey council) if they backed Levy ,all would be well.
    The os would have the Spammers moving in with no bad feeling between us.Levy had to try for Stratford because he was left no choice.

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  18. and that is the point philip, bloody coe is more worried about his reputation with the international athletics community (watch out for those future jobs he has on their subcommittees) and being seen to lie to them than he is being seen to have lied to the british public about costs. it is outrageous that he puts his elfish interest so far ahead of that of the taxpayers of this country. ovett was always the better athlete 🙂

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  19. Good article until you started saying Levi will probably walk away, Why would he??? you are talking rubbish there mate! he is there for the long haul that is a fact and will look at other site’s that are not going to bankrupt us in the future and that is away from WHL. This whole Olympic stadium thing is a joke, it has basically all been decided because they want to keep the track for 2 athletics meetings a year!! they havent thought of the long term money coming back to the economy and taxpayer otherwise spurs would of got the stadium and West Ham would not have to take more taxpayers money! anyway it could be disaster for WH if they go down and get bad attendances, who is going to want to watch a second rate team from miles away with no atmosphere? The word legacy is what is wrong here, decided by a bunch of football hating nobodies that will cost the public more valuable money and get nothing back and in a few years time the stadium will be rundown and go to ruin but’s ok as long as we have a legacy, what a joke these people are!

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  20. Excellent article again. I have never been a fan of either club getting the stadium… the Olympic stadium has been built by tax payers, and should have a legitimate athletics legacy. If West Ham get the stadium, it will only be available for athletics for a very limited amount of time during the year. And I also don’t see how a 40m loan for West Ham, from one of the poorest boroughs in London, makes financial sense. And I don’t see how (as Sullivan has already admitted) selling tickets for £5, to enable them to sell out the stadium for future league games against the likes of Doncaster and Coventry, will help a ‘sport legacy’ for the likes of Leyton orient.

    What was wrong with the original plan of making the Olympic park the new home of athletics, with a reduced 25,000 capacity, making it available 365 days a year for the sport? Palace have showed a clear interest in redeveloping the current athletics site in s.london- a stadium with a clear need of redeveloping.

    What’s annoyed me most about the whole process, is West Ham setting themselves up as the good guys, when all they’re interested in is profit, and a stadium on the cheap. They don’t care about athletics or a ‘legacy’ anymore than Spurs. Instead we’ve had to endure those disgusting human beings gold/Sullivan/Brady spouting vile nonsense on a weekly basis. They should stick to selling dildos and porn mags, as they clearly don’t know anything about football. It seems as if their whole campaign amounted to scare mongering, unbacked lies and over emotional fluff.

    Whatever your views on Spurs proposals, at least in the Standard article this week, we clearly set out our plans. All Sullivan could talk about is why Spurs shouldn’t get it, followed by a load of over emotional rubbish about his dad and his kids, before making the mandatory links about ‘the good ole east end’, believing they have a divine right for ownership of all east London.

    they’re just an embarrassment to the game- doing anything to get into the media, even though I’ve never heard any of the three talk sense on any subject. For people with nothing useful to contribute, they don’t half love the sound of their own voices. Not that it’s hard to do, but they make their club look like a joke. Maybe they should concentrate more on running their football club properly, instead of constantly undermining their own players and coach, then maybe they then wouldn’t be bottom of the table, and in serious financial trouble.

    I for one can’t wait to get back to normality and smash them at the lane in a few months in their next ‘cup final’. Take Scott parker off their hands when they inevitably go down, and see them struggle to half fill the Olympic stadium, before they eventually fall into financial ruin.

    As for spurs, I don’t get why the redevelopment of whl, which has cost millions in planning, all of a sudden became untenable. I have massive respect for Levy and for how he’s managed the club, and it’s clear for spurs to continue to move forward we need to move/redevelop, but he’s kept the fans in the dark about this, acting as if Stratford was merely a backup plan, before making it the one and only plan. There’s been no consultation with fans, and although it seems as if the whl redevelopment is dead in the water, I have no idea where we go from here….

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  21. Mr Levy,thanks for trying to push us forward. Redevelope WHL,i know we need more corporate, but the North and South stands could have another tier added, then redevelope the West stand, then the East. Another tier
    around the current stadium would be fantastic.The atmosphere would be hectic.
    I am sure fans would go for that.

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  22. @ Matt_spurs… totally agree with you… West Spam should not be given the OS… it’s meant to be an athletics legacy to the nation.. to inspire young athletes, give them the belief that one day they could be on the world stage in our very own Olympic Stadium… instead there will be 20 days a year of athletics and the atmosphere will be crap. As for the porn brokers and that horrible woman well they will have their pockets lined with cash.
    In five years time they will decide to develop the ground, knock out the running track because it’s financially unviable and they won’t redevelop Crystal Palace and we won’t have any athletics legacy and we will be worse off than before.
    I have been against Spurs moving there, I really want them to stay in Tottenham, but today when I read West Spam had won the bid I couldn’t help the mixed feelings. Pleased but also gutted, gutted because we need a world class stadium, and it has taken us ten years to get nowhere already and will it be another 10 years before we’re still nowhere… It’s all dogshite if you ask me!!

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  23. Great article followed by some good points but also some really bitter drivel and mis-understanding.

    Fact ~ our business plan is based on Champonship football which appears good enough ~ but we do have loyal fans and crowds of over 30,000 last time we went down. This must have been signed off as credible in the due dilligence audit completed by PWC I believe
    .

    Fact ~ Seb Coe does not have a vote on the decision and the 150-200 year lease will be signed by both West Ham and UK Athletics so we will NOT be able to rip up the track.

    Fact or Fiction ~ I dont believe a word about NDP being to costly as I understand it most of the land has been purchased. Its a smoke screen. Levy wanted to move to Stratford for one reason only ~ to make more money, through acccess to the corporate markets of Canary Wharf and the City. The better transport facilities and a wider catchment area also helps.

    Fact ~ Moorinhope is right about your bid. I work on government PPQ’s all the time and I am sure your bid was wrongly focused, ~ totally on Spurs and your importance in the world. I am sure you could have come up with plans to build in rectractable seating as you were going to flaten the site and design from scratch. That way Spurs and others like UKA would have been winners. But not only did you want it all for yourselves, you were too arrogant to even ask UKA if Crystal Palace was ok for them. I suspect you missed out on a lot of points in the decision matrix. This surprises me with Lee and Mills on board

    Finally I think it would not have been a very good idea for Spurs moving to the East London borough of West Ham. I think it would overtaken the 100 year rivalry with Millwall and made our last encounter with them look like a tea party. So best for all of us that it (hopefully) has not happend.

    My first football match was Spurs vs Aston Villa with Greaves and Gilzean up front many years ago. so I do have a bit of a soft spot for you lot …..good luck with your stadium plans I am sure NPD can done and at much lower costs than Daniel is now spouting.

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  24. John White
    Nail on the head, man. I predict that by the end of season 2012-13 West Ham will be in receivership, the poor man’s Hugh Heffner, Larry Flynt and Jade Goody will have disappeared, Newham Council will have been disbanded by David Cameron’s mob and the 15,000 WH fans @ £5 a throw will be transferring to impoverished Orient. Seb Coe and the rest of the publicity-hungry fuck wits who duped the Olympic arse-holes in Singapore “in the name of the queen [sic]” will all be very hard to find. How are WHUFC going to maintain a third division playing surface with Ukrainian lady javellinistas aerating the pitch all summer so indiscriminately?

    phillip
    Your financial acumen is village idiot-level. Sell Bale, Modric and vdVaart? Who will we get to replace them: Gary Doherty… Justin Edinburgh… and that Jap who’s name no-one can recall. Stick to Lego bricks!

    matt_spurs
    Agreed.

    The other tossers:
    Build another tier on top of the aging and jerry-built stands at WHL. Whence did you achieve your CEng? The West Ham and Plaistow Charm and Engineering School?

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  25. Understood stadium design and costs broadly same at Tottenham or Stratford. Extra cost at Tottenham investment in hotel, supermarket and apartments – profits from which meant to contribute to stadium costs – and public costs. Maybe investment in extras should be deferred if not profitable – because stadium at Stratford was financed without this. And we own about 90% of the land we need

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  26. What most of you are forgetting is that n17 is in north London where you lot are overshadowed by the arse who were coated forever and a day for moving from south London:-)

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  27. OK , fiends argue with from th Graunidad;—-

    Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy is running out of time to deliver the dream of a new stadium.

    There is a striking fact about this week’s Deloitte Money League, an incomplete but compelling snapshot of the earning power of the 20 biggest clubs in Europe. All have bigger stadiums than Tottenham Hotspur, the club sitting in 12th place. Canny wheeling and dealing, Champions League qualification and the Premier League’s bumper collective TV deals are allowing them to punch above their weight. But once Uefa’s financial fair-play rules kick in from next season, the constrained – and less than salubrious – surroundings of White Hart Lane will become even more of a burden.

    Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, has received plaudits for managing the club sensibly on behalf of Enic, the holding company in which the offshore billionaire Joe Lewis is the majority shareholder. From his luxury tax haven in the Bahamas, he has watched as Levy has forged a winning partnership with the manager Harry Redknapp, loosening the purse strings sufficiently to build a squad capable of beating the holders Internazionale in the Champions League group stage while not racking up heavy debts. But the required investment in players and wages is starting to tell and turned a £33.4m profit in the year to July 2009 into a £6.6m pre-tax loss the following year. Since then, William Gallas, Rafael van der Vaart and others have been added at a cost of £19.9m.

    A full stadium of relatively wealthy fans is bursting at the seams and Levy has for the past five years been trying to do something about it. For most of that time, the mantra has been “investment in the first team, a new training centre and an increased-capacity state-of the-art new stadium”. But while the first two have been achieved, the latter has remained frustratingly elusive and the additional burden placed on the club by Uefa’s impending rules has not gone unnoticed in the White Hart Lane boardroom.

    In an open letter to fans to convince them of the wisdom of moving to Stratford, Levy spelt it out in plain terms. “The new financial fair-play rules will mean that we shall only be able to outlay income generated through the activities of the club – increased matchday revenues play a major role in a club’s finances and we need to ensure that we are in a position to thrive and to continue to compete at the highest level.”

    But as £450m plans to redevelop White Hart Lane became mired in frustration – Spurs claim they were faced with ever more onerous demands by English Heritage, Transport for London and Haringey council, who in turn claim they were not consulted early enough – Levy has watched his near neighbours with envy. Since pulling off the trick of selling their iconic home and swapping it for a new purpose-built stadium and funding the whole thing with a complex property transaction, their north London rivals Arsenal have rocketed away in revenue-generating terms. According to Deloitte’s figures, 42% of Arsenal’s £224.4m revenues came from their matchday income, as fans pack the executive levels. At Spurs, the proportion is just 31% of the total of £119.8m.

    As such, Levy was increasingly convinced that the Stratford option is the answer to Tottenham’s prayers. “If you want progress, you need to be bold. All I care about is moving the club forward,” he said last week. “When it comes to me buying players I can’t deal with emotion, I need to deal with the reality of what’s going on in football.”

    What began as a stalking horse to increase the club’s negotiating power with Haringey, TfL and English Heritage quickly became the preferred option. The appeal of an open site, on which a new stadium could have been completed while football was still played at White Hart Lane, and the associated spin-off benefits of some of the best transport links in the capital, an association with AEG and the ability to sell naming rights and hospitality packages upfront, would have turbocharged Levy’s masterplan and hugely boosted the club’s value.

    Now that avenue appears to have been closed off, amid furious recrimination and possible legal threats from the Spurs side, Levy will return to the drawing board.

    But he is running out of time. The balancing act of investing in the playing squad to compete at the top level and bringing in enough revenue to pay for it will become increasingly difficult to pull off.

    Levy insists he is serious when he says the Haringey option is grounded. Despite planning consent having been granted, Spurs have yet to acquire all of the land required to begin the development scheme that would fund it. The mutual distrust that now exists between all parties, and the difficulty of pulling off a large-scale redevelopment project in a relatively poor part of London during a recession will pose added difficulties.

    Banks may now be reluctant to fund the scheme given the state of the economy and the fact that Levy has been forced to talk up the problems involved – partly in order to sell the Stratford scheme to sceptical fans. Meanwhile, a new rival for fans and hospitality revenue could rise in the east if – and it remains a big if – West Ham’s bold plan comes to fruition.

    Levy will explore new sites and insists he will not give up on his quest to build a bigger stadium. But if he starts looking out towards Enfield, he will lose the links with the City that are all-important to maximise commercial and hospitality revenue.

    For all Levy’s insistence to the contrary, it is not inconceivable that the protracted search for a stadium could eventually leave Spurs at the mercy of big-money bids for their most coveted players, including Luka Modric and Gareth Bale. The question for fans is whether this season’s glorious Champions League campaign will be seen by history as the starting point for the club’s ascendancy to the European elite, as Levy always hoped, or as a fleeting adventure.

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  28. Yesterday was a great day for Tottenham fans.

    Now let’s build a bigger stadium in Tottenham.

    The only sad thing is that our chairman had to lie to the fans saying that building in Tottenham was unviable. Some fans, Jim etc., were gullible enough to believe him.

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  29. The bid by Spurs for the OS has certainly raised the passions and caused division amongst the Spurs fans. The article above is well written and sums up the current situation well.

    I must stand up and say I am anti Stratford, why, because moving THFC from the area it is irrecovably linked to socially and historically would be a nonsense. Stratford is in the heart of a catchment area for another premiership club, West Ham, who’s fans dislike Spurs and it’s fans considerably. THFC have no links to the Stratford area and it would be almost impossible to build a fan base and links with a community that distinctly does not want us there.

    It is no secret that Daniel Levy was actively seeking a “Naming Partner” for the new stadium at the NDP, then in October 2010 it was announced that THFC would bid to become the tenant of the OS at Stratford and at that point there was no mention of AEG or the “fact” that the NDP was a “Dead duck” to quote Levy.

    As far as I can tell there was never any official club announcement that AEG had become our partners in the project, yet they seem to have an almighty say in what has gone on.

    Now, I know very little about high finance but, it doesn’t seem logical to me that a project to demolish a brand new stadium and then erect another new one on the same site as well as build and maintain a new athletics stadium in a seperate location is cheaper than a project that is already 50% complete. Further more, this same project pledges further funds to the new atheltics venue to upgrade it for future international events. Doesn’t seem logical at all, does it? Maybe it does if you involve a multi national entertainment group who are looking to have an outdoor venue in London to compliment the indoor venue the already own, (The O2).

    Having said that, it also doesn’t seem logical that an, (apparently), astute businessman like Levy has put all his eggs in one basket with the bid for the OS. Somewhere along the line there has to be a ‘plan B’ which is unlikely to be remaining at WHL as it is at the moment. So, maybe the NDP isn’t as dead a duck as Levy would like us to believe, or maybe there is a brown field site near to N.17 and in an area more acceptable to the people who really count in all this, the fans of THFC.

    So, I say to those fans who are accusing those of us who oppose a move to the OS of being Luddites, don’t believe evrything you read about the finances of the NDP.

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  30. Pav = feather duster minus stick.
    Crouch = 3.5-legged camel.
    JD = spent force.
    Keane = yesterday’s boyo.
    We need a goal scorer and we need him NOW.

    Sorry to but into am OS (dead in the water) thread – but just watched game and it hurt. Thank Christ for Niko.

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