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Playing away from home?

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Kurt Barling | 09:20 UK time, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Olympic Stadium in Stratford

The controversy continues over which football club will move to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games

Tottenham Hotspur is on a collision course with its local political representatives.

The football club management has spent much of the past decade trying to pull itself into the elite of global sports clubs.

As well as scoring more goals on the pitch they hoped to convince Haringey, the local authority, to give planning permission for a new 56,000 seat stadium in one of the poorest wards in the country, Northumberland Park.

Into the bargain would come a massive hotel, new homes and business premises and a pump-priming exercise for the depressed locality.

Much of the moving and shaking was about getting planning permission that would enable Spurs to stay in the Tottenham area.

After a lot of hard bargaining, agreement was reached and the redevelopment of White Hart Lane was given planning permission last year by Haringey and the Mayor of London.

It was all reminiscent of the heated discussions between Islington Council and Arsenal when the decision was made to move from Highbury to the Emirates.

All settled then? Not quite. Allegedly encouraged by Boris Johnson, Spurs were invited to throw their hat in the ring to take over the Olympic Stadium.

The ghosts of all those Hotspur greats must have become restless at the talk of Tottenham Hotspur FC, the pride of north London to its fans, moving east?

The local MP David Lammy is seething. He made it clear in Parliament that he believes this proposal is bad for North London. He says that the regeneration of one of the poorest districts in the capital was to be stimulated by the much fought for Northumberland Park Development.

"When I stood in Trafalgar Square on 6 July 2005, never did I imagine that our successful Olympic bid would mean that residents of Tottenham, and those of Enfield, Waltham Forest and the whole of the Upper Lea Valley would have the heart and soul ripped out of their communities. What kind of an Olympic legacy would that be?"

He wants the Government to intervene to ensure the final decision about who is selected as a preferred bidder in March, considers the overall impact of the decision on London.

If you look at the internet chatter amongst die hard Spurs fans you very quickly get the sense that those willing to articulate a view think it's a bad idea. Stratford Hotspur does not have the same ring to it.

Lammy thinks Spurs are fattening up the sacred cow for a more lucrative share price rise with an Olympic Stadium move. In other words they're chasing the money and that's now not in Tottenham.

Sir Keith Mills, a non-executive director at Tottenham, is reported as saying:

"We'll be moving to a part of London that is 100 per cent more accessible; we'll generate more revenue; it's closer to Canary Wharf and to the City; and it'll attract more sponsorship."

There is a strong sense of a clash of cultures. Tottenham Hotspur PLC says they have commercial decisions to make and they want, indeed need, to take fans with them.

Lammy and the local authority who've invested a lot of time in securing the Spurs stay in Tottenham with promises over Northumberland Park feel after a 111 year association, their community is being betrayed.

The first decision on the preferred bidder will be made at the end of January by the Olympic Legacy Company. They will make their recommendations to the Mayor of London, and two Government ministers to make a final decision by the spring.

Finally an Olympic legacy debate seems to have sparked into life.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Not once have you commented on how the local council are demanding extras from spurs in their efforts to stay in the borough, the upkeep of the trees being one and also to pay for a new tube station. Why should spurs be burdened with these 'extras' when it is spurs that brings all of the money into this poor community??? Spurs are looking out for spurs, and that's the way it should be, if the local council took their finger out of their a*** and actually sorted the extras themselves then spurs wouldn't be looking to move away. COYS!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    I think the general feeling amongst Spurs fans is this has nothing to do with a raising our share price and a future take over of our club and more to do with the ever increasing hurdles and conditions set out by Haringey.

    Are Spurs soley repsonsible for the redevelopment of Tottenham? After all we are a football club not a local authority with a budget to do just that.

    I whish to stay at WHL but can completely understand why Levy has decided to look elsewhere, perhaps if Haringey are now realising that by trying to milk Spurs for everything they can get they may loose them completely. Lammy talking about public funding (as far as I know) is something very new to the whole process.

  • Comment number 3.

    Lammy thinks Spurs are fattening up the sacred cow for a more lucrative share price rise

    I'm afraid the opposite is true Lammy and his bunch of cronies want spurs to pay for all the roads,upgrades in transport everything,so his residents can have all this for nothing and get the benefits every day of every week .The area is one of the most run down anywhere,whose fault is that,the council (bernie grant et al) and successive MP's .It is not encumbent on a football club,the only asset the council has to solve all its financial problems.Lammy should resign

  • Comment number 4.

    Tottenham Hotspur is the only thing going for this area. The council should be doing all they can to ensure Tottenham stay in the area, not the opposite with their outrageous demands. Even if the Olympic Site doesn't go to Spurs which I hope it doesn't, I fully expect Levy to look at other sites out of the area.

    Instead of moaning about Spurs moving, Lammy and co should be bending over backwards to ensure Tottenham can keep costs down and thus stay in the area.

  • Comment number 5.

    Most spurs fans would be against going to the Olympic stadium and staying in tottenham, but why should the club pay millions of pounds to regenerate the whole area? spurs are inevitably going to get themselves into debt but why pay over £400 million to revamp the whole of the tottenham area when they can spend over (a reported) £100 million on the Olympic stadium. With money to spare spurs can then spend the remainder of the money set aside for the new stadium to sign players rathar than sit with the squad they have till all debts are paid off. in a business sense the Olympic stadium is the way to go, just some fans dont think its right for the club. they should really consider the fact that a new stadium in tottenham was never going to be "white hart lane" anyway.

  • Comment number 6.

    The reason Haringey is so deprived is that successive Councils have driven business out of the borough. They must be made to realise that relationship between Council and business is a two way street, not one way. Much of the surrounding improvements would be utilised every day of the week, so should be financed by local government. Otherwise I feel Spurs would be justified in fencing it all off and only opening it up on match days. I am sure the local residents would love that!! Why cannot local people, including the blinkered politicians look at it as an extension of the rejuvenation we are told is the driving force behind the Olympic development ??

  • Comment number 7.

    i cannot believe how biased mr barling's blog is,are you a spokesmen for david lammy ?

  • Comment number 8.

    Not a great article, a quick look at the 'internet chatter' amongst Spurs fans would of explained why the club is really looking at Stratford after the council escalated costs to an extra £50m. Perhaps more than a 'quick look' is needed for your next article.

  • Comment number 9.

    "Lammy and the local authority who've invested a lot of time in securing the Spurs stay in Tottenham with promises over Northumberland Park feel after a 111 year association, their community is being betrayed"

    That remark is so far off the mark it's laughable. Had numerous objections not been placed in our path by the council, had they agreed to our original plans and had not placed an unreasonable finacial burden onto the project demanding that we pay for all improvements to local infrastructure, then plans would be well under way to put the first spade in the ground after the end of this season, and the OS would not have had to be considered as on option.

    If you are going to try and write a reasoned article on this subject, is it too much to expect a little balance and some research? I feel you have been sucked into a Lammy PR exercise which is trying to make Spurs out to be the bad guys, which when you look at all the facts is far from the truth.

  • Comment number 10.

    "We'll be moving to a part of London that is 100 per cent more accessible; we'll generate more revenue; it's closer to Canary Wharf and to the City; and it'll attract more sponsorship."

    Now there's a thing; explains the lack of sponsorship etc. at Manchester United or Emirates or Liverpool. It must be because they are so far away from The City and Canary Wharf,
    Money will follow success. If the team continue as the are going, the money will come. I'd have thought access up A406 was reasonable

  • Comment number 11.

    Why is David Lammy now pleading with MP's for public funding,could it be is efforts to play russian roulette have failed and HE will soley responsible for Spurs having to move to Stratford

  • Comment number 12.

    "If you look at the internet chatter amongst die hard Spurs fans you very quickly get the sense that those willing to articulate a view think it's a bad idea. Stratford Hotspur does not have the same ring to it."

    Looking at this thread you've got this totally wrong!

  • Comment number 13.

    This is an embarrasingly atrocious and one sided article. Did you just take a press release from Lammy's office and faithfully reproduce it on here? Fact is that neither the local council nor the local MP have done a great deal to help Spurs to develop a new stadium in Tottenham. In fact they have spent ages refusing to grant planning permission whilst trying to force Spurs to invest hige ammounts of money in the local infrastructure which should frankly be the job of the council if they are so desperate to protect the "heart and soul" of the community.

    Our club has been seemingly held to ransom for as much money as the local authority could squeeze out of us and planning permission was granted at an uncanily similar time to when we showed interest in the olympic stadium. I then saw the first effort that I am aware of by the local MP to help us out when he made a speech in an almost empty commons chamber about the possibility of us getting some financial assistance with the development (which no doubt would fail to cover all the money we are being demanded to invest in the local area).

    It is NOT the job of a football club to regenerate part of London, it is the council's job. There is no legal or ethical reason why we should be held responsible for the wellfare of an area which Mr Lammy MP has been elected to represent, as have the local authority members who have been so keen to try and force excessive expenses on Spurs. If we are so important to the heart and soul of the area Mr Lammy represents then why hasn't he attempted to do more about the enormous financial disinsentive to us staying there? I also wonder how it can be considered reasonable to try and force a business (which is what THFC is) to stay at a given location and deny them the right to relocate.

    Your article is, in my opinion, one sided garbage which completely failed to look into any of the issues regarding the future stadium of THFC.

  • Comment number 14.

    I agree with everyone else here, although we don't want to move out of Tottenham the council have done nothing but hold the club to ransom. Demanding that we redevelop the area alone with no financial help from the council, they should be trying to keep Spurs there not forcing us away. If Spurs weren't in North London then I'd have no desire to go there at all and might actively try to avoid the area.

    If the olympic stadium can save us at least £200 million then as much as I wouldn't like it, I could easily understand why.

  • Comment number 15.

    It seems the taunts that spurs fans have been hurling at Arsenal for the last 100 years about "footballing nomads" has come back to bite them. Quite frankly when I raised this point a few months ago I was shouted down and was told that the rumours about spurs possibly moving were not true. Then when confirmed they had enquired, it was all about trying to force the local council's hand in the matter of re-developing White Hart Lane, then when that was approved and they still were touting themselves as serious bidders, it was all a bluff...time tottenham fans took their head out of the sand and realised that they too could become "footballing nomads" and hypocrites into the bargain. Though what moral right tottenham have with the stadium when West Ham are on the doorstep totally escapes me. At least Arsenal bought their property from a third party without competing with another club for it, nor expecting the tax payer to partly fund it.

  • Comment number 16.

    Spurs have a responsibility to it share holders and supporters and not to Haringey Council (a farce of a local authority at best). I for one being a supporter for the past 50 years would welcome the Olympic stadium as a venue for this great club. Why should Tottenham supporters, most of whom do not live in Tottenham, have to pay for the inefficiency of a local borough who only take an interest when they can see some profit in it. Where were they when Spurs faced severe financial difficulty in the late 70's, nowhere to be seen but now we are on the up they want their pound of flesh. Well here's what I say ‘let’s move and leave Haringey to wallow in the failure they have created’.

  • Comment number 17.

    RVP1968
    Whilst you do make some valid points,most football fans are hypocrites at the best of times.I think a lot of Spurs fans hoped this was bluff.However a lot of us realised quite quickly what was going on.
    In terms of morals,since when did morals ever have a place in football anymore,if you refer to them you are naive at best and deluded at worst.
    The facts are West Ham are 3 miles from Stratford and Tottenham about 6.West Ham do not need a bigger ground Spurs do.
    it is not as if they are moving to a seperate city.Spurs do not expect the tax payer to pay anything,Lammy is trying to get that now.It is for demands the council have not Spurs.It is for benefits to the boroughs residents not spurs or their fans and as everyone has said why should spurs pay for the entire regeneration on an area.Arsenal didn't they just built a load of posh flats and sold them on the back of the property boom (eventually) for huge wedge,good luck to them.Unfortunately Tottenham do not have that luxury as due to successive council and local government mismanagement harringey has no such benefits.So please get your facts right

  • Comment number 18.

    'It was all reminiscent of the heated discussions between Islington Council and Arsenal when the decision was made to move from Highbury to the Emirates.'

    I think you will find Arsenal received local grants for their move. We have been financially hampered by Haringey Council and TFL every step of the way

  • Comment number 19.

    "If you look at the internet chatter amongst die hard Spurs fans you very quickly get the sense that those willing to articulate a view think it's a bad idea. "

    I've been looking, looking for a lot longer than you, judging by the words you have written.

    Where have you been looking? The media favourite Twitter? The back alleys of the gossip footballing sites? No, please don't tell me it was 606 because the classic facepalm would be the reply.

    Seriously Kurt, did you just start reading about the plans this morning? Have you even picked up the phone and called the people that matter?

    What another waste of £145.50. Bah.

  • Comment number 20.

    What an absolutely dreadful article!
    As I am not a spurs fan, I didnt know much about this story and the politics behind it and after reading all of the comments below I now feel I understand what is going on. However Mr Barling obviously has not done any research whatsoever as I think that I now know more on the subject than him!
    There is nothing that gets me more riled than an overpaid journalist that does absolutely no research. Can you please reply to all of these fans explaining why you have made an article that is so misleading?

  • Comment number 21.

    Not once have you commented on how the local council are demanding extras from spurs in their efforts to stay in the borough, the upkeep of the trees being one and also to pay for a new tube station. Why should spurs be burdened with these 'extras' when it is spurs that brings all of the money into this poor community??? Spurs are looking out for spurs, and that's the way it should be, if the local council took their finger out of their a*** and actually sorted the extras themselves then spurs wouldn't be looking to move away. COYS!!



    ----------------

    Accessibility to the new stadium is essential, a larger stadium evidently generates a larger capacity which the council is concerned about. Building or refurbishing the stations are obvious signs and ones which Islington forced Arsenal to do. I know i'm biased but whenever i go to the emirates the access is amazing, yes a few queues after games but max half hour. Arsenal, Finsbury, Highb/Isling all allow supporters to get where they want to, Haringey council is looking for Spurs to commit to something like that, not too much trouble is it?

  • Comment number 22.

    Like many others, I too was against moving from Tottenham. Now I think it's the only thing we can do given the unreasonable and unacceptable arm twisting by Haringey. In effect they are asking Spurs to fund the redevelopment of the area (which Parliament has made the responsibility of the Council anyway)while putting the club's future financial stability in jeopardy.

    It's a run down area due to years of prevarication and mis-management by successive Councils. By rail-roading us into a very one-sided agreement they hope that we will pay for their years of incompetance while they get the credit for any improvement.

    Don't they know that other poor authorities offer businesses favourable financial terms to come to, or remain in,the area?

    Enough is enough - time to go!

  • Comment number 23.

    Building or refurbishing the stations are obvious signs and ones which Islington forced Arsenal to do

    rubbish,you did not develop holloway road which is closed on match days or drayton park.In effect you have the same amount of station as spurs,two .Anglia rail or whoever it is have said they can put on the same amount of trains needed to cope from northumberland park and whl.
    The council want the tube station and other links for "their benefit"
    as well all the other things they want.Spurs have already committed to a lot more than they should .ps half hour to get on a train is not amazing access believe me !

  • Comment number 24.

    I do not live in the Haringey area and I am therefore not able to comment on the local politics around the Northumberland Park development. However, having supported Tottenham for over 50 years, my view is that Spurs have to stay at 'The Lane' and maintain their historic association with the area and of course the intense local rivalry with the Arsenal. You can't be the pride of 'Norf Landan' if you are playing your matches across in Stratford at a stadium with no identity and no atmosphere. All of this smacks of another example of money/revenue driving football decisions, instead of doing right by the fans. The people at Spurs and Haringey Council need to get together and come to a compromise that will ensure the area gets the capital injection it undoubtedly needs while at the same time keeping this great club where it should be - at the heart of the local community. None of the fans want this so sort it out quickly and remove the unwelcome spectre of the Olympic Stadium from the agenda. (Never thought I would say this but let's hope WH survive this season!)

  • Comment number 25.

    Some points of view.

    1 - I don't believe Tottenhma genuinely want the Olympic stadium but see it is a bargaining chip to reduce Haringey Councils regeneration demands

    2 - West Ham do need a bigger stadium and the Olympic stadium is in their key catchment area so I do think they should be the ones to take it over.

    3 - Having lived in upper Holloway in the 1980s I knmow from experience that Haringey Council have always been rubbish. Bernie Grant was a clown always out to make political agendas rather than look after their residents. While they did carry out some good schemes in the Lea Valley area like Hackney and Brent Councils they have always viewed residents as people to foist their political schemes on rather than looking after their welfare

  • Comment number 26.

    Quite a one-sided article!! At least the comments section has given a more balanced view of the Spurs side of the argument. Majority of Spurs fans want to stay in the area, and would love to see it regenerated but we shouldn't be taken to ransom for it. It's absolutely ridiculous to expect a private business to pay for it all. The council should be looking at this as a mutually beneficial project and worked together with the club to get the stadium built and area regenerated but instead have tried to strong-arm the club into footing the bill for everything! Betrayal of the community??? What have the council done for the borough in the past 111 years? Laughable.

    If Spurs do move, it will be an absolute disaster for the area, Spurs are about the only positive thing about the area, and the council will be to blame.

  • Comment number 27.

    Bad article, Haringey council and Lammy MP need to ask why a club so firmly routed in the area are considering a move. He should be seeking a package to regenerate the area to help Spurs stay put.

    If Spurs fund the building of new Tube station it will increase the house prices in the area as it would make it easy to travel to jobs in the city. This would help the council and see them make money. Why should it be a Spurs expense.

    I love WHL but I want what's best for the club and this move is hardy has bad as MK Dons.

    Maybe Lammy MP and Kurt Barling can start AFC Tottenham is the move to the OS goes ahead.

  • Comment number 28.

    West Ham will be a Championship side by the time they could be in the OS stadium and they currently struggle to fill their current stadium.

  • Comment number 29.

    I am tending to agree with post #21 here. The increased capacity will lead to increased traffic and congestion in the area which the council is wanting Spurs to cater for.

    To flip the argument around somewhat, why should the local taxpayers be made to pay the burden for a football club increasing its capacity (and by definition, its own profits)?! Yes it is a deprived area of London, that could do with regeneration so why dont Spurs put something back into the community it has taken so much out of?? The reality is Spurs want to milk the poor people of even more cash to feather their own pockets?!

    Once upon a time a football club was the heart of its local community, nowadays even the fans are suggesting that all that matters is how to maximise profits....seems a little bit sad really.

  • Comment number 30.

    my view is that Spurs have to stay at 'The Lane' and maintain their historic association with the area and of course the intense local rivalry with the Arsenal.

    as much as i loved beating arsenal at the emirates earlier in the season and as much as i hate them, but rivalries with other clubs have now appeared. we (the fans) hate playing chelsea as much as arsenal, we hate playing west ham as well. im not saying these will be considered our nearest rival, but look at man utd, their more significant rivalry is against liverpool as it is man city.

  • Comment number 31.

    SirMouseburger wrote:
    "why dont Spurs put something back into the community it has taken so much out of?? The reality is Spurs want to milk the poor people of even more cash to feather their own pockets?! "

    Explain to me how Spurs have taken so much out of the community? As far as I can see, they're by far the most succesful business in the area and generate revenue for the area rather than the other way around?

  • Comment number 32.

    michaelb:

    "Arsenal didn't they just built a load of posh flats and sold them on the back of the property boom (eventually) for huge wedge,good luck to them.Unfortunately Tottenham do not have that luxury as due to successive council and local government mismanagement harringey has no such benefits.So please get your facts right "

    .....................................................................

    I was actually speaking about the move from Plumstead to Highbury...not the move to the Emirates, you could hardly call a 1/4 mile move as being nomadic...

    And are you seriously trying to tell me that Tottenham are putting £350m into moving into their new shiny stadium? Of course not..Tottenham have said they will alter parts of the stadium but 75% of the main infrastructure will still be there..all funded by the tax payer...

    So it is you, I believe sir, that should get your "facts right"...but thanks for acknowledging that I make some valid points..

  • Comment number 33.

    sirmouseburger
    the increased capacity will lead to far more revenue for local business and services and attract new business and rate revenue for the council.
    the other point is covered above.

    the local tax payers rely on tottenham,without tottenham harringey is nothing but a total slum,spurs is the oasis in the desert.It is a derprived area due it's residents and successive useless councils and MP's see above also.Spurs would have regenerated a number of things in the community and do huge amounts for the local community.unfortunately this time the council is trying to milk spurs to cover it's own failings and wants and needs.i suggest you look up Harringey council headlines on a search engine web site You may well change your tune

  • Comment number 34.

    And are you seriously trying to tell me that Tottenham are putting £350m into moving into their new shiny stadium? Of course not..Tottenham have said they will alter parts of the stadium but 75% of the main infrastructure will still be there..all funded by the tax payer...

    --------------
    if you are talking about stratford no.If you are talking about WHL then yes Spurs will pay about or wanted to pay about £350million ,the costs went up to over 400 million then spurs said enough is enough. I have no arguement about the financial benefits of Stratford paid by the tax payer.However one would hope the olympic games will pay this back and So would whomever took over the ground. Spurs will knock down and rebuild most of the O.S,this is also true.What is also true is that Spurs is the best financial solution for the O.S

  • Comment number 35.

    So the Spurs fans on here feel it is well within their clubs right to seek an alternative location for their ground? Well what they ignorantly overlook is the fact that a move to Stratford by either them or West Ham will probably put the final nail in the coffin of a club who are based less than a mile from the Olympic site and have a proud football league history - that club being Leyton Orient

    If Boris is looking for anyone to move to the stadium, why on earth is he ignoring Orient? Afterall, we do hear the Olympic Stadium has the option to be reduced down to a 25,000 seater arena - a capacity much more suited to their fanbase

  • Comment number 36.

    A poorly researched and fairly biased article, it's not so much THFC V Spurs fans, more THFC V Local council and their ridiculous demands. Most of my Spurs friends are not keen on the idea of moving but aren't against it, if it's in the best interests of our future then so be it.

    I agree with most other people who've commented here, Lammy should concentrate on trying to help us stay rather than forcing us.

  • Comment number 37.

    Admittedly I was one of those who were shocked and appalled that we would want to move east to the Olympic Stadium. At face value at least, the Northumberland Park development project looks awesome indeed. Being a Spurs fan who lives in Newcastle, it is hard to gain perspective on what is actually going on down there, but with only a brief look around it isn't difficult to spot the pattern of behaviour in this Lammy bloke. Like any good weasel, he is trying to find all the ways possible for others to do the work he should be doing. If, as some have suggested, the Olympic stadium is being used as bargaining tool to reduce the complicity of Spurs paying for more than their fair share of the development then let’s hope it works.
    I for one would much rather see us remain at the Lane (albeit under different circumstances and, most probably with a stupid name) then pop off down the road. I find it sad when a club parts with tradition, the Lane just happens to be built somewhere where it's difficult to develop and closely surrounded, but these things can be approached sensibly from all sides. I hate to go to new stadiums, let alone those named after companies such as the Reebok and the Britania; I can remember the fury up here with the desire to change St. James' Park to The Sports Direct Stadium or whatever...ludicrous! But that for now is by the by. (Although on the subject...who's for starting a business consortium named 'White Hart Lane'...we could buy the naming rights....Just a thought)
    We don't want the 'franchise' system such as the states where a club can move hundreds if not thousands of miles. The LA Dodgers baseball team were originally from New York…a bit like Manchester United becoming London United perhaps… We are in danger of moving towards such idiocies if the opinions of fans and clubs aren’t taken into consideration. The Olympic stadium is the most financially viable option, particularly in the short term, but it would stop Tottenham being Tottenham and that should never be.
    Obviously such a move hasn’t affected the Woolwich Arsenal (I know we wouldn’t be moving quite so far), but football is so well established, loyalties and ties of area are so embedded and entrenched that it would be ridiculous (if not unsafe) to move Tottenham there. I mean unsafe in the way that moving Newcastle to Sunderland might be.
    What, for example, do the people of Stratford feel about this? They haven’t really been taken into consideration. Obviously residents of the Tottenham High Road don’t want to see their team disappear across town, but similarly the people of Stratford, whom geographically speaking probably lean towards West Ham (although my experience of the east end is that people support us, the gooners and West Ham), won’t want to see Spurs move in. Not only will there be animosity from the people who’ve ‘lost’ a club, but also of those who’ve ‘gained’ one.

  • Comment number 38.

    London_Green

    If Orient are surviving as it is with West Ham so close (3miles from Olympic stadium) and Spurs (6 miles from Olympic stadium), then I'm not sure how it would make such a massive difference to them now. Orient fans would still be going.

    And would a club, in division 1 on their current average attendances be in a position to take on the costs of the Olympic stadium - even if it is at a reduced 25,000? And costs surely must include the rent and manning the stadium.

    Onto the Spurs issue, seems that your article has completely failed to look at the whole picture but has just taken one side. I've not looked too much into this issue, but I do know that Spurs's original plans were refused and had to be modified at a cost of several million, as the council had deemed some buildings as 'listed'.

    At present there's what, 36000 plus attending WHL every other week - local businesses, such as shops, pubs, fast food in the area benefit from this in a massive way. If the redevelopment occurs at WHL, that's 56,000 going every other week - for those local businesses they would see their trade increasing by a massive degree. The council will benefit too as more businesses = more revenue from tax, rates etc, and more use of transport etc.

    but if Spurs move to the OS - then all of those 36,000 that visit the area every other week will no longer be there. Could local businesses afford that??

    Why then have the council made redevolping the WHL site so difficult? Who would benefit from losing Spurs from the area??

  • Comment number 39.

    @michaelb and @RVP1968

    I think you'll find that Arsenal got funding for their new stadium from the government, and the Holloway Road tube station has been updated by TFL NOT AFC.

    With regards what's happened at Spurs, we had a great model for a new stadium, which not only would've brought business to the area, but would have regenerated it, and made it a place to be proud of.

    We've not asked for a penny, and the original costs were forecast to be around the £300m mark. We would have had to make sacrifices (like playing in a half build stadium and putting up with building work on the current site) but there was a plan.

    One of the biggest finances was to build a vast number of flats in the area surrounding the ground, which when sold would have given us a nice kitty to help out.

    However this plan was dashed when a vast number of those flats were removed from the plans in order to keep 3 listed unused buildings. Not only that, the plans had to be re-done listed buildings included, and we had to find a use for them, and pay to regenerate them.

    Then we were told we must chip in to improve Tottenham Hale as well as the roads etc etc etc...

    Football is now a business, and if you want to be sucessful you have to look after number 1. Why should we regenerate an area and put the club at risk? If we were about to go bust, would the council save us??? Doubt it!

  • Comment number 40.

    It will all come down to the following.

    Bungs
    Bribes
    Lies
    Cheating
    Back Handers

    I keeping with the recent history of Premier League football and British politics.

  • Comment number 41.

    Is this blog part of the Hammers' and the Gooners' moves to scupper Spurs' attempts to return to the lofty heights of European football?
    Having read through the posts to date, as well as the blog, I think 26 summed it up best, while 29 and 32 have got it all completely wrong.
    One of the things that makes me most proud of THFC is their dedication to the local community. As a consequence, when it became inevitable that the club needed to expand its stadium capacity, it commissioned architects to find a way of building a brand new stadium on the existing site, without disrupting the club's ongoing programme. The solution was complex, and consequently expensive, but the club was willing to proceed, despite no political contribution whatsoever, until those who should have been doing their utmost to foster the project started hampering it with a succession of unreasonable demands.
    Of course I would like Spurs to stay at WHL - I think not only the supporters but everyone at the club is unanimous about that - but not at the expense of compromising the club's future! The new Olympic stadium represents a very sensible alternative, in a good location with excellent transport links (I trust the pitch is not being laid by the same people who did Wembley), and I for one trust the club's management to take the decision that is in the best interest of the club. That could even take in the Wembley stadium, which is in North London, if that were to be a viable option.
    As another poster has pointed out, Spurs have a worldwide fan base, not to mention a season ticket waiting list of over 30,000, so accessibility to the games and the long-term future of the club at the highest level are what most interest us.
    It is the local council that has the greatest interest, and most at stake, in keeping Spurs at WHL, so let's see them do something to facilitate that, rather than hindering. If Spurs move out, at least they could redevelop the WHL site to inject something dynamic into the district, but I doubt they'd be prepared to actually do something positive to help the local residents and businesses.
    I do agree that there needs to be more planning in London on the macro scale, and football clubs are just one of many businesses that have a stake in this. But it has to be done fairly and take into account everyone's best interests.

  • Comment number 42.

    PS: by 'to date' I mean up to No.33 - I see my post has come in at 41.

  • Comment number 43.

    @35: while you make a fair point, and with every respect to LO, but wouldn't they have difficulty maintaining the stadium, much less generating a profit out of it? In the current crazy world of football finances, it is going to become ever more difficult to sustain so many professional clubs. London, like SP here in Brazil, is big enough for 4 big clubs, but what does the future hold for all those smaller ones?
    @37: nice post with good points. Just goes to show how complex this whole question is, and how the local government should be making every effort to facilitate a solution instead of derailing it.
    @39: all this smacks of outside interference, and who has the greatest interest in preventing Spurs from expanding as a club...that's one for the conspiracy theorists!

  • Comment number 44.

    - West Ham do need a bigger stadium and the Olympic stadium is in their key catchment area so I do think they should be the ones to take it over.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hmm, the same West Ham who couldn't sell out a League Cup semi-final last night (only 29,000, thats terrible) and who's record home attendance is a mere 42k.

    Why on earth do they want a 60k seater stadium? Maybe because they are planning on cashing in on all their recent champions league success etc or maybe because their owners see it as a cheap, cehap way of landing themselves in a shiny new stadium? Who knows, either way it's a mystery to me.

    West Ham need a 60k seater stadium about as much as Leyton orient need a 25k seater stadium. Also, check out Barry hearn's views on all this. It's quite interesting. He slates West ham and calls them hypocrites for the abuse they level at Spurs whilst they are trying to do the exact same thing to Orient.

    Reduce the capacity to 25k, give it Orient, Haringey lower their demands on Tottenham so they can build their new stadium on the current site and West ham? Well, stay at the Boleyn. it's plenty big enough for you and from I can gather it can be increased in size if you ever need it.

  • Comment number 45.

    Get a Sunday pub team to run on teh pitch after the OLympics and claim squatters rights. By the time they get rid of them Spurs and West Ham will have built new grounds and Orient can have it

  • Comment number 46.

    Tottenham Hotspur FC has confirmed it would demolish most of the Olympic Stadium if it won the bid to take it over after the 2012 Games.

    -------------------------

    This should stop Spurs getting teh stadium if nothing else as it would just be a waste

  • Comment number 47.


    I think the statement from Tottenham on the 19th November where Spurs make it clear their request for council funding for Council demands (which are excessive) is the sticking point. The council bowed to English Heritage's wishes and told Spurs to change their plans at significant cost and delay.As well as serious impact on future residential revenue and upkeep costs.David Lammy has also made it clear if Spurs cannot fund the councils stipulations they should stay anwway with the reduced capacity.This is not an option for Spurs who need a larger stadium to accomodate some of the 30,000 + waiting list.So all this is about the councils greed and self serving interest of Mr Lammy.
    The ball is now clearly in his court ,either come up with the money to fund your demands or say goodbye to the only good thing in your borough

  • Comment number 48.

    Spurs having to pay for area regeneration and a new tube station?

    Whatever next...Luka giving each and every fan a piggyback from the tube to the ground?

    Sport and politics - bad mix!

    COYS!

  • Comment number 49.

    No response yet from the writer of this blog despite the fact that the majority of responses point out how one sided and wrong he is......

  • Comment number 50.

    As a non-Tottenham fan, I'm an outsider on this debate, although I have some memory of Greenwich council being similarly demanding when my club Charlton were aiming to return to the Valley.

    At the same time, isn't the club's claim of the council's intransigence on various points just a little bit convenient as a justification of looking at this commercially beneficial move?

    Even if Spurs shouldn't be fully liable to make all of the required investment, would it really be such a bad thing for a Premiership football club to stump up some of the cash to regenerate an impoverished area? What's the alternative - a couple of extra thousand pounds a week in wages for Assou-Ekotto (or further shareholder dividends)?

    My personal opinion is that as fans you should make opposition to any move to Stratford absolutely clear. Arsenal might have arguably dodged the bullet by moving just up the road to the Emirates, but there are too many clubs having had their soul ripped out by moving into a new stadium.

  • Comment number 51.

    @ salvadorsanchezRIP - your comment about 'why do west ham need a bigger stadium?'

    The Arsenal know what Spurs fans think of this but - the two main reasons Arsenal left the Woolwich were (i) the public transport to get to the ground was hopeless (ii) to move into a heavily populated area and increase its fanbase - which clearly it did.

    I see no reason why this couldn't happen to the Hammers.

    Be funny if the Spuds moved though - man black, kettle, calling...

    Barling: I think you'll find Islington council supported the move to the Emirates - but some local businesses got dis-chuffed at being moved etc..

  • Comment number 52.

    I wonder how many of you who are complaining about Lammy are actually aware of the political and economical problems of the area and how difficult it would be to get funding from a Condemn government? It's not as simple as Lammy clicking his fingers and getting the funding. Maybe a move to the OS would be good for them as a company but I'm just hoping as an arsenal fan if they do that they'll lose a crap load of revenue from north londoners (not likely).

  • Comment number 53.

    Good point at 49. Surely this Barling chap should get on here and defend his article...and theres me thinking the bbc were supposed to be neutral!

  • Comment number 54.

    Although Tottenham are looking to change grounds to improve their financial situation and compete with the likes of Man United and Arsenal will they face losing the atmosphere that White Heart Lane offers?

    This article is a brilliant review of the situation!

    Identity Theft
    http://upper90magazine.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/identity-theft/

  • Comment number 55.

    50. At 4:41pm on 12 Jan 2011, Jomp74 wrote:
    As a non-Tottenham fan, I'm an outsider on this debate, although I have some memory of Greenwich council being similarly demanding when my club Charlton were aiming to return to the Valley.

    At the same time, isn't the club's claim of the council's intransigence on various points just a little bit convenient as a justification of looking at this commercially beneficial move?

    Even if Spurs shouldn't be fully liable to make all of the required investment, would it really be such a bad thing for a Premiership football club to stump up some of the cash to regenerate an impoverished area? What's the alternative - a couple of extra thousand pounds a week in wages for Assou-Ekotto (or further shareholder dividends)?

    My personal opinion is that as fans you should make opposition to any move to Stratford absolutely clear. Arsenal might have arguably dodged the bullet by moving just up the road to the Emirates, but there are too many clubs having had their soul ripped out by moving into a new stadium.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think Spurs do quite a lot of community work in the area already and the original plans to redevelop the WHL wouldn't just have involved the stadium but also area around there including a public square. From reading around I think Spurs were possibly ok in offering some of the costs, but there seems to be a lot that have since been asked for, not all of which are reasonable. Indeed Spurs's first proposal was refused, and then the English heritage put a 'listed' status on some of the buildings around the area that would have been demolished. I understand that these buildings aren't actually used and are derelict. That move meant plans had to be redesigned at extra large cost and causing a delay. The council did nothing to support Spurs.

    Then once Spurs made their interest in the Olympic stadium, the new plans were passed.

    I understand that anyone building a new stadium should contribute to the surroundings if its going to affect the area, but just not sure why Spurs (which is a private business) is suddenly responsible for so many other additional community costs. Are other businesses in the area expected to chip in? At the end of the day if Spurs are so vitally important to the area, then why have the council been so unhelpful in Spurs's initial efforts to expand?

  • Comment number 56.

    As a Tottenham fan, I would not oppose a move to the Olympic Stadium and the addition of 7 minutes extra travel time to a state-of-the-art complex with a tube station nearby.

    Moreover, I would welcome a move that would save the club more money and therefore allow us to compete more in the transfer market and fund player wages more.

    Fundamentally, if Spurs are forced to stay in Tottenham and fund everything from trees to tube stations, then the club, the team and the fans would suffer - especially with rising ticket prices!

  • Comment number 57.

    Nos 49 and 53: I agree that Barling should get on here and try to defend himself as the original article was laughably one sided and poorly researched - and Spurs fans have wasted no time in pointing this out.

    But maybe that was the point of this article. Looking at Barlings previous efforts, they have generated no interest (or at least very few comments) whatsoever. This article has 56 comments and rising. Had Barling written a well argued, thoughtful, balanced and fully researched article it would not have generated anywhere near the number of comments that this has.

  • Comment number 58.

    Why wasn't Haringey working with Tottenham from day 1 to secure this massive investment for a poor area?

    Was Haringey taking Spurs for granted? Perish the thought!

    I hope Spurs stay in Tottenham. I suspect that Tottenham Hotspur will end up moving and the old WHL will become a giant pound shop or something.

    Rubbish choices. Thanks Haringey.




  • Comment number 59.

    I am sickened by the prospect that my beloved club could be moving away to East London. Any Spurs fan who tells you moving to the Olympic stadium is a good thing is not a real fan in my opinion. Tottenham Hotspur are from Tottenham, not East London. If we move away from Tottenham, then we're no different than MK Dons. If we leave then I don't know if I could continue supporting them.

    Every Spurs fan I've come across has said similar things.

  • Comment number 60.

    I have little interest in Football and live over 100 miles from London but feel I must put in a word fro the Council. The complaints are all of the type "... they have spent ages refusing to grant planning permission whilst trying to force Spurs to invest huge amounts of money in the local infrastructure which should frankly be the job of the council "
    hat is not correct. The Council HAS NO MONEY to invest. It either gets it from the Club or from the residents via additional council tax. In fact the whole system is designed to REQUIRE the Council to do this. They have no choice but to solicit, what in other contexts might be described as planning bribes - becasus the system does not deem it fair to require the general ratepayer to pay e.g. for the access. That is how the planning system works for ALL major developments. If they went to any other Council it would be the same. See e.g the development of cardiff City new stadium and all that came with that.

  • Comment number 61.

    Eggthang. You will find that Harringey already has one of the highest council tax bills in the country. It IS the job of the council to run their borough prudently and maintain and redevelop things they are expecting THFC to pay for. Their historic and continued inability to do what is required means they have, in effect, priced Tottenham out of Northumberland Park.
    If you ran a business would you really pay an extra two hundred million pounds to stay in a borough that far from supporting you, sees you as a meal ticket and a way of not having to face up to the consequences of their failure?
    Mr Barling, maybe you should research about just what Spurs are being asked to pay for and how much and maybe write a word or two about that. Your article is incomplete at best.

  • Comment number 62.

    This is poor journalism. What about the possibility that Spurs is using the Olympic Stadium as a bargaining chip?

  • Comment number 63.

    IF SPURS DO WIN THERE BID FOR OLYMPIC STADIUM, AND WANT TO REBUILD STADIUM THEY WOULD I PRESUME NEED PLANING PERMISSION FROM NEWHAM COUNCIL ? AND AS NEWHAM WOULD HAVE LOST THERE JOINT BID WITH WEST HAM, SPURS MAY HAVE A PROBLEM? AND IF THEY WHERE SUCCESSFULL DO YOU NOT THINK NEWHAM WOULD CHARGE THEM ASTRONOMICAL BUSINESS RATE?

  • Comment number 64.

    Given all that has been said concerning the desire of the Olympic Committee that they want the running track preserved, I don't see Spurs succeeding with their bid. I think its between West Ham and AEG unless Boris Johnson is willing to twist more than a few arms. I really don't think he is so deep in Spurs camp that he would do more than give his "reasoned" opinion and then let the chips fall where they may.

  • Comment number 65.

    A quick 'Ctrl+F' for 'athletics' or 'running' shows me that only #64 has made the point that regardless of whether it makes sense for Tottenham to move to Stratford or not, they're refusing to stick to the terms of the legacy agreement by maintaining a running track at the venue. I know they've proposed to help fund some redevelopment of Crystal Palace, but that's hardly the same thing.

    I understand that from a business point of view, it makes sense for Tottenham to move. They're only looking out for themselves. Also, the council needs to realise that your average man on the street feels more loyalty to their football club than to their local authorities, so he's not going to win the battle for public support. But overall, for me it makes more sense for West Ham to move there. It's historically their turf, and they plan to keep the running track and so go a way to fulfilling the legacy commitments that helped win London the Games in the first place - there wouldn't be a stadium for anyone to move to if we hadn't, of course.

    And anyway, it'll be hard to keep making a fuss about Qatar changing everything about the bid that won them the 2022 World Cup if we go and abandon our 2012 promises!

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    @jonnyboy_22

    The whole legacy thing is a complete sham mate, just something governments put in their Olympic Bids to get voted, and something now Hammers and UK athletics are using against the Spurs bid to take over the stadium.

    I cannot speak for all the olympics, but after the Athens 2004 olympics I saw how the supposed olympic village and olympic stadia were supposed to be used to have some sort of athletics legacy...in reality most of the athletics meetings go to smaller stadia, better suited for athletics, while the actual olympic stadium which is currently being used by Panathinaikos and AEK as their home ground is an AWFUL football stadium, with fans being far from the action, the pitch being much to easy to waterlog and easy to slip on (wembley anyone) and generally not enjoyable as an experience.

    Also from a London point of view having a nice football stadium there would be more profitable and more advantageous (from a World Cup perspective...if Blatter dies we can give this another go...), rather than have a mediocre athletics and football stadium.

  • Comment number 68.

    this makes me so sad. we are a north london football club. if that means having less money and being less successful, so be it. football really has gone to the dogs when a club decides to up sticks and move for the cash. why not just go the whole hog and franchise the business and move it around the country.

    and why do haringey council think we owe them an entire redevelopment of Tottenham. it's a dump but it's not for a football club to regenerate an area. council is no doubt cash poor but the PLC cant be expected to regenerate N17 by itself.

  • Comment number 69.

    SuperSpursEnigma:

    "I think you'll find that Arsenal got funding for their new stadium from the government, and the Holloway Road tube station has been updated by TFL NOT AFC"

    ........................................................................

    Utter tripe and pure fantasy!! Arsenal did not get £350m funding from the government at all. It was financed by a bank loan which was subsequently renegotiated and was also funded by debentures and bonds. You need to get your facts straight!! As for your argument on tube station funding, I never claimed anything different on the issue.

  • Comment number 70.

    "If you look at the internet chatter amongst die hard Spurs fans you very quickly get the sense that those willing to articulate a view think it's a bad idea. Stratford Hotspur does not have the same ring to it."

    Did you actually bother researching this article? No that wasn't rhetorical.....

    As you can see from the comments above Spurs fans are not so deluded by the false propaganda David Lammy is spurting to anyone who will listen. Why should Spurs as a club be held to ransom over the regeneration of a dilapidated area?
    In the end a decision should be made for the best interests (longterm) of the club, if this means relocating to the OS (5 miles from WHL) then so be it.

    COYS

  • Comment number 71.

    "The ghosts of all those Hotspur greats must have become restless at the talk of Tottenham Hotspur FC, the pride of north London to its fans, moving east?"

    Arsenal moved from Woolwich to North London. Wimbledon moved from Tooting to Milton Keynes. Why should Tottenham moving be so much worse?

    It's not the football team's responsibility to rejuvenate an area let down by councils and MPs. Far better that it get used by a decent team going somewhere but hamfisted by being stuck in a small ground, rather than it being 2 thirds empty when given to the rival bids.

    Hell, why aren't West Ham being lambasted for touting to move out of their area without spending on revitalising their community.

    In fact, why should Tottenham be forced to spend many millions building something while another (with a good chance of playing Championship football in the next few seasons) gets the OLYMPIC stadium for peanuts?

    Give it to the best club who has bidded. If they're so worried about the loss of revenue that would have been spent covering their own mistakes, the MPs could always require Tottenham to spend at least some of it on community projects in return for the stadium.

  • Comment number 72.

    It seems that Mr Barling does not like freedom of speach as he has removed my comments on his biased article !!
    Truth hurts Mr Barling so either grow a pair or get out of the business !!

  • Comment number 73.

    Having read all the comments up to No.72, I have concluded that the best solutions for all concerned would be: i) The Haringey council work closely and in collaboration (rather than opposition) with Spurs to redevelop WHL, perhaps with the possibility of using Wembley under a special concession while the construction is under way; ii) Leyton Orient get the Olympic stadium and maintain the full legacy of a world class athletics arena; iii) West Ham fill their present stadium with fans cheering them on as they attempt to get back into the EPL.
    What are the chances of the most logical solution actually happening?

  • Comment number 74.

    Lets be real here, what Premier League team gets or for that matter deserves help from the local council? If you can pay a player 5 million a year in salary you can pay your own way, that said the council have to be responsible and fair in the treatment they afford Spurs.

    The Emirates stadium has worked because there seem to have been some defining of what was construed as development caused by the stadium and for the benfit of the club and what was of general benefit to the area. The council and maybe Spurs are digging there heels in and both will loose out, the Olympic stadium seems an easy way out but it will change the club for future generations no question there is no going back.

    I find no record of Emirates being subsidised by the government directly but I think Islington council realised the club had both costs & benefits for the area and was willing to negotiate. The 20m contribution to new stations may not have been utilised as yet but that is TFL's call Arsenal have made the commitment. I am sure the station developments will cost many times this sum but the club benefit for 2-3 hours a week but the station is there everyday for locals.

    Spurs & the council need to be frank about who gets what out of the development otherwise Stratford Hotspurs are another step closer

  • Comment number 75.

    Spurs would benefit from redevlopment and actually following what Arsenal have done. After the wrangling etc a massive regeneration prgramme is ongoing which benefits the community and the club together-that's the way forward modernisation with its roots in the heart of the community.

  • Comment number 76.

    Still no response yet from the writer of this blog despite the fact that the majority of responses point out how one sided and wrong he is......

  • Comment number 77.

    @RVP1968

    For nothing?

    We'd get the site demolish most of the stadium (not keep 75% of it) rebuild it and have a proper stadium capable of hosting football matches. And elements of the built OS will be taken to Crystal Palace to develop an athletics facility there. At our cost.

    The OS when built will not be able for a football match....the facilities at a minimum will need major upgrading. I hope West Ham get it because when they do I'm gonna have a great laugh at G/ulli/brady whinging about what they'll have to do and how they will have to sell whatever players are worth more than a fiver to help fund the interest on the loans they'll have to take out.

    This bloody article is so one sided and so far off the mark its unreal.

    Barling .... you sir need to up your game before you blog on this topic again.

    Tottenham is a hovel at present...ok the Council may be broke and are looking to extract whatever improvements they can at someone elses cost and that is i suppose understandable but what is of most concern is the inability of the elected representatives to secure regeneration of their area. They are in serious danger of biting off the hand that feeds.

    If we move I'll be heartbroken but it'll still be our club in some shape or form...not as I'd like it obviously...but I'll still support them.

    Haringey Council will then have a massively increased problem in the area that they'll have no idea how to fix. Would the government then fund the regeneration of an area like that. The biggest employer would be sainsbury's. Not much incentive there to regenerate.

  • Comment number 78.

    London Green, regarding the demise of the Os, read this month's WSC for one fan's take on either Spurs or WHU, moving in. I think all three perspectives are motivated by greed, regarding potential for increased revenue and selling off of present stadium sites. In terms of Orient, Mr Hearn will make a nice fat profit, whoever gets the OS, should his long mooted relocation for the club, to Harlow, come to fruition.

    When it comes to redeveloping, or building from scratch, any stadium, though it isn't mentioned in the original article admittedly, I think you'll find that all local authorities make certain financial demands, relevant to transport improvements, the environment etc. on the club applying for planning permission.

  • Comment number 79.

    Spurs fans. I live locally and have heard very little public discussion of the future of Tottenham Hotspur and the social and economic impact locally of a move to Stratford. Ever since I first went to WHL in 1970 it was obvious how important it is to have such a club on your doorstep. I trained at New River in White Hart Lane for many years as a teenager and felt the imprint of the club through its community work.

    Since London won the bid to host the 2012 Games, the Olympic legacy has been dominated by the likely impact on the old East End. Of course that debate is too narrow at the moment. Inevitably all Londoners are entitled to think about the impact on the whole of the Capital.

    The political debate is a broad one which should consider the interests of the wider community. The sporting or commercial debate is necessarily more narrowly defined. That is not to say that it is or should ignore the impact of a club leaving a locality like Tottenham.

    It is not for me as a journalist to critique the merits of Haringey’s approach to approving the Northumberland Park Project, unless something illegal or manifestly against the public interest is taking place. But as club and council signed a deal last year there must have been something in it for both of them. It is also not for me to critique whether Tottenham Hotspur should or should not be moving or staying.

    There is a real need for an open discussion about the different interests involved in a potential move. There is manifestly a Tottenham Hotspur FC set of interests and a public set of interests if Tottenham stays at WHL or leaves.

    The local MP may not be the right cup of tea for many of those who’ve made really interesting comments. But David Lammy made a public intervention which put the discussion about Spurs moving to Stratford on the Political map. I suspect he believes he is doing his job. I chose to comment on that intervention because the whole discussion is clearly a matter of wider public interest. No-one can argue that if Spurs leave, the area will NOT change.

    I am neither supporting the local MPs line nor opposing the THFC right to make a commercial set of decisions. I am all for bringing those two sets of issues together in a single debate because then the broader community gets a sense of what it might mean for them. Believe it or not, not everyone in Tottenham is either a Spurs fan or even a football fan. Are we seriously suggesting that they should mind their own business?

    I am curious that the numerous websites where Spurs fans are pouring out their hearts to stay at WHL are not reflected in any comments. Are we to assume everyone is in favour then? I think not.

    BBC journalists should start debates not finish them. The fact that so many people have commented suggests that it is time for this conversation to move beyond sporting forums; beyond sporting passion.

    PS. I don’t moderate who says what on my blog. Fortunately for the BBC other people I don’t even know do that.

  • Comment number 80.

    Kurt....seems like a cop out to me on your part....if you believe what you say about " I am all for bringing those two sets of issues together in a single debate because then the broader community gets a sense of what it might mean for them"

    then why did you not include an equal amount of facts pertaining to both sides of the discussion.

    "It is not for me as a journalist to critique the merits of Haringey’s approach to approving the Northumberland Park Project, unless something illegal or manifestly against the public interest is taking place"

    It is manifestly against the public interest when Haringey Council sign a deal with the club and then make further demands on the club to improve things that Lammy etc cant get funding for themselves.

    It shows how inept Lammy and the other officials are. They've always got THFC to pay for stuff that had nothing to do with any improvements we were making to the stadium etc.

    The club brings money to the area and gives the community something to feel proud about because lets face it the Council have left everyhing else to die there.

  • Comment number 81.

    mr Barling,
    there is no doubt that moving THFC away from North london will have an impact on the local community and the ability to rejuvenate the area. However, that should be for the council and the government to see and determine, As a lifelong Spurs fan I don't want my team to have to suffer economically, commercially or otherwise, especially as Spurs are not a Man City or Chelsea with billions of pounds seemingly to spend.
    I think the council has to see that not everyone that is a Spurs Fan lives in North London, and if anything, if they want Spurs to stay in the area they will see that the small investment in local rejuvenation they make today will breed huge profits to the community, the economical value of the area AND THFC.
    If however, as someone already put, they are not willing to make the necessary investment. I, and many Spurs fans with me, am not that sentimental to sticking in North London...if anything i think London Hotspurs sounds better than Tottenham Hotspurs ;)...

  • Comment number 82.

    Get onto Dear Mr Levy and the post 'if we move to stratford it ends here'

    There you will see real spurs fans views on moving.

    Ive not see hardly any pro-stratford comments here, I just think people realise Lammy is very much part of the blame in all of this.

    No real Spurs fan who goes week in week out wants to move from our home.

  • Comment number 83.

    Espelho - you joker. You can tell your not a Tottenham fan with that stupid comment.

    If you like Statford go and support the O's.

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm a Spurs Fan and have no real objection to moving to Stratford if it is in the best interests of the club. I do struggle to understand how demolishing and rebuilding the OS can make financial sense

    Spurs own website says that TFL and Secretary of State have approved the scheme and left it to Haringey to approve the planning. As those two organisations are responsible for infrastructure - Roads, Rail and Policing etc, I'm not sure where the "disinformation" is coming from.

    Spurs own website states that it will now negotiate the S106 requirements with Haringey - on most developments that involves accepting a responsibility to local environment by providing some subsidised housing etc. There are guidelines for developers, but hardly for a Footbally Stadium. Reading between the lines it could just be that this whole scenario is just a negotiating point on this S106 discussion.

    However, Paul Miller was recently on Talksport and spoke rather of the problems being encountered in obtaining the level of finance required to complete the development in Tottenham - if the cost of the OS is indeed around half then it makes more business sense which is in the better interest of the club longer term.

    People who moan about the business hat taking priority should look no further than Leeds, Cardiff, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth

  • Comment number 85.

    I noticed with surprise that all the seats at the Olympic stadium were black and white.

    Presumably this was part of a cost-conscious construction budget rather than sending a slightly less than oblique message about legacy??

  • Comment number 86.

    I love the Lane and have been a Spurs fan for 40 years. However, I have to admit it is a pig of place to get unless you live within walking distance. My family moved out to St Albans a few years ago and I have to admit although I'm looking forwatd to Sunday (coys) I'm yet again greading the journey.

    Much as I would miss the Lane, there arn't 60,000 fans who live locally. Many like me comute to the ground already and better transport links would be a massive improvement. I'd leave the Lane with a sad heart but we have to look to the future 60,000 fans travelling to WHL would be an absolute nightmare.

  • Comment number 87.

    Never mind football, if the Olympic stadium was kept in the round, and the pitch sorted out, England could have a cricket venue to be proud of, and which could rival places like the MCG or the WACA. Pity that the way these stadia are funded means that they will end up being used for concerts to pay for construction.

  • Comment number 88.

    There are a number of points here.

    The Local Authority are expecting Tottenham Hotspur to pay for a number of civic services that they should be financing through the local people's council tax. There is also the issue of central funding towards the Northumberland Park scheme which has been lacking despite there being finance for other similar plans , Arsenals new stadium being one of them. If Tottenham left the borough I don't think anyone could blame them. The lack of assistance from the local authority has been evident all the way through the scheme right up until the final 'go ahead' was given.

    Why should Spurs pay for a new or refurbed Tube station ? Are London Underground going to give free travel to all Spurs fans on match days ?.

    Take Tottenham Hotspur out of Tottenham and there will be nothing left, just a void full of deteriorating property and failing buisnesses. The short sightedness of the Local Authority is amazing and perhaps they will ultimately pay the price. However, with all the above said I believe Spurs should stay in Tottenham despite the financial benefits that are being claimed by the Spurs Board of Directors.

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate where the Football interests and the financial ones are, as in todays world money can make all the difference between global success and relative oblivion. And the conspiracy theorists notion that the move to Stratford would be preferred because it will make the club easier to sell on with a much larger profit for ENIC is difficult to argue against.

    Back to football though, if Spurs move to the Olympic Stadium either in its finished form or after they have have demolished and redesigned it, it will still mean that Spurs will be playing every match 'away from home' for many, many years to come, and no-one seems to have mentioned the animosity and the potential violence such a move will cause amongst local football fans.

    I for one am against any move away from Tottenham no matter what financial benefits might be derived from it.

  • Comment number 89.

    Espelho , I am inclined to agree with other posters here. No true Spurs fan who has any idea of the history of the club and its past can possibly want to move to East London. Tottenham Hotspur are a NORTH London club and should remain so.

  • Comment number 90.

    Does any one actually know what financial support Ar*senal received from Islington? Or do people just take Levy's word for it? If Spurs want public money for the scheme, they ought to lobby for it, which to date they haven't. Or at least kept quiet about who they are meeting.

    In a day of financial restraint, you can't expect public sector orgs to start going up to Levy, Levy has to be lobbying. So instead of spending god knows what on employing Mike Lee to get the lease for the OS, employ him to knock down every government door until someone will listen.

    Find as much fault as you like with the authority but they are making 1 in 5 council workers redundant, they hardly have the financial capacity to help the club out and the fact is planning permission was reached after two years, with the Emirates it took 5 years.

    Section 106 has been agreed with all parties apart from TfL, where the main dispute was - see THFC website when Boris finalised planning permission for the quote - and no one can say that the demands are unreasonable as the S106 isn't public yet so no one knows what exactly has been demanded.

  • Comment number 91.

    Find it odd that people moan about transport links when the ground is served by two underground stops and four rail stations within walking distance. Yes it gets overcrowded, but so do all grounds - only have to look at the Emirates to see how bad it can be and WHL is no where near that bad.

  • Comment number 92.

    At the age of 59 I still love going to The Lane. My first game there was in 1965. The Lane still holds a special place in my heart and in those of my sons and other Spurs supporters. My journey takes me a minimum of two hours each way from my home in Surrey, and longer on the way home. What's the problem with that if you are going to watch the team you love? I do not know what Spurs fans who live in St Albans are complaining about.

    As for the post from the so called Spurs fan who likes the name London Hotspur - from today he can no longer be counted as a Spurs fan.

    One of the issues that has hardly been mentioned is the huge amount of work the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation does for the underprivileged in the area. Can this possibly continue if we relocate to the Olympic Stadium in a borough with which we have no association?

    Clearly, Haringey and the other bodies such as English Heritage must take a large share of the blame for the mess that this is. Haringey got very greedy and thought that they could milk the club dry because they assumed our beloved Spurs would never move from N.17. Spurs are vital to the area and if the local authority, English Heritage and a few local objectors have chased them away then they as well as Spurs fans will be the losers forever.

    I fear the worst but have not given up hope of seeing a "New Lane" in Tottenham but Haringey are going to have to back down fast on their financial demands otherwise they will kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Tottenham needs Spurs; Spurs needs to be in Tottenham.

  • Comment number 93.

    I hate all this gossip about "yeah spurs should get the olympic stadium, when really we were the first to discuss having it. And they are from N-O-R-T-H London, us hammers are much much closer less than 3 miles.

  • Comment number 94.

    As a City fan I can fully empathise with Spurs predicament. Like us in 2003 they have long outgrown their stadium and have the demand to fill a capacity that is much higher than at WHL. If you were asked to pay £400m or £100m what are you going to do? I have to say though, one of the reasons London was awarded the Olympics was that it left a lasting legacy for althletics, that being the stadium. As Spurs bid in no way satisfies that I can't see how they should be awarded the right to take over the stadium. For me West Ham's bid ticks the boxes (whether they need a 60000 capacity is debatable) as they pledge to make the stadium accommodate athletics.
    I was interested though to read an anecdote from I think a director at Spurs who drew the comparison with City's move from Maine Road to Eastlands in 2003, when trying to justify the reasons for moving to the east end and the fact that there hadn't been much consultation with their fans. For the record, City fans were asked vote for or against the move to Eastlands in 1998 and the fans voted overwhelmingly to relocate. The club always said it would respect the fans wishes - for me it was a no brainer, you never forget Maine Road but Eastlands is our home now and we'd never go back. Furthermore we are closer the the area where the club originated than we were while at Maine Road, but what really matters to City fans is that we are in the City of Manchester, unlike our nearest and dearest neighbours!
    In their heart of hearts do Spurs fans really want to leave the area where their club originated? From an outsider point of view I would say nowadays Spurs aren't just Tottenham's club anymore - they're bigger than that, they're one of London's biggest clubs with a fan base that no doubt expands across the city, so as long as they're in London does it really matter where they end up as long as they can build a new ground?

  • Comment number 95.

    West Ham to beat Spurs for the olympic stadium.
    Also Spurs don't derseve it!

  • Comment number 96.

    Why are we building a multi-million pound sports stadium that can only last 25 years, as a civil-engineer im offended this is supposedly our nations best effort to show the world! 150 million to turn it into a football stadium. Japan built a stadium with moveable seats (sapporo dome anyone?) why cant we just find a way to slide the seats up to the pitch for football and out again for athletics?

  • Comment number 97.

    I have no particular axe to grind here, but I do think there's a fair amount of financial illiteracy contained in the comments, to the effect that Spurs are worth so much to the community, are the most successful business in the area, etc.

    It seems to me to have more in common with a Caribbean cruise ship .... OK bear with me a minute .... the cruise ships claim "we're bringing your island so much trade, and wealth, and business, bringing you 5000 visitors for the day", but when you look at the reality, it's not like that at all. What the cruise ships do, in reality, is dump a huge quantity of people, for a very short time, on an infrastructure ill-equipped to cope with the demand. Do those people pay their way in the local community? Not really. They still buy most of their drinks and food on the ship, not on the island. Their entertainment on the island is bought through the ship's agents, who take most of the profits. But the island? It has to invest in the infrastructure of roads, buses, whatever is necessary to get the tourists to their chosen activities.

    So shouldn't the "cruise operators", in this case THFC, be responsible for some of the imbalances that they cause to the community on Saturday/ Sunday afternoons? It's not as if the community needs, for instance, a tube station with that capacity on non-match days. Or as if the local people will actually benefit from it (no it probably won't drive up property prices, THFC fans).

    In general, the principle that a developer should pay the related ancillary costs of the development seems sensible to me - for instance, big housing developments need better road access, new schools, etc. New football stadia need, in particular, the transport infrastructure to feed them. Why should the local council-tax payer have to subsidise that?

  • Comment number 98.

    As a Spurs supporter who lives in Tottenham I've been reading the blog and comments with great interest. I really want Tottenham to stay in Tottenham and not just so a journey to a match is only a short walk. When John Ripsher helped a group of local lads to start a football team back in 1882 it was because he saw he could make a difference to them and to his neighbourhood. The Club too can make a difference to a Ward where there is massive need in the areas of health, welfare and employment. Their Foundation has been doing some fantastic work to help build community but now it seems all that good work might fade away.
    It seems to be coming down to money and I'm amazed that our local politicians in Haringey, the London Assembly, and MPs in Wesminster and Europe have not been able to find some funding source to help. At the very least some sort of development grant could sort out local infrastructure problems and so reduce the pressure on the club and so encourage them to stay and believe Tottenham should remain their home.
    It would be great for all the words to be matched by action and for Tottenham, and in particular Northumberland Park, to be given a new lease of life with the new stadium at the centre.

  • Comment number 99.

    Can I as a Gooner please refute this notion, that there was local or government funding in the building of The Emirates Stadium, The money was raised from various banks. Payable with interest spread over 14 years.
    The cost was also assisted by the redevelopment of their old ground Arsenal Stadium.Converting the old Stadium into apartments and selling them on the open market.(There's nothing stopping Spurs doing something similar--Or is there--?)
    This is the main reason why Arsene Wenger is restricted in his buying of decent playing staff. But that's another story.
    There was also something else,AFC paid for a waste disposable site somewhere off the Caledoian Rd.
    My apologies for taking up space on which is your board
    Cheers,grandGoonerama

  • Comment number 100.

    yidal and lillywhite.... I guess you people won't ever accept spurs fans from other parts of the world? Personally I have been a spurs fan since 1989 when I was a kid in GREECE....its the only team I support and have ever supported, and to tell the truth it means nothing to me if the team play in N17 or E15 as long as my teams interests are looked after and I can see them play...

 

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