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Spurs going private is a good thing

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It was announced yesterday that Spurs have posted revenue figures over almost £120m and, as a result, could see the club de-list from the AIM Stock Market in a move to help boost their chances of securing the necessary financial backing for the Northumberland Development Project.

Sell-out crowds to every home Premiership fixture this season has contributed to the monumental improvement of numbers, with the revenue figure up almost £6m from the previous year. If ever there was a need for a larger stadium, there is the proof. It is a known fact that, with a capacity of only 36,000, improvements to White Hart Lane, or a potential 60,000 seater stadium, is needed to help increase ticket sales, further enhance the intake of money from said sales and see the ever growing waiting list for season tickets decrease significantly.

Unfortunately, the NDP is likely to cost anything of £350m and upwards, a figure any club that currently floats on the stock market is unlikely to raise. And while Boris Johnson’s ‘take it or leave it’ offer of £17m to re-develop the surrounding area was generous, it just isn’t enough to cover the sheer costs of financing a monumental project.

Naming rights will be key to securing the much needed funds and, as proven with Manchester City and the £400m they received to rename their home the Etihad Stadium, could bring in anything from £100m and more. But, without being private, the likelihood of that happening is near on impossible. As evidenced on the excellent Tottenblog Hotspur, any team that wants to go private needs the support of at least 75% of their shareholders to de-list from the stock market. However, with Enic owning 82% of all holding shares, the switch from Plc to Ltd is near enough a formality in the new year.

Furthermore, going private will allow for further investment in the club, with the likelihood of Enic selling to the highest bidder once the stadium is complete in a few years time and Spurs have established themselves, touch wood, as a regular top four side. The need for further investment is massive, especially with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea now under foreign ownership and increasing the gap, both in funds and in the league. As good as Enic has performed in the backing of managers in the transfer market, the money they attempt to spend on players, both in transfers and in wages, is completely blown out of the water by those under private ownership.

The prospect of privatising the club, as unappealing as it could seem to some sections of the supporters, is sometimes too hard of a prospect to turn down. The potential to really compete amongst the games’ elite is what fans really want to see, whether it means any team floating on the stock market or financially backed by a sole proprietor. In the case of Spurs, it could mean the difference between staying at White Hart Lane or re-developing the area and building a brand new stadium, one which the club desperately needs to move on to the next level both in financial terms, and increasing the already superb fan-base of the club.

Ben McAleer

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