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It’s only right that Tottenham leave White Hart Lane

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When fans are quizzed on stadiums draped in history, the usual suspects will regularly appear on any list. Old Trafford, Anfield, the Camp Nou, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and La Bombonera will more often not make a welcome appearance.

Some will often criticise the lack of Tottenham Hotspur’s current home White Hart Lane not being included on that list and you will be hard pressed to find any fan of the North London side to argue that.

The self-proclaimed world famous home of the Spurs has enjoyed its fair share of significant moments in history, the 1961 double winning side under the stewardship of Bill Nicholson staking the claim for the club.

Many would consider it sacrilege to move from a ground that has been standing since 1899 and one that produces one of, if not the, best atmospheres in Premier League football. Nevertheless, regardless of the historical significance and the intimidating environment the supporters generate during home games, to persist with White Hart Lane would be a grave mistake for Spurs to make.

The club’s current plans to leave White Hart Lane are currently in effect. For those that have visited the North London side during home encounters this season would have noticed the change in scenery, with the club still going through of process of purchasing adjacent land and knocking down buildings within the area they hope to build into.

It’s a step in the right direction, especially following the debacle surrounding the Olympic Stadium. As many are fully aware, there was serious discussion between Spurs and the Olympic Park Legacy Committee (OPLC) regarding the North London club possibly re-housing to Stratford.

It prompted outcry from Spurs fans, with a majority, if not all, keen to remain in North London and you can hardly blame them. The move, ultimately, was to force Haringey Council into providing the club with funding to aid in re-developing the surrounding area, which many perceive to be the most rundown in the capital.

The ploy worked, with the club securing £17m from mayor Boris Johnson to boost the coffers for the new home, believed to be costing anything upwards of £350m. It’s this investment that prompted Spurs to press ahead with their initial project; the Northumberland Development Project.

It was this further investment that convinced the club to redevelop the area, with supermarket giants Sainsburys also laying down a further £50m-£70m in order to have their biggest store in Europe based within the stadium itself. 

Capable of holding 36,230, the stadium attendance is far too low for a team with high expectations. You only have to look at Arsenal and the Emirates Stadium to see the progress they have made, financially anyway, to understand the need to move to a larger home.

The Gunners previous stadium, Highbury, held a little over 38,000 when sold out, while in comparison, Arsenal’s new home, the Emirates Stadium, is able to accommodate over 20,000 more fans.

The fact that Spurs currently boast the third biggest stadium in London, not including Wembley, behind Arsenal and Chelsea, suggests that the need for a new home is vital. Widely perceived as the third best team in London, no offense West Ham United and Fulham fans, it’s absolutely vital the club re-build the surrounding area in order to close the gap between the Gunners and the Blues.

It’s also common knowledge amongst Spurs fans that the club itself has one of the longest season ticket waiting lists in the league, a figure surpassing the 20,000 mark. With the new stadium expecting to boost the attendance mark well over the 60,000 figure, that waiting list will diminish all too quickly.

Granted, White Hart Lane is the spiritual home of Spurs. Ask any fan and they’ll tell you they’d rather remain in the ground then move out, especially if the naming rights are to yet to be purchased – for all supporters know, the new stadium could be called anything from ‘the Virgin Ground’ to ‘the Tampax Arena’.

Fans will be hopeful the investors persist with the name White Hart Lane or, at the very least, see it titled ‘the Bill Nicholson Stadium’, in homage to the former manager. Either way it’s evident that the way chairman Daniel Levy is going about his business is to sell the club on for as maximum a profit as possible.

Having replaced Sir Alan Sugar as chairman back in 2001, the club have certainly come on leaps and bounds, with results on the pitching mirroring those off it. At present, Spurs are one of only a handful of clubs in the Premier League clubs to be ‘in the black’ – a business operating at a net profit.

It may pale in comparison to the figures obtained by rivals Arsenal, but it is grounds for optimism for a club that continues to grow. Player sales may’ve contributed heavily to his, with the money obtained from the deals involving Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart and Wilson Palacios further lining the coffers.

On top of that, the Champions League funding throughout their run to the quarter final in the 2010/11 season has not only boosted the profile of the North London club, but substantially also lined the club’s pockets.

With the club still in the limelight, the last piece of the business jigsaw is certainly the stadium. With the club in disarray back in 2001, Levy and holding company ENIC International Ltd essentially brought a Spurs team that was in desperate need of fixing.

Like a home that needs work, the stadium will ensure that said house is prepared to sell on, fully furnished. The new home of Spurs will only propel to the next level, which judging from results on the pitch is desperately needed.

Fans may share a special bond with White Hart Lane, that’s for sure, but it’s essential that Spurs look ahead if they are to compete with England’s bigger sides. Doubling the attendance will see them catch up with Arsenal and Chelsea, while further bolstering the match day profits through ticket sales. 

The extra profits could be used to help bring in fresh talent and challenge for the title. See what bets William Hill offer for Spurs’ title bid at www.williamhill.com

12 thoughts on “It’s only right that Tottenham leave White Hart Lane”

  1. Spurs supporters don't care about leaving whl as long as its to where the new stadium is goin to be, they just don't want the club to leave the area of tottenham and any fan who does should go and support their local team because that's the only reason they would want to leave tottenham because they live in hertfordshire or essex. U go down that road then it won't be long before they change the name of the club to hatfield spurs or whatever like an mls team or mk dons

  2. Even with a larger stadium, Arsenal still don't or cannot compete with the clubs that are privately funded by Petrodollar billionaires, so what makes you think Spurs can? Unless FFP is proved a viable proposition and is seen to work effectively, then I'm afraid we'll always be exactly where we are right now-Take Chelsea and Man City out of the equation, and you'll see my point. Also I hope safe standing area's are introduced, as they will increase a stadiums capacity and add to the atmosphere with the additional benefit of allowing a more affordable way to encourage young supporters to attend games, who are after all tomorrows season ticket holders!


  4. Erm Spurs aren't leaving White Hart Lane the new stadium is on the same site and it is slightly nearer White Hart Lane.

  5. What a load of cock and bull, most of which is regurgitated nonsense picked out from last year when Spurs were interested in bidding for the Olympic stadium. In case you missed it, Spurs are developing their current ground you nonce. I suspect that this article is really all about Levy building a new stadium just to sell the club to the highest bidder. Why don't yo FO and write about another club, preferably the one you really support.

  6. @Ray suggesting I FO and write about the club I really support? Sorry, I'll just hand over my Spurs season ticket over now, seeing as they quite clearly aren't my team. Thanks for clearing that up, you've made this Christmas that much better.

    Yes, I know Spurs are developing the surrounding area, I have been to White Hart Lane this season. I meant leaving the stadium, you cretinous, thundering moron. Maybe you should read the article first before opening up a fresh tin of 'keyboard warrior'

  7. I'm a Gooner, but I'm here to say be careful what you wish for. Most Arsenal fans I know still pine for Highbury. Sure we have a bigger capacity, and the Grove (refuse to call it the Emirates) is a nice modern stadium – but Highbury was the soul of the club. I can't see our support ever having the same attachment with the new ground, no matter how successful we may or may not be there. I've been to the Lane and even though it may not be the nicest ground in the country, it's still a piece of English football history. That's something no amount of additional match day revenue can replicate.

  8. I dont fully agree with the comments of Joey the gooner as WHL has changed beyond recognition since the eighties when grounds had terracing and were generally in a dilapidated condition. the question of building a new stadium for the fan is whether it remains within the area of the clubs traditional heartland, this is the case for Tottenham. the more important factor is to design a stadium which can generate an atmosphere, this is where the Emirates fails, its quieter than their old ground Highbury and thats saying something (sorry Joey but true , Levy should look at stadiums like the Allianz and Juve's new ground, if any other spurs fans feel the same we should make our voices heard in the hope that things may change before the ground is built and its to late to have what we want an intimidating cauldron noise !!!, PS why is the new ground capacity only 56,000 and not 60,000 ?, sort it out Levy !.

  9. I agree with the gooner I don't want spurs to leave white hard lane I live the ground and it won't be the sane in the new ground. But sadly we need a bigger capacity so the lovely old stadium it going 🙁

  10. @ Joey the Gooner-are you lost mate? do you need a sat nav or a computer printout pointing South of the Thames? your soul is South of the water and your club has neither a heart or a conscious -you, like the those that support (Follow) your club, will settle for anything, unlike we Lilywhites who allow pride to guide us through

  11. A gooner makes a sensible comment and even though i will never forgive 1919, someone still has to have a pathetiic snipe at him which misses his point totally.

    WHL is being REDEVELOPED and the only tragedy will be the LOSS of the name for some hooker like money chucker's company.

    Yes, the spoilt brat billionaires are screwing up football. But in case you missed it, they screw up almost everything else in this world by their greed. I laugh at Gates and his minimalist charity donations while Microsoft screw you for phone advice when their “software” fails.

    The expanded stadium is already designed and it will only place us on a higher level as it wont help us compete with the prostituted clubs like Chelsea and MC (and MU and Liverpool…in case you all forgot Liverpool BOUGHT their 70s and 80s success while MU still throw money around).

    Arsenal and THFC and Everton are the ONLY NONCheaters in the PL and it makes you wonder when PSG will win the CL while Malaga if someone can work out what is going on there , could also pop up if propped up with cash.

    BTW….Platini only climbed onto the fair financial bandwagon when PL clubs started to flash the cash. That typically anglophobic french hypocrite kindly ignores the point that RM, Barca,Inter, ACMilan and his beloved Juventus ALL used the MONEY CHEAT for their success from the very start of the CL and that now they cannot do it so easily, he is in an “ants in pants” uproar. Nice to see some other names near the top in Italy although I cannot see anyone in Spain beating RM in the money cheating. At least Barcelona have only mildly cheated (spanish is a good way to rip into most South American junior leagues to siphon off their best).

    The whole scene is putrid with money bur so far THFC and their two above comapnions can hold up their head as can clubs like Wigan, Stoke etc.

  12. Pardon me but I do believe the new stadium will be built taking into account the fans being closer to the pitch to create atmosphere. Daniel Levy has always stated that one of his priorites was the stadium had to create atmosphere. If you look back at some of his statements you would see this therefore I don't really understand the article about the stadium switch.

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