TOTTENHAM Hotspur are considering â€œfour or fiveâ€ options as a temporary home after confirming that they will be highly unlikely to move into a new stadium until 2018 and would need to spend a season away from White Hart Lane.
Explaining the latest delay to their plans to build a new 58,000-seat stadium, caused by a high court challenge to a compulsory purchase order of land around the existing ground, Spurs said they would need to move out of their home.
Given the need to shoehorn construction into the shortest possible timeframe, following a series of delays to the development, they will play at a temporary venue in either the 2016-17 or 2017-18 season. â€œThe club has revised its construction programme in order to take the shortest possible time to construct,â€ Spurs said. â€œThis now therefore involves the club moving away from the Lane during construction for a period of one season, to start at the beginning of a season in order to comply with Premier League rules.â€
Stadium MK in Milton Keynes appears the most likely solution, despite being 55 miles away, with the possible addition of Wembley for any European matches. Other mooted possibilities include the Olympic Stadium, which is due to reopen with West Ham United as a tenant in 2016â€‘17, and Arsenalâ€™s home at the Emirates. The latter would appear to be a nonstarter for obvious reasons.
The London Legacy Development Corporation has already stated that it would not consider a long-term ground-sharing arrangement for the Olympic Stadium, while the residual bad feeling between the two clubs over the original battle for the east London site would not help.
As with Wembley, it could, however, be considered as a venue for a handful of big matches if Spurs qualify for Europe. Premier League rules state that all matches in its competition must be played at the same stadium. Wembley might find it difficult to host an entire programme of 19 home matches given other commitments and FA sources say there are no active discussions with Spurs.
â€œClearly all possible options have pros and cons and we are aware that we shall not be able to find one which will please all parties,â€ the club added.
The debate over how and when to redevelop White Hart Lane, which holds around 36,000 people, to boost revenues and compete more effectively has been a longstanding one for the owner, Joe Lewis, and chairman, Daniel Levy.
Spurs resolved to leave the area when bidding against West Ham to occupy the Olympic Stadium in Stratford but, having lost out to the East End club, revived plans for a new Â£450m stadium at White Hart Lane. Despite Spurs having relocated 70 businesses and waited 14 months for a compulsory purchase order to be approved by the government, one sheet-metal firm has held out and submitted a high court challenge. – The Guardian