3pm update: Spurs today received a major boost when the Mayor approved their plan to build a new stadium in Haringey. With City Hall’s approval coming after the council gave their backing to the £450 million project, only an intervention from the government is likely to stop the scheme… unless, of course, the club’s management decide that the possibility of a much cheaper new home in the Olympic stadium is a better option. Not an option that will please supporters.
Though Spurs fans are delighted by the team’s on-field prowess, with last night’s first-ever qualification for the Champions League knockout stages coming just days after a glorious victory over Arsenal, there are roars of dissent from the stands about the club’s last-minute application to inhabit the Olympic Stadium after the Games finish.
Supporters are planning a mass protest at this weekend’s home game against Liverpool, and are also talking up a march through Tottenham High Street prior to the clash with Chelsea on December 12th. A group called “We Are N17″ is orchestrating the opposition, and they’ve inveigled 2,100 people, including local MP David Lammy, to sign a petition titled “Say No To Stratford Hotspurs”.
Their efforts may well be unnecessary: bid rivals West Ham are said to be the clear favourites to move into the stadium. Historically and geographically, it makes more sense for the Hammers to be the occupants, although the prospect of a team that might be relegated playing in a 60,000-seater ground is an interesting one; the BBC argues that it wouldn’t be too financially cumbersome, but a half-empty ground in the second tier of English football might not be what the Olympic Park Legacy Committee envisioned.
Tottenham are due to find out today whether their bid to move into a new stadium near to their current White Hart Lane home has the backing of City Hall. If it does, then it seems probable the club will remain in Haringey; should it not, expect more protests. Either way, it’s turning into a memorable season for Spurs.
Photo of Olympic Stadium and River Lee Navigation by gary8345