Potentially no longer Spurs from the Lane, but Spurs from the East End
Tottenham’s ascendancy towards that of one of the biggest clubs in England under Harry Redknapp has been impressive.
If questioned, Redknapp will gleefully tell all that he has taken the club from the foot of the league table to a fourth place finish and a Champions League spot this season.
The signing of world renowned Rafael Van der Vaart has helped cement the clubs status as a rising power in the domestic game, as they look set to challenge to the stranglehold over success Arsenal have held in North London in recent years, although the in time in which they have to do so could be limited.
Plans for a new stadium behind the existing White Hart Lane have been muted for some time and a plot of land where the proposed stadium would be has remained derelict for a number of years.
This though has taken a back seat to what was previously thought to be a back-up plan to the proposed new stadium, but the club’s corporate partners AEG have revealed details of plans to move to the Olympic Stadium in East London, which includes ditching the running track after the 2012 Games and plans to outflank West Ham’s rival bid.
Surprisingly what I thought was merely a curious interest in a new-build stadium has morphed into a serious bid that will transform the original North London club into East End refugees seeking asylum.
Admittedly they wouldn’t be moving far if their bid for the stadium proved to be successful and there is a long way to go yet, as many I’s have to be dotted a T’s need to be crossed, but a move away from the clubs local fan-base and into the territory of a London rival, seems a wholly insensitive move on the part of the money men that is only going to antagonize and upset the fiercely territorial supporters.
Football support does after all thrive on local rivalries and revels in the prospect of having the bragging rights to the local area until the next time the two teams meet.
To move then would risk alienating elements of the clubs support who revel in their North London origins and associations with the Jewish community.
AEG Europe’s chief executive, David Campbell, has his business hat on though when thinking about the move and added that Tottenham’s fan base made it a more viable option than West Ham. “They have got 35,000 people on a paid-for waiting list. They can fill 60,000 seats. Can West Ham? I don’t know but I don’t feel as confident as I do about Tottenham.”
Time would certainly help paper over the cracks of the move, much as it has done in Arsenals move from South to North London, as they now consider themselves a North London club.
The move does also make sense from a financial point of view, as to inhabit a pre-existing stadium would be considerably cheaper than building a new one and would allow the club the generate greater revenue from ticket sales than they currently can from the atmospheric, but compact White Hart Lane, but all this is at the expense of the local support.
Fans will be hoping the optimism and enthusiasm of officials is merely the money men speaking out of turn, but money increasingly drives the game so the move is certainly a possibility.
To concede the area to their bitter rivals would be salt in the wound to Spurs fans, who could potentially no longer be ‘Spurs from the Lane’, but instead ‘Spurs from the East End’.Tags: Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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