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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Mark 6 October 2010 at 12:54pm

I still cannot imagine we will move there, Boris and the Secretary of State will be mad to turn down our plans for WHL as it will regenerate the area, bring a lot of needed jobs to the area and they need to look at the bigger picture and think of the future and what a lucrative proposition it will be to bring new business into the area. We are Tottenham and we should stay in Tottenham! Why on earth will we want to play in the Spammers back yard. I can see some serious repercussions if Levy sanctions this because after all the club needs its supporters hard earned cash to survive.

bob 6 October 2010 at 1:08pm

We would still be Tottenham from the Lane. The Olympic stadium is located at 103-113 Marshgate Lane, Stratford.

So not all tradition would be lost

Dan Mobbs 6 October 2010 at 1:27pm

@Mark I completely understand your concerns and agree that a new stadium on WHL would provide much needed regeneration to the area. The money men at the club though could be willing to throw a bit more cash at the Olympic stadium than rivals West Ham, as they’re saving on building a new home and could make a more generous offer that will be difficult to turn down. As you have said though, it would be at the determent of the fans, who would surely voice their anger.

@bob A very astute observation and they Olympic stadium could yet prove to be a home from home for you, but in the Hammers backyard.

Chris 6 October 2010 at 2:25pm

To put this in perspective, White Hart Lane is less than 8 miles away from Stratford, which also has considerably better transport links. How many fans actually live that close to WHL that this would make a big difference to them?

Although it would be a difficult decision to move from the Tottenham, if Spurs want to continue their recent ascendancy they need a bigger stadium to generate the income needed to compete at that level.

Perhaps they can achieve this by building next to WHL – although this is likely to take several years and, due to the vast expense and relatively small plot next to WHL, probably won’t compare to the quality of the Olympic Stadium.

I think the Olympic Stadium offers a very real option and I’m sure that most Spurs fans would understand – especially if the extra revenue allowed them to buy more stars like Van der Vaart?

Dan Mobbs 6 October 2010 at 2:59pm

@Chris Quite right, the relative distance is small and it’s hardly like the club are proposing a move to Timbuktu. I’m sure the majority of fans don’t live that close to the ground and the extra travel wouldn’t be seen as a problem.

However, it’s not the distance or the effort of travel that will upset fans, but the removal of the club from its home and placement in the stomping ground of a local rival that I feel will hurt the territorial fans proud of their North London heritage.

You’re quite right though the club does need to generate further income if it is to progress and perhaps if the move to the proposed site brings with it success on the pitch, fans would perhaps begin to forget that they’re Eastenders.

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