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Tottenham caught by huge April Fool gag

April Fools’ Day was mostly fairly dull and predictable.  The biggest joke of all – that our players could be taken off, made to play in other places for other teams, and then handed back injured – was sadly real.  I am still waiting for news of disasters from Wednesday.

The regular rather sad attempts at April Fools jokes on the web sites were there, almost all involving ludicrous transfers, like Henry to Tottenham, or some great Italian whizz kid from Milan to Arsenal.

But the problem with these is not only do we get the same sort of stuff each year, but that for an April Fool to be any good it has to have the basis of believability in it, and the existence of the transfer cat-flap means that we all know transfers are not going to be signed on April 1st.   Really, repeating last year’s story and just changing the names won’t do.  That’s a News of the World tactic, and blogs should never descend to that level.

But there was one utterly glorious April Fool story which totally took in the media, and indeed many supporters.  It was the story that said that the Tiny Totts were going to build a 58,000 seater stadium next door to the existing ground.

But for those with a mind to look the clues that this was a hoax could be found within the story – and this is really my point.  Good April Fool jokes have the fact that they are hoaxes hidden deep inside them, rather than being utterly obvious because of their impossibility.

You see the point is that the Tinies will build a stadium.  It just won’t be the stadium described working in the way described.  And it won’t open in four years either.

The biggest clue to the hoax came with the statement about how the ground (which has shrunk a little in size since the last announcement in October last year) will be filled because there is a waiting list of over 22,000 for season tickets.  This is itself a hoax because if you become a member at Tottenham, unlike Arsenal you automatically go onto the season ticket waiting list whether you want to or no. The 22,000 list isn’t real.

There were more clues too.   Levy said that they could pay for the stadium without getting European football in the ground – which at least recognises reality.  But in a sudden change from last October he said that the club were “exploring different ways of financing the project, including the possibility of issuing more shares in the club, getting bank loans and selling the naming rights for the stadium to sponsors.”  Last year he said no borrowing was needed, “unlike at Arsenal.”

And then the big give-away.   The planning application is yet to be lodged.  Now we all know that these planning things take time, and getting them approved is tricky.  Yet despite this, with no money in place, no planning permission, with a training ground still to be financed and built, they were talking of an opening in four years time!

Oh yes and there is going to be a hotel, an ice rink, street markets…

Indeed Tottenham ought to know better.  When the last manager was sacked by the Totts Levy said he had to go because of all they had achieved in the past 5 years was being put in jeopardy.  When asked what they had acheived he mentioned “getting planning permission for the new training ground.”   That was it, and it took, as far as I can see four years.  Four years to get planning permission – and that’s not unusual in north London.  But here we have raise money, get planning permission, build the thing, all in four years.  Quite a challenge.

Then came the ultimate coup de gras.  Just as anyone reading the story might think, hang on, this can’t be true, oh its April 1, Tottenham did a really clever thing – they changed the subject by saying that they could save up to £40m building the new ground because of the global financial crisis.

“Wow,” says Mr Tiny, “that shows them gooners.”

“Yes,” says Mr Tott, “we know a thing or three about money.”

Except, in an earlier part of the statement, they said that they were going to raise money to pay for the stadium (that was part of this statement which changed from October).  So if you benefit from the credit crisis because construction is cheap, surely you also fall victim to its other effect – that there is no money to be borrowed anywhere.  Ask any business looking for cash.  There simply isn’t any.  That didn’t matter last October, because they were not going to borrow any then.  Now it seems they are.  But they can’t.

Final twist: they said that it would be a much better ground than the Ems because it would have fans closer to the pitch.   Well guys, when you do that old planning permission thing, what comes up in it is a pesky item called Health and Safety.  The reason modern grounds have the gap between pitch and fan is to get the emergency services around quickly and easily, avoiding fans who are spilling out of seats to avoid trouble, avoiding journalists crowding round making trouble, and avoiding the problem of smoke if anyone lets off a flare.

Of course Tottenham wouldn’t know that since they haven’t even applied for planning permission.

Anyway, to whoever thought that one up.  Great joke – one of the best April Fools jokes ever.

8 comments to Tottenham caught by huge April Fool gag

  • Nirmit

    Tottenham is a joke all 365 days… they dont need 1st April….

  • consolsbob

    It is difficult to decide who the biggest comedy act is, them or Newcastle.

    Lennon is a typical modern spud player. No end product, stupid hair cut.

  • soulrebel

    “Tottenham is a joke all 365 days… they dont need 1st April….”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nis

    Great article. Probably the best i’ve read in the last 2 weeks of no effin football. Exposes them scum for the scum amongst scum that they truly are

  • goo

    They are fools anyway.C’mon Bentley!

  • david bentley for 15 mil lolololololololololololololololololol
    top 4 tottenham – can’t wait for all the jive turkey to start again “we can make top 4 blah blah fo*king blah blah”

  • Terence McGovern

    Anybody want to start the betting pool on the exact date of St. Totteringham’s day this year?

  • NYmarcus

    Best April Fool’s joke came from goonerholic:

    http://goonerholic.com/?p=1633