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Tottenham’s journey to the east end, Liverpool’s descent into the land of mirth

By Tony Attwood & the research team of the 10th best blog in Northamptonshire (and other places).

Tottenham’s new stadium plans have been accepted by Haringey council’s planning committee.

But…

While the committee in fact got quite excited, bubbling over with enthusiasm for what it calls “an overhaul of north Tottenham”, in a £400m project there were other issues circling around.

The council’s leader, Claire Kober, was positively orgasimic as she said, “The Spuddish development has the potential to make a huge impact, not just on the potato crop, but also on the success of the football club, and indeed  on the whole of Tottenham – delivering job opportunities, regenerating the area and boosting the local economy.

“We’re proud of the Spuds’ rich history in Haringey and excited that the club has committed its future to the area. We look forward to seeing the development unfold and are confident that it will deliver fantastic improvements to this part of the borough.”

So after such an excitable outpouring you might expect the Honourable Claire and co to be a bit miffed that on the same day as they got the Planning Perm, the Tinies also put in a bid to take over the east end Olympic Stadium which West Ham are quite interested in turning into the footballing equivalent of the top shelf of a Stepney newsagent.

Maybe the clubs could ground share?

Tottenham Olympic – and West Ham Pornographic, ah well, changes happen and people move.  I seem to recall a fair amount of Tiny chit chat in which they have repeatedly called the contemporary Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal, pointing out (wrongly) that we were originally a south London team.  We were in fact a Kent team while Tottenham (at the time Arsenal moved to north London) were a Middlesex team.

Lots and lots of criticism has emanated from the oh so pure Tinyland, just because Arsenal picked up their ground and moving, what was it, via the AA routefinder map.  12 miles more or less.  And for Tottenham this journey out to the badlands of the east?  Well something around 7.5 miles.

So 7.5 miles is ok for the Tinies, but the 12 miles Arsenal moved is really bad.  Is that it?

The fact is, clubs sometimes need to move, and taking the Tinies off to the east end where they can be near neighbours or ground sharers of West Ham Pornographers seems just about right to me.  They would be around 3 miles from West Ham if WHU stay put – pretty much as close as we are to Tiny Land at the moment – and I am sure the clubs could have lots of jolly collisions in the Championship.

But (I hear you ask) what’s it really all about? I mean, Untold Arsenal is now in the top ten of footballing blogs, and so surely should be giving us answers and solutions, not just sniping and silly jokes.

Well, I don’t want to change the habit of a lifetime, but here’s a clue

A statement from the Haringey council said: “The plans will now be referred to English Heritage, the mayor of London and the Secretary of State for a final decision.”

So, maybe it is a spot of the old pressure on the Secretary of State.  I wouldn’t put that past the upper echelons of the Tiny Board Room. Give us the final ok on turning the old mud heap into a new mud heap or else we are going to tot-trot away and take the athletics stadium and turn it into a midden.   We will call it Tinyville, and our address will be Marshgate Lane, London E15 (turn left after the pornographers).

Yes it has a certain ring about it I think.

Meanwhile of course our old pals in Liverpool would be turning into a laughing stock if they were not already a laughing stock.

Here we have a club that is 10 days away from being owned by the People (ie UK taxpayers, not supporters of Rangers FC).  Hicks and Gillett have that much time to lay their hands on £237m to pay RBS.  If they can’t my guess would be that even their attempt to have the members of the board who are against them, removed from the board, will be pointless.   RBS will take over the club on one day, and sell it to the Americans for a knock down price the next.   (They’ve even had the EPL agree not to dock 9 points for the administration – a clever move.)  Hicks and Gillett walk away with nothing having lost £114m that they put into the club.

What then?  A bunch of Americans who may not have much interest in investing in football, get an old club at a knock down price and then… what?   They need to invest in a new team, or at least part of a new team.  They need to sort out their reserves and youth team.  And they need a new stadium.

The moment the deal is done the chairman of Liverpool FC returns to his duties as a Chelsea season ticket holder, quietly smirking perhaps that he has sold the club to people who have no intention in spending not just £300m on a club, but another £300m on building the club and stopping them being relegated.  Are they Hicks and co in disguise?

According to the Guardian today, “No serious commentator included Liverpool among their relegation tips this season”, so that puts me in my place.  Liverpool fans have been in denial for years about the collapse of their team, as have the “serious commentators” who have utterly failed, until this week, to note that this is the 21st anniversary of the last Liverpool league championship.

So the Tinies play games with the stadium, and Liverpool play games with, well the stadium, and the whole club.

Just be thankful it ain’t us being laughed at.

Today’s featured article

The final farewell to Woolwich – what was it like when Arsenal moved out?

23 comments to Tottenham’s journey to the east end, Liverpool’s descent into the land of mirth

  • Zulu Gooner

    Spu*s are going south not East!

  • walter

    About the new owners of Liverpool, a company that also ownes the Boston Red Sox (baseball team) I found a very comical line in our newspapers in my country.

    They said that the owners of the red sox have a philosophy of winning things.
    I just wanted to point out that they have won 2 (two) titles since 1918 (in 2004 and 2007) and that they even couldn’t qualify for the world series this year. Maybe the Liverpool fans would be pleased with 2 titles in some 86 years. 😉

  • walter

    Mmmm if I remember well when I came from the direction of Dover with my car last season I think I came close to the Olympic stadium somewhere after that long tunnel (Black???? – forgot the name right now)

    So if I would come again with my car I could wave at them.

  • aaron

    I have to say Tony, today this article was a bit of a mess. I had to re-read all over the place to catch a drift of what you were talking about.

    A little to creative this time. 🙂

  • Maverick

    Tony,

    What do you think about liverpool this year…i know we got beaten by WBA (albiet it was a terrible game and even Wenger was disguested by the performance) But do you feel that Liverpool are just struggling or do you feel that they will bounce back or do you feel they are gonna go from bad to worse and gonna struggle against relegation? I just feel they cannot cope considering even Blackpool beat them and Torres is out again and never really started to fire, if Gerrard gets injured which he usually does they could drop even more points……..i am not sure how they are gonna cope (unless of course they drastically change things in the Jan market if they are able to)

  • Dark Prince

    I think its a positive news for liverpool. I still dont know what difference does it make to the team playin on the ground. The still have a superb goalkeeper, a superb striker, a superb midfielder, superb defenders and plus some other good players in over positions. What more does a team need to win?? I think its more of a managerial problem. Roy Hodgson, by my opinion, not the right guy for liverpool. I know he was very good with fulham but liverpool and fulham have totally different gameplay.

    As for spurs, i think sharing the stadium would be a better idea for them. It would save them money and time.

  • gulp

    So its the sheiks in City, the americans in United and Liverpool, the Russian Bear in Chelsea and the French intellectual in Arsenal. But where are the English?????? I happend to like french intelectuals but i fail to understand how people can embrace the yanks, the sheiks and the red army from the east.

  • munawwar

    what is fun about the 10th untold place is that in the top 20 we have 9 arsenal blogs…. arsenal supporters and fans have the best blogs…

    cause recently i was looking for other club blogs to see how their mood is… and they all suck pretty much… they do no work… its just writing a report from a mag…..

    they don’t do the analysis like the arsenal blogs do… and we make jokes of our own team through good times and bad times…… we enjoy talking and writing about our team.. this blog called 7amkickoff.com is also quite good… i am sure it will come up in the 20 soon enough… more arsenal blogs…

    so a big thankyou to all the arsenal bloggers out there..!

  • For Liverpool, 1990 now seems as far back as 1918, the last time the Red Sox won the World Series. (Without steroids, anyway.)

  • Adam

    That will be the Blackwall tunnel Walter.

  • Terence McGovern

    Walter, I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss NESV. Yes The redsox only won 2 titles in 90 odd years but they won both since their takeover by John W Henry. Like us they had injury problems last season..
    This guy Henry is an innovator all his life so it would not be surprising if he has a pragmatic approach to groundsharing with Everton or sells on Gerrard and co for new players unheard of but full of effort. He is exactly the kind of owner that Liverpool need at the moment. He will have a plan which will be well thought-out. He will prioritise. He wont pander to anybody. He will have good people that he has worked with for years. The timing of this deal is no coincidence.
    I was hoping Liverpool would burn and they might yet but if this guy gets hold of them, he will stabilise and he will move forward. What a pity that would be. 🙁

  • walter

    Well in fact for some strange reason I got a bit of a soft spot for the Boston red sox. The reasons are a bit silly and has among others to do with one of my favourite writers and other personal things, so not interesting at all.

    I must say that I am not a real a baseball fan as the game gos as slow as a turtle, but my daughter has played one season so I know the sport a bit.
    And the way the red sox won their last title was an amazing thing and I even stayed up late at night to watch their (many) come backs in that series.

    But I had the impression that it had gone downhill from those days, a bit like Liverpool.

  • Aaron – well yes, I was experimenting with a new style in which I deliberately change every 4th word into something quite unconnected with the rest of the sentence. Then I went back and re-read the piece and thought, no that doesn’t work, I’ll change it back, but then to my utter dismay I couldn’t work out which words were changed and which ones not. My conclusion, after much academic discussion with colleagues, is that when one writes about Liverpool and the Tinies, no matter what one says, the result is a mess.

    Maverick – I think that when the new ownership is sorted they will bounce back – it is like a team having a run of 10 defeats, sack the manager and then suddenly they win the next game 6-0.

    But, questions do remain. The first is these owners are saying exactly what the current owners said – new stadium, new sqaud, blah blah. Maybe yes, maybe no.

    But if yes (and this has been my theme from the very start of Untold) it will cost a fortune and a half to turn this round. They need…

    A new stadium – expensive, money is in short supply, and the redevelopment value of their current ground is nothing like the value of Highbury. It will make only a tiny contribution (have you been to that part of Liverpool lately????)

    A new squad – they don’t have anyone big about to step up from the kiddies (no Cesc, Jack, Theo, Lansbury, Ramsey), and I don’t know anyone who says that the squad really is up to a challenge for a Europa place

    A new youth system – there is no production line like we have, or like Chelsea is trying to build. We built our new youth system on the £25, sale of Anelka. It takes time, costs money.

    A new reputation. How many players have you heard say, “When Wenger comes calling, you say ‘yes please’.” But Liverpool? No, when players have a choice they will choose other clubs.

    A new scouting system. I don’t think Liverpool have anything remotely like world-wide scouting that has been in place for 10 years at Arsenal, and is now copied elsewhere.

    So, I suspect the courts will throw out the current owners, the new ones will come in, but I really don’t think they will have much success for a while, apart from a little auto-reaction bounce up the league.

  • Gooneraside

    I’m feeling slightly bewildered today – I understood your article, Tony, with no problem. Now I read that I shouldn’t have. Oh, well 🙂

    And I do love the way Spuds are going about beating their local rivals. By changing their locality! Brilliant! Must have been ‘Arry’s idea.

  • Arsene Apprentice

    Liverpool fans in denial is symbolic for all of UK. And, I wouldn’t say denial I would say more like apathy. Don’t let the invention of football in the context of “happy days” be written about in a museum as “England invented football and in recent times adopted a tactical switch from an independent and accountable ownership model to a multi-cultural owned and operated oligarchy.

    England get your **it together. When you have even “Americans” come in and sweep your passions aside with money what is next? Be accountable!

  • walter

    Thanks Adam, yes I think that was the name. It was a long tunnel and yes rather black walls. 😉

  • Samuel

    Still no explanation as to how so called big clubs Luckypool and Trash. United get to trade in players when their finances are so much in debt .Portsmouth got relegated and went into administration for all their (smallish (debts)but not the big two of English football,very strange indeed ?

  • gooner80

    I think giggs is going to be the defining factor in uniteds history he was there when they began their success and I think when he retires Manu could go on a long barren spell

    dont understand where totscum get their money, when is harrys midas touch gonna get them

    liverpool could go the way of forest big clubs can decline no one has a right to the title

  • Paul C.

    gooner80 – Liverpool have a brand, which Forest never had and which is more important now than ever. With money being so important nowadays a brand can be spun into hundreds of millions. The worse Liverpool are financially, and on the field, the more attractive they become to someone wanting to buy them cheaply in order to have money left over to invest (the way Roman bought Chelsea cheaply and then invested 500million in the team).

  • gooner80

    good point Paul c but even brands as well known as woolworths have collapsed do you think the support in the far east as that strong if things continue to go wrong and they have to do a wholesale like portsmouth

  • Tony,
    Enjoyable and humourous article. It’s good to get some clarity and objective (!) thought on the nefarious deeds going on at the Spuds, and the calamity that is embracing the Scousers at the moment – as opposed to the absolute bol*@cks and drivel spouted out by our illustrious media (particularly that “bastion of truth” SkySportsNews aaaaaargh!). In another world (albeit More’s utopia) a world of truth and knowledge, a world without Fat Sam or T Pulis, a world where football commentators actually observe, analysise and discuss the game intelligently etc, the likes of the media outlet mentioned above (agenda setting, money obsessed, Murdoch owned monstrosity) would be using the research and information supplied by the likes of Untold Arsenal and friends and getting it out there to the mass audience (what a dream)! In relation to the Spuds (and as an amateur classicist – forgive me this please!) I can only think of Democritus (The Laughing Philosopher), who openly scorned, scoffed and pis*@d himself at the follies and absurdities of people. On the other hand in relation to Liverpool FC, my thoughts lead me to one of his colleagues Heraclitus (The Weeping Philosopher), who openly talked of his contempt for humankind. Mind you the former was by all accounts a Panathinaikos fan, whereas the latter favoured Olympiakos, so I can only conclude what the hell did they know!
    Great article.

  • Limestonegunner

    Gulp, who do you think owns Arsenal? The majority of the shares are in the hands of two individuals, an American and an Uzbek/Russian.

    Tony,
    I wouldn’t be so smugly sarcastic about these developments. First, this would be pretty good news for Liverpool, as they would start to imitate Arsenal in its rational and economically sound approach. Henry hired Theo Epstein a young, smart acolyte of the Bill James school that pioneered statistical analysis in Baseball and a ruthlessly rational approach to evaluating player performance to guide trades (transfers) and wages. Eventually Liverpool would have a stadium that matched the Emirates for revenue while building on a massive worldwide fan base and strong history. Their potential has been underexploited, I think, over the last decade and a half, yet they are still better known in East Asia, by many accounts, than Arsenal. They can generate much higher commercial revenues and will benefit from association with the Red Sox in the North American market. (Unfortunately we are associated with the sports teams of Kroenke in Denver that have no comparable history or fanbase). Henry’s group have taken the Boston Red Sox to a new level, modernized and rationalized their on field strategies and their off field commercial ventures, including exploitation of tv/media revenues. There are great opportunities to be had in those ventures in the premiership, as we know since our very own American, Kroenke, has made sure to acquire a majority stake in Arsenal’s.

    Secondly, if the Spuds get permission and can plan a project like the Emirates and Highbury development, they will cement their position as a challenge to us, which has re-emerged last season if they manage to stay at or near the CL this year and the next few. I see this as a worrying development that might mean we will have to compete very hard for CL places with Chelsea, Man City, Man U, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool all as perennial challengers with sufficient resources in the next five years.

    The best way to insure we remain in the upper echelon of that group of six would be to seize the opportunity in the next several years to win the league a few times and a CL trophy before Liverpool and Tottenham can match our revenues with new stadiums while we expand ours through success and consequent expansion of our worldwide fan base and, thereby, commercial revenues. In fact, strategically, it might even be worth taking some of our windfall profits (from real estate, which will not recur) and investing in the players to strengthen our chances for winning.

  • goonergerry

    It seems that Liverpool may well emerge relatively unscathed from this period – and go on once more to challenge despite being in a weaker financial position than we are. As for Spuds they are on the up -their trajectory is upwards pretty much on all fronts. But building a stadium during a boom is very different to building one in a downturn. I don’t have a problem with that -it is now up to us to stay ahead of them both.
    To be honest although we are promising I don’t think we have yet demonstrated that we are on an upward trajectory. As a club we have shown we can make a profit-and once our commercial activities are free from some contractual shackles in the next few years we should make more- What we haven’t yet shown is that we can translate a relatively sound financial platform into success on the field or even if such a relationship exists.To me, on the field we have hit a performance plateau- beneath Chelsea, Man U and possibly Man City. What I think we need is a fully fit squad- and a few wins against the top 3 to increase confidence- because I think these players have the talent-that is when they are all fit. If they are never going to be as some have suggested- then we need a bigger squad.