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February 2021

Is Tottenham’s ground re-development a phantom even with planning permission?


By Insideright

Tony’s blog the other day about the continuing saga of the new Spurs ground brought to mind a post I made a couple of years ago (on the London Evening Standard website as it happens) in which I said that the only logical solution to the whole mess was for Spurs and West Ham to ground share at the Olympic Park.

The fact that Leyton Orient were vehemently objecting to any Premiership club moving closer to them – let alone two – made that, at the time, even more unlikely than any other solution.

However three things have happened (or not happened) since then.

Firstly Orient have withdrawn their objection and, in fact, they’ve been sold to someone who bought it under the understanding that another club would indeed be moving in.

Secondly, as Tony points out, Spurs have barely moved an inch on redevelopment at WHL and have also failed to build much of a head of steam behind ticket demand by failing to establish what would appear to be the necessary regular Champions League qualification.

Thirdly, while they’ve stayed in the Premiership, West Ham have hardly pulled up any trees in terms of generating much excitement with their style of play (booed off even when winning) and have actually not looked like anything other than potential relegation candidates. Those of us who live in London are well used to seeing their weekly ads in the Metro trying to sell tickets for even ‘big’ games.

Financially and probably politically, the Olympic Stadium needs to be seen to be full as often as is possible and if neither Spurs nor WHU can do it, logic says that they should share the ground and maybe half fill it – but twice as often.

Both Clubs will get the financial boost of selling their old grounds (WHU clearing huge debts), and large, brown field, sites will be made available for much needed housing.

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I’ve got no doubt in my mind that fans of both Clubs will go ballistic at the thought of ground sharing but the situation is as it is and the opportunity will probably never be available again.

So, my response to Tony’s original question of ‘what’s going on at Spurs’ is –could it be that that they are playing for time (with collusion from others) and are really still hoping for their Plan A to come to fruition before they are forced to into taking the far more expensive and risky Plan B route of staying (and redeveloping) where they are now?

In fact I’ll make a prediction. Spurs won’t redevelop WHL; they will either stay where they are and use the Olympic Stadium for ‘big’ games or will move in with WHU full time. And the longer Spurs spend outside a regular top four berth the more likely that prediction is to come true. Let’s face it, West Ham are only going to fill their new home by regularly selling 20,000+ seats to fans of visiting (particularly London) clubs and even that depends on them saying in the Prem. They’ll need help and the risk averse Spurs management are the only show in town able to give it.

Tin hats on, Tony!

 Footnote: Since publishing this article we’ve had a number of responses from Tottenham supporters.  No problem with this at all – it has happened to many articles in the past, most notably perhaps when we looked at the bias of referees against Tottenham, resulting in them not getting penalties.

But to save other Tottenham supporters writing in suggesting we are a little out of date, it might be worth having a look at the preceding article which is mentioned on this page.  You can find it at 

The books









96 comments to Is Tottenham’s ground re-development a phantom even with planning permission?

  • Steve C

    This is more wishful thinking than sensible and informed post. Spurs have 47,000+ people on the waiting list for a season ticket and the new stadium is planned at 56,250 seats. So, the idea that Spurs need Champions League football to drum-up sufficient ticket sales before moving is ludicrous.

  • Spurs Man

    What a load of tosh! The fear is obviously spreading that we’re going to get the stadium that will finally help us make the transition to genuine top 4 challengers every season. We wont leave N.London, you gypsies will never be left to steal our flag as the ONLY true N.London club.

    COYS (note how your lot have started saying COYG – always following us…)

  • epochery

    perhaps one should keep up with the news in the last two years.

  • P Nesta

    Oh dear…someones behind the times 🙂

    You are quite correct Spurs won’t develop WHL, they dropped those proposals about 10 years ago! Its a brand new ground that WILL be built, and will prob open start of 2017.

    Great bit of work on this article LOL

  • Joe

    Leaving aside my knee jerk and emotional Spurs fan reaction, this is not the worlds worst idea. Certainly from a financial standpoint for everyone. Although at a time when the Italian’s are doing the exact opposite, perhaps its not a great idea in the longer term?

    But its to late for this to happen anyway. Spurs have already broken ground and convinced the government to pay for transport upgrades and include this new stadium in the regeneration of a run down area.

    Also, Levy is convinced that once he builds the new stadium, Spurs will be worth an awful lot of money and he can sell up or sell a large chunk for massive profit. Lest we forget, ENIC (owners of Spurs) paid Alan Sugar £50m for the club, so they are set to cash in at some point.

  • DVC

    So the new Sainsburys/college build, and the clearance of the site didn’t happen then. I will make a prediction “as usual Egg on your face”

  • Alan

    THFC were awaiting (15 months) for the approval of a CPO on a small business which occupies the site of the proposed new stadium. Without this, THFC could hardly starting building works on land they do not own. The CPO was finally approved on Friday night.

    During this period, THFC have built PHASE 1 (Supermarket) and PHASE 2 (a college), whilst also re-designing the new stadium (PHASE 3). PHASE 4 is the properties included in the Northumberland Park Development project. Much public and private time/money has been invested in this project so there is very little chance your completely misinformed predictions will come to light. THFC WILL build that stadium.

    BTW, this is all very well publicised. Even a tiny bit of research would have been sufficient.

  • Tom

    They were granted the CPO they needed to get the last bit of land for their new stadium, so that’s going ahead. And West Ham have the lease now so I don’t understand where you’re going with this Olympic Stadium groundshare. Very strange timing with this article.

  • Tom, I think if you read the earlier articles on this site about the issues at the Tottenham ground, then all would become clear.

  • DVC I would refer you back to the earlier article on this subject on this site, – which is mentioned in this one, so you can see what we know, the questions we are asking and where we think this is going.

  • DavyD

    “So, my response to Tony’s original question of ‘what’s going on at Spurs’ is…. etc. etc”

    What has been going on at Spurs is that they have been waiting for 15 months for the Secretary of State to ratify the CPO served by Harringey Council for the one remaining piece of land that they require to build the new stadium. This was finally ratified on Friday. There will perhaps now be an appeal from the owner of that land or, more likely, a settlement with THFC for a realistic land value plus a small premium to avoid the time and expense of the appeal.

    You’ve made a prediction that Spurs will never redevelop WHL. I’ll happily wager a small fortune with you that you are very wrong.

  • Again I refer you to the fact that this is a continuation of a debate on this site about the problems associated with the development of 748 High Road. And of course the detailed issue of where the money is coming from, which the articles we have quoted of late, don’t answer.

  • Jim

    Tottenham regularly sell out WHL… they have an additional 20,000 fans on the waiting list for season ticket membeship… the redeveloped WHL will seat 56,000, it will easily be filled regardless of CL qualification. You will see a redeveloped WHL by 2017 however you want to twist it to write a poorly informed article.

  • Dan Mac

    Wow, it’s an opinion. But it seems to be completely uneducated and certainly not researched. Basically, I’m not biting and losing my mind over this, it must surely be set out to get bites from us Spurs fans?? I’ll respond to points properly though…

    Lack of ticket demand – I can’t remember the figures, but we are right at the top or there about for percentage of stadium filled on average at match days. We also have a season ticket waiting list exceeding 20k.

    The delay – we were waiting for a decision from Eric Pickles regarding a CPO in order to force the last business to sell their land to us. This was granted yesterday (was supposed to take three months, it took eighteen – conveniently (not pushing a conspiracy here, everyone can make their own minds up) 1 week after the Haringey MP called out Eric Pickles in parliament for being an Arsenal fan and delaying on purpose – hey presto, it’s granted).

    Progress – There has been the completion of all the other promised infrastructure at the ground. The College is finished and opens in September and the Sainsbury’s was finished some time ago. The land surrounding the stadium has been cleared, the space is now available.

    Basically, everything that could possibly be done whilst waiting for the CPO has been done, now the CPO has been granted the stadium work will begin.

    You don’t believe Spurs would waste all that money buying land and relocating business’ just to then move to Stratford?
    I’m sure you know all this and are just looking to get an argument going with the Spurs fans that will come on here and spit venom at this but to me it’s clear you’re baiting when you say we would only half fill a 55k stadium.

    If you really believe what you have written, you are fueling the stereotype of an Arsenal fan who knows nothing of football outside the Emirates. If you’re baiting, I’m sure this will certainly work.

    I’ve kept it civil, I’ll stop short of wishing you luck for the season ahead though (I’m sure you understand).

  • wondrinfree

    Spurs could fill the Olympic stadium on their own – they have a big enough waiting list for season tickets. Their owner also offered to pay all of the original build cost of the stadium so that the Olympics would have been completely free to the UK taxpayers. His one condition was that he would then want to completely rebuild the stadium to be a dedicated football ground. He also offered to pay £30 million to uprate the Crystal Palace athletics ground so that there would still be a legacy from the Olympics.

    It was personal politics rather than rational decision making within the Olympic Committee that stopped it.

  • Jim – the issue of selling out at WHL and the waiting list is one that has interested me for some time. A number of my Tottenham supporting friends have said that in buying their memberships they are automatically put on the season ticket waiting list, whereas at Arsenal, the silver membership scheme and the season ticket waiting list have been separate – you have to apply for and ultimately pay for, each of them separately. Do you have direct experience of this?

  • Con

    No I was working on it the other day.levy’s office is finished but the guy in the steel works is refusing to sell for less than £5m

  • JimB

    Nice effort at a troll, fella. But I think even you realise that your article is nothing more than wishful thinking!

    My guess is that you’ll still be pulling this kind of stunt when construction begins next year. You’ll probably still be insisting that Spurs won’t build their new stadium even as they play their first game there in 2017. 😉

  • Epochery, I think one might also say that when an article refers to an earlier piece, it is worth looking at the earlier piece.

  • Aicher

    Written by someone who obviously has a very short memory .
    The empty seats at the the Emiroids tell you that 60,000 seater there is vastly, vastly optimistic and over subscribed, it’s never full unless the lemin fans of that club foolishly think they may win a game against a side chasing top 4
    With also a lack of atmosphere also a problem the fickle fans are now thinking it’s better to stay at home, hence the dwindling match day support
    The attendance figures given by the club are quite frankly laughable, and maybe of some embarrassment to the board. Fact being Arsenal are rat tiling around in a stadium to big for the support(like West Ham will be,) and too expensive for the fans.45/50,000 would have been more that enough

  • mike

    and what the f*** does any of it have to do with you?!

  • JimB

    @ Jim – Spurs’ “season ticket waiting list” now stands at 46K.

  • Ah Mike… well, you see, this site is headlined on the home page, Football News from an Arsenal Perspective. I thought you might have wanted to look at that.

  • Alcher – one problem with your argument – the club doesn’t give out attendance figures.

  • smokeydyid

    Well yor prdiction is wrong, now the CPO has been granted, the building will start soon. Tender was sent out some time ago regarding staium developers, the cpo was the only issue. Funding is there, and now the final plans are being put into place. .

  • Big Mal

    The funding is in place. My nephew has moved upto 46,521 on the season ticket waiting list. Another article from the utterly obsessed team down the road

  • Norman

    There are 2 tiers of membership at Spurs. Lillywhite membership is all you need to purchase tickets a month before they go on general sale. Bronze membership is an “add on” that gives a place on the season ticket waiting list.

  • Jim

    No Tony, I live in Dublin so only get to go to a couple of games a season, it is however always sold out and it’s only that I have contacts in Tottenham Supports Group that I am lucky to get tickets. Are you upset much that Tottenham are progressing positively with redevelopment plans when your lot had to up and leave Highbury to a stadium with no atmosphere?

  • Jim

    @JimB I happily stand corrected COYS

  • JimB

    @ Tony – Spurs too have a dual membership scheme. You pay extra on top of the normal membership fee to be put on the “season ticket waiting list”. So, thus far, it’s kosher.

    However, the reality is that many of the 46K Spurs fans on the waiting list are only on it because it gives them priority tickets. These people wouldn’t buy a season ticket if actually offered one. They prefer to pick and choose their games. At a guess, judging from those I know or who I spoken to in person or online about this, I’d say that about half those on the list would take up the option of a season ticket when offered. But that’s fine. Added to our existing season tickets, that would mean some 45K+ season ticket holders at the new stadium – which is probably the maximum that would be allowed anyway.

  • Jim

    tony – why do arsenal not give out attendance figures?

  • Ned_1

    Spurs getting a new stadium has been on the cards for almost a decade. The problem has been relocating in an already built up area of London is always going to be difficult in regards to gaining land ownership. Spurs have taken the long & arduous route but by doing this we remain true to our roots.. I think that’s something to be proud of. Well done D Levy on this front!

  • Hoopspur

    Looking forward to the doubters being proved wrong. Anyway, there will be a new stadium on the High Road at Tottenham. It will be larger (just) than the Emirates and will be of a better design. By definition and the way that stadia have developed over the last years, The Emirates is a ‘2nd Generation’ style of design whilst the new Spurs one will be at least 4th Gen. A lot has been learnt from the design of the previous ones, including shape and noise retention. The Emirates is a shallow bowl also because of height restrictions whereas the new Spurs one will be taller, steeper and frankly better. Will we be your own noisy(ier) neighbours?

    Will I be prepared to go elsewhere for a year to watch Spurs? Of course.

  • Yidual

    It’s not the worst article but is behind the times

    You have to pay extra to be a bronze member which puts you on waiting list. Lillywite membership doesn’t include being put on it.

    Circa 45k people will prob translate to around 15k people taking a season ticket when they are first released as let’s be honest 45k people won’t all be in a position to be able to afford the money or time.

  • Norman

    Bronze membership only gives ONE DAY’S priority over Lillywhite and, even then, for a very small number of tickets. Many Bronze members have to buy their tickets along with the Lillywhite members.

    The real priority scheme is via Spurs’ Loyalty Points. These are awarded to season ticket holders, bronze and Lillywhite members.

  • JimB

    Okay Tony, I’ve now read your previous article. A few responses:

    Firstly, you claim that Arsenal’s new stadium was built to new regulations and that that’s why its stands are the distance from the pitch that they are. Not true. The reason is that Arsenal wanted a 60K minimum stadium but could not dig down (because of tunnels / pipes etc) and had above ground level height restrictions imposed on them by the council. As a consequence, the only way to accommodate 60K within the vertical space available was either to have very shallow gradients to the tiers (far from ideal) or for the first row of the lower tier to be further back from the pitch than it needed to be (also far from ideal).

    Spurs had no such issues and have, in fact, already gained planning permission for a stadium whose stands will be up to 4 metres closer to the pitch and steeper than they are at Arsenal. So I’m not sure where you were coming from when suggesting that Spurs had failed in that respect.

    As to the financing of the stadium, you ought to know that, when construction of the Emirates began, Arsenal’s turnover (including Champions League income) was £138.4 million. By the time that Spurs break ground on their new stadium, their turnover (without Champions League income) will be in the region of £190 million. So Spurs is a considerably richer club now than Arsenal was then. And, ironically, Arsenal’s success in pioneering a major new stadium development in England has made the securing of funding easier for other responsibly managed clubs (like Spurs) attempting similar projects.

    Furthermore, although Spurs will not have a profitable development like Arsenal’s Highbury scheme though which they can pay off off much of the stadium debt, there will be enabling development. More importantly, other than the one remaining, small property, Spurs already own all the land they need. And they have paid off the debt incurred by acquiring the land by selling the Sainsbury’s and technical college building. Unlike Arsenal, they will not have to spend £60 million buying the land for and building a new waste and recycling plant for their local council.

    Lastly, it is widely acknowledged that Arsenal hugely undersold themselves when signing their initial sponsorship contract with Emirates. Not just the stadium naming rights but the shirt sponsorship also. You can bet your bottom dollar that Daniel Levy will not make such a mistake.

    So, rest assured (because I know you’re worried about it!), Spurs have the finance for the new stadium arranged. It will be all systems go within the next 12 months.

  • DavyD

    Seeing as this article is linked to the previous one from Tony I will try to answer some of the questions from Tony’s previous blog here….

    Q: Where is the money coming from?
    A: Various sources:
    a) Stadium naming rights
    b) Profit from the enabling developments of the supermarket and housing
    c) Loans – probably underwritten by Spurs’ owner Joe Lewis, possibly even loaned directly from Uncle Joe.
    d) (perhaps) a retail bond/debenture scheme aimed at the supporters.

    Of course THFC cannot disclose the funding details until they know exactly how much it will cost. They will not know this until they go out to tender, it doesn’t make any sense to go out to tender until they have all of the land.

    Q: What happened about the claims to building a ground where the fans are much closer to the pitch than at the Ems, because that claim could be a root cause of the delays and the latest issue about Tottenham having to move out? (Tony then continues to talk about PL Stadium requirements)

    A: The previously published stadium plan remains in place. In those plans the fans will be much closer to the pitch than at Emirates. There is no Premier League requirement that the Emirates confirms to that the new WHL will not confirm to. This is merely a fabric of Tony’s imagination. I believe that he may be getting confused with the UEFA/FIFA gold standard – which is required to host a World Cup or Champions League final. It seems pointless to build a stadium to those standards at the expense of supporter experience when both events would use Wembley anyway on the very rare occasions they take place in London.

    Tony then stated “In those days 73,455 was the capacity of Wembley taking into account Champions League requirements. but now it is officially 90,000. However that’s a bit too much for Tottenham. The word is they are going to close the top bit and play in a near half empty ground with around 50,000 inside.”

    Tony was simply showing his ignorance there. The reason why Spurs would be likely to be limited to 50,000 for most games at Wembley is because of local licensing laws dictating the number of events Wembley is allowed to stage at full capacity. After the various contracted, football finals, England games, NFL games, etc, there is a very limited number of events left that Wembley is allowed to operate at full capacity for. Of course this assumes that Spurs will move away from WHL for a period, this is not yet decided and will not be decided until the tenders are in (as this will be a cost/revenue based decision).

    I hope all of this helps to provide some clarity to your speculation.

  • Tappy

    Since when was Tottenham in London, well it was in Middlesex which was not classed as London. In 1965 when they changed the boundarys and Tottenham was incorporated into the Borough of Haringey.. Arsenal were a London club and in North London way before the scum. Spurs were not even a London club when they won the double, so jog on…

  • Jim

    poor old Tony seems to have disappeared since having his article ripped to shreds… a bit of a wimp eh Tony?


    Jesus H Christ. I know you twats must be mad to support a team like Arse Anal. But give us a break. We have just come through the worst recession in living memory. Plans change. Stadiums cost money. Money that nobody would invest in such circumstances.

    can’t believe I actually wasted my time reading and replying.

  • JimB

    One further comment on your earlier article, Tony:

    You claimed that it seemed strange that Spurs have suddenly decided against staying at the Lane during the final year of the new stadium’s construction. Well, there’s a good reason for it.

    You may or may not know that Spurs appointed a new architect 18 months or so ago. Populous have replaced KSS. And Populous have come up with a new design. We do not know yet whether it is a complete or partial redesign. But there has been “itk” that the new roof design requires that it be fully built before the stadium is in use. There is no longer the possibility that Spurs could play in the two thirds built new stadium while the remainder is finished.

    Alternatively (or as well), the theory is that those in charge of the project have now determined that it will simply be cheaper for the club to move out altogether for the final year of construction. It eliminates all sorts of complications and unnecessary costs / delays.

    And by the way, stories of Spurs heading for Brighton or Ipswich are utter nonsense.

  • JimB

    Oh, damn! One other thing I forgot re the financing of Spurs’ stadium…..

    Borrowing has never been cheaper. Far cheaper than it was when Arsenal went to the banks.

  • finsbury

    Can any Tottenham fans please explain to me why with the THFC proposals at such an advanced stage why no main contractor (I.e. A builder) was invited to look at the plans until the last few months, when they would have looked at the proposals suggesting the club could stay on site, and laughed. As in, up until very recently the stadium plans have not progressed beyond cgi graphics for the planning application. That would seem strange to me, give the time scales involved here. Arsenal and the main contractor involved with the new arsenal stadium used a year delay in funding and the delay/time involved in the planning application to get the orders and prep work for the site works coordinated, which is why, say unlike with Wembley, things ran smoothly on site, and to budget.

    Seems to strange to me. To have plans for so many years. And to never have shown them to a builder for a quote? Maybe they did,but then they can’t have been very good builders if they didn’t notice the implausibility of the build. 😉

  • JimB

    @ finsbury – as explained in my earlier post, the reason is that Spurs have new architects on board who have come up with a new design. The original plan was perfectly plausible with the original design. Not with the new one

    As a consequence, it is likely that Spurs will have to seek new planning permission – but not one that should take long to pass through committee since all the major points have already been addressed. The tendering process cannot begin until that has happened. Nor is there an urgent rush. So long as the project breaks ground by this time next year, Spurs should remain on schedule for their proposed move into the new stadium in the summer of 2017.

  • finsbury

    The Arsenal stadium sits very low, a reasonable level below the water table. A huge part of the costs for this project were the excavations and drainage required on the site.

    The Arsenal stadium sits low on the site relative to the surrounding area for two reasons:

    1) to comply with planning regs
    2) to allow the option of adding an upper tier on top of the existing and helping to increase capacity upwards to about 80,000, and still not breach their planning! I.e. The design of the stadium, the rake of the seating is simply a future prof design with future expansion in mind following greater success in the future! There is the logic behind the design of the seating in N5. No guesses are required.

  • D

    Wow, really poorly researched load of tosh. How much do you make from advertising because the banners on this website are more interesting than this blog. You really need to stop obsessing about THFC. It’s becoming unhealthy. The ground will be built by 2016. 56K seats is only an estimate and no doubt the new architects hired this year to redesign the interior of the stadium will be ordered to go above 60K seats. It’s all there on the internet if you stopped being lazy and just did a tiny bit of research. And Levy will have had all the funding in place to minimise debt. Again he is on record as saying once the ground is built, what debt is left won’t affect the annual transfer kitty. PLEASE PLEASE stop wasting your time as a wannabe blogger.

  • DavyD

    Finsbury – the original plans drawn up by KSS were entirely feasible (see Bilbao’s new stadium in Spain for a real life example of this being successfully implemented.

    Since then however one of two things (or possible both) have happened

    1. A new stadium design has been commissioned (Populous have been working with the club for over a year now). This new stadium design could just be internal configuration or it could be a lot more substantial (time will tell on that one). It could be the case that a new stadium design does not enable use in two thirds complete mode (an example reason given is that the roof may have to be installed in it’s entirety)

    2. The club have done their sums and it may simply be cheaper/more lucrative to move out for a year to complete the stadium.

    As I said before it made no sense for Spurs to go out to tender before owning all of the land required for the stadium. Once Archway Steel’s land is fully aquired you’ll start to see the next stages in the development.

  • finsbury

    A planning amendment is not always guaranteed to be processed quicker then a new application. Not even when Boris is greasing the rails with his copious amounts of grease and blubber. But probably it will be a little quicker.

    However in my humble experience three was never enough space on the high road site to allow a build with Tottenham remaining on site and playing, regardless of small variations in design. Have you seen the size of the trusses used these days in stadium construction, or the space required for the cranes to erect them? Especially now that the Sainsbury’s and college have already gone up closing off that space for access from the other sides! Doh! 🙂

  • JimB

    @ finsbury – of course it would have been complex. Any major construction project within an existing built environment is going to be complex. But it was perfectly feasible. Search the internet for images of the construction of the new San Mames in Bilbao. Every bit as restricted for space but a hugely successful and rapid build nonetheless.

    Seriously, you think you know more generally about construction (and specifically about this project) than its experienced stadium architects (KSS) and engineers l(Buro Happold)? I think not.

  • finsbury


    I had tried to make this clear above. AFC appointed their main contractor befor funding was secured. That is why they were able to work closely in hand together with their contractor when the project was delayed by twelve months due to withdrawn/incomplete funding, to the benefit of all involved.

    “… it made no sense for Spurs to go out to tender before owning all of the land required for the stadium….”

    Unfortunately the opposite is considered to be good practice where feasible, which is exactly what happened with the new Arsenal Stadium.
    If you don’t know how to build something how are you meant to budget the build? Close your eyes and stick a pin on a donkey? This ‘blind man’s bluff’ technique was the technique used by the FA on Wembley – which is why they ended up with overruns both in budget and time, although it is very easy to argue that those overruns were intentional…which is why the project ended up in court for several years…).

    No offence but that excuse is nothing but wishful thinking.

  • Tommy

    “Since publishing this article we’ve had a number of responses from Tottenham supporters”

    Unusual for Tottenham fans to respond to an article on Tottenham and White Hart Lane.

  • D

    Tony has just got totally humiliated on his own blog!

  • Aicher

    I think you will find the attendance figures in most daily papers after the match has been played. They may not announce it on the day of the game. Problably through embarrassment as I said, I’m looking forward to watching Tottenham play from that much publicised Kop. The atmosphere, unlike the Emerates will be emmence

  • finsbury

    Jim B

    I know enough to know that a main contractor and engineer can and should be appointed before designs are finalised and funding is secured. As I wrote above in my experience (and also coincidentally in AFC’s experience) that is considered to be good practice. Like I said above, I mean no offence, I am simply informing you of what in my experience is good practice.

    Do you mean to argue that there is not less access to the site now that the phase for the retail and college has gone up? Do you mean to say it is logical to close off the space adjacent to a stadium build when anyone would tell you that if possible it would be easier quicker and most importantly cheaper to get the stadium up first. Again I mean no offence, but this is very simple and straightforward logic. Trut me, it is!

    They may need to develop the site backwards in order to raise finance for the stadium. These things do happen in projects but you cannot try to argue that it is ideal or best practice, and that it does not restrict access to the site (which I know very well).

  • DavyD

    Finsbury – apologies I am not really particularly well informed regarding the Emirates build. Are you saying though that Arsenal went out to tender and appointed their builder prior to owning all of the land to build the stadium on?

    Or did you have all of the land and planning permission in place prior to appointing your builder but then having done this lost your funding which took a year to resolve?

  • Jim

    tony must be really embarrassed, poor fella got smoked on his own site…

  • JimB

    @ finsbury – you seem to be confused. I never suggested that the proposal to move into a two thirds completed stadium was ideal. Of course it wasn’t. But, at the time, it was considered to be the least bad option.

    You also appear not to have read my post (or Davy’s subsequent post) above about Spurs appointing new architects, with the consequent new design requiring a new plan. That’s why, if reports are to be believed, Spurs are now proposing to move away for one season.

    But I repeat, the original plan was perfectly feasible nevertheless. You do not know more about stadium construction in general or this project in particular than KSS or Buro Happold. Nor do you know more than the people who designed, engineered and built the new San Mames in Bilbao to an almost identical plan.

  • finsbury


    No problem! 🙂
    I wouldn’t want to force you to watch all of the following video, please refer from 3.30-4.30

    The builder and engineer (I’m sure Jim B will recognise the names 🙂 ) were both appointed during the Design Stage. This means both before Planning and funds were secured. It would have been insane to try and design a stadium on such a site and then go show to an engineer after planning: madness.

    You guys don’t have to trust me, but I’m telling you that in my humble experience that it is best and good practice to get your engineers and builders on board during the design stage. For every logical reason you could imagine. The above link confirms this.

  • finsbury

    Football is so very tribal! 🙂

  • finsbury

    But good practice is good practice.

  • finsbury

    Back to work for me.
    I hope that the above reference proves useful.

  • Jim

    is Martin Ball a hippie activist or another goon trying to throw spanners?

  • JimB

    @ finsbury – yes, of course having a team of engineers on board during the design and planning phase is a critical element of any successful project. Spurs have Buro Happold (or whichever engineer has been appointed to work with Populous on the new design). You also need construction experts to advise on the practicalities of the build. And I’m sure that Spurs have them too.

    What isn’t required – and this is what Davy is getting at, I think – is that a construction company be appointed to the job before the project is ready to go out to tender. Neither party could or should commit to such a contract until they know the cost. That’s the whole point.

  • finsbury

    It was a simple comment. To repeat:

    Appointing both you engineer and contractor in the design stage is good practice. To me it is strange that a main contractor has not been appointed after so many many years. That is not best practice.

    If you watch the above link in detail you will be incapable of denying the clear logic behind such reasoning.

    I have to get back to work! Have fun. Enjoy the build when it happens ;).

  • Big Mal – it is interesting that you say the funding is in place. But what sort of funding is it. Is it Mr Levy or is it a consortium of banks?

  • Smokeydyid – that does depend on whether Archway appeal.

  • DavyD

    Tony – see my earlier post. Funding will come from a number of sources….

    1. Sale of the stadium naming rights
    2. Sale of the enabling residential development
    3. Loans (although likely to be underwritten by Joe Lewis so not at punitive interest rates.
    4. Supporter retal bonds/debentures/multi year season ticket sales.

    To answer queston about Archway appealing. Yes, of course the project rests on the Archway land so that has to be resolved before anything else can continue.

    Unfortunately for Archway, it is now very unlikely that they can get the Secretary Of State’s decision overturned. just as the many recipients of CPOs during Arsenal’s land grab for the Emirates stadium were unable to have the decision overturned. Their best bet now would probably be to go back to THFC and look to negotiate a deal that will pay a little more than the CPO valuation – otherwise they are risking a very large legal bill with little chance of a positive outcome.

  • JimB

    @ Tony:

    My guess is the funding will mostly be in the form of bank loans. It’s possible that there might also be a loan direct from Joe Lewis / Tavistock Group but I think it more likely that his involvement will have been in the form of negotiating with the banks. It helps to be Joe Lewis when you’re asking for a couple of hundred million!

    re Archway…yes, there’s a chance that they will appeal. But there are limited grounds upon which they can appeal. Their chances of success are limited. Pickles and the DCLG would have had to have made an almighty balls up for a judge to overturn their decision. And given that they’ve taken 15 months to come to that decision precisely because they wanted to eliminate the possibility of it being successfully challenged, the chances are that Archway would be wasting their time. And, more importantly, their money. From this point on, things will start to get very expensive for them very quickly. The increased legal costs of employing counsel etc could ruin them. They’d be well advised to walk away from the fight now.

    But if they do decide to appeal, they have to do so within the next six weeks. And the case will be heard promptly. This is not something that they can drag out indefinitely.

  • Jim

    Thanks Tony & untold arse for hosting a decent blog free from rancid insults and that actually engages in decent debate…. it’s a pleasant change from nasty little bloggers like harryhotspur, albeit you’re a goon!!!!

  • Jim

    forgot to end with the obligatory COYS

  • Jim

    Thanks too JimB and DavyD…. great insight into the business and stadium development… jeeeshhh I should frequent goon blogs more often 🙂

  • JimB

    My pleasure, Jim. My favourite subject!

    And I couldn’t agree more with you about the smug and odious HH.

  • JimB

    Agreed, too, that Tony seems to be a very decent chap – even if he is a goon. 😉

  • Jim

    lol. glad I am not alone…. he gives Spurs fans a bad name

  • Jim

    JimB – you should if you haven’t already start your own blog/forum. COYS. Dinnertime.

  • colario

    Your insight into THFC is appreciated and welcomed.

    With regard to Archway. Am I right in thinking that THFC have offered to relocate them but not meet the expense of a new building?

    I hope you and DavyD will give us regular progress reports on the new stadium.

    I am a life long Gooner and have had a number of friends from N17 from whom I’ve learnt a lot.
    I regularly check your club’s website and spotted on Saturday the news of the CPO being agreed. It sort of crept into the shadow of the WC. I can’t help but believe the CPO news was known before Saturday but for some reason held back. What do you think?

    I would like to read your view on the derby games this season whatever the score as I am always interested in the view point of the other side. So I hope you will share them with us.

  • EL Wisty

    Just to clear up the matter about the waiting list, to be on the ST waiting list is an extra £15 on top of the membership fee. For that you get your place on the waiting list plus a one-day priority window to buy one of about 1000 tickets for home games. I’ve been on the waiting list for nearly seven years and I’ve just got inside the top 7000. The club announced the list was 47k in the last trading statement. In that time I’ve never once got the priority tickets as they are odd seats across various blocks within the stadium, and I find it much easier to buy better positioned tickets on the first day of sale to the member base as a whole. A few people might be Bronze members for the priority window, but having lived with the ticketing system I doubt it’s many (let’s face it: 1k tickets into 47k Bronze members just doesn’t go). Of course take-up of STs when offered will be lower than 100%, but then it doesn’t need to be 100% with a waiting list of 47k. The club currently releases 75% of tickets to ST holders (27k). Assuming that stays constant in the new stadium, if the capacity is 57k, that means 42.75k STs – an extra 15.75k to sell. That means merely a one in three take up from the existing waiting list will sell out all STs for the new ground. Given how slowly I’ve been rising up the queue over these past few years, I find it hard to believe that 33% take up by those on the waiting list is a stretch.

    Thanks for your interest though 🙂

  • EL Wisty

    Incidentally Tappy, we’re a club from Tottenham. That’s why we’re called Tottenham Hotspur. The clue is in the name. That it was in Middlesex until 1965 and North London thereafter is irrelevant. The boundaries might move again, but we won’t.

    Compare and contrast with your own club, the name of which bears reference only to the South London landmark near where the club is from. Seemingly, the club felt so uneasy being near Gillespie Road station as to feel the need to lobby London Transport to change the name of the local station to the South London landmark the club is named after. No redrawing of boundaries is needed to understand where your club’s essence lies – it’s there in the name just like ours is.

    Nice try though.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Interesting to read this about Spurs. It is not voyeurism or an unhealthy interest. Of course we don’t want them to get a leg up on us ;I think it is legitimate for us to keep track of what they are doing. We are proud that Arsenal has been able to build their stadium while remaining competitive if not exactly lighting the world afire the last decade. For myself it doesn’t bother me that they are building a new stadium nor that much money might be coming from Mr. Lewis…good on them but I guess I am bothered when public monies are given to competing clubs like Man City and their stadium and special help given to Tottenham in the guise of redeveloping the area. my memory is that we got precious little help to build the Emirates. meh.

  • arsenor

    Just wondering Mr JimB,is Tottenham your local team,what i mean is do you live in or around N17?
    My guess is that you dont.

  • JimB

    @ colario – the exact details of Spurs’ initial offer to Archway have never been made public. But we do know that Spurs bought and prepared a new site for Archway on White Hart Lane – a quarter of a mile or so away from their current location on Paxton Road. It is a bigger and better connected site than the one they currently occupy. Theirs is not a business which is, by necessity, location specific. Its clients are from within the professional catering trade. To that end, a move of a mere quarter of a mile was immaterial. In addition, I would have thought that Archway’s relocation costs and the cost of building and fitting out their new factory would have to have been met by Spurs as part of the package. Whether or not Archway were offered a sweetener above and beyond all that, I don’t know.

    I have no idea why this case took so long or why it was announced when it was. I can only guess that it was a more complex case than most and that Eric Pickles and his department wanted to be absolutely sure of the legality of their decision before making the announcement. And maybe that announcement finally came now because, over the previous few weeks, they found themselves under increasing public pressure as to why it was taking so long?

    Lastly, on the subject of the derbies, if I’m around and not too suicidal, I’ll happily post here!

    @GoingGoingGooner – yep, whether we care to admit it or not, most of us keep an eye on what the other lot are doing – either to laugh at them or to feed our sense of moral outrage. In this instance, though, Spurs haven’t received any public funds. Nor will they do so. All that has happened is that they have been excused some of the original demands made of them in the original S106 agreement. This was to have been for contributions to local infrastructure and job creation schemes – an amount totalling some £15 million. Since the riots of 2011, that money will be coming from central government and from the Mayor’s various funds.

    And really, that’s as it should be. Tottenham is an area that has been neglected by successive governments (local and national) for decades. It has never benefited from the sort of investment in public transport that has been spent in the Highbury / Holloway / Finsbury Park area for instance. There are, I think, five tube stations closer (most of them considerably closer) to the Emirates than either Tottenham Hale or Seven Sisters are to White Hart Lane. So it would seem more than somewhat unfair to ask Spurs to make contributions that the government has never been prepared to make.

    Besides, the £40m or so package of funds from various strata of government that will now be invested in local infrastructure and schemes is only a tiny drop in the ocean by comparison to that enjoyed by some other areas of London (e.g. £9 billion worth of public monies invested in and around Stratford and the Olympic stadium!). And even that small amount is only a tip of the hat to the 2011 riots rather than any attempt to help Spurs.

    There is one further issue – that of affordable housing in the property development planned for immediately south of the stadium. The requirement for Spurs to build 100 affordable homes was waived as part of the new S106 agreement. But in mitigation, two points: firstly, Spurs have built / are building that affordable housing elsewhere in in the borough; and secondly, east Haringey has a greater need for private housing stock than it does council homes.

    Apologies that that was all rather long winded.

    @ arsenor – no, I don’t live in or around N17. I’m not sure what you’re getting at, though.

  • Pat


    As a red member who tried and failed to get tickets several times last season, I would say you are wrong in your statements about attendance at Arsenal matches.

  • Jim G

    Why would you appoint a contractor months or years in advance. How can they cost something today when there us no certainty when they will build. This CPO could drag on for months more if appealed and Finsbury is suggesting the contractor should have priced at the design stage…years ago. Never heard such nonsense.

    How can a contractor commit to any other work if they don’t know when the Spurs build will ever start if ever.

    Crazy concept!

    If you want to price something you employ a QS

  • Quincy

    According to the following link, both Spurs and Arsenal acheived an average attendance last season which was very close to their stadium capacity:

  • Are far as funding is concerned there may have been one or two clues in two stories that have appeared in the Telegraph, over the couple of years.From memory the stories were written by Jeremy Wilson, who I’m pretty certain is a Gooner. There is an important twist to Davy D’s suggestion about funding. The main sponsor would not only have the shirt advertising and stadium naming rights, but in addition would buy around 25% of THFC shares. This would keep the borrowing down, and avoid a rights issue.Taking into account that Arsenal’s share value went from around £400m to £800m when the Emirates was built, something similar could happen to Spurs, which are currently valued at just under £400m. Also it’s worth considering that Spurs have still not sold the old Spurs Lodge training ground.

  • colario


    Income from the sale of tickets for the 8 years the new stadium has been used has more than paid for the cost of the stadium.

    It would be interesting to know the exact details. Obviously there are deductions on the income from ticket sales. It could be that if you deduct matters like VAT, overheads and stadium wages (not players wages) the stadium has still to pay for itself.

    However as well as the income from 19 league games there are cup matches, friendlies, pop concerts and smaller functions like conferences that will have brought in money to the club.

    Another factor is the increase in money from the sale of programmes, goods at the Arsenal shops and the catering contract, the 20 000 extra spectators attending the stadium will have provided.

    This information may be in the published accounts.

    One thing is certain the move to the new stadium has been an unqualified success.

    The Arsene detractors can say what they like but without Arsene as manager, the club would still be at Highbury and be the ‘also run’ it became in the latter part of the Graham years.

  • Will

    Having read the replies, now I know why I support Arsenal.

  • DavyD

    GoingGoingGooner – could you please elaborate on this ‘special help’ that has been given to Tottenham?….

    Are you talking about Harringey serving a single CPO on the land required for the new Spurs stadium? If so then you should also look closer to home at the FAR higher number of CPOs served by your own club in order to be able to build the Emirates.

    If you are talking about the removal of Spurs’ requirement to fund upgrades to Tottenham Hale station from the original section 106 agreement – then perhaps you would also like to elude on exactly how many supporters you feel use Tottenham Hale station to travel to/from Spurs games and explain why you feel that wasn’t a frivolous claim stipulation from the planners to try to use THFC to improve the transport link nearest to a huge planned forthcoming residential development that is unrelated to THFC?

    I am also interested in what public monies have been given/are being given to Tottenham as these are certainly news to me. Could you please explain what public monies these are?

    Or are you perhaps referring to funds being spent by national and local government on the general (extremely run down) area? If you are referring to this (and confusing it with THFC being given money, as I suspect you are) then why do you feel that the local and national governments should not spend money trying to improve an extremely run down area? It is clear that over the years FAR more money has been spent on the general area surrounding Highbury and Islington when compared to Tottenham and Edmonton.

  • D

    CPO is a non issue and will not slow down anything. Archway can go to the European courts. It won’t change the fact that we could start building today if Mr Levy wanted to.

  • M18CTID

    This topic doesn’t really involve me, but I too have some issue with GGG’s comments about public monies with regards to MCFC.

    Contrary to widespread opinion amongst rival fans, City didn’t get a new stadium for free – far from it. Firstly, we gave up ownership of Maine Road and the land it stood on to Manchester City Council. Secondly, we had to pay around £20 million to transform the stadium from it’s Commonwealth Games guise into a football stadium. Thirdly, we’re tenants rather than owners and pay £3 million a year to MCC in rent. I won’t deny that when Francis Lee signed it off in the late 1990’s that we were getting a good deal but it’s far from free, and we certainly haven’t had any public money thrown our way. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement that suits both MCFC and MCC, and over time we’ll have more than paid for the cost of building the stadium in the first place, and we won’t even own it. The alternative to City moving in was a stadium that would’ve been effectively a white elephant that wouldn’t have generated anywhere near as much revenue for the local council. I’d imagine a similar situation exists with the Olympic Stadium and West Ham’s impending move there. GGG’s point about Arsenal receiving little help when building the Emirates is fair enough but the situations aren’t really comparable because you weren’t giving up ownership of one stadium to merely become tenants in another.

  • colario

    July 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for the info. What happened to the stadium and the land?

  • gouresh

    My god, just a mention in tiny totts stadium and they are up in arms. Well let them build it first.

  • JimB

    gouresh – I’d say that, on the whole and given that the original article was a none too subtle but harmless attempt at trolling, the discussion has been civilised, measured and informed. A refreshing change from the norm between our two clubs.

  • M18CTID


    The council demolished it and built houses on the land. From memory, there was some talk at the time of Sale Sharks RUFC moving into the stadium and providing a revenue stream for the council but it never materialised.

  • Colario

    July 15, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you for your posts here, much appreciated.
    In case your wondering I am a Gooner or in moden terms. je suis un Gooner!

    When Glen upped sticks and went to Monaco I was curious as to why Monaco. that is how it is I first encountered the name Arsene Wenger.

    Sol was not the first player to leave your club for Arsene.

    In fairness Klinsman left Monaco and Arsene to play for you!