Exclusive: Tottenham’s stadium plan referred to European Commission over possible state aid issues

By Tony Attwood

As was suggested in correspondence following an earlier article, the deal between Tottenham Hotspur and Haringey Council over the funding of the new stadium for Tottenham could be seen as state aid, something that is not allowable under EU law.

Now Untold can reveal that the situation has been referred to the European Commission.

This means that Tottenham now sit alongside clubs such as Real Madrid (re their land exchange deal with the Madrid city council) and West Ham Utd (over the donation to it of the Olympic Stadium by the government agencies that paid for it) as clubs that might have broken the EU regulations that forbid any form of state aid to commercial enterprise.  Manchester City have escaped an enquiry as too long has now passed since they were granted the use of the stadium used for the Commonwealth Games.

The referral to the EC does not mean that the Commission will bring charges against Tottenham Hotspur plc, or against the Council, rather that is will consider the matter.

The argument is that Tottenham Hotspur football club’s planned new stadium project allows Tottenham Hotspur plc to benefit financially from Haringey council plans to develop an area opposite the new ground.   This is because the close working together of Tottenham and the local council is complicated by the fact that some of the land to be developed for shops, housing etc is already owned by Tottenham, and thus the club will make a profit from the council development.

Initially the council argued that because of this benefit, it required Tottenham to pay towards the development costs.  Tottenham at first agreed but then later argued it did not have the money to do so, and pointed out that they had already begun looking for another site to take over as a football ground.  The council later agreed not to demand any money of Tottenham.

So the argument is that the profit that Tottenham will make is equivalent to state aid for a private project, in that no ordinary company would allow Tottenham to benefit and make a profit in this way, without it having to make a financial contribution to the redevelopment project.  (The “what would a company do” test is central to this – to prove a council or government agency is giving state aid, it has to be shown that a commercial organisation would not act in the way the council has done).

Tottenham Hotspur has a substantial amount of land around its existing ground some of which it has owned for a while, some bought over time, and some bought via a compulsory purchase order with the agreement of the local council and the state.  Much of this area is now proposed for redevelopment for residential property.

The local authority has an interest in this work as it has a duty to the area to aid redevelopment and economic growth.  Thus the agreement under which as part of getting its planning permission Tottenham would pay Haringey council £16m from its profits towards the council’s cost of developing the housing.

The argument is that as Tottenham accepted this as an equitable deal when it started out, then anything subsequent to this which is more favourable should be investigated by the Commission as being a move from an equitable arrangement to state aid.

It has been reported that Tottenham Hotspur’s chairman, Daniel Levy, argued that the original requirements were making it difficult to raise the £400m necessary to build the new stadium, and called for the wider development to boost land values and investor confidence in the Tottenham project.

However, it is also reported that Tottenham Hotspur in its last financial year for which figures are available made £80m profit in 2014 – the largest ever by a football club in Britain.  Further it is stated that Tottenham has no debt and £3m in the bank.   Further this profit is part of an upward trend in that the club’s revenue from TV income was up £32m, while their wages (a major part of any professional club’s expenditure) was only £4m up.

The argument is thus that Tottenham did not suddenly become unable to pay the £16m but was simply putting pressure on the local authority in various ways to get rid of the £16m debt.  By agreeing to this the council (it is argued) is in effect subsidising the football club – which would be illegal state aid.

Further, since as part of the project a  council housing tower block and rows of shops with people living above will be knocked down to create a wide walkway for supporters of the football club to walk from White Hart Lane station straight to the new stadium, this is local council action to the benefit of Tottenham but no one else.  There is nothing wrong with this, it is argued, if Tottenham is paying for it – since it is for its benefit.  But if the council pays that is once again seen to be state aid.

The Commission now has a year during which time it can decide if it wants to examine the whole case or not.  The particular problem for Tottenham is that if their case is valid and if the suggestion that they had to pay £16m to the council would undermine their ability to raise the £400m they need for the stadium is also valid, then the suggestion that the European Commission might now investigate the development for state aid, could have a bigger impact on Tottenham’s ability to raise the money, than if Tottenham had paid the £16m as it originally agreed to do.

Untold Arsenal


80 Replies to “Exclusive: Tottenham’s stadium plan referred to European Commission over possible state aid issues”

  1. In theory this could happen, but in practice it will not because of the careful way the whole project has been planned and the consultation along the way, whereby Tottenham Hotspur FC knew and understood these and other rules.

  2. Also, that widened walkway, I am assuming is the one from Nothumberland Park rail station which is also being completely refurbished and made over, the walkway is to be lined with new shops, all of which will benefit from the increased footfall in the area due to the football club.

    Spurs have already invested in the surrounding area with aiding funding, and increasing jobs with the sainsburys development aswell as the new Tottenham University Technical College (in partnership with Middlesex university) as part of phase 1 of the Northumberland Park Development project.

    Tottenham have been working with the local council and within the local community. It would be very difficult to show all of this additional investment and development to be purely profiteering by Tottenham.

    Tottenham Hotspur and the council are working together to help rejuvenate the area. Yes Spurs will end up with a shiny new stadium at the end, and that in turn will bring higher revenues but if anything it’s is more Tottenham being the catalyst and aiding the council than the council providing state aid, for a greedy football club!

    Arsenal grew as a club properly, investing in a stadium, being careful with transfer kitty’s and are regularly in the top four without being bankrolled by Arab or Russian billionaires.

    There is a lot of animosity between spurs and arsenal, but you would hope that there would still be some respect there between two teams who are trying to grow and advance the proper way. Rather than by winning the lottery!

  3. Surely if they trousered 80m last year in profits without champions league and with rising TV cash they can self fund?

  4. Are you serious? The council need the club in the area. It is rundown with high unemployment. Tottenham football club investment will bring more investment from other businesses. There is to much riding on this for the EU to stop it. Plus if this is break any rules, what does West Ham moving into the Olympic stadium mean. Move on, nothing to see here

  5. I know this off topic but I need some help. Isn’t that the truth !

    Can somebody guide me to some of the wonderful posts regarding the cost of Arsenal season tickets, and how they compare. I’ve seen some posts that break it down to include, how many matches and what competitions are involved as well as obligations required, such as attending certain matches for rights to others, etc.

    The reason being, I had this AAA type at work whingeing about how 2nd and an FA Cup is not enough considering we are the most expensive team in the World to watch.

    I tried to reason that perhaps we do have some of the most expensive, but it’s not as simple as that and when you break it down a vast majority of our tickets are no more expensive than our competitors. We also have some of the best value seats, ie for the League Cup.

    He wouldn’t have it.

    The trouble is I did’t have the statistical breakdown that I need to support my contention, nor did he by the way, but I know it’s been presented brilliantly on here before.

    Anyone help?

  6. This looks like an article made up to try and stir up some trouble, no other media source has mentioned this at all. A very weak argument you have put forward, no public money is being used in building of stadium but is being used for regeneration of most needy areas in london. Most of your points could also be made about the building of the Emirates stadium, CPP of land to be built on, publicly funded local regeneration and also TFL building bridge to stadium which could all be viewed as state funding. No reason why commission couldn’t look in same way they have gone back to Real Madrid’s 2001 training ground sale. Using money to regenerate local area is very different to West Ham’s case where public funds are being used to rebuild stadium to their specifications with no benefit to local public infrastructure.

  7. So, was Mr Levy being economical with the truth regarding the ability to pay £16m and also the real financial position?

    Do the Spuds make a profit every year, or has the profit just turned up at an opportune moment as they try to boost confidence when trying to raise £400m?

    I am very surprised at the £80m profit figure – I thought the Spuds had spent all the Bale money and then some!

    Wasn’t Boris involved in the Spuds new build project at an earlier stage, has he still an influence in proceedings?

  8. Do you know how to do a URL specific search?

    For example:
    site:untold-arsenal.com arsenal season tickets

    That works for Google and DuckDuckGo. I want nothing to do with Microsoft, so I don’t know if Bing has anything comparable.

    The URL for this thread is untold-arsenal /archives/42982 (I hope wordpress doesn’t parse that into a URL). Hence, the URLs all end in a number. Doing the above search at Google, I get numbers of: 35097, 36820, 26344, 25542, 39015, 42622, 29539. The order of the numbers is due to however Google is defining relevance at the moment. I recently seen an article, that Google now defines relevance differently for desktop and mobile.

  9. For those who say that as no other media outlet picked up on this… I would suggest to wait a while and then watch what happens.
    I think Man City fans know what I mean 😉

  10. Bjtgooner, I’ll ignore the fact that you still think it’s amusing to call Tottenham spuds and assume that you are still at school. If you are so interested in Tottenham, do a little research about the finances as they are available to anyone who cares to look. It doesn’t matter whether you are surprised about the £80m figures, this is the figure whether you are surprised or not. I am surprised that anyone writes ‘Spuds’. To save a little time for you. Think about accounting and how a tax year affects this; if you’re none the wiser think about whether the sale of Bale may have been in a different tax year to the subsequent signings.

  11. Gord

    I am and absolute technophobe, or ‘idiot’ as Mrs Jambug prefers to call me 🙂

    I don’t even know what URL means.

    I did however try googling,

    untold-arsenal.com arsenal season tickets

    and found an interesting old article, but alas it did not contain any of the information I was looking for.

    Thanks anyway.

  12. Big Mal

    “Bjtgooner, I’ll ignore the fact that you still think it’s amusing to call Tottenham spuds and assume that you are still at school.”

    Blimey, at bit touchy aren’t we?

    After all I suppose all the Spurs Blogs refer to us with such reverence and respect and would never stoop to such schoolboy name calling. Of course not.

    You baby.

    Most of the time you cant even refer to us as Arsenal. Woolwich is your favourite I think. Should you of moved on from that by now?

    This from the Fighting Cock:

    ——-“We often berate Woolwich supporters for being deluded, but many of our fans have been caught up in a web of Champions League lies, in which failing to qualify is a small catastrophe” 

    And didn’t you all throw your toys out of the pram because a new shirt design had a tiny bit of red in it? Dearie me.

    I think living in our shadow for so long has made you a little over sensitive don’t you?

    On a different subject I also found this on Fighting Cock:

    ——–“The fact of the matter is, in the 22 seasons of the Premier League’s existence we have finished in 4th place twice, and have only endured one season in the Champions League, thanks to Chelsea parking the bus all the way to the trophy in 2012.”

    So it seems we’re not the only ones to find Mourhinos tactics more than a little annoying. At least we agree on something.

    Funny though isn’t it how it’s only us that get a weeks worth of abuse for thinking it.

  13. Jambug

    You missed the important part. You _must_ prepend the URL (name of website) with ‘site:’

    site:untold-arsenal.com arsenal season tickets

    That (almost) restricts returned result to being _just_ from here. Google can and will throw advertising links into any search results.

  14. @Big Mal

    Didn’t you know – part of the school curriculum – always call a spud a spud! 🙂

  15. Jambug

    The URL returned by Google (with the results) for me is:


    The first part (https) specifies the protocol.

    The next part, is the address (URL) returning the results. Everything after that question mark, are parameters of the search. If there are multiple parameters (and there are in this example), they are separated by the ampersand character.

    The split out parameters are (almost):

    The first one is indicating that a locale of en-CA is in effect (English in Canada). The third one is what we typed in for our search term, with sections of whitespace replaced by a ‘+’ sign and the full colon replaced by %3A. And the other stuff I am not going to try and explain, because I think it probably isn’t strictly needed.

  16. Seeing as this has websearching in it.

    With a lot of search engines, if you prepend a word with a minus sign, the search engine will try to remove hits that contain that “negated” word. For example, one news site in Nigeria has something about Arsenal on _every_ page. As I don’t want to read stories about mothers cutting hands off children, priests having sex with congregation members and all the other stuff this news site provides, I will put -nigeria at the end of a search string. There needs to be a space before the minus sign.

    The converse, is that you really want a particular term in search results. If you surround that term with double quotes, it can become more important to the search.

    Finally, we sometimes will accept one of many alternatives. We put the vertical bar “|” between terms. For example, searching for arsenal|gunners.

  17. Gord

    Thanks very much.

    I found exactly what I was looking for using your link.

  18. Tony Attwood – do you realise that the £16 million Haringey Council original requested as part of planning consent was simply to cover a section 106 agreement?

    Section 106 agreements are often negotiated down from the original demands made by the council. As an example of how frivolous the original section 106 demand was, it included between 5 and 10 million pounds to redevelop Tottenham Hale station (which I’m sure even you’ll agree the new Spurs stadium will have very little impact on).

    At the time when the section 106 agreement was renegotiated the country was in recession, Tottenham as an area was as bad as it had ever been and private money was not pouring in to help any regeneration. Haringey council decided (and probably rightly so in my opinion) that waiving the section 106 to help ensure that the development could go ahead was far better value for the local area.

    If renegotiating/waiving a section 106 agreement constitutes state aid then there would be hundreds of state aid claims every month.

    Anyway nice try with the referral, it’s just a shame that whoever it is that put the time into making it didn’t instead put that time to good use for a worthwhile cause.

  19. Jambug – can’t help what fans call each other, I just think that ‘Spuds’ is childish and unimaginative up there with ‘you need glasses ref’. It seems to be delivered with a feeling that it is somehow hilarious and that ‘I was the first person to think of it’. I support Tottenham and we don’t live in the shadow of anyone. I was born in Tottenham so have no choice in who I support. On your basis, Arsenal live in the shadow of Chelsea. I read your point about Chelsea parking the bus in 2012 to win the CL. Not sure what you’re getting at as Mourinho wasn’t the manager in 2012.

  20. “Remember that you saw it here first”

    Very interesting. I am torn between hoping the “spuds” (those fine gentlemen from Middlesex) get burned and hoping they get their way. The former because…well..obvious! and the latter because it’s clear that the proposed development will result in the gentrification of the area enabling more fine Middlesex gentlemen to move in (sarcasm).

    Well done Tony – I wonder who dobbed them in to the EU eh eh?

  21. Personally I still think Tottenham should build a wonderful conference centre and five star hotel next to the ground to capitalise on all the interest the new ground will inspire. No war zone is complete without these accoutrements.

  22. Much as I hate them, the council really does need Spuds to re-develop. It’s a shite area and it needs upgrading urgently. It may be the equivalent of refurbishing a public toilet but it’s better than leaving the area to continue festering. Spuds (the politest terms I can use for them) have a stronger hand with the council than we did and they’ll get a better deal than we did but 15+ years after us.

  23. Lol

    This Article is so full of Shit that if a Farmer go hold of it he would have enough Manure for a lifetime.

    Spurs are not receiving any state aid for their new Stadium, It’s part of the S106 Agreement for Regeneration of the Area of Tottenham. If Spurs are done for this then Arsenal can also be done for failure to Complete all their S106 Obligations. Harringey council received help from they EU after the Riots, if this Article was true they would have broken their own laws.

    Yet again the Article is Factually Incorrect, Spurs never purchased any of the land using a CPO. A CPO was granted against Archway Steel, but Spurs and Archway came to an Agreement in the end.

    Stop writing Bullshit and get your head out of your Arsenal.

  24. Another interesting part of the Article:

    The particular problem for Tottenham is that if their case is valid and if the suggestion that they had to pay £16m to the council would undermine their ability to raise the £400m they need for the stadium is also valid, then the suggestion that the European Commission might now investigate the development for state aid, could have a bigger impact on Tottenham’s ability to raise the money, than if Tottenham had paid the £16m as it originally agreed to do.

    This part just shows how little research actually went into this Article, Archway Steel Main defence against the CPO was that Spurs could not fund the Stadium Project. Spurs Proved in a Court of Law that they have FULL Funding for the Stadium and have also acquired Stadium Naming Rights, the name was not disclosed. They also have a 350M Bridging loan from HSBC just in case.

  25. The whole of London is getting gentrified, with, or without Spurs stadium. Tottenham village will happen anyway, along with Broad Waters Farmery, guess we cannot blame our neighbours for making sure they are the ones who will benefit for progress. There are some run down areas, but you will soon need the salary of Chadli to live there.
    Will be interesting to see what the EU come up with though

  26. Big Mal

    Seeing something as childish is just a matter of personal perception.

    Like calling Mourhino ‘Maureen’

    Chelsea ‘Chavs’

    Liverpool ‘Dippers’

    City ‘ Citeah’

    or, as I said Arsenal ‘woolwich’

    It’s meant to be derogatory, but nothing more, nothing too serious. Some would even say it is humorous, but again just a matter of interpretation.

    To start throwing accusations of ‘Childish’ is a bit, well, Childish.

    And you say:

    “Not sure what you’re getting at as Mourinho wasn’t the manager in 2012”.

    Because of course he’s really opened them up since he arrived.


    “I support Tottenham and we don’t live in the shadow of anyone”.

    From where I sit in the sunshine you most certainly do :cool

  27. Sadly and unsurprisingly Jambug, you just don’t get it, but thanks for going to so much effort. Hope it’s made you feel better.

  28. this site seems to be, like most of the ESN contributors on here, preoccupied with Spurs.

  29. We’ll have to take your word for it, Tony, that some sad obsessive has referred this to the European Commission.

    But I can confidently predict that, if the case isn’t outright laughed out of the building, it will at least be summarily dismissed as a nonsensical waste of time.

    There is not a chance that a case for there having been state aid could be proved. Not a single penny of public money will be spent on any Tottenham Hotspur property. There will be a relatively modest amount spent on local transport infrastructure. But that is part of the council’s wider regeneration of the area and not specifically anything to do with Spurs. Sure, Spurs will benefit. But so will every other resident and business in the area. And the investment in Tottenham’s local transport infrastructure will still only represent a tiny fraction of the investment in transport infrastructure from which Arsenal, for instance, benefit (in case you weren’t aware, there are no fewer than five tube stations substantially closer to the Emirates than either Seven Sisters or Tottenham Hale are to White Hart Lane).

    Tottenham is one of the most deprived areas in the entire UK. The regeneration plans – and the relatively small amounts of public money to be spent there – are intended to address some of the issues, especially since 2011’s widespread riots. Spurs’ Northumberland Development Project plans are an integral part of the regeneration plans. So there isn’t the slightest danger that anyone within the EU will wish to put a spanner in the works.

    You mention the use of CPO’s. Only one business was served with a CPO as a consequence of Spurs’ land assembly for the new stadium. And that one CPO was to secure land needed for the stadium itself (by contrast, Arsenal’s plans required that multiple small businesses were served with CPO’s – not for the stadium itself but for surrounding enabling development). A small number of other businesses will lose their premises when Haringey council’s High Road West scheme is brought to fruition. But again, that isn’t Spurs’ responsibility. Besides, there is always collateral damage whenever major regeneration is embarked upon. It is unavoidable. The EU knows that perfectly well and will not stand in its way – especially since the end result will be of benefit to the vast majority in the area (yes, including Spurs). The businesses in question, meanwhile, will be fully compensated and every effort will be made to relocate them to the satisfaction of all.

    Lastly, as to the question of the S106 agreement. It is irrelevant whether or not Spurs could have afforded the demands originally made of them. All that matters is that they successfully renegotiated the deal. There is no statutory amount that must be paid in planning gain by a developer. Each case is determined on an ad hoc basis. Spurs will still be required to contribute under the terms of the renegotiated agreement – just not as much as before. Under no circumstances could that ever be judged as state aid. Period.

  30. I sincerely hope the recent riots are not part of of the rationale behind regeneration plans, when you look into them and what and who was behind it all. There may be many good reasons to regen an area, but those riots are not one of them, just copycat wannabe gangsta silliness

  31. Would be like using the ICF as an excuse to develop another area in London.

  32. ESN, ICF? Too many TLAs.

    To the anonymous person. No, we aren’t preoccupied with Tottenham. They are “our neighbour”, we see them a lot. Do you ever see any of your neighbours?

    I would say we are more preoccupied with trying to get a level playing field for the game.

  33. Islington council are still waiting for you Woolich pikeys to pay for the redevelopement of Drayton Park station and Queensland road, oh and the new road layout of Hornsey lane. Don’t be such a hypocrite you dirty goon.

  34. @Jambug

    Spurs season ticket £795 (cheapest) for 21 games
    Chelsea season ticket £595 (cheapest) for 19 games
    Arsenal season ticket £1014 (cheapest) for 26 games

    The question is do you add in 5 or 7 cup games for Spurs & Chelsea or do you take off 7 & 2 cup games from Arsenal & Spurs to get to a fair comparison of prices?

    Spurs most expensive season ticket is £1895
    Chelsea’s most expensive season ticket is £1250
    Arsenals most expensive season ticket is £2013

    I am not 100% sure what you get for these most expensive prices at Spurs & Chelsea. They do not make it clear how many game you get for this price but I am guessing the Chelsea price is just for PL games. I will let you do the maths as to how you want to work it out but if you just simply divide say the Tottenham expensive season ticket by 21 and then multiply it by 26 and see what the answer is?

  35. Stoney: Arsenal paid for those redevelopments, but as per the agreement, Transport for London and the Council did not have to spend the money on the redevelopments but rather could spend it on other projects, which they did.

  36. i warned that you might upset the neighbours Tony, i fear invitations for tea and cake in the near vicinity of WHL might not be so forthcoming in the future…

    Let them build their new stadium – we’ve already won the league in the current one, it would be fun to win it in the new one 🙂

  37. Blacksheep63 – the days of Arsenal winning the league anywhere are long gone

  38. Whilst there are a few Spuds (oops sorry Big Mal) supporters here could I take the opportunity to wish them a happy St Totteringham’s Day, which will be upon us very shortly.

  39. Jambug – which bit is childish? Arsenal have as much chance of winning the league as Tottenham – none.

  40. I think it got boring winning the leagua at the old Lane. We are just waiting to win it in the new stadium 😉

  41. The last Arsenal team to win the league at WHL were deserving of it. I despise Arsenal but the quality of some of the football was well above that played by the other teams. If you refer back to 7-02-’15 then the tactics employed were more fitting of a Stoke team under Pulis. There is very little quality in your game apart from on the break.
    As for preoccupied with Spurs — Yes you seem to be and ESN is an abbreviation for Educationally Sub Normal. Perfect description in this instance.

  42. Big Mal

    Calling yourself big often as not implies the very opposite.

    Could explain why you seem to have such an inferiority complex.

  43. Nobody at Arsenal is preoccupied with the Chickens, we only like to amuse ourselves at the talk of a new coop. Chicken wire and a bit of old wood?
    Anycase its better to be ESN than to have a chicken brain.

  44. Big Mal don’t bet against Arsenal winning the league. We will probably win it coming season & for another 3 despite the handicap of FA & PGMO.

    Wengerball is incredibly beautiful.

  45. Jambug @ 5.23 pm

    You mean Big Mal might be over compensating for small accoutrements? 🙂

  46. Anon, no I haven’t. Have you learnt to spell yet?Obviously not. Why is it all of a sudden that the Chicken supporters are awarding themselves the “football supporter maturity”award 2015? Somehow they arent particularly sporting or friendly at the Coop in my experience…or are there exceptions to the rules? Poor old country chickens.

  47. @ Kenneth: I’m not sure when you first started visiting this site but I can tell you that there have been relatively frequent articles about Spurs – and more specifically, about Spurs’ new stadium – on here over the past few years. Which suggests to me that some Arsenal fans, at least, are somewhat preoccupied with what is happening up the other end of the Seven Sisters Road. By contrast, I don’t know of any Spurs site that routinely posts articles about Arsenal.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with writing about another club – especially a local rival. And in my experience, those who run this site have at least welcomed opinions from visiting Spurs fans – as a consequence of which, the level of debate has generally been quite high over the years (if not necessarily in this thread!). Personally, I couldn’t give a monkeys whether you lot refer to us as spuds or crow about St Totteringham day or whatever. All banter. Par for the course. I wouldn’t expect anything less on an Arsenal site. Water off a duck’s back.

    I do think, though, that the proliferation of articles on here about Spurs’ new stadium betrays at least a little concern. With the added income and status from the new stadium, Spurs will close the financial chasm between the two clubs somewhat. They will be able to compete on a slightly more equal footing.

    I also detect in these frequent articles a certain annoyance that, once built, Spurs’ stadium will surpass your own. Not so much in terms of capacity (because a thousand here or there is of no consequence). But in terms of proximity of the stands to the pitch; steepness of the tiers; a single tier home end etc. Spurs’ new training ground already receives rave reviews from all who visit it and Levy has promised that the new stadium will be delivered to the same high standards. In that respect, Spurs will benefit from Arsenal’s experience. They will be able to take the best of the Emirates and improve upon it. Amusingly speculative articles such as this give the impression of desperately hoping that that will never happen.

  48. @JimB – power to your elbow dude. Leave the ducks out of this, water off a cocks back is more apt. I had thought you had found a space for your stadium – between Jamie Redknapps ears. Still there is something happening down the Lane – they’re doing the mash! not the monster mash. They’re doing the mash, it’s because they’re trash.

    Looking forward to Spuds benefitting from Arsenal and learning to play WENGERBALL…

  49. I’m guessing the authors of this excellent article were hoping for some interesting responses, but, as usual, some mindless idiots have reduced it to pathetic ‘my cocks bigger than yours’ nonsense. Jim B, for example, has written a well reasoned comment and then Menace, who clearly is one, has responded with utter drivel. I wonder what was going through Menace’s mind when he wrote the above? Nothing. As someone involved, my original comment holds true.

  50. Big? Mal – nothing more entertaining on an Arsenal site than a roasted spud. 😉

  51. Spurs fans moaning about Arsenal fans being obsessed with them and yet here they are, on an Arsenal blog, getting, well, a little obsessed wouldn’t you say.

    But seriously, are these guys really saying all they ever talk about is there own team?

    If they are then they are pretty sad.

  52. @Jambug – you do know what a news aggregator is, I take it? That’s why Spurs fans are here. And yes, we are obsessed……with our own club, naturally enough. Which is why you will find us posting in Untold Arsenal threads discussing articles about Tottenham but won’t find us posting in Untold Arsenal threads discussing articles about Arsenal. 😉

    And of course we talk about other teams – probably Arsenal chief among them – on our forums. But I’m not aware of any Spurs site that routinely posts articles about Arsenal as this site posts articles about Spurs.

    As I said, though, it’s no big deal. I quite enjoy the discussions.

  53. Kenneth

    Not sporting? I talk about the quality football that a Arsenal team played, you talk about chickens and coops, look again, although I’m not sure you would know the meaning of the word living in your one-eyed world.

  54. JimB

    “And of course we talk about other teams – probably Arsenal chief among them – on our forums. But I’m not aware of any Spurs site that routinely posts articles about Arsenal as this site posts articles about Spurs.”

    So what’s your problem?

    The reason we talk about it is because it is interesting and relevant and because you are our next door neighbour.

    We have been through the process and found it difficult, firstly in terms of securing the finances at the outset, and secondly with how it impacted on our ability to compete at the very highest level.

    We have been roundly criticised, mocked and ridiculed for the second of those, not least by Spurs fans, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it impacts on not only you, but Liverpool and Chelsea as well, and to see how you are all treated in the media and elsewhere.

    It is interesting to me to see how you are assisted, or otherwise, by your local councils, because to the best of my knowledge our local Council could of been more helpful towards us to say the least.

    As I understand it they had no interest in offering any financial help to us what so ever, so I am interested to see whether you get financial assistance from the local council, especially if any of it comes out of the Mayors purse, because as a tax/rates paying Londoner I don’t see why I should pay towards your Stadium.

    Even though for some reason it seems to bother you, how often, we talk about your Stadium project, rather than the fact we talk about it, at least you seem to want to enter into some kind of adult debate, as did LDH007, Big Mal(at first), Dubspur and Gavin.

    But alas the children turned up.

    This from,



    This Article is so full of Shit that if a Farmer go hold of it he would have enough Manure for a lifetime”.

    “Stop writing Bullshit and get your head out of your Arsenal”.

    This from,


    “Islington council are still waiting for you Woolich pikeys to pay for the redevelopement of Drayton Park station and Queensland road, oh and the new road layout of Hornsey lane. Don’t be such a hypocrite you dirty goon”.

    Then Big Mal starts getting upset about the term ‘Spuds’ as well as going down the ‘you wont win the league, ner ner na ner ner’ line, and he’s telling people to grow up.

    Then we have,


    ‘Oh Dear’ sums up the level of his posts perfectly.

    Then again from Big Mal:

    “I’m guessing the authors of this excellent article were hoping for some interesting responses, but, as usual, some mindless idiots have reduced it to pathetic ‘my cocks bigger than yours’ nonsense”.

    Yes we where, but it was the likes of Big Mal himself, getting all upperty over the term ‘Spuds’, and the arrival of the likes of Spudular, Stoney and Anons insightful posts, that started this threads downward spiral.

    I take pride in this sites broad subject matter. It has nothing to do with ‘Obsession’.

    We talk about things that are of interest and relevant to us.

    -The quality or otherwise of Refereeing.

    -PGMO and it’s secretive ways and non accountability.

    -The FA. Wembley. Playing fields. Coaching etc. etc.

    -The arrival of the ‘Billionaire’ owners and it’s impact on Arsenal and football in general, so in actual fact we talk about Chelsea and City a lot more than we do Spurs.

    -Corruption in football, from within and without, such as betting scandals.

    -Child trafficking in football, particularly at Barcalona, but not just.

    -Stadium developments. So we talk about Chelsea and Liverpool quite often regarding this, as well us yourselves.


    These are just a few of the many many subjects our hosts write about and put up for discussion by anyone who sees fit to contribute.

    So don’t flatter yourself that we are obsessed with Spurs because we are not.

    We are obsessed with FOOTBALL, and anything relating to it.

    So if you want a broader range of debate, then Untold Arsenal is the ideal place to engage. But if you don’t like what we talk about, or what we have to say about it, you don’t have to read it, or comment on it. Just stick to your own blogs and busy yourselves with talking about Spurs, if that’s what you want.

  55. I recognise quality football when I see it or when the U-13 team I trained played it, three of who went on to pro teams, in the same terms when a team comes to WHL and plays four defenders on the wing but leaves the home teams leading goal scorer unmarked and should have lost more heavily I believe that was a team error. I also think that statements such as ”chicken and coop” have much in the way of constructive criticism.
    I also think trite responses such as yours are easy to construct I.e. I doubt whether your mother is proud of yours and who is the performing chimp who backed you up. There I have sunk to your level, it requires little intelligence to do so.

  56. Anon – are you really looking forward to St Totteringhams day that much? It will be here anon….

    You trained 13 year olds… Training & coaching are miles apart. Sadly you don’t appear to have learnt nothing from them.

  57. I certainly glad you liked the “chicken and coop” criticism,perhaps it was purely in response to you “ESN” statement has that crossed your mind? I found that at the time to be particularly constructive(as you would say) in summing the manner in which you addressed the forum…
    Who would want to discuss anything with you in any kind articulate manner, when you opened your post with ” I despise Arsenal but…”? Gosh, how in awe we are of your intellectual pomposity and great analysis of our “game” and you openness in confessing your prejudices.Thanks.
    If you despise Arsenal that much perhaps you should see a therapist(Im sure OMG can help?) potentially discover what it actually is that you are frightened of, or hopefully understand and gain a greater perceptive that some people on this planet are suffering with starvation or have no shelter, are being trafficked, prostituted,while others are being abused racially and physically and living with all sorts of terrible difficulties and there you are despising a football club.
    Big Mal(as you do too)claims a lack of maturity here(we could ask ourselves what is maturity?),then perhaps stop watching 22 blokes kicking a ball around and being part of 60,000 (etc)crowd screaming abuse at them in hindsight and consider the point I’ve made to the world at large, as footballs not that mature, but it is a vessel for energy and we should be glad that it goes into that rather than cooking up WW3 which would no doubt be happening given the state of the human ego and the need to look back all the time? No?.But we live increasingly in a Disney-world, so perhaps being mature(what ever that is) is over?
    And no, I don’t think the the great Tottenham are spuds, chickens or anything else or their stadium is a coop, most of the time I don’t think anything about your club at all.Even JimB recognized its all just a bit of banter Im surprised you didn’t get that in the first place beings so mature. But you deserved derision for what you wrote. I would expect the same to me should I have gone over to some Tottenham blog and opened my gambit with “I hate you guys but…”.In fact seeing how mature your supporters can be I would expect nothing but love and cuddles.
    I’m not sure who the “performing chimp” is supposed to be?- for despite all I can’t quite understand what you’ve written or who in fact the final post is actually pointed at.But if you’re stating I’m a chimp(or somebody here is),according to Darwin I am!I can’t verify this, as like most people I just take for granted the fame side of science.Soon we will be able to make a circus freak show, the chimp, chickens,mature cheddar, Chas and Dave’s rabbits and a few dancing spuds(one with a funny pair of glasses drawn on them in felt pen)- just think of the revenue! All that’s missing would be the “boring, boring Chelsea dance troupe” to come on in the interval singing “meet the gang”.Mourinho as lead singer.”B-O, B-O, arm pits, boys to entertain yoooooouuuuuu”.
    Anyway, Ive had enough now, its coming up to full moon, and I have better things to do, like practice taking my trousers off over my head and act out a few scenes from Plan 9 from Outer Space with some invisible friends whilst pretending to be Rod Steiger.
    Sorry to got offended by “chicken and coop” there was no need, I only be joshing.
    But remember this: “he, he that messeth with farmyard animals, he must be watched”.Adieu!

    Jim B, I think it must be about four years to answer your question, and no UA isn’t obsessed with Tottenham (why would it be?), in my time I recall, two perhaps three articles have mentioned concerning your club(outside of match reviews)perhaps it was more, and considering how many are published on weekly basis, the stats show it to be so
    anything but obsessed.I really don’t care what your club are doing at all and usually just glance at the articles if its related to Tottenham, sorry if that’s insulting. Ironically you are not the first supporter from another club to have come over and said the same thing. Good posts though.

  58. @Jambug – I think the problem is that you saw SPURS FAN and, instantly, the red mist descended for you. You clearly didn’t read what I wrote, fella!

    So just to clarify: I don’t have a problem in the slightest with Untold Arsenal writing articles about Spurs’ new stadium. I have been quite explicit about that more than once. As I said, I enjoy the discussions. I only mentioned the subject at all in response to Kenneth’s earlier assertion (that Arsenal fans weren’t in the least preoccupied with Spurs) by pointing out that the number of articles about Spurs on this site proved that some Arsenal fans must be at least somewhat preoccupied (I didn’t use the word “obsessed”) with Spurs. I didn’t say that that preoccupation was a bad thing. Just that it was a demonstrable fact.

    As to any financial assistance that you worry that Spurs might receive from public bodies, I can only repeat what I wrote in my first post in this thread: not a single penny of public money will be spent on any property owned by Tottenham Hotspur. The regeneration money that has been earmarked for the N17 area has been / will be spent variously on upgrading local transport infrastructure, repairing damage caused by the 2011 riots and providing resources to increase employment. Spurs haven’t and won’t receive a penny. Rightly so.

    Haringey council have assisted Spurs in one respect: by serving a CPO on the one business that refused to move from the site proposed for the new stadium. Islington council helped Arsenal to an even greater extent by serving CPO’s on a number of businesses.

    @Kenneth – just to repeat what I wrote in response to Jambug…….I didn’t use the word “obsessed” in relation to Arsenal fans. Both of you must have imagined it!

  59. JimB:
    This is just a warning. If I were to be a THFC fan, I would not trust the deals that Levy can pull behind the scenes.
    He does not seem to have passed economics 101. Let me explain in a friendly way, based on the Bale to Madrid transfer.
    The huge transfer fee of 85 million quid (plus 30 million quid selling other players) was spent in a cavalier fashion.
    In fact, of the 105 million quid spent, the three top transfer fees were on Soldado (26), Lamella (26), and Paulinho (17).
    This is a total of 69 million quid that may be considered to be on the intempestive side of blowing off hard earned cash.
    So, if the supposed (and only supposed per Tony’s article) money that Haringey City Council wanted is a Paulinho transfer:
    Then give it to them! And sue however told you to buy Paulinho in the first place, the agents, the scouts, and other liars.
    And in all honesty, I like it when THFC is up there, in second, just behind the Arsenal, ahead of Chavs, Manure, and others.

  60. The argument is. Is this utter twaddle made up by the writer or is the writer quoting something they heard from down the pub?

  61. Apparently its not only ostriches that stick their heads in the sand !

  62. @Ray – Thanks for the “warning” but, with all due respect, I think I’ll trust Daniel Levy’s financial nous over yours. In fact, when it comes to matters financial (and especially when steering a club through the dangerous, stormy waters of delivering a new stadium), there isn’t a chairman I’d rather have than Levy.

    You’re absolutely correct to say that much of the Bale dividend was wasted. But hindsight is a wonderful thing. At the time, the vast majority of football observers – no matter their club – were in agreement that Spurs had done some fantastic business that summer. Obviously, it turned out not to be so. But that can happen and at least, over the past ten years or so, Spurs have come out well on top in terms of their transfer dealings. Besides, Levy is a businessman, not a football expert. He relies on others at the club to determine who to buy and for how much. Property development and capital projects, I need hardly point out, are an altogether different kettle of fish. So the comparison doesn’t really work.

  63. i am quite content with my response to the low level of intelligence in the responses to my criticism of the use of the words chicken and coop.
    Why won’t your club incorporate the name of the area it was forced into when it could not relocate in SW London, why is part of the ground called the armoury when there has never been an arsenal or armoury anywhere in the area, perhaps as I suspect it never they still don’t want to be there.
    Finally there are three statues of ex-players, one drunken criminal, one who spent two seasons trying to get away from the club and the third was a ex-Tottenham player. Good choices.

  64. What? Art thou known to Mephistopheles?What kind of strappado is this,such taxation?Art thou free of self bounty or purely here to venew unbarbed?Or art thou a grobian of the pullum familias that come`th from the Birnam-like woods of Middle Sex Coop?For there are many a wanderers tales from such regions,for it is often said that there in the chlorophyll`d country the swing-buckler folk there doth worship the American import, the potatoe, or Spud at tìs known by those who knoweth such things and they too are such called.What strange musings are these musings upon the pending eventide of a Saints feast day? Art thou the haunted strange creature from the country chicken lagoon? Or washed upon the untold shores from the darkest night and cursed to wander as a Chas and Dave midnight masque? I have heard of such apparitions, upon country lanes well within the dark witching hours! Tis strange indeed to behold such an apparition, country matters indeed!Repent! Repent!Begone!He that weareth the statute cap of the chicken shall reek ever more of sulfur and chicken cursed with blots and stains and breedeth a plague hence.Repent!Repent! Thy memory is steeled with bygone days, memories abased in alchemical black and white and never to gold find,fogged and lost in the mists of time when Helen of Troy had blesséd the earth therein with her beauteous gaze and set sail a thousand ships, hath thou still tears for salad days long hence gone? I see that it rankles in thy mind,he that you call Judas, but knoweth he could but retire to win our purpose,and tis often a colic, it plagues the mind, so lust doth play!

    Farewell, thou lob of spirits,I’ll be gone! Repent! Repent! The angels of Islington beg thee repent! before its too late for thy soul and thou art for ever cursed to wander the earth a chicken searching for a new coop and pondering like Achilles the plough-man that have lost his sweat and the green corn, to dreamily wonder up at the very vastly canopy the earth and search by thi`stars of heaven and question whence the named of foregone years was never to be incorporated whence relocation, tis thine own words! To temper these questions tis folly and a foolish ship to put to the winds of memory, and tis but for the learn`d men that pour over fustian books forsaking the fires of winter, but foregone names shame us not, but tis more amusing and cuts us not.I have heard tis often winter in the land of chicken and affecteth the mind so beyond the help of any apothecary in lady Europa or in the wider world.Tis true?

    Yet we urge thee while pondering this too, think on, one Dr.Faustus!Yes he of Wittenberg, he too followed the chicken.A cock-a doodle do! Hark his cries as yet in the lower coops of hell!hark! he too pondered such temptations and forever burnt like a severed capon upon a twiggen landscape where candle and bell could no longer help his greedy mongerel soul. Repent!Think on Faustus burning in a coop of his own making, forced by day to read at no sovereign leisure again and again books by the once devoted, but alas now excommunicated friend of the Council of Style, books that picture gladly the very skull beneath the skin, tar and feathers!.Tis true, he hath no idea what foul meats we bak`d in the pie whence tempted by Beelzebub and lured by words of shift and power, and was loathe to eat such rank meats but thence to followeth the ties of the chicken-poatoe beast.His mind thence was poison’d evermore swimming in a torment of poor sport,jealousy and plagued by the lesser devils of the seven deadly sisters,except where the pungent fumes of gunpowder put paid to such lust!Repent! Repent! Soot and sulphur follows thee! But come, lay down thy feathered shirt of white, and cast not thy beady greenéd eye upon thy neighbours and singeth under the moon and stars with us upon this merry eve.

    But if we Angels of Islington have offended,think but this and all is amended, that you have slumbered here while these words did appear,and this strong and truthful theme,tis much more than an idle dream, Gentles do not reprehend, for if we pardon you will mend, and as I am honest Gun if we have unearnéd sun, now to escape the chickens tongue?We will make amends long,else a liar the Gun you call, and goodnight unto chickens one and all! So give me your hands if we be friends, and the cannon shall make all amends.



  65. @Kenneth

    Agree with Mick – brilliant – but it might be wasted on the Spuddies!

  66. @ Kenneth Widmerpool – May 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm – WOW ! Brilliant Kenneth . We don’t have to wait with baited breath for a reply as them Spuds aren’t too bright ! Unless of course Google has an Ye Olde English translator !
    AKBs really rule the roost !

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