How are Tottenham reacting to their new stadium and what happens next?

By Tony Attwood

The impact of a new stadium on a club has been one of my favourite themes across the years of Untold, not least because I think it is one of those little analyses that we came up with first – and which of course everyone else has ignored ever since.

But we did create a chart of what happened to clubs after moving to a new ground, and thinking about the forthcoming game with Tottenham – and of course their move to the new ground – it did remind me of the figures we put together in the early days of Untold.  (And I would stress I do know where the game is being played – on this occasion I am not getting totally confused).

Here is the chart of ground moves that we created

Stadium Club Built Promotion/Releg
Riverside Stadium Middlesbrough 1995 Relegated 1997
Britannia Stadium Stoke City 1997 Relegated 1998
Reebok Stadium Bolton Wanderers 1997 Relegated 1998
Pride Park Stadium Derby County 1997 Relegated 2002
Stadium of Light Sunderland 1997 Relegated 1997
Madejski Stadium Reading 1998 Relegated 1998
JJB Stadium Wigan Athletic 1999 Won D3 2003
St Mary’s Stadium Southampton 2001 Relegated 2005
KC Stadium Hull City 2002 Prom from D3 2005
Walkers Stadium Leicester City 2002 Relegated 2004
Etihad Stadium Manchester City 2003 Won League 2012
Liberty Stadium Swansea City 2005 Prom from D4 2005
Emirates Stadium Arsenal 2006 Top 4 to 2016
Cardiff City Stadium Cardiff City 2009 Won D2 2012
“London” Stadium WHU 2016 11th, 13th, 10th in PL
Tottenham Hot Stadium Tottenham Hotspur 2019

New stadia are clearly not always associated with an improvement in fortune – although it can happen on occasion.  Arsenal did maintain the long run in the Champions League – a run only beaten by Real Madrid, for not even Barcelona managed a consecutive run as long as Arsenal’s.  But of course the three league trophies under Mr Wenger all came during the Highbury years.  Since moving to the new stadium we have won the FA Cup three times but no league titles.

And now we can add Tottenham and we can take a look at what it has meant to their form…

In 2016/17 ahead of the move, Tottenham were the most successful club at home, producing the form that last season we would now associate with Manchester City and Liverpool.  That was the season the ground was partially shut and Totteham’s average crowd went down to 31,639.  Here are the league tables showing the changes…

2016/17 – home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 19 17 2 0 47 9 38 53
2 Chelsea 19 17 0 2 55 17 38 51
3 Arsenal 19 14 3 2 39 16 23 45
4 Everton 19 13 4 2 42 16 26 43
5 Liverpool 19 12 5 2 45 18 27 41
6 Manchester City 19 11 7 1 37 17 20 40

Then came the “temporary” move to Wembley and suddenly the home form fell apart…

2017/18 – home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 16 2 1 61 14 47 50
2 Arsenal 19 15 2 2 54 20 34 47
3 Manchester United 19 15 2 2 38 9 29 47
4 Liverpool 19 12 7 0 45 10 35 43
5 Tottenham Hotspur 19 13 4 2 40 16 24 43
6 Chelsea 19 11 4 4 30 16 14 37

Unfortunately for Tottenham, although the ground was due to be ready pretty soon after the start of the 2018/19 season, it wasn’t.  It was something to do with mice eating the cables, or people having alcohol on the site – I forget the exact details.  Anyway, by continuing at Wembley, so the “home” results continued.

2018/19 – home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 18 0 1 57 12 45 54
2 Liverpool 19 17 2 0 55 10 45 53
3 Arsenal 19 14 3 2 42 16 26 45
4 Chelsea 19 12 6 1 39 12 27 42
5 Tottenham Hotspur 19 12 2 5 34 16 18 38
6 Manchester United 19 10 6 3 33 25 8 36

It is interesting to see how the Tottenham fan based related to this move to Wembley.  Although the crowd shot up in 2017/18, the numbers declined again in 2018/19 – quite possibly because the date of the opening of the new stadium was put back several times.  The “Crowd pos” column shows the position in a league table of crowds.

Season Average crowd League Pos Crowd Pos High Low
2014/15 35,728 5th 9 36,130 34,008
2015/16 35,776 3rd 9 36,084 34,882
2016/17 31,639 2nd 12 31,962 31,211
2017/18 67,953 3rd 2 83,222 50,034
2018/19 54,216 4th 4 81,332 29,164

During this period of coming and going Tottenham’s league position has slipped a little, although not as much as the attendances at Wembley during last season.

As the top table shows, success in a new stadium can come along but there is no direct link between the stadium and success.  And I suspect that the impact of a new stadium does depend primarily on how the cost of the stadium impacts on the ability to buy new players.   If the stadium itself generates lots of extra revenue, that is obviously helpful.  If it has been paid for by borrowed money and that has to be repaid, then that is far from helpful.

Arsenal of course had both these issues – lots of new money from the larger ground, but it mostly went into paying for the stadium.  It appears that Tottenham have the same issue and I suspect this might impact somewhat on their performances.  (Obviously as an Arsenal supporter I hope so, but that’s not my point here).

For overall it is the impact on home form that fascinates me.  From being the most powerful team at home, Tottenham has slipped considerably.  Now if that was simply because of the nomadic existence and an unsettling of everyone due to the long delays and (what seemed to me from the other side of the fence) not very good communications between the club and the fans, then all should now be ok.  I haven’t been inside the stadium (rather obviously) but it looks great from without – although I wonder about the lack of a stadium sponsor.  (Still I hear the station has been renamed).

But the defeat to Newcastle suggests the old curse of the new ground revealed in the top table might hit again.  But we need a few more home games for Tottenham to see if that is true.



2 Replies to “How are Tottenham reacting to their new stadium and what happens next?”

  1. With the exception of Arsenal , and the other 2 clubs who were ‘gifted’ a new stadium , the pattern seems to be one of ‘cooling off ‘ period in the lower leagues .
    Probably to get second wind , regroup and garner new investments to make another tilt at the top.
    That being said , I hope we help the Spuds maintain history and begin that journey by beating them this weekend ! History awaits them !
    Up the Gunners !

  2. The Sun (that bastion of whorenalistic accuracy and precision) has a blurb up on the possibility of the second “dirtiest” in English football becoming the “dirtiest”.

    And the numbers brought forth, are yellow and red cards.

    Supposedly the number of cards of either colour have something to do with the number of fouls, but they also take into consideration other things.

    The number of fouls tabulated by the EPL is _NOT_ the number of fouls committed in the game; rather, it is the number of fouls called by the PGMOL representative (masquerading as a referee). There is ample evidence showing the number of fouls called (and when) bears no resemblence to the need for discipline in the game.

    To get to yellow cards, one applies some dodgy logic to the number of fouls committed. Which means the number of yellow cards is some function of dodgyness squared.

    To get to red cards, another level of dodgyness is applied; consequently the number of red cards is some function of dodgyness cubed.

    And this is then used to assign how dirty a game is?

    What would be a more accurate measure of the dirtyness of a derby, is to do an accounting of how many man-days were lost by players of the teams in question due to injury in the derby.

    A person could look at the treatment numbers requiring attention on the field, but the PGMO do not pay attention to treatments. They are not worthy of being associated with fouls or cards, regardless of their severity. A player may require treatment and subsequently be found to require substitution; the PGMO representative still sees no reason why the need for substitution might be an indicator of the severity of the action inducing the need for treatment.

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