September 16 2014 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tottenham Hotspur could be ready to start playing in its new stadium in just three years’ time, the club has revealed.
Spurs has spent the last year putting the final financial elements in place so it will be ready to approach contruction firms for bids “late this year”, it said in a financial results and stadium update this morning.
The only barrier now to starting work on the site, which has been largely cleared, is a decision from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles on whether to force local firm Archway Sheet Metal Works to sell-up.
The company, based in Paxton Road, owns land under the planned stadium footprint, but has resisted all offers to sell to Spurs. It appealed against a public inquiry’s findings in April 2013 that it should be relocated using a compulsory purchase order (CPO).
The decision now rests with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which was due to rule last October but has yet to announce either way. It is thought Mr Pickles’ department will rule in favour of Spurs.
Club chairman Daniel Levy said: “We have fantastic, strong support. Our current 36,000 seater stadium sells out and the waiting list for season ticket holders is currently in excess of 47,000. We cannot stress strongly enough how critical the new stadium is over the long-term to these raised expectations.
“We have the smallest capacity stadium of any club in the top 20 clubs in Europe, let alone the current top four Premier League clubs, and given we now operate within UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, an increased capacity stadium and associated revenues is fundamental to supporting the future ambitions and consistent achievement at the top of the game.
“The new stadium is a landmark project, of importance not just for our club, but to the regeneration of an area which has been our home for more than 132 years and to London as a whole. It will be a key regenerative component of the local economy and a significant tourist attraction in its own right.
He added: “To anyone visiting Tottenham today, our commitment to delivering the new stadium project and associated regeneration is clear for all to see - phase one is built, the club-sponsored Tottenham University Technical College is due to open this summer, 447 jobs have been delivered to date and some nine acres have been cleared in readiness for the stadium development. We eagerly await the outcome of the CPO decision by the DCLG.
“We are optimistic for the long-term future and believe our efforts will make this great club even greater over time. Our supporters are our life-blood and we shall ensure that they are our most important stakeholder as we move forward.”
The club revealed that, over the last decade, it has acquired land and property extending to more than 18 acres, relocated 72 businesses and invested more than £100million in the stadium project.
It also said it made a modest profit of £1.5million after tax in 2013 on operations excluding football trading, compared with a £4.3million loss the previous year.
Spurs has also signed a five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Asian insurance group AIA.
Rumours have been circulating that the redevelopment was being hampered by the club’s failure to attract a major sponsor for the stadium so far – as Emirates has done for north London rivals Arsenal.
But a club spokesman said no inferences were to be drawn from the airbrushing of the words “Naming Rights” from artists’ impressions of the ground re-released today.