Football: Spurs fans prefer team funding

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TOTTENHAM SUPPORTERS will urge their chairman, Alan Sugar, to make more money available for transfers instead of buying back shares in the club at today's annual meeting.

One resolution to be debated at White Hart Lane proposes to allow the club to buy back some of its own shares from shareholders.

However, some Spurs fans feel the money involved in the scheme, thought to be worth around pounds 8m, would be better spent on strengthening the side.

And Bernie Kingsley, co-ordinator of the Spurs Independent Supporters' Association and a shareholder himself, intends to make his objections known to Sugar at the meeting. "It seems to me that they're talking about pounds 8m to buy their own shares. Why?" Kingsley said.

"It will be of benefit to the shareholders who have their shares bought and it benefits the other shareholders in that the value of the shares will probably rise. But why can't we use the money to buy players or make the ground bigger? It seems to me it's taking money out of the club.

"Why not add it to the pounds 18m that's supposed to be available and make it pounds 26m? You don't get much for your money these days and we need another centre-half, some midfielders and cover at full-back."

The meeting is, however, likely to be one of the most positive for years at White Hart Lane with the club finally looking like putting seasons of turmoil behind it.

George Graham, the new manager, has apparently won over the majority of supporters opposed to a former Arsenal manager taking over and has the club up to 10th in the Premiership and through to the quarter-finals of the Worthington Cup.

Kingsley said: "It's quite positive at the moment. Things are looking up. We have got over the shock of having a Gunner as manager and he's got them playing quite well. I don't think there will be a lot of people against George Graham. I think that's in the past and people are looking forward."

But one contentious issue that is almost certain to be raised is the debate over tickets for the Premiership meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The club is alleged to have turned down the chance to buy more tickets from Chelsea for the match on 19 December and increased the price of tickets to watch the match on a big screen at White Hart Lane.

Kingsley said: "I think they will get a bit of stick for that and quite rightly. They put a piece in the programme on Saturday saying if you bought tickets in advance you got them at a reduced price.

"But the reduced price is the price they normally charge and the new price is now 25 per cent higher."