Outside the Box: Olympic stadium row comes 100 years after Arsenal move

The prediction by West Ham's co-owner David Sullivan that there would be riots if Tottenham were to move to the Olympic Stadium in what is considered to be Hammers' territory may be a self-fulfilling prophecy but it does remind us of how Spurs themselves were the victims of an even more audacious manoeuvre almost 100 years ago. Henry Norris, the ambitious Woolwich Arsenal chairman, was convinced that his club's historic base in south-east London was too isolated. He proposed moving to Craven Cottage for either a merger or ground-share with Fulham, and when that was defeated decided in 1913 to cross the Rubicon, aka the Thames, for a site in Islington. Tottenham protested in vain at this invasion of their north London patch and so they, rather than Chelsea, became Arsenal's great local rivals. In the late Seventies, the two clubs' directors sat round a table to discuss sharing a new stadium at Alexandra Park but could not come to any agreement. It would have saved time, money and aggravation had they done so and could have paved the way for similar arrangements up and down the country, including the solution to Liverpool and Everton's problems. Meanwhile, the neglected party in the Olympic Stadium discussions, as chairman Barry Hearn pointed out with characteristic vigour last week, are Leyton Orient. Struggling on gates of less than 5,000, but noted for much excellent community work, they would suddenly find (presumably) Premier League football within one mile of their Brisbane Road home, which Hearn says could kill theclub off.

Poles apart at Euros

No counting of English chickens here, but whichever teams qualify for the European Championship finals will find the schedule more sensible than at the World Cup, when teams and supporters of each nation found themselves regularly trekking from one end of South Africa to the other. As sensible as it can be, anyway, given that Uefa have opted for co-hosting between Poland and Ukraine, at venues so widespread that the distance between the two cities staging the semi-finals, Warsaw and Donetsk, is almost 800 miles. As of last week, the hosts have been allocated their place in the draw, as teams A1 (Poland) and D1 (Ukraine), each playing all three group games in their own country. The top seeds in the other groups, teams B1 and C1, will play each group match in the same city, Kharkiv and Gdansk respectively, so that supporters can make their base there. On current rankings, however, and assuming no great shocks in the current qualifying competition, those top seeds would be Spain and Germany rather than Fabio's boys, who are rated only fifth in Europe. For those wishing to make summer holiday arrangements, Warsaw gets the opening game (Friday 8 June) and Kiev the final (Sunday 1 July).

Keeping a hypnotist handy

Could more footballers benefit from hypnotherapy? Brentford's goalkeeper Richard Lee, the penalty hero of victories over Everton and Orient in the Carling Cup and Johnstone's Paint Trophy respectively, claims to have done so since he started seeing a hypnotherapist called Dave Sabat. "I've seen Dave four times now prior to each game and the impact he has had on my game has been immense," Lee said. "He puts me in a hypnotised state, which bypasses the conscious mind and then we go through the imagery of the game to come, so I'm feeling in a very positive state of mind. I needed a boost and since seeing him I've never felt more focused during a game in my life. I think my last four performances are proof of that." Lee, who once spent a season on loan at Blackburn, had been mentally low after making a "big decision" to leave Watford last summer, only to be dropped by Brentford after two pre-season games. Frustratingly, his man-of-the-match awards in four cup games this season have still not earned him a single League One appearance, Ben Hamer having kept the jersey since being signed on loan from Reading. "At the risk of sounding arrogant I see myself as a keeper who could perform well in the Premiership, as I have done already, and I find myself in the position I do," he says.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before