Tom Edwards: Stratford move would rip heart out of Spurs

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The Independent Football

"There used to be a football club there."

So said the Uefa Cup-winning manager, Keith Burkinshaw, as he walked away from Spurs in 1984, disillusioned with the men who were running and ruining the club. With the threat of relocation to Stratford hanging over N17, his comment is more relevant than ever.

Chairman Daniel Levy and his cohorts talk about commercial imperatives, keeping pace with the top sides and the importance of looking to the future, rather than dwelling in the past.

But what they forget is that without history, there is no meaning to supporting a club. Today's achievements are worthless without the context of yesterday. A sense of place, an appreciation of tradition and a good measure of local pride are the cornerstones of what it is to be a supporter.

The recent seasons following Spurs have been some of the best and Levy deserves credit for his part in delivering Champions League football. But these accomplishments have been special because they were achieved by a team based in Tottenham. If Spurs leave, the heart will be ripped out of an area that already has more than its share of problems. We have a responsibility to this unheralded corner of north London.

I understand the fans who dismiss such obligations. They insist that realising our grand ambitions is the priority. While I too want success, my support is unwavering whether we are dismantling Internazionale or losing 6-0 at Bramall Lane. Some things are more important than winning. That is why it comes down to a choice: either you believe in our club as a force for good and source of local pride. Or you don't.

What would be the legacy if Tottenham decamp? What becomes of the youth and community programmes? To shift them is a betrayal. And how has the redevelopment of White Hart Lane become, in Levy's words, "dead in the water"? Has he decided that the Olympic Stadium could save a bundle and make a more attractive asset for disposal?

Should Levy relocate Spurs he will have a fatted calf for sale to the highest bidder – who knows, maybe even to those football aficionados from Qatar. What a prospect: a franchised-out Stratford Spurs with the roots of MK Dons and the riches of the Eastlands Emirati.

That would be a summation of all that is wrong with our game. I will not be making the journey.

Tom Edwards is a Spurs season ticket holder



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