Spurs stay silent over stadium speculation

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The Independent Online

Tottenham Hotspur have remained tight-lipped over the latest speculation about plans to redevelop their White Hart Lane ground or move to a new stadium.

One suggestion is that Spurs will shut down their traditional home for two seasons while it is upgraded to a 52,000-capacity arena and ground-share with West Ham United at Upton Park until the work is completed.

Another idea is for Spurs to play high-profile matches, like the north London derby against Arsenal, at Wembley Stadium.

Reports have claimed that Spurs have turned to Tony Winterbottom, formerly of the London Development Authority, who played a major role in the building of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, to help them realise a venue of similar quality on their site adjacent to Tottenham High Road.

But a club spokesman said: "All we can say is to advise you to recall what the chairman (Daniel Levy) said in his statement when we announced our financial results last month and see what happens early next year."

After announcing a record turnover and a £32m operating profit, Levy said: "The club is currently reviewing its options based on developing our stadium and our state-of-the-art training centre and we will commit to one of the options in the first half of 2008. White Hart Lane's current capacity is just over 36,000, but to stay there and expand to a 52,000-seat facility in an overcrowded area with poor public transport links would likely cost in the region of £300m.

And reports suggest it would mean Spurs vacating White Hart Lane for two seasons and proposing a temporary ground-share plan with West Ham.

Tottenham are already said to have approached both West Ham and the Football Association for their reaction – with sell-out matches, like the Arsenal game, at Wembley.

But no party has officially confirmed such talks. Another option is to build a stadium on one of several sites Spurs have identified in north London, although the redevelopment of their current facility is reportedly the favoured choice.

Outsiders have also suggested yet another option – that Levy and his ENIC corporation, who bought out the Alan Sugar regime six years ago, sell up completely if the new Spanish manager, Juande Ramos, cannot turn around Spurs' fortunes on the field by the end of next season.

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