Tottenham likely to leave White Hart Lane a season early and could play 'home' games in Brighton, Milton Keynes or Ipswich
Spurs hierarchy wanted to stay but building work will prove prohibitive
Tottenham Hotspur may have to leave White Hart Lane early and share another ground for a year before their planned move to their new £400m stadium.
Spurs are hopeful of being in their new 54,000-seat ground for the beginning of the 2017/18 season and wanted to stay at White Hart Lane despite heavy building work taking place.
But according to the Evening Standard, the club’s hierarchy believe it may prove too difficult to stay at White Hart Lane, their home since 1899, and are now looking into alternative venues to stage ‘home’ matches during the 2016/17 season.
Wembley, the Olympic Stadium and stadiummk, the home of Milton Keynes Dons, are all thought to be under consideration. Ipswich’s Portman Road ground and The Amex, home of Brighton, are also on the list of possibilities although these plans are at an early stage.
Were Tottenham to play home fixtures at Wembley, it is likely the top tier of the 90,000-seat national stadium would not be used, reducing the capacity closer to 50,000. That is thought to be Spurs’ first choice, although the high cost of playing at Wembley could force Spurs into their Plan B, involving playing ‘home’ games at Wembley and some of the other grounds mentioned earlier.
Season-ticket holders who would be reluctant to travel to games could be granted a ‘sabbatical’, which would release them from financial obligations during the season on the road. Such discussions have barely left the ground, however, because there are still plenty of hurdles to clear.
The necessary funds to finance the new stadium are said to be in place but Spurs are growing frustrated at the length of time it is taking to learn whether they will be granted a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Spurs have been waiting 15 months for a decision they thought would take three months. A CPO would enable them to resolve a dispute with Archway Sheet Metal, a family-run business close to White Hart Lane, and would give the club control of the land they need.
Some sources claim Archway is demanding £25million to be relocated.
Even if Spurs were granted the CPO, it is possible Archway could appeal against the decision, which would make it more unlikely that the club would be in their new ground at the start of the 2017-18 campaign. There has been hostility towards Archway on social media from sections of the Spurs support.
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