Tottenham Hotspur may not be able to sustain their growing status if they are refused permission to turn the Olympic Stadium in Stratford into their new 60,000-capacity home after the 2012 Games. Despite a growing rebellion among fans over a potential move to east London, The Independent on Sunday understands the alternative of a redeveloped White Hart Lane as part of the Northumberland Park Development is gradually being considered a less viable option because of costs involved and demands being put on the club by the local authority.
Planning permission has already been given for turning the Lane into a 56,000-seater state-of-the-art stadium on neighbouring land, and a majority of supporters believe Spurs should honour the club's long tradition and remain where they are.
Tottenham's anti-Stratford lobby are planning more protests at today's game with Manchester United, but if Spurs eventually decide they have to scrap the NPD project, there are increasing worries the club may have to remain at their inadequate 36,000-capacity ground. That would mean sliding backwards, no longer being able to invest at the current rate and failing to compete on the pitch with their rivals. Spurs are vying with West Ham to take over the Olympic Stadium. The Olympic Park Legacy Company is due to decide by the end of this month which of the two should be granted the venue.
Despite criticism over Spurs' plans to remove the running track, they say the Olympic stadium was always going to be reduced from 80,000 to 25,000 after next year's Games. Last night Tottenham icon Glenn Hoddle backed plans to bulldoze the Olympic venue. Hoddle said: "I can understand why Spurs are looking to make [it] a football stadium. That's got to be right for the next 100 years, not the next few committee meetings. I understand the IOC saying it would be nice to keep the athletics track but it's not going to be predominantly used for athletics in the future."
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