Spurs and Stratford a perfect mix or recipie for disaster?

by Marc Sibbons

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Tottenham’s proposed move to the Olympic Stadium in 2012 has been met with much controversy this week in the national media, with the majority of fans voicing their displeasure of any move to the Stratford based site. So ferocious was the reaction, that an estimated 500 fans organised a protest before Sunday’s Premiership showdown with table toppers Manchester United at White Hart Lane.

Much of the anger aimed at any move from Tottenham’s North London territory is because many loyal Spurs supporters feel the club will lose it’s sense of identity by moving from North to East London. This has to be the major reason why Chairman Daniel Levy isn’t receiving the backing of the clubs stakeholders. Whilst i strongly agree with this point, and it’s very important to keep a clubs history intact, i am starting to think that a move to Stratford might not be all doom and gloom for Spurs fans after all, but maybe a step in the right direction.

First and foremost, i personally think White Hart Lane is a terrific stadium, where the club has maximum capacity on match days more often than not and generates outstanding support from the terraces. However, i cannot help but feel a move is somewhat inevitable as the club seek to match or even surpass it’s nearest rivals in terms of the quality and financial potential of it’s stadium infrastructure.

White Hart Lane can match most Premiership Stadiums in terms of class from the inside, but outside i feel the infrastructure has reached its peak. A revamp of the stadium would ideally be the preferred option for many Spurs fans including myself, but a move to a newly built stadium does sound appealing.

The Olympic Stadium in Stratford would no doubt be a work of art. At an impressive 60,000 capacity, the stadium would be on par with Arch rivals Arsenal’s home, The Emirates, whilst transport links to the stadium would be equally as impressive.

On the other hand, Many Spurs supporter’s will argue that staying in North London should be a top priority. Rich history and many famous players have graced the turf at White Hart Lane, with many fans hoping to see this continue post 2012. Even Spurs legends such as Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles have actively voiced their opinions on the debate by claiming they are ‘dissapointed’ after hearing the news of any potential move from White Hart Lane, which is surely going to met with much widespread attention.

Another deciding factor is that the Olympic Stadium’s proposed set up doesn’t seem to bode well with the supporters. One thing is for certain is that a running track occupying the outskirts of the pitch will not go down with the terraces. UK football fans feel the need to be close to the pitch for the emotive factor of the game, which is the opposite of the Italian game, where many stadiums provide a significant divide between the pitch and the stands. In my opinion, this would not be ideal in the English game.

With the idea of separating loyal fans from the seemingly ‘homely’ White Hart Lane proving to be a problematic decision in terms of satistfying many different opinions, Mr.Levy certainly has a crucial decision to make if he wants to keep the fans happy whilst keeping the club’s progressing transition into a top four club a reality.

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  • Stan

    Good article, I agree, just when they are taking massive leaps forward I see this as a step back. Do Spurs really want to labelled the MK Dons of the Premier League? A team with no soul or history?

    Surely they can find a location in North London, Arsenal did!

  • Beach_Bum

    If building the new stadium near WHL is too expensive,why not move out to Enfield.

  • SomeYoungGuy

    Get with the programme dude. Weeks ago it became clear that Spurs would not move to a ready built stadium. Spurs will level the Stratford stadium and rebuild. Even West Ham plan to keep the track, but it still is not ready built – they will still have to build on it to add facilities and reduce the capacity.

  • M.Sullivan

    Oneyear ago Tottenham were telling us that theNorthumberland Park project was the way forward and would have no effect on transfer funds.Now suddenly it is £200million more than Stratford?I make a prediction if this move to Stratford goes ahead ENIC will be gone with a massive profit within two years and we will be left with no ground(that we own,Stratford will be rented),no name,nohistory,no tradition and no soul.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    @ Beachbum very good point, half of Spurs fans come from Enfield so why not. At least they would b keeping it real.

    I think they are a little to desperate to keep up with the Jones’s! All in good time ‘Arry! You’ve worked miracles but slow down mate. There’s no rush. If they are serious about being titles contenders and staying in the big 4 then they have to think deep and hard about the new stadium

  • chris

    It is obviously not a good foot forward move. It will never work if you are a current Spurs fan. I am and although I have never resided in Tottenham everybody knows football is tribal. How many of the 5000 sw19 fans visit milton keynes each week? I was on the waiting list for a season ticket for many years at Spurs and I wouldn’t even dream of going to Stratford, never mind purchasing a season ticket. Maybe east london boys will feel the need to follow a team in the tribal fashion and a new following will be discovered but there certainly will not be a Tottenham faithful present – far from it. The Tottenham faithful will die along with WHL. If this is a monetary move then it is a wing and a prayer at best. A bargaining chip I always thought it was but if this comes to fruition then we will be joining our sw19 cousins in lower league competition and that is inevitable. I live in Islington and I tell you what, I am a north London club man….. Don’t make me do it Mr Levy!

  • Josh

    Firstly, if they do move, it will stop the whole stop Spurs fans moaning about Arsenal relocating from South to North London way back when. But, would it also make the Arsenal/Spurs rivalry defunct? No longer neighbours, would the two clubs eventually become *gulp* friendly? I doubt it. Anyway, it seems a strange move to just up and leave North London, just for a cheaper option. But could it stink of Harry Redknapp any more? I’m sure he doesn’t have a MASSIVE say in the project, but…he does love a bargain. After all, he is a wheeler dealer, but don’t tell him I said that.

    Why not just look elsewhere? Take the hit Arsenal took and stay close by. Transport links are sorted, Fans know the deal and they’re part of the history of the area. The move would show a real lack of loyalty to the fans and area, proving the club to be concerned by nothing but money.

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