Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Stadium Is Key to Spurs' Ambitions; Tom Collomosse Examines Whether the Planned [Pounds Sterling]400m Arena Close to Club's Current Home Will Wreck Their Chances of Challenging at the Top in the Short Term

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Stadium Is Key to Spurs' Ambitions; Tom Collomosse Examines Whether the Planned [Pounds Sterling]400m Arena Close to Club's Current Home Will Wreck Their Chances of Challenging at the Top in the Short Term

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse

[bar] S Tottenham try to become a club capable of finding consistent success at home and in Europe, the key to their ambitions is obvious. Is it the need to hang on to Luka Modric, Gareth Bale or manager Harry Redknapp? Vital as these objectives are, the importance of securing a deal for a larger, more modern stadium outweighs them all.

Tottenham's commitment to the Northumberland Development Project, to build a new stadium close to White Hart Lane, is popular with supporters who were angry at the now abandoned plan to uproot the club and move to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

The sticking point until now has been the estimated [pounds sterling]400million cost of the initiative, and Spurs are trying to secure further private and public funding to ensure it is financially viable. The move to quit the stock market, meaning today's Annual General Meeting will be the last for some time, has been explained by the club as a strategy to raise more capital for the NDP. Spurs are also thought to be in talks with several companies to agree a naming rights deal that would provide a significant injection of cash. In the perfect scenario, the benefits of a new ground would be both economic and symbolic. With UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, which would allow a club to spend only what they earn, due to be imposed in 2013, Spurs hope a 56,000-capacity stadium would provide the monetary muscle required to keep pace with the Premier League's strongest clubs.

Furthermore, a stylish stadium would be a powerful allure to any player who wishes to join Spurs. A futuristic arena hints at ambition, progress and, most importantly, wealth -- all questions players want to be answered when they are considering changing clubs.

While White Hart Lane is as charismatic as it is atmospheric, the capacity of a little more than 36,000 is insufficient if the club wish to establish themselves among the elite. Tottenham trust, therefore, that a new ground would underpin every attempt to advance both on and off the pitch.

The flip-side, however, is that building a stadium represents a substantial gamble for clubs who do not have the limitless spending power of Manchester City. …

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