It’s been a week full of questions for Spurs fans. Where does Harry’s future lie? When will he leave? If he does leave who will replace him? These are important questions that will have a large impact on Spurs future development.
However while all eyes are on White Hart Lane a question much more vital to Spurs future is quietly being discussed in the sedate corridors of Haringey County Council. They meet again today to discuss the next stage of Spurs proposal for a New stadium (and hotel, apartments, supermarket, stables, nuclear reactor, lighthouse all the other trimmings that go with it nowadays).
The catchily titled Northumberland Development Project (or NDP as all the cool kids are rushing to call it), will hopefully lead to a new 56,000 seater stadium, and end Tottenham’s thus far futile chase of the Olympic stadium.
The NDP took it first major step forward in September last year when the Haringey Council granted planning permission after Spurs agreed to foot approx 16 million of the bill directly (although including investment from Spurs fan groups, Daniel Levy’s ENIC, and other Spurs led funding adds up to much more.)
However, Spurs soon realized they, “have not been able to commit (to the stadium) as it is not financially viable”‘ or simply put- they can’t afford it. The club now says that for the NDP plan to move ahead their share of the cost must be cut, and alternative funding made available.
The good news is the council seem open to this change and have ‘held lengthy negotiations to see how the projects viability can be improved”. On top of this the London mayor’s office will provide 18 million to cover transportation upgrades (thank you Boris).
But one thing that does come out of the report is that overall this project looks set to be scaled back. The original budget of £400 million was never one Spurs supported and now it seems the Council agree. But will cutting back on these costs affect the stadium of the football experience itself?
A report from financial firm Grant Thornton also worryingly states that “taken together, it would appear there are significant challenges and risks to the delivery of this project” and says that even if the council agrees to change the agreement the new plan is still “ambitious” and has a “more complex funding strategy than existed in previous financial models”.
All this movement and the Councils support is good news for Spurs fans hoping to keep the club in North London, but all these financial hurdles and difficulties mean that for some the Olympic stadium still looks a tempting proposal.
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