Spurs silent on White Hart Lane reports

November 6, 2007

Tottenham have remained tight-lipped over the latest speculation about plans to redevelop their White Hart Lane ground or move to a new stadium.

One suggestion is that Spurs will shut down their traditional home for two seasons while it is upgraded to a 52,000-capacity arena and ground-share with rivals West Ham at Upton Park until the work is completed.

Another idea is for Spurs to play high-profile matches like the north London derby against Arsenal at the new Wembley Stadium.

Reports have claimed that Spurs have turned to Tony Winterbottom, formerly of the London Development Authority, who played a major role in the building of Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium, to help them realise a venue of similar quality on their site adjacent to busy Tottenham High Road.

But a club spokesman said: 'All we can say is to advise you to recall what the chairman (Daniel Levy) said in his statement when we announced our financial results last month and see what happens early next year.'

After announcing in October a record turnover and a #32million operating profit, Levy said: 'The club is currently reviewing its options based on developing our stadium and our state-of-the-art training centre and we will commit to one of the options in the first half of 2008.'

White Hart Lane's current capacity is just over 36,000 but to stay there and expand to a 52,000-seat facility in an overcrowded area with notoriously poor public transport links would be likely to cost in the region of #300million.

And reports suggest it would mean Spurs vacating White Hart Lane for two seasons and proposing a temporary ground-share plan with West Ham.

Tottenham are already said to have approached both West Ham and the Football Association for their reaction - with sell-out matches, like the Arsenal game, at Wembley. But no party has officially confirmed such talks.

Another option open to Spurs is to build a new stadium on one of several sites they have identified in other parts of north London, not far from White Hart Lane, although the redevelopment of their current facility is reportedly the favoured choice.

Outsiders have also suggested yet another option - that Levy and his ENIC corporation, who bought out the Alan Sugar regime six years ago, sell up completely if new Spanish manager Juande Ramos cannot turn around Spurs' fortunes on the field by the end of next season.

Former Tottenham idol Jimmy Greaves told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme at the weekend: 'They should be in the last-chance saloon.

'If Senor Ramos doesn't do it within 18 months I feel the whole lot of them should fall on their swords.'

Meanwhile Ramos and Daniel Comolli, Spurs' sporting director, are urging the Premier League to fall into line with other top leagues in Europe, and competitions like the Champions League and UEFA Cup, and allow seven substitutes instead of five to sit on the bench for matches.

Comolli said: 'It would allow more options and give younger players more opportunity of gaining valuable first-team experience.

'Juande Ramos raised this when he picked his first two squads for the games against Blackpool and Middlesbrough and we are fully behind it.'

The likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United would be almost certain to support Spurs' view.

But a Premier League spokesman said: 'There are no plans to change the current situation, although if clubs raise it with us it is something we will discuss.

'In the past it has been resisted as it was felt that it would favour the bigger clubs with bigger squads.'