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Entries in Northumberland Development Project (11)


Much Ade about nothing

Bale and Adam

Gareth getting a ton of flak from his own fans over the Adam vendetta, a tart some say for constantly banging on about it. Next time, if his ankle is broken, I'll quote Bale's complaints to remind you of the tarts feelings on this matter.

Victoria Line extension

Haringey Council have unveiled their vision for 'Tottenham' which includes information relating to Northumberland Park train station finally getting an extension via the Victoria Line to aid that extra incoming traffic and escape home. The document is 56 pages long. Also worth noting is that the summer of 2016 is when the NDP is aiming for completion. We'll have to wait a little longer for the tube extension with work beginning 2017.

The high line

Not perfect yet is it? But then we've not played that many games and we still lack a key component for it to work - a 'sweeper' keeper. Lloris rumours continue. The system won't work too well with Brad between the sticks because of his lack of adventure walking forwards. Equally important is having the likes of Parker and Sandro available to pressure players in the middle of the park. Early days. Parker set to miss start of season due to op. The high line itself also relies on communication and fluidity of not just the defenders but how they push forward with support from said midfield. A variety of components are required for it to work but it won't do so with assured confidence until we have all the necessary players in place. Also, patience. It won't be perfect from the off which means expect errors early on once the season starts proper until they are ironed out. Of course, if everyone is on key with positioning it will be a lot more comfortable and stress free the stronger it grows from one game to the next.

Adebayor and Luka

Nothing appears to have changed publicly aside from Villas-Boas citing the mental state of Modric who is currently training whilst we wait for the next chess move between Levy and Madrid. Almost feels like nothing else (transfer wise) will happen until this is resolved. How certain are we that someone will meet the clubs valuation of the player? How certain are we that Levy will hold strong on his stance and not shift from it, much like he did last year with Chelsea? It's dragging like a legless zombie crawling through a graveyard. We can't sign a replacement until he's gone so if we're not signing a replacement is it because we're unsure of the players departure? When is the cut off date - as a deal on the final day of the season won't work for us unless we've signed another midfielder before then.

As for our forward line. The Adebayor deal appears to be going the distance much like the Jan Vert signing did. Technicalities concerning wages? It's more than likely to happen much like it was this time last week/month. Whatever the hold up with us/City it's going to be an identical issue if Adebayor was attempting to sign for any other club. So with all the work done thus far on trying to get him on a permanent contract, I don't think the deal will collapse. We also need a goal scoring machine and the real mystery remains who that might be. Wouldn't surprise me if we announced someone out of nowhere. Wouldn't surprise me if we didn't. We've not 'signed' a striker since Robbie Keane returned to the club. We are due something very special. Otherwise, tears will be shed.



The blueprint still requires ink

An excellent read from David Conn via the Guardian here about the problems facing Daniel Levy in terms of how the club can sustain competitiveness at the very top level based on our current financial model. Or rather the quest that presents itself and how it may continue to remain answered even after we appoint a new manager.

Once more it's worth regurgitating the ugly truth that it was because of how Redknapp behaved and the apparent non-relationship he had with Levy that saw him lose his job. Judging by comments made by Levy and Redknapp post-'sacking' the official line is that Harry was let go because the club want to go in a different direction. Isn't this just PR, an avoidance and agreement to side step making public the real issues at hand? Or am I just basing that on the deafening silence from the club whilst Redknapp talked contracts to Sky Sports? Seems obvious to me but it's just an opinion.

Redknapp was a success compared to the past. The past in this instance is the Sky Sports era of football where we spent over a decade turning up for a yearly party at the wrong address. You could attempt to argue with the squad at hand it was expected in the time Harry spent at Spurs to achieve top four challenges - which he did. Even if that wasn't the intention when he joined. It soon become apparent that if the squad played like men instead of lost little boys they could aspire to so much more. So regardless of his flaws and lack of tactical shrewdness, he has left a steady foundation for the next man to build on. Perhaps the next man will be backed by Levy in the transfer market. You would hope they will see eye to eye and spend money on areas that need mending and upgrading. Forwards, midfield and the defence. Not too much then to concern themselves with.

Beyond Redknapp, Conn does hit the nail on the head in suggesting we need to be able to go toe to toe with the teams above us and to do so we need to be equipped, tooled up so that we stand a chance of us being the ones left standing when the fighting is done and dusted. Other clubs, the richer clubs might not always spend as much as you expect them to but they knock us out when comparing wage structures. As we all know, money talks and in this modern game it can talk players into remaining or signing regardless of whether Champions League is part of the package. I'm not completely comfortable with it but the wage you offer a player is a far more powerful tool than being able to sign the player in the first place. City might be able to out bid any competitor (both in transfer and wages) but not everyone can sign for City. It creates tiers in football in terms of which clubs can go after certain players. The Hazard transfer was interesting because apparently we could afford his fee but his wages? The only tears here are the ones falling down our cheekbones.

Ironically, Redknapp's legacy (aside from the stability we've found with our league form) finds our expectations for the club to see us compete at the very top of the Prem. There's no particular model or blueprint that has been implemented by coach or chairman. We know how good we can be, we know we can be even better and we know what we need to be able to get there. It's up to the chairman to unequivocally back the next man placed into the hot seat. I never got the impression Redknapp had that reassurance. Probably because he wanted to do things his own way. He took it a touch too far in the end, a one man band playing a tune that nobody else at the club was singing along to. There was disassociation, again this can be placed down to Redknapp and his selective detachment and loyalty to himself.

A very good manager, say someone equal to Redknapp, will probably achieve what Redknapp achieved. That sounds obvious but the point is with the players at our disposal, we won't degrade in any major way unless 3-4 key players walked away from the club. Which is highly improbable. So as long as the next man in gently and carefully begins to mould the team into the vision he has for them, there shouldn't be a major impact on our expectations or form. Granted the pressure (not just from the media) will be a problem for obvious reasons (how dare we sack their favourite son). But equally the pressure from us, the supporters. The much maligned Redknapp has actually set the bar very high as many amongst us expect us to achieve what we failed to do this season: 3rd place or better. Even in his failure there's an echo of glory.

We're going to need to retain our feet firmly on the ground and appreciate that one season in football is hardly comparable to the one that follows it. Still, the attitude has to be focused on bettering this season regardless. How else do retain a sense of progressive positive motion and emotion to see the club elevated further forwards?

To actually achieve more we have to be completely ruthless in our ambitions. There is no need for a five year plan as per previous years. Scouting and youth development should be part and parcel of a clubs set up. Which it is at Spurs. Although the scouting element is not something I quite understand since Comolli left. What we do need is to maximise our potential based on our current stature and aim not just for the season ahead but for the team to grow and evolve organically as to avoid any transitional periods. It's a continuation, not damage limitation or gutting. This job should not be one that is made difficult by the circumstance of the team itself. We just need to manage these expectactions with a little caution and not too much arrognance and entitlement.

To achieve that the chairman and manager have to be completely on the same page with short term transfer policies to get us challenging now and with long term projection. Even without a manager, signing a player of Jan Vertonghen's quality is the perfect illustration of this. As opposed to the moneyball quick win 'for the present day' strategy that Redknapp had with his signings (although kudos for Parker and yes, Redknapp's method can work if money isn't going to be spent). A blueprint for the future will be birthed from such a harmonious relationship.

Easier said than done. We still don't know what Levy is planning on doing in terms of the structure that will be set up to support the new manager/coach. Rumours suggest the return of the director of football position. Although arguably its never gone away. Levy has acted as one since Comolli was sacked, working with Redknapp or attempting to do so. We assume money wasn't spent because they couldn't agree on targets. If there was something else at play in terms of working to a budget outlined by Levy then Harry did work miracles to see us compete with the clubs above us that dwarf our budget in comparison.

The big boy revenue wont be there until the stadium is built and that could still be five years away if not longer. So until then we have to sustain our stature as a 'top five' club season in season out which means perhaps the short term tactic Redknapp embraced - working from one to the next - is the only way to do with the caveat that we sign players we can then sell on for profit (a classic Levy tactic, one that we'll probably see with Luka to La Liga).

Modric will go this summer. Bale might go next summer. We've always been able to attract players that are then sought after so perhaps this is the only financial model that will work to sustain our challenge. It's high risk because we're going to have to be up there challenging to attract the players in. It's harsh, it's not something I like to tag us with, but you can understand how Spurs act like a stepping stone, a gateway for players that want to showcase before they move on. I'm certain the link up with Internacional was based on this thinking, as we'll probably see with Sandro at some point in the future with him moving on to Italy.

Sometimes high risk can pay off. A club like Spurs in the CL every season would mean the club can start to throw heavyweight punches back at the bigger boys standing over us. Having no monopoly is a good thing but it also opens up a far more competitive league meaning we might have to share the privilege of wanting to get back in it. I for one would want to see Sandro see out his career at Spurs as a legend. It's going to take some doing.

Are we punching above our weight? In financial terms, yes. In footballing, there isn't that much difference at this moment in time between 4th and 3rd. We have to adopt and strength to remain level pegging. It's risky like I mentioned but there is no other way until we have a 60k (or just below) stadium.

To finish, here's Conn's opening paragraph from his article:

There are two ways to ask the same question about the Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy, the club's owner, Joe Lewis, and the three directors who sanctioned this week's sacking of Harry Redknapp. Do they have delusions of grandeur if fourth place in the Premier League is considered not good enough? Or, to put it more bluntly: what more do they want?

This isn't about Levy and the directors having delusions of grandeur. We don't have any other option at the moment than to build on the team finally sustaining consistency in the league. The key is the football played. Another season of Champions League will elevate us further in terms of accountancy. I'll settle for that and a piece of silverware. No one said this would be easy. Retaining Harry would simply give us more of the same and there's nothing wrong with that. Had Harry behaved, had we perhaps got into the CL. If anyone, Levy included, wants to validate sacking Redknapp purely for footballing reasons then perhaps the risk is in the belief that the right top class appointment would give us the very same thing but with the potential to go that little bit further and as I stated, there's very little between 4th and 3rd.

We can't stagnate, regardless of whether the statistics sneer back at us.



A step closer

Home is where the Hart is. There is no denying it, we are N17. Placing aside all the politics of Stratford and the reality that had we won the bid the club would have skipped gleefully to East London (I would have gladly stayed behind) it's heart warming to see us make progressive steps to cement the development of the NDP in Tottenham. The club and Haringey holding hands? Who would have believed it? Everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. Hallelujah!

From the official website:

The following statement was released jointly by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Haringey Council in conjunction with the release of Haringey’s report to Cabinet on regeneration in North Tottenham:-

Joint statement – Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Haringey Council

Tottenham Hotspur FC and Haringey Council have today made a joint pledge to the major regeneration of North Tottenham.

Spurs has reconfirmed its intention to stay in the area which has been at the heart of its history for more than 130 years and the Club and Council will work together to rejuvenate the area – seeking to deliver an iconic, new Premier League stadium development and a host of local improvements.

Subject to Cabinet approval, Haringey Council will invest £9 million towards new and improved public spaces, heritage work and environmental improvements in North Tottenham.

In addition, the Mayor of London has committed £18 million to the regeneration of North Tottenham, £6 million of which will be invested via the council in highways and parking improvements and a district-wide heating and power scheme.  The rest of the Mayor’s investment will focus on public transport and infrastructure improvements.

Spurs has committed to progressing the Northumberland Development Project (NDP), which would bring a state-of-the-art football stadium, new homes, shops and leisure facilities to Tottenham and represent an investment of hundreds of millions of pounds whilst also leveraging in further private sector monies.

Tottenham Hotspur Chairman, Daniel Levy, said: “As a major employer and business in the area we are delighted with this commitment from the Mayor and Haringey Council.

“We have long said we could only invest in the area if we could see our commitment supported by others and that there was a real need to maximise the regeneration benefits and lift the wider area.

“We therefore see this as a commitment from the public sector to the Tottenham area and one which strengthens our ability to deliver a new stadium scheme with the potential to kick-start the long-term regeneration of North Tottenham.”

Haringey Council Leader Claire Kober said: “We have said all along that we are eager to support Spurs in their efforts to stay in Tottenham. They’re a great club, with a great history in a great area which really wants them to stay.

“We are investing in the regeneration of Tottenham and supporting Spurs’ Northumberland Development Project because we know that together we can bring new employment opportunities to Tottenham, significantly improve the area and attract investment for a successful and sustainable future.”

As part of the Club and the Council’s commitment to work together, both parties have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding which sets out the intentions of each to support delivery of the Northumberland Development Project scheme and to promote wider area regeneration through the development of a ‘North Tottenham Regeneration Programme’.

Subject to consultation with local residents and businesses, this will focus on improving the quality of life of existing residents, attracting new residents and new facilities and encouraging the growth of local businesses to enable residents, businesses, investors and visitors to have confidence and pride in Tottenham.

Further Information
Subject to London Borough of Haringey Cabinet approval, the £18 million funding package from the Greater London Authority is proposed to be allocated as follows:

£11.0m:  Wider Area
- £8.5m:  Stadium Approach – land acquisition and new public boulevard/square linking to new White Hart Lane Station ticket hall
- £2.5m:  CCHP (combined cooling, heating and power plant) – funding towards construction of plant with capacity to serve NDP & potential new development in North Tottenham

£3.5m:  Highway, Parking & Environmental Improvements
- £2.22m:  Highway, bus & pedestrian route improvements
- £0.98m:  CPZ implementation including free residents permits
- £0.1m:  Road closures and Traffic Management Orders
- £0.2m:  Access improvements to Northumberland Park Station

£3.5m  Public Transport Capacity Improvements
- £3.5m:  Tottenham Hale Station – funding towards gateline and escalator passenger capacity improvements
Subject to London Borough of Haringey Cabinet approval, the £9 million funding package from the Council is proposed to be allocated as follows:

£8.0m:  Public realm and heritage improvements
- £5.0m:  Contribution to community event and public space
- £3.0m:  Heritage building improvements

£0.5m:  Highway, Parking & Environmental Improvements
- £0.5m:  Worcester Avenue – environmental, traffic & parking improvements

£0.5m:  Wider Area
- £0.5m:  Development of North Tottenham Regeneration Masterplan

Subject to consultation with local people and businesses and to formal approval by the council, the following 10 ‘Transformation Principles’ are proposed to guide the preparation of the details of the North Tottenham Regeneration Programme:

1.    Phased redevelopment and improvement focused on enabling existing residents to stay in the area in better quality homes.
2.    Expanding housing choice and supply.
3.    Social and economic development programmes to increase educational attainment, job skills and opportunity for local people.
4.    Fostering the growth of new and existing businesses in appropriate locations and, where moves are necessary, supporting firms to remain in Haringey.
5.    Increasing jobs.
6.    Sustainable development with access to new public spaces for community and cultural events.
7.    Phased provision of supporting community infrastructure, including school places and healthcare facilities.
8.    Increasing residents’ and visitors’ perceptions of safety.
9.    Catering for the needs of visitors, maximising spend in North Tottenham while minimising adverse impacts on residents and businesses.
10.    Maintaining strong public transport links with the wider area and modernising rail infrastructure.


Would be phenomenal if there was a solution to the underground problem with one being built closer to the ground. The logistics suggest that won't happen, mainly because the cost doesn't appeal to London Transport. One step at a time.




Tweets from the High Court

Confusion and conspiracy still dominates Spurs and the High Court. The suggestion has been that we would drop the legal fight off the back of a promise (you would assume/guess/hope) from Boris Johnson to support Tottenham and the NDP, with Boris himself alluding to this, stating that it was 'very likely' we'd drop the case. A caveat best included here to highlight that plenty of reading between the lines is necessary.

The BBC firstly reported we'd be letting it go then updated their story to say it was still going ahead. Hence the confusion. The conspiracy part remains why Daniel Levy wishes to persist with it. Perhaps because we do in fact have a case? Or that the chairman wants to get money back spent on the premise that we were invited to bid in the first place only to then find ourselves nothing more than a chess piece. Or maybe the OS and this entire process is a chess piece Levy continues to move around the board, brining us back to the question of public funding.

Considering recent events in N17 and the state of the place post-riots, there is government pressure to act regardless.

Follow Don Roan on Twitter (@danroan) for updates from the court room. Below, the ones he's sent thus far.


Off to the High Court later for latest round of Spurs' legal fight over the Olympic Stadium - or am I? @BBCLdnOlympics

On way to High Court as Spurs appeal against rejection of application for judicial review into decision to give 2012 stadium to West Ham...

..but could be end of road for Spurs if appeal rejected or their lawyers advise abandonment- If case heard will start at 10.30 - updates here

Spurs' QC Dinah Rose arrives at High Court. Suggests club's judicial review appeal into Olympic Stadium decision will go ahead at 10.30

Latest round of Spurs' & Orient's High Court fight v decision to award Olympic stadium to West Ham goes ahead despite last - minute talks

OPLC Ch Exec Andrew Altman in High Court to hear argument of Spurs QC Dinah Rose as club bids for judicial review into 2012 stadium decision

Spurs QC Dinah Rose says Newham loan to West Ham for Oly Stadium was a "distortion of competition" & decision in favour of WHam "unlawful"

So the Mayor says it looks 'very likely' that Spurs will drop legal challenge re stadium decision - it's going ahead right now in Court 2!

Spurs QC arguing that the £40m loan Newham granted WestHam for stadium wouldn't have been available via private bank & was thus "state-aid"

Spurs are effectively arguing that the Newham loan to West Ham constituted state-aid, & was therefore illegal under EU law

Interesting developments in High Court. Judge says Spurs' case is "arguable" (ie has some merit) and refers to "confusion" in Newham case

Adam Lewis QC for Leyton Orient (also seeking judicial review) say PL's decision to permit WH to leave Upton Park compromised by relegation

Judge asks Leyton Orient's QC what club's gate is and what league they play in. Justice Collins clearly not a regular at Brisbane Road

Despite their court hearing appearing to go well, Spurs talks with Mayor re agreement for them to drop legal fight in return for help on ...

...move to Northumberland Park stadium are progressing well - announcement unlikely today but possible.

Judge stresses if he allows judicial review "doesn't mean the case will succeed". Appears to be gearing up to find in favour of Spurs/Orient

To be clear best Spurs can hope for today is that the stadium decision subject to full hearing in future. Would mean uncertainty continuing

2012 stadium judicial review hearing rumbles on. OPLC's counsel Richard Gordon QC on his feet - says Spurs case is "baseless".

Regardless of result of hearing, today has done little for reputation of WestHam/Newham partnership - key to making 2012 stadium viable...

...and if Spurs/Orient do win it casts doubt on London's chance of winning right to host '17 World Athletics Champs, lots at stake in Court2

Breaking: Judge grants permission for Spurs/Orient application for judicial review of decision to give Olympic stadium to West Ham



Chairman's message...redux

You'll have read it here. Would be rude not to respond.


Dear Supporter

I write this today ahead of knowing whether or not we have qualified for European football for next season and ahead of a final day of fixtures that will settle key positions for so many teams - such has been the intense competitiveness of this season's Premier League.

Can not disagree, it has been intense. Although not to the standard of last season which involved far more sustained tenacity from the top tier clubs, including ourselves in what was an epic backs to walls fight to claim a top four position. The Premier League has been competitive from top to bottom, but at times also limp and lacklustre. It seems the sides that dug that little bit deeper got that little bit more out of their season.

Harry and his coaching staff have worked with the squad to deliver performances during the season that fans will remember for years to come.

You can be critical of Harry much like you could pin point weakness in any other top class coach in England but when he's achieved something tangible, it's best not whispered. It's unfair to just highlight what you might persist to be his failings when not balancing them out with the positives. He's not meant to be tactically astute to the point of genius, but on more than one occasion he's out foxed the opposition and the players have stood proud and accomplished at the final whistle. Inter at home (dismantled), Milan away (out-Meelaned). The turnaround at the Emirates (half-time battle cry and shift of tempo - although, sure, why can't we start games like that more often?).

We can on our day (cliché) compete with the best. Inconsistency has been the flaw in games where perhaps expectations were not on the same level of intensity and glamour as those bigger occasions.

This season we experienced our first venture in the Champions League and it was one which saw us reach the Quarter Final stage. We achieved this playing some of the most entertaining and exciting football of the competition - truly memorable performances.

We shall miss and all be disappointed at not qualifying for the Champions League for a subsequent year, but I know that the players will be fully focussed next season on returning us to this elite competition.

Our performances in the Premier League have provided great entertainment for supporters too. This season we scored our 1000th goal in the Premier League - a goal which was also Jermain Defoe's 100th goal for the Club - and we recorded wins away at Arsenal and Liverpool, our first wins there since 1993.

Again, kudos to all involved. Manager and players. We made the type of impact in the Champions League that only Tottenham Hotspur could. From the ridiculous to the sublime, there wasn't a moments pause for normality. As a learning curve it was positively unmissable. We made the group stages sexy. Redknapp and the players, take a bow. Some of those memories are practically iconic already. Don't pretend the hairs on the back of your neck don't stand when you re-watch footage.

It's also good to see the chairman reiterate the clubs ambition (what other direction could we possibly take?) in competing for a return to the CL during the course of next seasons league campaign.

Hoodoos smashed by Redknapp? In the time he's spent at the club our mentality against the bigger sides has never been so good. The nightmare of the the 1990s finally banished into the very dark corners of my mind. Whether he is interim or not, we have to remain and look to better our 'position' from one season to the next allowing for minimal fuss when he does decide to leave. The handover has to be clean and crisp.

We have spent years and hundreds of millions of pounds investing in our First Team squad and in creating a settled team. Having quality players means they automatically attract attention from other clubs - but I can assure you that we have no reason to sell, and every intention of retaining, our key players. We shall simply not entertain any approaches for these players.

Reading between the lines, he'll accept any bids as long as a generous donation is made to the Tottenham Foundation. I jest. Yes, we've spent years and hundreds of millions but those years and those millions have hardly gone into creating a settled team. Our recent stability is a consequence and end result of the mistakes and struggle to find consistency off the pitch as well as on it.

Levy, never someone who claimed to be a footballing man, thought he was doing the right thing with the DoF system and believed in the people who advised him. Sadly, no matter how we attempted to go about our business we had fallen so far behind the Sky Sports Top Four that even when we did get our **** together it was still very difficult to even attempt to break the monopoly. Time and it's degrading powers has helped us catch up, but also the realisation that going back to basics (no DoF) without the in-house politics has settled the team and allowed for the foundation to achieve targets that were beyond us for so long.

The end result was the realisation that the former system was not working.

As for selling our top players? It will send out a defeatist message. We all know how football works and if any one player (any top player we have under contract) decides his future is away from WHL, then I hope Levy takes the buying club to the cleaners in terms of transfer fee. I don't want a player who isn't 100% focused on Tottenham.

We're an attractive proposition and we have to remain one. Levy sees this as good business sense as well as good footballing sense (both of which drive each other forwards). If we add to this team and do so well, we'll be up amongst it again.

We do, however, currently have one of the largest squads in the Premier League and, given the 25 man squad rule, it is no longer practical to retain players who are unlikely to qualify within that limit. We shall, therefore, look to reduce the number of these players during the coming summer transfer window in order to operate both effectively and efficiently.

I referenced this in the last blog. Deadwood has to be sold. Loaned players will play a part in our season next year, drafted back to first team training in time for pre-season. Levy and Redknapp have to have a clear plan of action for the summer in terms of players that need to be sold and players that need to be signed. The latter, preferable already decided on in theory so that they can work through the hit list if their top target(s) are unavailable or not interested.

I'm hoping, without any build up or sound bites in public, we sign players out of the blue leaving the ITK's all confused about the lack of inside information leaked. If we approach the start of the season and we've yet to sell certain first teamers who need to be moved on to make way for the players we need - then fire up your webcam, paint your face and turn emo with poems of despair.

Additionally, this season we saw the growth and development of several younger players who have undoubtedly benefited from the combined system of loaning to ensure match time whilst retaining training sessions back at Spurs Lodge. Several of these players will be valuable additions to our First Team next season.

The two Kyles. Danny Rose. The future is bright. And we have Europa League football which means intelligent rotation will benefit all.

We were delighted to see Tottenham Hotspur Ladies top the South East Combination League this season, winning a well-earned promotion to the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division. We shall have the opportunity to applaud them at half-time today as they parade the trophy and we wish them well for next season.

Congrats, but it's not something I follow.

Off the pitch our players have, as always, given their time generously to support the community projects delivered by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, which continues to go from strength to strength. Its added focus is on increasing the employability of individuals of all ages and abilities - a vital role in current times.

Great work again by the club, as you would expect, involved with the local community. I know players are expected to perform such duties but we give a good account of ourselves and hopefully it retains some sense of reality in comparison to their millionaire carefree lifestyle.

We continue to plan for the future growth of the Club. On Friday we took the First Team players and coaching staff to visit the new Training Centre at Enfield. Construction of the main building is well under way and they were able to see the layout and scale of this vast new facility. It is well on course to open in the summer of 2012.

It has taken us six years and three planning applications to achieve and is clear evidence of the determination and ambition of the Club.

We are equally determined and ambitious for a new increased capacity stadium and we shall apply the same energy and vigour in achieving this. We shall look to keep you all updated.

The training centre is a great win for the club. The continued ambiguity and confusion over the OS aftermath and the viability of the NDP is not. At one point this season, it's all we spoke about, dividing fans with pro and anti stances about moving or staying put. Levy cited how he could never comment on some of the politics and movements the club was making during the process due to the nature of the bid and the clubs ambition to build a world class stadium. No doubt this remains protocol whilst we can only guess what Levy's end game is.

The Stratford debate continues whilst the club attempts to push their argument through the courts. I'm not quite grasping the point, but then only Levy knows how best it will help us moving forward.

When the players circle the pitch at the end of the day they will be thanking you for your tremendous support and for the way in which you filled stadia home and away cheering and spurring them on. It has been this combination of team and supporters that has made this season so memorable for us all. Thank you.

I wish you and your families an enjoyable and relaxing summer and look forward to welcoming you back next season.

Yours, Daniel.

I'll relax and enjoy the summer based on criteria concerning decisive transfer window action.

Concluding comment? 

I guess as a  collective we are probably struggling a touch to come to terms with the ambitions that we believe (should) match our progression. Which is why some look at 5th as failure when it's probably more important to see us anchoring ourselves to the top tier of the league.

It's the fact that everyone (Levy, Harry and fans) know that deep down we could have had more this season. We've only got what we've deserved based on the results, and its a shared responsibility for chairman and manager to fix the issues at hand and for us to support the club in doing so. We're in good nick and when you do take into account how brutal modern day football and it's expectations are (Chelsea anyone?) and also our recent history with frequent managerial changes, I'm going to just suck up Harry's personality and say (if nothing interferes) he deserves next season in what most believe to be his last with us regardless.

Simply put, we need to be united (we can actually do with beating them, but you get the meaning).




Now that the dust has settled...

In the aftermath of the clusterf**k that was the Olympic Stadium bid, how do you feel now? Glad it's over? Regretful that we didn't 'win'? Patiently waiting for our clubs response regarding what we do next thanks to the clear message that the Northumberland Development Project is still non-viable?

If there was any time for In the Know to make itself known, its probably now. Not just in terms of how Levy plans to progress our ambitions with a bigger bolder stadium. Although we might not find out or care for the reasons that led to us being interested in Stratford, being invited to show an interest and then going fully fledged head first into bidding for it only to lose the vote emphatically. Even if on paper our bid was the stronger of the two.

Was Stratford ever really viable itself? Do you feel foolish for throwing your heart at it? Or do you see the positives of leaving behind history and creating a new chapter on new territory?

I guess somebody was required, a fall guy, to highlight what it would mean to the OS if the legacy (running track) was removed. We served our purpose. Landslide. Hence the reason why you can look back and scratch your head at how obvious a choice we were for some, but not for the ones that mattered (the ones making the decision).

This has been done to death I know. I don't want to cover old ground. Just want to gauge your gut reaction now that the dust has settled. Whether you were pro-N17 or pro-moving out of N17. Because statements were made that were evidently clear that leaving N17 was a necessity to survive and evolve.

Would the same statements be made if we now looked to move further away from N17? Would people that are pro-N17 validate such a move if we moved towards the deeper north rather than the east of London? If NDP remains non-viable, will there be a further demonstration of disapproval if we had to move out of Tottenham completely or would it be acceptable if hands remained tied politically with the local council? And if so, was Stratford really such a bad idea in logistical terms?

Personally, yes it was. But that's my opinion. My main issue was always with the way all eggs appeared to be placed into one basket, with the previous basket thrown out with the garbage. I guess Levy and the club saw an opportunity and went for it. As an investment, it was the best fiscal move the club could make. Who are we but just fans who need not fully understand the art of business and political negotiations. We get told one thing that might well be spoken out loud to disguise the truth. Which is fine. I'd like to believe Levy was not as giddy and blind to failure as it appeared on tv and in the press in the lead up to the OS bid decision. That he was simply playing the game, a gamble - had it paid off he'd have made ENIC proud. As it hasn't, it allows him to shift back to Plan B which is now Plan A again - whatever that might be.

One thing I know for sure is, our future did not rest on having to move to East London. If the Olympics were in Paris, what would we be doing right about now? Not wondering about Stratford, I'd hazard a guess.

We're not naive to think business is played out any differently in any other industry. On the surface its one thing, behind the scenes the agendas altogether something else. Which is why the bane of frustrations weighs us down so much. We want answers we wont be given because we can't have them. The club does have to protect itself outside of the bubble we exist in, I understand that.

Now that we're back to square one, and a slice of transparency will go a long way. Although I'm happy to wait until after the season ends before the next bout of in-fighting kicks off.




My eyes see no glory

guest blog by Chris King


My eyes are closed.

All I have is darkness. The black of darkness illuminated only by memories; of a time when peace existed in this land. It was a land where fan stood together with fellow fan, each with the same song in voice and heart. Each with a dream they held true.

My eyes are closed.

All I can hear is the noise of unrest; the incessant din of anger and hatred. We are in a battle with ourselves. No longer do we cherish those same dreams. No longer do we sing from the same hymn sheet. We are now heading in different directions, with tears and bitterness the only likely outcome.

My eyes are closed.

Open them he says. Open them and see the majesty of our plans; the glory those plans will bring. Our time here is up. The future is elsewhere. This land is dying. If we stay here, we will also die. He extends his hand. Come with me. Let me lead you to the Promised Land. We will set up home on yonder plains. This is our destiny.

My eyes are open.

But still I cannot see. I cannot see the truth. I cannot see the shared vision. I cannot see the future in exactly the same way others do. Oh eyes, poor misguided eyes. Give me the clarity this issue calls for. Give me the chance to soar high in to the sky – to look upon the dying soil, that very Promised Land and see. See for myself why this is the only option left to us.

My eyes are closed. Only my heart can see.

When it’s hard to be objective, it is always easier to be dramatic. That’s what a lot of people will be accusing Spurs fans of in the coming months; being overly dramatic. Yes we do like a moan and our board does like to install an element of drama in to our lives. But this drama is not ours. This drama need never have started in the first place.

If London hadn’t have won the Olympics, we would not be at this stage in our club’s history. If those who had organised the bid had nailed down a definite plan moving forward, from the point Boris stumbles on stage and drops the Olympic torch at the feet of the delegates from Rio, we would not be at this monumental precipice, which is forcing supporter against supporter; tearing the fabric of our beloved club apart.

I hear and read different views on a near hourly basis at the moment. ‘SAY NO TO STRATFORD’ reverberates around the stadium, outside on the streets, on WebPages and through a multitude of twitter timelines. Those who shout or type with venom and anger, do so with an unwavering passion. They know not what the answer to this mess is. All they know is that the final outcome has to rest with their club, our club, your club still residing in N17. To some this battle is just about a postcode. To others, it is all about the postcode.

Yet their actions don’t hold true with everyone. “It’s all right for them, they have a ticket… they can moan about leaving, but leaving would mean I may also get a ticket.” For the dissenters, history is unbending – we are Tottenham, we have to stay Tottenham. For the, shall we call them free thinkers or liberal minded supporter, a football club is more than just its history – it is its future as well. Mr Levy now claims we have no future in Tottenham. The NPD is dead in the water, as will the club be if we fail to secure the Stratford move.

Clearly this argument can be countered, and has been in this open letter from Martin Cloake.

The sermon appears to have changed and some, not all, are buying in to the new faith. It is a faith that appears to rely on the highest bidder taking some kind of control over the future of the club. A future existence that may rely as much on concert ticket sales as goals scored on the pitch.

My heart has been blinded.

A good friend of mine doesn’t want to move, yet he is far more objective on the subject than I am. His view is that the soil is no longer fertile. That the land is dying. Football is more than just 90 minutes of watching over paid, often underachieving stars. It is as much about what goes on between fellow supporters; before, during and after the game. We are all sold the view that the atmosphere is far better away from the Lane, but it’s surely made worse by the fact that our patch is being eroded, killing the pre- and post- game enjoyment associated with a trip to the match. 

Think of the number of pubs that have come and gone, even since the start of the Premier League.

The Cockerel, The Corner Pin, The White Hart and Northumberland Arms. It’s like a roll call of fallen soldiers. All gone, replaced by expanded merchandise outlets or blocks of flats. A last game ritual for him was to finish the season off with a pub crawl along the High Road; a pint in 12 pubs. That last happened three years ago. Now there are simply not enough pubs. Instead they drink in Liverpool Street and dive in and out, spending just enough time in N17 to watch the match, before heading somewhere else for their fill of beer, stories and football songs.

If that picture mirrors your very own, then what difference does it make where you go to see the game? The pubs around Stratford will be no better, but at least – and this is Mr Levy’s argument, we’ll be able to leave our meeting points later with no fear of getting to the ground.

My heart is closed.

He may have a point, the mate that is – not Mr Levy – but I don’t buy it. I’m blinded by passion, by familiarity, by a need to remain true to our history. Clubs have moved in the past. We all know about Arsenal and nomadic teams like QPR, but that was in a time before I was born; before football was the beast it now is. I can’t think of any club that has proposed such a dramatic move (other than when Wimbledon threatened to go to Dublin), where they’ve adopted the almost American like franchise model. Putting pressure on their local council before moving to another, more welcoming venue – do they even want us in Stratford?

A lot will be said until a final decision has been made by The Olympic Park Legacy Company. Mr Levy will claim, in cloaked daggers aimed at the heart, that those who do not follow the exodus are putting the future of the club in jeopardy. He will wipe the slate clean, go back on every highfaluting statement he ever made about NPD and use us, the fans, as pawns in his battle against the local council and the decision makers.

Some of us will be made out as bad guys in this; accused of fighting an unnecessary fight. They will say that we will bring the honour and heritage of the club down with our protests. They will mock us – as they do Liverpool and Manchester United fans that stand up for their own causes.  They are the very people who wear the same replica shirts, sing the same songs and once shared the same dreams. The club is split and it’s hard to see where the winners will come from in this argument.

But there will be winners. More fans will get access to tickets; more revenue will be made by the club if we fill a 60,000 stadium out. Bigger, better stars may be attracted to the club, bringing bigger riches with them. In 20 or 30 years time, a new legion of fans may wonder what the fuss was all about. Why we even cared that we were leaving our home, when you consider the better home that we may move to. It just doesn’t have to be in Stratford!

Yet all of that, the future, rests with a body of people charged with making a single decision that could throw the club in to turmoil either way. Move to Stratford and Mr Levy alienates a body of supporters that will turn every public outing in to a protest. Lose the Stratford bid and there is nothing. No NPD, no Plan B (Stratford) and apparently no Plan C - and definitely no answers as to why NPD is no longer viable?

This whole internal battle appears to hinge on one thing – are you for the future or stuck in the past? You can’t be for both. We all know we have to move. To move, not just to challenge for the top honours, but to potentially compete just to exist, as money strangles the life further out of the beautiful game. Our argument is not to stay in the current stadium; it is a simple request for clarity and honesty. Something we feel our loyalty as fans at least deserves. Misguided? Very much so!

The battle lines have been drawn – are you with us or are you against us? Say no to Stratford.

Say no to Stratford – but then, do we really have a say?



Chris King was a regular on the old Shelf and held a season ticket in the Park Lane Upper. He now lives in Leeds, where he spends most Saturdays trying to teach his 20 month old daughter the words to Spurs’ songs.




Open letter to Daniel Levy


You'll have seen Daniel Levy on Sky Sports News (special) yesterday evening, and probably found yourself struggling with the apparent sudden transparency he was offering in terms of Stratford and N17. The Northumberland Development Project is no longer viable. And if we fail with our bid to win the Olympic Site then Levy will look at other options - outside of Tottenham meaning that we are leaving White Hart Lane no matter what.

I'm sort of hoping this is a bluff, one final monumental bluff although quite how you can force Haringey and an angry Lammy to react to this in a favourable way is beyond me. Mainly because the fragmentation between local council and the club has created a 'us and them' name calling culture of blame. We'll skip around the politics relating to monies and funds ('broke' local council) and instead concentrate on what Levy told us in his interview.

Not a lot when you start asking questions. It was fairly blunt, I'm sure you'd agree.

Woke up this morning with the intention of writing him an open letter only to find that someone else has done the job perfectly and for anyone wondering why many of us are still searching for that fabled transparency - then click on the below, read the letter then scratch your head a little more.

Last night was not transparent in terms of understanding why remaining in North London is suddenly impossible.

To read the open letter by Martin Cloake click here.

Considering Daniel loves his inbox, let's hope he takes the time to read and reply to one that isn't quite patting him on the back.




Spurs, Stratford and Sasha Grey

Oops. I promised I wouldn't. But don't fret. This is not another epic emotive avalanche war cry of sentiment in favour of N17. Just a response to Daniel Levy's Open Letter. I can hardly ignore Mr Chairman considering the love/hate relationship I have for my favourite bald headed champion of economics. Levy, it's in the blog name. And hypocrisy appears to be all the rage so...

I'm now officially depressed. More so, not because of the apparent confidence in moving to East London displayed in the letter but much thanks to the fact that he has simply echoed the previous statements made. Just far more to the point this time, sharp pencil to the back of your head, tap tap tap. And this only serves to solidify his preference above and beyond the original (alleged) promise. It's been hinted before.

If the Stratford move goes ahead then I'm going to look at changing the whole blogging thing. I'm thinking porn. 'Dear Miss Sasha Grey'. I can then talk about getting screwed without a hint of irony in the rhetoric. Maybe, I don't know. We'll see.

Back to his open letter (I'll keep any discussion about open orifices for future potential chat). The quote that sticks out (ooh) for me:

"Concerns we have about the viability and deliverability of the NDP"

Concerns that would not exist if Stratford wasn't an option.
Concerns that might well exist in a couple of weeks time if West Ham win the bid.
Concerns that will need to be dealt with meaning they can be dealt with otherwise the push and hype for the NDP would never have existed in the first place.

"I've made up my mind and we're off".

So basically, it's all reactive, on-the-go decision making rather than any of it retaining a basis in that old dinosaur called football (the emotive stuff many have now parked under the bed in a shoe box).

The AEG partnership, the OS bid. That had to take some planning. The intention was always there, always more favourable. Like I said. Hinted.

In and amongst all the coverage in the press against Spurs winning the bid, there is still something sinister and ominous about it all. Even Pele suddenly has got in on the act. Did we nearly sign him or something?

So thanks for the letter Mr Chairman. More side-footing. Hardly any transparency.

If he was up front with it all, didn't patronise oh so cleverly, most of us anti-Stratford mob would probably stop our ranting and just support the club no matter what, swallowing hard, and accepting the only avenue of progression with black arm-band. But alas, no.

So Tottenham fans who remain irked by it all, back in your box. We go.

PLC. Does what it says on the tin. With a supporting case of numpties from local government.

If we have a plan A and a plan B comes along then take the plan B with its sacrifices and lack of sentimentality and make that your plan A. Just don't say it out loud.



What Levy does say out loud is that he is ever conscious of the feelings of our fans - on all fronts. States the one choice we have is between standing still or moving forward. Then claims his stance is backed up because of the emails he's received. It's progress and nobody can argue with that. But once more, that's not the point is it? If you've been following, you'll know. If you just scoff and look the other way you'll once more throw it back in my face.


Also, any confirmation on the amount of emails you've got there Daniel? Because outside of your inbox, the ones that are vocal are passionately split down the middle. The ones that care will always speak out, for or against. They are the ones who should matter.

Sadly, you know, you know very very well that the majority - the silent ones, the ones too scared or hardly bothered - along with the new generation of 'East London' supporters who will blossom if we move - these fans won't give a hoot other than getting tickets for concerts and Premier League football.

We are not supporters. We are consumers. And you, you pesky you, know this above all else.

The letter, in many ways, is actually the same ilk of emotive sh*t I've been accused of drowning in recently in my defence of remaining in North London.

Something else to cite is the quote: A new stadium is critical to our continued success.


Which brings me onto this:

If you look at the stadium capacities of the top 20 clubs in Europe, they all exceed ours. The new Financial Fair Play rules will mean that we shall only be able to outlay income generated through the activities of the Club – increased match day revenues play a major role in a club’s finances and we need to ensure that we are in a position to thrive and to continue to compete at the highest level.

Fine. But let us know the contingency if we don't get the OS. Because we're still gonna need a new stadium, right?

So I hope, I honestly hand on heart hope, that without the power of hindsight and a flux capacitor, that whatever happens is the right thing and turns out to be the right decision and the people who might disagree with it grow to understand and appreciate it. I do sincerely hope that. Regardless of my opinion. But it will be easier for some to live with than others who will feel betrayed. And some of us will just...sigh...let's not go there.

I guess then we fall into the murky world of what defines hard support. Do you follow the team no matter what no matter where or do you stick by your principles and love the club from afar?

Again. I'm praying we do not fragment. Tottenham till we die, right? Audere est facere. Hey, maybe Levy can organise a N17 legacy for us. A five-a-side pitch where once WHL stood.

Modern football. It's only about Champions League and the winning. It's getting stuck in my throat that, difficult to swallow. Where's Sasha Grey when you need her?

So what if - if we're not awarded the OS site? Athletics gets it's legacy. Yeah, remember? There's another sport involved in all this drama.

As for me, if it's not awarded to us, I plan to sit back with a Cuban cigar in mouth with two high class escort girls either side of me and I won't be taking my eyes off the spin coming out of Spurs HQ that will no doubt make me as dizzy as the twin entertainment paid for by platinum card.

In debt. But manageable. And well worth it.




Dear Mr Tottenham supporter, regarding Stratford...

Dear Mr Tottenham supporter,

Regarding Stratford.

It’s a reoccurring discussion point this, one that will soon go beyond protests and arguments once a decision has been made by those with the power to do so. The question being; Stratford? Potentially the new home of the world famous Spurs?

Fancy some of that? Personally, I’d like to reiterate once more; thanks but no thanks.

And yet many amongst us, in a blink of an eye, would be happy with this. It's in our catchment area, it's only a few miles up the road they say. And that we need to make the move otherwise it will cost us a couple of hundred million more, resulting in masses of debt if we proceed instead with the Northumberland Development Project. Haringey and Levy are playing a game of political mug-off, all with their own bluffs, double bluffs and agendas. They’re broke and want to use Spurs for the redevelopment of the area and Levy is using this excuse in addition to lack of public sector funding as a platform and easy way to push the Olympic Site as the only feasible alternative otherwise THFC's very future would be under threat. I call bullshit because if the OS is given to West Ham then what of a contingency plan? What do we do then? By definition, there has to be an alternative. Mainly because, Daniel Levy is no fool – and is hardly naive. So even though Wembley and Arsenal are tagged with receiving public sector money in every other complaint article you may have read, to base all hope on the NDP being manageable for the club on those extra funds...well, it seems very very flimsy and clumsy if to be believed.

It's not like Levy is going to shrug and give up on the vision if the OS goes to West Ham. He'll work towards a resolution. To appease us and to appease ENIC. And to fulfil the promise and the next stage. We have planning permission for N17, so if it’s vital for us to have a 50K+ ground - he will find a way. Unless all eggs have been placed in the Stratford basket from the very beginning. Either that, or he only recently gave up on N17. Which again, seems an improbable thing to do considering how difficult it is for anyone to get through the red tape of development to achieve their final goal.

It's just far far easier to opt for Stratford. No crippling debt we are told and then he can build a stadium and eventually sell the club for untold millions to someone like AEG (who have a habit of getting involved in this type of thing) and could soon be partners in crime if the bid is won.  But what of the advantages of moving there I hear you ask? A stadium with a ready-made infrastructure of travel links, the rich in the City a short distance away and countless corporate t*ssers and day tripping tourists. Revenue, it's the new Promised Land. Levy is serious about it, you only have to look at the people he's appointed to talk up the OS bid and the statements they have made. Eggs firmly in that basket then – and if the bid fails, then onwards (back to) North London to make that work.

What some of our faithful are failing to see is that it's hypocritical to move onto someone else's patch. Imagine someone moving into North London. Oh hold up...wait...

It's also quite lazy to believe this is the only viable alternative (I’m going to keep on repeating this) and we'll stagnate if we don't move to Stratford. Moving would also make as a franchised club. Five miles or not. That might sound overly dramatic, but it's fact. If the project in N17is complicated and will take longer in terms of building it (having to knock down parts of WHL – playing with a reduced capacity etc), what is ‘longer’ when the end result is to retain our home and a ground in our area for another 130 years or so? We're not going anywhere, are we? Or perhaps, we are.

There has been no final ‘we are so so sorry’ statement to explain that staying in North London is not, unequivocally not, an option because of the debt we would inherit during the redevelopment. If, 100 per cent without a shadow of a doubt, if...remaining in N17 would cripple us for a decade or so, then perhaps we need to revisit and understand how viable redeveloping White Hart Lane itself would be. If we have to move to survive, it would change perspective. But it's hardly that is it? Is it?  If it was, unquestionable, they’d hardly be any debate just more questions about other potential options. Are we staring into oblivion? Are we?

How hard is that gun pressed to the back of your head?

I appreciate Levy is a very shrewd chairman, a good business man and in recent years (finally) a good leader with regards to the actual football (appointing a back to basics manager and letting go of the D.o.F system). He runs the club brilliantly. It's what we expect. It's his responsibility. And even if you might not get the impression from this letter, he does ‘care’. But he’s still a business man who uses business to drive the club forwards. I do get that. But to ignore all of the footballing sentiments? Sometimes, those intangible elements – they speak far more loudly than pennies under the bed.

Levy has a responsibility. To us. And everyone else who has a (different type of) share in the club. ENIC are an investment company and their main priority above all will always concern the money they can make back from their investment. They have an end game. They will be long gone and our legacy will be stuck in East London - making us a club with a history detached back in North London.

Again, I get told countless times 'this is progress' and that I should ‘allow us to create new history’ and that if it's good enough for other clubs why should we bother attempting to define ourselves by citing North London derbies and rivalry and passing judgement on other clubs on what they have done or are doing to be the very best? We should be selfish I'm told and we should focus on making as much money as possible to be able to challenge top end season in and season out. Money, money, money. Its progress. Spare ribs and prawn sandwiches dished up at half time so we can afford the bills to sign and keep world class players.

I guess football has changed. But once more, it’s not do or die until I see it written in blood. That gun, it’s nowhere near the back of my head. Can you feel anything at the back of yours?

Apparently all this money will also guarantee success. May as well invite a billionaire to buy us out and invest £500M in players. If we are that desperate. Okay, being pedantic a little there. Money will aid with remaining competitive. But no guarantees. We’ve been high spenders for years and years. It’s not worked out that well for us until we sat with two points from eight games.

The football. The kicking and pushing of the ball. On the pitch. That has led us to fourth spot. That has allowed us to dream and want for more. It should always – always – be about the football and the desire to succeed. It’s hardly down to the money spent. Sure we spent some, within our current means. And the other superpowers around us, not all of them are in a position to compete with us in the transfer market. But let’s move on from this.

Tottenham the area is a toilet and we’re not the only club whose ground is sat in a toilet. It could become less of one if people started to play ball. That includes you Lammy. People supporting the move are not considering how much the Spurs match day landscape in terms of support and vibe will change. New chapter, I'm told, stuck in the past, I'm accused of. History is relative. It sure is. I hope you enjoy chatting about it in a pub or cafe in Newham which is draped with Claret and Blue colours or Orient colours.

Imagine us winning a Cup. Open bus parade. Through the streets of East London. Stratford, Leyton etc. I don't know about you, but that would be like waving your willy around in the front garden of your girlfriends ex-boyfriend. All a bit unnecessary and avoidable, when waving it around in your own bedroom is far more applicable to the occasion. Call me sentimental.

Sorry for thinking football was about moments, about games, about having a drink pre and post match and making a go of it on the pitch without sacrificing and boxing up your heritage and traditions and replacing emotions completely with harsh economics that instruct us to move now or perish. You know, we've got where we are today by bucking the trend.

I want what is best for the club. And competing at the highest level is what we can all agree on as an ambition although some of us are fine with us just being Tottenham. Regardless, let's try to remain anchored to the place that gives us our name. Try a bit harder. Much harder. Without going weak at the knees at something we are only bidding for because of the apparent commercial support we have backing us - allowing all involved to swim in the quick fix, no matter the consequences.

They say, N17 is but a post code. It doesn't mean anything, not really. The club, its history and traditions - these will remain forever with us and can't be pinned down geographically. Honesty and integrity and Innovation, free flowing football, flair players. Glory nights. This is Tottenham. The fans and the fans expectations of what the club should be. It's not a post code, I agree. But it’s what the post code stands for, what it should stand for. And it should not be replaced by one starting with the letter 'E' and representing a by product of commercialism first and a football club second.

It's consumed the Prem League. Let's not let it consume us completely.

I should not even be bothering to quantify all this. Home is where the Hart is. We are the one constant that will always remain ever present. We, the fans. And all the romantic notions should not be dismissed because they can't produce profit. And they should not have to be packaged up and sent to another part of London for the sake of said profit.

You might not agree, you might cite what I’ve already stated that history is pinned to you, on you – the Spurs fan. Where you go, Tottenham goes. Football (and fans) are fickle, rule changing to suit their preference. I refuse to change the rule.

North London is ours.

We should not even be considering Stratford and I can only hope this is part of some Machiavellian strategy by the chairman. Because the alternative is Tottenham Hotspur without the Tottenham. Perhaps in ten years we'll up and move from East London to the Midlands for easier accessibility for the rest of the country to the brand new home of Sportstainment.

In conclusion - We as fans and as a club have retained plenty of pride in old skool integrity. You know, traditional values pertaining to heritage and history. The type of things you can't slap a price on because, let's face it, its priceless stuff.

We've struggled, no doubt, in the past, but recent management on the pitch has gone some way to repairing the damage. It's a quick fix to accept the OS as the only way to consolidate. And God have mercy on all involved if the Sky Sports money making machine stops printing the notes. It's a risk either way. But it’s a soulless one to the East.

And if we go to the East, there will be no national Olympic Stadium. No running track or obvious legacy paid for by tax payers. Keys to be handed over to a football club for them to demolish a stadium built at a cost of £500M for a few weeks worth of athletics. East London will lose out on the regeneration project in and around Upton Park. West Ham won’t have a new home. What a shame their bid is so weak in impact, hey Karren? And let's not forget Orient. Or have we already? And then there's White Hart Lane, home of many Glory Glory nights which will probably be turned into a massive housing development, flats for the locals, concrete where once Dave Mackay and Danny Blanch flower stood with studs on ball. A car park where Bill Nicholson’s ashes rest.

It's our club. It was our club. It will hardly be our club. Say no to Stratford.

Regards to all. And...

Come on you Spurs.


Be sure to visit We are N17 for your anti-Stratford fix and latest news. You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Previous Stratford/N17 articles:

N17: Home is where the heart is

A nail in the coffin of Stratford?

For some, it's a brutal interrogation...

If Stratford Hotspur ends there (guest blog tehTrunk)


And as an alternative form of petition against moving out of North London and into East and follow: FC Hotspur of Tottenham.




Northumberland dev

If you email the club about the development of the new ground, and ask them to consider atmosphere as a priority you'll likely to get this response back:


Thank you for your recent comments on the Northumberland Development Project. We have had a tremendous response to the initial consultation and we really appreciate you taking the time to let us have your views.

You asked a specific question about the atmosphere in the new Stadium. I wanted to re-assure you that the number one brief to our stadium architects is exactly this – to retain the fantastic atmosphere at Spurs. This means ensuring seats are close to the pitch, with quite high banking and un-restricted views for every spectator.

We have looked at and learned lessons from stadia around the world and will provide more details specifically about the stadium design at our next exhibition early next year.

With regards,

The Northumberland Development Project team

So, the official line from the club is:

This means ensuring seats are close to the pitch, with quite high banking and un-restricted views for every spectator.

That's a quote. Let's wait to see if the promise is fulfilled. Having a ground akin to some of the intense high capacity German stadiums is the only option. As majestic as some people would like to tell you the Emirates is or Eastlands, they are not a patch re: noise on White Hart Lane, even with our smaller capacity.

Next question that needs an answer: "Will you keep the Park Lane season ticket holders together, behind one of the goals?"