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Entries in stratford (23)


What's going on?

I’m in one of those places at the moment. Much like Dexter Morgan (in the hit US tv show ‘Dexter’) has a dark passenger that lusts for blood (he’s a serial killer, but a good one, he only kills people that deserve it like...other serial killers) I also have dark thoughts. Mostly about ordering a kebab at 11pm or attempting to induce lucid dreams that consist of me scoring last minute winners away to the scum then diving into the stands to ‘sort ‘em out’. Although I could be more like Dexter. Kill other bloggers. Alas, never red, so lusting for blood is a step too far. Click whores, you're safe for now.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s international break time and I am suffering from a creative lull. There’s not that much going on to be fair. Here's some snippets of things that might muster up a discussion or two.



Might as well. I tuned in with 30 minutes gone, caught the goals, sort of half watch the second half. Was all very mediocre but that extra bit of quality allowing us to comfortably pick off San Marino. To be honest, I found myself watching more of the Wales v Scotland game. Football irony in your face with Gareth Bale’s winner, leaving Adams in his wake as he finished brilliantly to add to a dubious penalty which saw him win the spot kick by tripping himself up in the area. It was against the Scottish so allow it. Defoe sat on the bench (from what I saw) and Walker and Lennon didn't pick up injuries. Good enough for me. Elsewhere, three of the back four (Smith, Caulker, Rose) of the England U21 side were Spurs. Some of that.


Manager of the Month award

So Andre Villas-Boas had the better record than winner David Moyes? Who has the better beard and why isn’t a monthly award given out for that instead? Talking of which, I’m sporting hobo chic at the moment. I look rough and I like it. The fact I’m even talking about my irreverent fashion sense pretty much tells you everything you need to know about my opinion on the Manager of the Month award.



The Olympic Stadium and Tottenham. It’s like stepping in dog **** and no matter how hard you try to wash it out you swear you can still smell the stink. Britain, gold medals, glorious scenes aside...back in the real world if we had to play away from the Lane for even half a season, would rather Wembley than a structure not purpose built for the sport our team actually plays. Hopefully the original plan (of playing at the Lane with building work on-going) sees fruition. Unless the OS has purpose built caravans shifted onto the running track to double up as executive boxes for corporate hospitality. That’ll work.



Win against Villa. Noel Gallagher. Diving. Walker. How to get out of doing something with your missus and going to Tottenham instead. Midfield beasts. Cannibalism. And trikes. Click here for it.



What is Tottenham Hotspur?

Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in. This Stratford saga is never ending.

I posted the below over in the thread 'The East End itch Levy can't quite scratch...' at The Fighting Cock forum. I've made some amends to it for this blog. Promised myself I wouldn't got back to discussing this, but then it's one of those subjects that fragments us (an already fragmented fanbase).

Be sure to join in the discussion.


What is Tottenham Hotspur?

Its difficult to talk about this question because you can sit and attempt to quantify what constitutes emotional detachment and what defines a club and what it means in practicality for hours and still not get anywhere when attempting to use said arguments in relation to a potential move away from N17.

So what is Tottenham? Is it the fans? The area? Do you define a club by its traditions and if so, what are traditions? Style of play, memories of games? Players? Celebrations? Infamous away trips? Hatred for other clubs? The Lane? The journey into the Lane? So much goes into constructing the DNA of a supporter and club. I think its all of the above, all mashed together in a sexy gooey kinda way.

Football is emotive, so surely it should be based on emotions?

What? Oh yeah, PLC. I need to remember to get a tattoo of that on my back.

If we moved down the road, say to another part of North London, there would be a transitional period for all of us attempting to move on from the fact we've left WHL. It happens in life when you leave a job, split up with your partner or someone dies. You think its all gone and it wont be the same again, its all changed, but you adapt and you end up embracing the present and look towards the future.

No matter where we play, you could argue, Spurs exist because they exist in our heads and in our minds. If there were no Spurs fans they'd be no club. Now before I drown in deeply philosophical musings that I'm struggling to articulate because I'm sober...what I'm saying is, I do get that history DOES count and everything this club has achieved will not suddenly disappear because we've shifted home.

Or will it? Will people look back on it with some degree of detachment? Will it matter if that happens when I hit the grand old age of 70 and new young football fans don't much care for whatever happened back in the days of HD and 3D tv, what with their 'Watch the game with retina-cam' via your fav player with Holographic TV™.

I wasn't alive in the 1960s yet that side, those players, they feel and belong to me as much as any player or team I have watched in the modern era.

Spurs won the double in 61. Eight FA Cups. Trophies in Europe. I could name 50 flair players off the top of my head that made their mark for our club. These are the things we can't lose because what has happened can never be changed, but the clubs actual physical persona, its character and its appearance will forever morph into something completely different. And why? Because at that (this) moment in time Stratford was more affordable and feasible than N17.

Revenue, 60K + attendances, new supporters, corporate hospitality to die for, transport links made in heaven...all this has nothing to do with what happens on the pitch when Spurs play. I'm talking in the purest sense here. If it takes another 10 years to get the NDP sorted I'd rather wait then spend another 100 years in N17 than to uproot and move to another part of London just because it's a more fiscal do-able option in the short term.

I get its a business. I get shareholders and investment. But that doesn't mean I should conform. Tottenham (like many clubs) have copyrighted everything to do with the club. Brand. Tottenham the brand. You want use the THFC club badge on your blog because you're a fan? Sorry, no chance. Pay Spurs first for the privilege. Or be sued. Why? Because you can't be making money off the Tottenham brand. That's modern football. If I'm in the minority that wish to hold onto the last surviving romantic notions, then so be it.

Why the mad rush and the opportunistic short cut with the OS bid? Football might well implode in the next 10 years, we don't know. The mad rush is because of those shareholders and their demand for it. They invested money. You can't argue against their argument. But again, why should that concern me?

I guess football has moved on and I'm refusing to move with it.

Billionaires are buying up clubs left right and centre and changing the competition and the landscape of competitiveness. Again, I'd rather be this plucky team on the outside punching our way in. And if we get in, and we enjoy a cycle of success and then lose that cycle. So be it. That's football. Not everyone has that honour of silverware. Nobody is at the top forever. We've not quite been at the top for a long long time. I'd welcome it. Would even be acceptable in small doses.

So it all comes back to what you define as heritage and would constitutes an acceptable sacrifice (i.e. leaving North London to settle in East London) to consolidate progression and that competitive spirit in this age of money.

The club would have moved had they won the bid. That's the scary thing. The power of our custodians over the voice of the dispensable fan all too evident.

We are Tottenham, a small club they say, yet we always compete or at least show ambition to and the last 15 years or so (the barren 90s) has been down to bad management on the pitch (and off) in terms of managerial appointments. We still make money, we still splash said money. And look at us now, with the monopoly practically dead, we are always in with a chance. It's exciting. Let's not forget its all the depression that makes the good times good.

We need a bigger ground, not because I'm concerned about the £££ but because we have loyal hardcore fans who want season tickets and they are much needed because 50k will make more noise than 37K. The extra revenue will obviously help to bolster the rich and spoilt millionaires that wear the shirt with a fraction of the loyalty we possess. That's the hit right there.

I probably still haven't got my point across in the best way, but I guess what I want, what I need as a fan is different to how others might perceive things. Some are simply focused on the fact that a bigger stadium will equate to more money that will somehow guarantee success and glory. Might. Might not. It's a risk either way. Would prefer to retain our identity. I do agree we need to be ambitious. But want us to anchor ourselves to some of that emotive stuff that glues as together. That's the identity with all the romantic caveats attached.

You know, from my front door, Stratford is thirty minutes away by tube (and I don't even live in London). But I'd still rather spend 1 hour + getting into that sh*t hole in North London.

That's just me.



You have got to be ******* kidding me

Tottenham Hotspur are taking Olympic chiefs to court over the decision to hand the 2012 stadium to West Ham after the Games, the BBC has learned.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which chose West Ham ahead of Spurs last month, confirmed Tottenham are going ahead with a judicial review.

Tottenham informed the OPLC of its decision this week, as construction on the Olympic Stadium was completed.

A judge will now review the lawfulness of the decision.

More follows.


Official club statement here. A slight twist. Looks like Levy is flirting again.

At this stage the Club has not issued any proceedings against the Olympic Park Legacy Company (the OPLC) or any other party in respect of the decision regarding the award of the Olympic Stadium. 

The Club’s lawyers have written letters to the OPLC, the Mayor of London, the Minister of Sport and the Secretary of State for Local Government and a separate letter to the London Borough of Newham raising a number of concerns with the processes which led to the award. 

The letters also requested - in the interests of transparency - for the provision of certain information concerning the processes, which the Club considers that it is entitled to. Tottenham Hotspur will determine its next step as and when it receives a response to these letters.


Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in...




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.




Leave it out

Final thoughts on Stratford.

Not that all Hammers fans would agree, but there's certainly a percentage of them that wanted to win the bid just so that Spurs didn't and they could claim some ilk of moral victory over the ethics of moving into their patch (fair enough). However, now the realisation is sinking in that they've got an athletics stadium for a football home with the closest seat 45 meters away and the furtherest over 200 metres. Better hope Gold and Sullivan leave a jazz mag under each seat to keep the ICF busy with their fists.

Spurs were obviously used (you don't lose a vote 14-0) to make certain that the bid that won retained the legacy rather than see North Londoners demolish the stadium and rebuild to fit it's primary footballing objective.

Whether Levy genuinely knew this, p*ssing in the wind or otherwise (on the off chance of winning because our bid was more viable on paper) or simply spent time and effort to make sure Haringey understood his threat of leaving N17 - is all fairly redundant now. I think it's fantasy to think this was about local politics and the non-viable NDP. He wanted the OS. Hoping he wasn't fooled into believing he could actually get it. Because that would suggest weakness rather than Machiavellian traits.

Hindsight, so wonderful. Did we all get a tad too giddy and defensive (whether you were pro or anti?). Did we really need to protest by blog, petition and demonstration? Yes. Of course. Although I found far more people in favour of moving on-line than I have IRL.

We all entertained the idea because of all the rhetoric in the media and the resulting knee-jerks required to work through it all in our minds. It made us question what progression meant and what sacrifices were required if any and whether we would actually accept them. You couldn't ignore the lack of transparency, Brady mouthing off at any given opportunity and the hard sell from Levy. Even with the in-fighting within the Spurs fanbase, the debate (name calling aside) was pretty good - on both sides of the argument.

Sadly, much like if a club wants a manager out and a couple of hundred people turn up for a demo outside the front gates, you find there's always a majority bulk that let the minority do all the complaining. Much like when a bloke on a train doesn't bother getting up for a pregnant lady because he expects someone else to do the right thing. It's a trait this country does very well.

Easier for others to fight the fight than to commit above and beyond. And in addition you'll unlikely to have thousands turn up outside WHL to rally in favour of leaving N17, are you? You would just sit in your seat and wait for it to pan out.

Initially found myself trying to process the potential when it became apparent that the club believed it was the best option to move to East London. Tried to justify it until it was abundantly clear that I had no faith in the move. Was hardly even an epiphany to be honest. I just listened to my heart. It's how I'm built. Others were more pragmatic, logical in terms of the fiscal aspects - all based around the apparent immediate necessity to take advantage of the OS because we were made to believe the club believed it was this or nothing.

Very little, it seems can be taken at face value.

Onwards once more. No other choice. If the whole Stratford argument did not exist, the club would still need to progress (by expanding) so nothing has or should change just because a decision was made a few years back to award London with the Olympic games. The club should retain it's ambition. Onwards.

So here's hoping there is no more in-fighting, sitting on the fence and petitions. Just Tottenham Hotspur.





Show me the way to go home

Most would agree that we could probably/possibly build the NDP but not remain competitive on the pitch, but could do so (remain competitive) if we moved to East London. Hence the reason why Levy wants Stratford. It's viable in terms of planning and fiscal reasons compared to the NDP. I'm sure we'll learn more about the reasons in the coming weeks. Perhaps the NDP is a complete non-starter because Levy failed to forecast the present day in terms of property development/value and sponsorship. Inconvenient truths and half-truths and assumptions wherever you look at the minute.

So hypothetically, if there was no Olympics and no site/stadium, if it simply was not an option (just work with me on this) - what would Spurs do to resolve the progression problem?

Levy has reached a stage where the club (on and off the pitch) is doing superbly well so he has to make a move (metaphorically, calm down) to consolidate. Mainly because football has changed and staggering progression by building on success on the field was something we completely missed out on in the 1990s and that particular brand of template is no longer on offer in these ridiculous EPL days of excess.

(It's going to bottleneck at some point I guarantee it, and we're fortunate enough to have such a loyal fanbase because other clubs have already began to suffer on the pitch and in the stands)


There has to be another way, right? It might not offer the immediate fix Stratford does or perhaps it's not as easy as a move to East London would be - but we're talking about a club that has been around for almost 130 years. A few more years will not cripple and kill us. We've competed at the top level every decade since the 50s and the reason we've not done better ( the upper tier top level in terms of the title) is because of the monumental cock ups that lead to us almost going under back in '91. We lagged behind and yet we are doing mighty fine now considering we were also half crippled by on the pitch bad management and lack of direction at times from the board.

Obviously we all agree we've never been a title challenging side. But to retain the ambition to be one is a good way to look ahead. Hence the reason for the NDP and (sadly) the reason why Stratford became Levy's number one choice. The emotive issue is something I want to side step for a moment.

Levy fixed us. Made mistakes, learnt from them and now we're at a crossroads where we are threatened with having to leave N17 if we don't get the OS, which according to everyone, we wont.

So surely Levy has a Plan B? And no I don't mean asking Crouch to lay down and build a 60,000 all-seater on his back.

It's become so cut-throat all this - move or be doomed - that I wonder how much of it is based on second guessing what Levy's strategy is and people accepting sentimental sacrifice for the sake of the apparent sudden urgency to be able to afford to pay someone 200k per week to play for us - because that's what it will take to compete with certain other clubs if that's the ilk of club you want. If that's what it takes to compete.

Just throwing it out there. No Stratford (in this pretend world I've created which might well transcend into our world from tomorrow morning, what with it already turning up a little early late last night).

Just a hypothetical based on Stratford never being an option. What and where do we look to take the club if WHL can not serve our ambitions? Stick or stay?

One thing I'm hoping for is that whatever happens tomorrow (11am press conference) Levy takes us forwards as one entity of Spurs fans rather than everyone playing percentages on what side of the fence the majority allegedly sit on whilst the rest.

Hypothetical. For today.


(ps - excuse the roughness of this blog article, stinking headache)





New leaked image of proposed Spurs Stratford stadium


I've managed to get hold of an exclusive 'leaked' ITK mock-up of what the Olympic Site redevelopment will look like if Daniel Levy and the club win the bid and progress with their plans. Exclusive. Not sure how much time I have before this blog article will be removed on advisement from my solicitors. Will fight the THFC lawyers and their court injunctions for as long as I can. I've also included the descriptions of the proposed additions to the area surrounding the OS which was included as part of the stolen image pack.


click on image to expand


1  - Chirpy Towers. To dare is to Cock-a-doodle-doo do do do. Visit the state of the art Spurs Shop and enjoy delightful Michelin quality three course meals in Chirpy's slow rotating head allowing you to enjoy the amazing view of Canary Wharf and Newham, including our deadly rivals home ground; Upton Park. The exclusive Chirpy's EyeBalls penthouse dinner rooms can be booked in advance (premium required) where you can watch the whole game whilst sat at your table...if you prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the crowds down below.

2  - The World Famous Home of Stratford Hotspur® and Nandos. The Nandos Stadium. Our new sponsor and club badge thanks to a multi-million pound long term deal means you'll never go hungry for football...or chicken! You can find Nandos outlets inside the stadium and be sure to order the 'take it to your seat*' bucket before the game kicks off (*take it to the seat meal deal only includes a medium coke, for large coke, extra £4 charge, fries not inclusive). The controversial inclusion of red in the stadium name and team shirts is nothing to worry about. Remember, we wore red in our badge back in 1882/83 and a red shirt between 1890-1896. Both the replicas of these shirts are soon to be available in the club shop with our new clothing tagline: Hot for Spurs and proud of our heritage.

3  - Stratford Hotspur®. Home is where the Strat® is, and Spurs is stratting it's hot stuff all over North (eastish) London. You voted to move and we've embraced our local community, repaying their hospitality with a gentle nod of approval to our new surroundings. Location? Geography? Booooring. Why tie ourselves down to a place or a name when the Spurs brand is worldwide?

Stratford Hotspur®. Refined and redefining the game of soccer®. To Revenue is to Do®.

4  - Abercrombie & Fitch / Apple Store. Stylise your lifestyle, pre and post match. Sit down, stand up and look sexy doing so by picking up the latest trends in A&F. Or if you're tech savvy or wish to be, visit the Apple Store and download the Spurs application so you can get all the very latest information after you've already seen it on tv and the internet.

5  - Paul Smith. Another one of our exclusive partnered retail shops for essential football clobber and motifs. Use your season ticket 'card' for special discounts on a wonderful range of ties, shirts and shoes so you're always looking dapper whilst taking in the atmosphere.

6  - We are N17 Land. History is important and for those that wish to live in the past, wipe that tear away you melter and rejoice! We are N17 Land brings you the very best of the olde Tottenham High Road including Bill Nicholson's Gates*, the heritage buildings, littered covered and p*ss stained roads and shut down pubs and grubby food establishments. Win a free copy of The Opus here. Honestly, we have hundreds of them to give away so don't miss out!

*Gates open at 10am on Saturday match-days and 5pm for midweek for access to car park.

7  - Starbucks. You can have a coffee and a muffin on the day to calm those pre-match nerves in one of our coffee house outlets. Free wireless included in-store for the disconcerting fan who wishes to get fierce and do battle online via blogs and forums. So don't be forgetting your ipads!

8  - Slug and Lettuce. Pre-match drink? Over-crowding? Struggling to get to the bar? Look no further than the Slug! And to make certain, we have more than just the one for you to enjoy an alcoholic beverage and give you ample time to tweet your thoughts on the team selection. Pub crawling has never been this crisp and clean!

9  - Harry Hotspur statue. Remaining true to our rich heritage, included on the grounds is an amazing tour de force iconic bronze talking statue of seasoned traveller and warrior entrepreneur Harry Hotspur, who looks East towards Upton Park with menace and an ever so subtle hint of marching fearless into battle. Listen to him sing 'Glory Glory Stratford Hotspur' (debit card charge of £5 per chorus) and point towards deepest West Ham territory. The epitome of glory and progression standing the test of time, a true echo to our past that also retains a place in the future much like Hotspur's legacy that has enriched Northumberland, Tottenham and now Stratford.

10 - Replica Town. Be sure to visit the old fashion pre-match traditional walkabout. Get yourself some Caviar to go or a tuna salad at 'Seastar Fish bar'. Enjoy a sit down meal at Pavro Ocakbas Vegetarian Restaurant or if you've already eaten at home just order yourself a cocktail at the Bricklayers Wine Bar.

11 - Monorail. For our exclusive 'Platinum True Fan' members, get to and from the Docklands in the super fast Monorail sponsored by Bloomberg that will take you from your executive box straight back into the hub of the banking world within minutes. All other season ticket holders, club members and tickets purchased via general sale and on the day - please head towards Stratford station with plenty of time to spare to avoid congestion.

12 - Canary Wharf. Majestic, just majestic! The amazing backdrop on the horizon that will light up the sky on those Glory Glory nights making them that extra special.



You'll note all the Chirpy heads that are located around the ground. They crow if we win, and sing 'Can't smile without you' if we lose. Making sure we are pampering the emotive side of your journey into our world class arena experience. Directions to local shopping centres and words from our sponsors are also subliminally whispered from his beak.

Also, to commemorate the move to the new stadium and the soon to be concluded deal that will see AEG purchase the club and a proposed future franchise merger with LA Galaxy, Daniel Levy will present to loyal Spurs supporters a Monolith at the first home game to be played in Stratford as a thank you and a remainder of services rendered.







What's wrong with this picture?

I'd expect a better mock up if the OS is awarded to Spurs, then the designers can go to town much like they did with the now dead in the water Northumberland Development Project (it's dead in the water). At the moment however, we are teased with a rather strange single piece illustration. Not sure what irks me more. The buildings central in the background or the tall red monstrosity looking down at the stadium (never red damn you!). Don't even get me started on the break dancers. I can see it now. Headhunters v the Spurs Yoof. Body popping in Burberry.

Couple of other things in there that hardly appeal to the common football fan, but yes, it's a mock up and if you look closely to some of the design photos of the NDP they actually included a skating rink.

RIP Football, eh?


Levy on TalkSport...listen here.


Click on image to enlarge, if you wish to make your eyes bleed


Once more, I'm placing my hope that Levy is masking his true intentions. Would hardly make sense to tell us there will be a referendum then once more brutally state that there is no option available other than a move to East London. Unless his mind is getting cloudy with the PR soundbites (unlikely).

To further cement the contradictions, note the usage of the word 'current' in his comments on the NDP being dead in the water. Reading too much into it, am I? Then again, if my hope that this is a grand game of poker rings true, what if we are awarded the OS? I guess, either way - Levy will get what he wants. Just no pleasing all of us I'm afraid.

Also - couple of things I saw this morning that made me giggle.

“I don’t think running tracks work, particularly behind the goal. The customers are so far back it doesn’t work" - David Sullivan

Make your minds up.

And from early 2010 just for larfs:

"The bigger dream is for West Ham fans to have a football stadium. He (Coe) can have an athletics track elsewhere. We would offer tickets at £5 a go for some matches. We can bring Premier League football back to the people" - David Sullivan

Prem League the Championship! It's revolutionary! This is the best from the same article from early 2010:

"Karren is a good businesswoman but she doesn't understand football"


Yes, yes, Levy has contradicted himself aplenty with the promises and shattered dreams but I'm beginning to wonder whether his greatest weapon is West Ham's inability to fight their corner. Or if you believe in the conspiracy theory, it's possibly the greatest threat to remaining in N17. Mainly because even with all the bad hype about Spurs and the legacy, many involved in the process of seleciton see the Spurs bid as being more viable (hate that word).

But as mentioned already, either way Levy will win.

Anyone for badminton?




Referendum promised

Currently waiting for 'We are N17' to release their statement after their meeting with Daniel Levy. What we do know is that Mr Chairman has promised the fans (members? season ticket holders? dead people living in Florida?) a referendum meaning that if we 'win' the OS bid he'll ask for our vote prior to releasing the non-refundable £20M bond to seal the deal.

It's a fairly common acknowledgement that most supporters don't care either way (this isn't a dig at those who want to move and are vocal about it - I'm talking about the ones who would accept a move to probably anywhere and don't get involved in the debate). Fact is, there are thousands out there that don't bother with membership but would like tickets and know that Stratford would give them that, and asking why remaining in North London won't, is just fluff getting in the way of their seat.

Who get's to vote and how much weight people place on it's importance will...well, let's see if we get there first.

It's diplomatic PR by Levy. It's what we've asked for so nobody should complain. But everyone knows how the vote will go. Which begs the question why we bothered in the first place. It's nothing more than an olive branch which will perhaps weaken those that are currently pro-N17 and smooth the way to acceptance.


I'd once more point towards the NDP no longer being viable and the reasons behind it, along with the required transparency in relation to 'it's Stratford or we look to move outside of N17' (dearly like to know how much time, effort and cost would go into moving outside of N17 in comparison to remaining there) - but I'll no doubt get shot down by one or two who will tell me that Levy knows what he's doing and I shouldn't fret about the details what with me being a commoner and him being the dark overlord of Death Star investment company ENIC.

Cue Imperial March music.

Onwards, again.


'The questions Daniel Levy still needs to answer'. Read Martin Cloake's new article here.




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.