Football FanCast columnist Greg Symonds hopes that Levy has got his sums right at Tottenham and the new stadium won’t prove too much of a hindrance on team development.
Tottenham have decided to play hardball with their rivals, in order to attract potential sponsors to fund what seems a spectacular stadium development, should they be granted planning permission. It would certainly bring the North Londoners on a par with the big clubs in the country in terms of income and revenue, but I ask the question as to what cost to playing team.
I know Daniel Levy has come out and suggested that the cost of this project will have no effect, in terms of investment on the playing staff, but I find that extremely hard to believe. History shows that every football club in Europe that has embarked on a stadium move, whether it is Bayern or their great rivals in North London, they have all been faced with financial constraints of sorts in order to finance the debt that will be inflicted on the football club as a result. These are clubs that have regularly partaken in the Champions League in the past ten years and reaped the financial benefits of it.
Tottenham haven’t had the luxury of receiving the type of wealth’s that Europe’s premier competition provides, therefore they should adhere to the situation that these club’s currently find themselves in. Peter Hill-Wood mention that they have a contingency in place for a couple of seasons, should they fail to reach the Champions League, therefore it does show the pressure that will be on Tottenham to deliver at the high end of the Premier League, if they are able to sustain the paying back of funding for the stadium, whilst maintaining their competiveness in the transfer market.
My fear for Tottenham and as to why I hope Levy has got all the mathematics right, is because the club still seem perhaps a season, or two, short of making the step up to finally play Champions League football. I don’t know what percentage of investment that Levy is hoping for, in terms of the total cost of the project, but even if it’s in the region of 50%, then there is still a debt of around £150-200m that will hit the club. If by chance by the time they move in, then the club is playing Champions League football then fantastic, but what will the implication be if they are not. The Premier League money will arguably go up slightly, when the new deal is announced, but I wonder how far it will go and if it is enough to give the manager, whether it is Harry or someone else, on a season by season basis.
So do Tottenham fans share my concerns, given what history has shown, or do you feel by the time the club move into their plush surrounds (providing they get planning permission) in 2012 that they will be delivering Champions League football to help fund this process along?