The Tottenham fans dilemma

Tottenham and West Ham compete for Olympic StadiumWith everything that is good happening on the pitch, the potential move to the Olympic Stadium is becoming a massive concern to Tottenham fans off it. The East-London venue, already home to West Ham’s Upton Park, is hugely unpopular with the majority of fans who believe the club should stay true to their roots and stay in the North of the capital. Is seems a matter of head against heart with most fans choosing the latter, but who could blame them?

A Spurs fan with the most sentimental of connections with White Hart Lane would agree that it’s time for a new stadium, or a least a re-development of the old one. The clubs recent transformation under Harry Redknapp into a force in the Premier League can only be aided with a bigger ground which can in turn bring in bigger revenue. But a move into enemy territory? No wonder Spurs fans are unhappy; the only thing worse would be ground-sharing at the Emirates.

There is, of course, some method behind the madness. The ambitious Tottenham board believe the only way forward is to a move into a bigger stadium. What better than one which will be state-of-the-art and ready and waiting to use? Logically, the argument stands up. But the flip side is retaining the history of football. Is money more important than the legacy of Tottenham Hotspur?

Fans certainly don’t think so. The petition, ‘Say no to Stratford Hotspur’ is picking up speed and has over 2,000 signatures already. Speaking to the Haringey Independent the creator of the petition, Tim Framp, explained that Spurs are much more than money-making gimmick.

He said: “Tottenham is more than just a name. It is the traditions that you love. The people you drink with in the pubs before the match. The people that have become your friends that you sit with in the stands.”

There is an alternative idea which seems to sit more favourably among Spurs supporters. Tottenham are awaiting the final decision on whether they can have planning permission on Northumberland Park, considerably closer to White Hart Lane than the Olympic Stadium would be. But this causes its own problems: Can Spurs afford to have a new stadium to pay off? Will this impact on the clubs spending in the next few years? Take Arsenal for example. Since moving into the Emirates, Arsene Wenger has been unable to spend as freely as he would perhaps have liked. Although he insists that is his choice, considering the club have been without a league title since 2004, I’m not so sure.

It really is a fight between head and heart. Disregarding any sentiment, the logical move for Tottenham would be to the ready-made stadium which could bring in the type of revenue the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal benefit from week in, week out. There-in lies the platform to make a real attempt at winning the Premier League. Of course this type of emotional connection with footballs great legacies cannot be ignored as it runs much deeper than any money-making scheme. It’s understandable Spurs fans oppose the move, but when you talk of the potential success and financial implications on the club, is it time to let go?
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