Tottenham face the prospect of having to play all of their home games away from White Hart Lane, as a legal dispute threatens to postpone their move to a new stadium. Plans were in place for the new 56,250-seater venue adjacent to White Hart Lane to open at the start of the 2017-18 season.
The dispute centres on a small business that is currently refusing to relocate from the proposed build site. A compulsory purchase order seems likely to eventually force the business out, though the time-frame for this is currently unclear.
The club issued a statement on Wednesday claiming that a move away from the Lane for a period of one season may be necessary to ensure that work on the new stadium could be completed in the shortest possible time.
Moving to Milton Keynes?
Tottenham’s fans will undoubtedly be disappointed by the prospect of playing in a different ground particularly, as for many it could incur increased travel costs on match-days. In that respect, the suggestion of playing nearly 50 miles away at Milton Keynes Dons 30,000-seater Stadium MK - as reported by the Daily Mail - seems especially galling.
Other Likely Venues
There is no need to panic for Arsenal fans however, as although the Emirates Stadium represents the closest possible football stadium, it is not thought to be on the list of potential options.
The two London venues mooted at this early stage are Wembley and the Olympic Stadium. Whilst the Olympic Stadium is the closer of the two stadia (six miles away compared to 12 miles) the 54,000-seater venue will already be hosting the home matches of Premier League rivals West Ham United from 2016.
As a result, Wembley seems the obvious choice. Though unconventional for England’s national stadium to act as a home to a club, any arrangement would surely generate some welcome extra revenue for the FA. By remaining in London, Spurs may also find this difficult situation easier to sell to their fans.
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