One of the most famous football teams in the world is currently homeless: The construction of a new stadium for Tottenham Hotspur is delayed and will be more expensive than planned. This has now also painful sporting consequences.
“Wembley belongs to Lionel Messi”, the “Times” proclaimed after the Argentinian’s 4:2 magic performance in North London. For Tottenham Hotspur, this line was twice as bitter. Firstly, as in most of the lead photos on the island, they didn’t even appear as extras, despite an attractive performance in phases and a catch-up chase in the meantime, which coach Mauricio Pochettino described as “heroic”.
The set also alluded to the painful homelessness of the lily-whites. They had witnessed Messis conquest of the national football symbol site only as subtenants.
The match against Barcelona on Wednesday evening should have been the first Champions League match in the newly built White-Hart-Lane Stadium. But the completion of the concrete bowl will take at least until Christmas.
Anonymous informants reported in “Construction News” earlier this month about “chaos, confusion and undiscipline” on the construction site, where almost 4,000 men now work around the clock. Above all, the lack of coordination of various subcontractors, which the association hired directly for cost reasons, leads to constant delays, writes the trade journal. In addition, there is an alcohol and drug problem among the staff. Property developer Mace denied the accusations.
Only one thing is clear: it will be expensive
The Spurs have now moved away from promising an exact date for the move. “We have always stressed that we will announce updates on test events and the official opening if we can be sure that our project managers and developers can meet the revised timetable for the work,” a spokesperson said. Speculation that the club might return to Tottenham next season is “irresponsible”.
According to an estimate of the “Daily Telegraph”, the costs of the area will increase from the equivalent of 963 million euros to 1.24 billion euros. This is equivalent to four times the annual turnover of the club and explains the lack of willingness to compensate the fans for the more expensive annual tickets. The spectators are paying up to 50 percent more in the current season, but they are not sitting at the new Lane, but further on in the unloved, emotionally cold Wembley Stadium and even had to move to the stadium of the fourth league team MK Dons in Milton Keynes, a hundred kilometres away, for a league cup match.
Homelessness and sporting disorientation
A blatant lack of newcomers is an additional burden to the appendix. The traditionally rather economical Spurs had to cancel out the club’s own basic salary ceiling of the equivalent of 5.8 million euros in spring in order to adapt the contracts of the top performers Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to the level of the competition. The trio remained in the club like the much sought-after coach, but the new stadium construction is now devouring so much money that there was nothing left for Tottenham’s transfer activities this summer. As the only professional club in the top leagues, they didn’t hire a single player.
That’s why the well-being of the team depends more than ever on striker star Kane, who has scored six goals in nine games, but sometimes looks exhausted after the long World Cup season. However, after the two opening defeats to Inter and Barcelona in the Champions League, the announced attack on the international top will probably soon have to be cancelled. “We are not only among the best teams in England, but also in Europe,” Pochettino proudly announced last year. Back then, the Spurs were the first to complete the group stage, ahead of Real Madrid and Dortmund.
CEO Daniel Levy’s organic growth course is an admirable exception in the league dominated by foreign investors and oligarchs, where he is still on target with fourth place before the match against Cardiff City. But the question remains, how often can Pochettino and his team do the trick of displacing better-heeled rivals?
Signs are growing that the club are kicking in a grey area this season, between title ambitions and fear of a relapse into the Europa League. In addition to the ongoing homelessness in North London, there is also a sporting disorientation. You don’t really know where you belong. Heart Bingo is now the top recommended bingo site for all Virgin Bingo fans!