The Northumberland Development project. If this was the Lord of the Rings trilogy we'd still be in the opening twenty minutes of the film with Gandalf informing Frodo of the proposed journey ahead. It's been six years or so since we were first treated to the original images of the new stadium to replace White Hart Lane. Since then, stagnation has meant we're still waiting for the work to begin. It's been a long and drawn out process. Political and also controversial, what with the recent compulsory purchase order dished out to Archway Sheet Metal, supposedly the last remaining obstacle before the builders can start digging up the already flattened land around it.
Most of the intrigue is with the aforementioned politics and exactly how the regeneration of N17 will play out in terms of funding. It seems to be part of a perpetual stick that some supporters are using to beat Tottenham with. Why? There's still mistrust in what ENIC's actual end game is. The suggestion being they want a new stadium for more sinister reasons than simply giving the club a brand spanking new home. Sinister being the desire of more revenue so perhaps we can compete at a higher financial level? Even if that's just a way of beefing up the clubs value post-new stadium rather than a footballing strategy for the owners to push the club towards truly challenging.
That's probably where the sinister undertone creeps in. Their values are financial, ours are purely football and somewhere in-between is where it all gets muddled and confused as the rationalising suggests they should be kept separate - when that's nigh impossible to do.
There are still many that don't believe it will be built. Which to me is an insane conclusion because we're hardly going to line-up in the newly built Sainsbury. Our midfield is congested enough on a football pitch let alone the frozen food aisle.
There's no reason for the mistrust. It has to be built. The fact is ENIC are an investment company. Tottenham is their investment. The obvious conclusion is that one day they're going to cash in. The mistrust festers in whether they wait until the stadium is physically complete or they sell once the work begins. Levy's failed attempt with bidding for the Olympic Stadium would favour a quick resolution. Stratford would have given us a short cut to the fiscal gains, saving the club untold outgoings with our soul sacrificed for our troubles.
Archway have also been in N17 for a very long time. Some cited a lack of community from Spurs for attempting to force them out. The very same would have supported a move to Stratford. It's a human trait to gravitate towards what you believe is best. Even if it's contradictory.
This isn't an apologetic nod of approval to our overlords. The real mistrust is with how the footballing side is handled from season to season. The lack of cohesive decision making, patience and a multitude of suspect relationships like the the special one with Real Madrid. I don't know, with our current resources, if any other company or owner should get better results - on and off the pitch. We remain tentatively competitive, perhaps because of the shrewdness and often disliked fortitude of Levy. Or maybe he is holding us back and prioritising that end game that ENIC seek. Once again, surely what with us being a football club, success on the pitch (and speculating to accumulate it) would mean better accountancy off it. But what do I know? I'm just a supporter who shouldn't spend so much time chin scratching about the boardroom and instead just enjoy the kicking of the ball part of the game.
Football is business, there's no escaping it. For ENIC to make their profit they need to do what's best for the football club and its supporters. So, if you happen to embrace this whimsical ideal, that means we get the very best out of their endeavours.
My concern is with happens after the stadium is complete. If we are sold will it be...better the devil you know? Do we become the target for a oligarch? US based firm? Does our identity degrade a little with the new all purpose modern stadia that replaces our current traditional home? Or do we simply adapt like other have and change with the times?
Progress always means something is left behind with something new birthed. One step at a time then. Let's build it first before we worry about the what ifs of the not so distant future. There is nothing we can do with regards to ENIC's plans, so that first step is waiting to see if their proposed time-line doesn't slip any further.
Our journey appears to be set for Mordor. Better than Stratford I guess.
via Club Metro with additional padding