Archway and ENIC sitting in a tree...
I was trying to work out why this narrative has dominated part of the summer aside from the obvious fact that Archway Sheet Metal Works are not falling into line and selling up to Tottenham as easily as some of the other local businesses. We all know their property is the final block of concrete that needs to be shifted before the mythical Northumberland Development Project finally kicks into physical motion. We know about the CP and the complex and dirty legalities. It's shared and discussed at a high level for the vast majority of supporters that do not wish to delve deeper into the politics and business of what is fundamentally a stalemate in a game of chess...until someone kicks the table away and punches their opponent in the face.
If you place aside the narrative of the big business wanting to bully the small business in a business deal which will only have the single logical conclusion - what's the point of any of it (from our perspective)? Until it's done and dusted, there is no point. Yes sure, there are suggestions of blatant disregard for a variety of promises made regarding the local landscape and the people that are meant to benefit from the redevelopment of not just a new stadium but housing along with the revenue a new 60k home will bring. But all of this is currently lost in the desperation to get to a point where that physical work is started.
I don't pretend to understand all of the dynamics of a project of this magnitude. Although I tend to remind myself how damn difficult it was made for Tottenham to get to the point of being able to plan and buy up land in and around the ground and get final approval for the NDP. Not excusing any behaviour or conduct or tactical ploys. It's hardly breaking news that everyone involved is guilty of something and the bending of rules and words is common place in this particular industry of construction.
There's an article over at HH's blog that includes plenty to sink your teeth in if you wish to get into the gritty of the details. It's akin to X (Donald Sutherland) in JFK, rambling about conspiracies, some of making sense some of it appearing to be out of context yet still supposedly prevalent to the fragmented agendas of all involved. But it serves a purpose. The details colour in the stark black and white facts with moody tones of grey. This is ugly no matter what side you wish to take.
I don't care for people that take to social media to abuse the owners, threaten them, much like I don't care for anyone claiming that ENIC are stomping all over the 'community' when this was the same ENIC that looked towards Stratford as a viable option once upon a time. There's always a lack of ethics when it comes to money so I hardly expect there to be a clean and fair fight when two separate entities focus on their own agenda.
One is looking to profit from the other, and vice versa. Hence the stalemate. Sure, ENIC are the bad guys to some, seeking to get the land 'on the cheap' but equally so if I owned Archway and was looking at a family pension I'd probably want more than what it's worth or thereabouts. I'm not privy to the financials here and don't care. What I do know is that although we bemoan the lack of development and progress there are probably hundreds of legal obstacles that need to be looked at before being rubber stamped. If it wasn't Archway it would be something else and in this current climate it appears to be a far slower process than perhaps what it might have been ten years ago when money flowed with far more comfort. Also, don't compare any of this to the Emirates as Arsenal had fair better base of property to sell when they looked to move on.
There is no good or bad side with any of this. Both are greedy or rather both aim to be fully paid members of the self-preservation society. If this is about holding out for the very best deal and thus making Archway the guilty party holding up the stadium, judging by the slow movement of the entire project, it's unlikely to make that much of a difference.
The reality is, Archway know they will have to move on. This narrative has a conclusion and it's totally to do with money and community is just a buzz word both them and Spurs use to push things forward. Very very slowly.
Another recently citied future issue is what happens to the pubs, their livelihoods and other businesses that rely on the supporters wallets if and when Spurs shift to an interim home whilst the final year or two of the stadium build is completed? Another evil lurking in the shadows that will be rationalised in the same way everything before it has.