Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has reportedly taken up the FA’s option for Spurs to remain at Wembley Stadium until 2019, delaying the opening of their new White Hart Lane ground amid “construction concerns”. The news will come as a blow to the club who were hoping to play the first game at their new stadium against Liverpool in a shade over a month’s time, and for the time being only the next two matches – and an NFL game scheduled for the venue in October. The home games against the Reds and Cardiff have been relocated to the national team’s stadium, though some reports indicate that Spurs paid a “significant amount of money” for the option to remain at the ground “for a small number of Premier League and Champions League group games”.
Whether they can remain there full time or only on a sporadic basis is still to be absolutely confirmed, but having a stadium move looming in the future can often have an adverse affect on a football club – transfers, existing squads and staff can all be affected by a delay such as this. Should it prove to only be for a few games while some bolts are tightened then perhaps it will not prove too costly to the north London club, but safety must come above all else and so the club have made the right call delaying the opening if there are serious concerns about any construction or safety issues whatsoever. Despite a shaky start at Wembley, Spurs have become a force to be reckoned with at their adopted home and as a result, despite certainly being keen to get back to their White Hart Lane roots at least the team have a solid stadium in which to play their games in the meantime.
With the club having failed to sign any players during the summer transfer window, becoming the first to not sign anyone in the summer window since its induction in 2003, this would increasingly appear to be a transitional time in the white half of north London. Transition need not be a bad thing in football, of course – the lack of new arrivals has been highlighted, of course, but the flip side of the coin is that they retained their own top players. Harry Kane was not the only Spurs man to be linked with a move away, with Toby Alderweireld also heavily suggested to be on his way out of the club. Manchester United appeared keen to bring in the former Southampton, Ajax and Atletico Madrid defender, and a swap deal with Anthony Martial was also mooted, though never materialised.
It also means that some of the club’s highly-rated youngsters may get a chance to taste some senior football this season. The likes of Luke Amos and Oliver Skipp seem to be knocking on the dressing room door, and while the club did not bring in any new faces it did ensure that the youngsters did not fall potentially further down the pecking order. If Spurs play their cards right here, they really can make the best of an admittedly bad situation.
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