Spurs To Stay In Tottenham
Faced with allegations that it illegally obtained phone and banking records during the first bidding process for London’s new Olympic Stadium, soccer club Tottenham Hotspur has announced it’s going private to raise funds to build a new ground of its own.
The north London club says that trading on the Alternative Investment Market “severely restricts” its potential for raising the estimated £450 million it needs to complete the build.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy says the development next to its current ground at White Hart Lane would need public investment in the area for the club to justify an investment of “hundreds of millions of pounds.”
The case for urban regeneration gained weight when the area was the flashpoint for the August riots, which spread throughout the capital and other major UK cities.
The first home match of the season was called off because areas surrounding the stadium were designated as crime scenes.
De-listing the club from the stock market appears to be the final confirmation that Spurs has ditched its bid to buy the new Olympic stadium.
It lost out to east London soccer club West Ham United in the first round of bidding, the subject of the phone-tapping investigation, then derailed the whole process by winning a judicial review of the way it had been run.
The 14 members of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, who all allegedly had their phones tapped, decided it would be expedient to start a new bidding process rather than face a long legal battle over the first one.
The Olympic Stadium will now be kept in public ownership and the successful bidder will be a tenant, with the proviso that the stadium’s running track is kept in place.
It was just announced that London won the competition to stage the 2017 World Athletics Championship.
It’s likely that the second round of bidding will result in the selection of several tenants, which means Live Nation – which backed the original West Ham bid – and AEG (which was in cahoots with Spurs) may well be looking to run whatever live concerts are staged in the east London venue.
So far, two people have been arrested on suspicion of acquiring information in order to spy on the OPLC and at least one senior West Ham director during the first round of bidding.
Tottenham refutes the suggestion that it employed investigators to spy on anyone.
The club has just announced that in the year to June 30 it made a profit of £400,000 pounds ($645,000) compared with the £6.5 million-pound ($9.7 million) hit it took in the previous financial year.
Its European Champions League campaign contributed £37.1 million ($57.8 million) of its record-breaking revenues of £163.5million ($255 million), although this year the side only qualified for the less rewarding Europa League.
Last year every league match at its 32,000-seat ground was sold out and the club believes it could at least double gate revenues in a new 60,000-capacity stadium.
On the pitch, Tottenham are well placed for another crack at the top four – and European Champions League qualification – after an unbeaten league run of nine games lifted them to third in the table, having played one less game than the teams above them.