What a mess. Farce. Joke. Embarrassment. If this is the victory sought by Daniel Levy and Barry Hearn when Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient challenged the OPLC's decision to award the Olympic Stadium to West Ham United, it doesn't feel much like one. West Ham won't be able to get their grubby hands on the stadium in terms of owning it - or, more pertinently, Newham council owning it - but they're still going to move there, pay £2 million a year in rent, and probably leave us mug tax payers to cough up the remaining £3 million it will cost to fund a venue that already smacks of being the whitest of elephants.
This was a battle neither set of fans, claret and blue, or blue and white, wanted to win. From the West Ham perspective, it meant playing in a stadium too big for the club to fill, with an athletics track keeping fans well back from the action. This is a time when clubs throughout Europe, most notably Juventus, have realised that multi-purpose stadiums don't work, detract fans from attending, and leads to a distinct lack of atmosphere at the stadium. Ask Brighton and Hove Albion fans if they prefered their temporary Withdean home - complete with track, or their brand new, football-only Falmer Stadium. There's no comparison. The Hammers will be giving up one of the most intimidating grounds in the country for a souless bowl that's not fit for purpose.
From a Spurs point of view, the issue was a simple one; Tottenham Hotspur belong in Tottenham. Their White Hart Lane ground sits directly across the road from the old gaslight on the corner of the High Road and Church Road where the Hotspur Cricket Club, as the legend states, in 1882 decided to keep fit in the winter months by forming a football club. This is the original North London side, the only North London side, until Woolwich Arsenal invaded their territory in 1913.
Daniel Levy's motivation behind pushing for the Olympic Stadium site was both for financial reasons, and an attempt to move to a more desirable location. His motives here are nothing new, for it was an option seriously considered by Alan Sugar back in the 1990s. Tottenham, it is true, is not the best situated of London locations. Badly served by local transport, with parking restrictions in place to try and prevent fans from driving in on matchdays, Tottenham on a Saturday afternoon is an absolute nightmare to get to, and even worse to get away from. The area, as Levy is more than keen to point out, is in serious need of regeneration. Yes, it's a dump, but it's OUR dump.
Financially, the new White Hart Lane stadium will cost upwards of £400 million to build, before factoring in the money the club will have to invest in the surrounding area. The biggest cost of moving to the Olympic Stadium would have been removing the track, saving them hundreds of millions of pounds. Which, it is clear, will not happen, as the track must remain.
West Ham will still leave Upton Park to move to Stratford. Only they will have to pay rent, which will be further subsidised by taxpayers. It is hard to see the Stadium ever becoming a self-funding building. Especially one with the dreaded running track still in place. Spurs, thankfully, will remain in Tottenham, but with their bargaining position to get as much money out of Boris Johnson for regeneration now weakened. But our identity, for what it's worth, will remain. We'll still be Super Tottenham From The Lane. And for that, I, along with tens of thousands of others, will breathe a sigh of relief.
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