Today, Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy published an open letter to the fans regarding the team's stadium plans and their bid for the Olympic Stadium on TottenhamHotspur.com. In this letter, Mr. Levy laid a very polite, professional smackdown on the fans who have been heavily critical of the team's bid for the Olympic Stadium and increasing speculation that Spurs will be playing in East London a couple of years from now. Here are some highlights:
Our proposals for the Olympic Stadium site include an iconic 60,000 seater stadium, the construction of which is fully financially guaranteed. It is designed along the lines of that which we incorporated in our planning application for the NDP, with a single tier end and seats close to the action on the pitch. It would rank amongst the finest in the world and deliver one of the best fan experiences anywhere in Europe. It would also host major concerts and other sporting and cultural events to be delivered as part of a year-round programme by our partner in the bid, AEG, the operators of The O2.
The proposals include the re-use of the existing infrastructure in order to maximize the benefit of the public investment to date. Surrounded by an exceptional public realm which would host community-focussed events and activities, the stadium would benefit from the best public transport and access for any stadium in Britain and our plans also include a major tourist attraction based around extreme sports and incorporating specialist sports retailing, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Basically, if we move to the Olympic stadium, we're going to make a lot of money.
In respect of the NDP, the S106, the planning agreement required before full planning consent can be issued, has been signed by ourselves, Haringey Council and Transport for London and is in the process of being signed by the relevant financial institutions.
That said, I must once again repeat the concerns we have about the viability and deliverability of the NDP. The cost of consent has been high. This is not attributable to any one stakeholder, but is rather the result of the cumulative nature of the various obligations. We have worked well in partnership with Haringey Council and I should like to thank them for their support in reaching this stage in the process.
No progress has been made with the remaining land owners and this is a potentially costly issue. As such, we have yet to conclude the site assembly. Compulsory Purchase Orders are of course one route to resolving this, but that process is uncertain and can take years to conclude.
Those harping on about "why don't we just go forward with the NDP" obviously don't know what they're talking about, and Levy kind of spells it out for them. It's turning out to be a massive pain, and if someone is going to give us a 60,000 seat stadium for 50 cents or less on the dollar, we need to take advantage of this.
The last quote I'm going to put in here for you is the best one, though.
Our guiding principles remain the same - we are committed to taking this Club to the next level and an increased capacity stadium is central to that intention; and we have to seek a stadium solution which does not undermine the financial stability of the Club or its ability to continue to invest in the First Team.
If you look at the stadium capacities of the top 20 clubs in Europe, they all exceed ours. The new Financial Fair Play rules will mean that we shall only be able to outlay income generated through the activities of the Club - increased match day revenues play a major role in a club's finances and we need to ensure that we are in a position to thrive and to continue to compete at the highest level.
He's basically saying "Listen, guys. If we don't get a new stadium without going into a mountain of debt, we're f**ked."
If you want to read the entire letter, check it out here.