Tottenham Hotspur released a major statement on club financials today that included a big announcement on the future of Tottenham's new stadium, otherwise known as the Northumberland Development Project (NDP). Spurs provided updated details on the entire NDP project and suggested, if all goes well, a summer 2017 stadium opening is "feasible."
The statement noted that "Phase 1" of the project, which included smaller projects around the stadium site like the recent Sainsbury's Supermarket opening is nearly completed, and that the club is working with the city of London to compulsorily purchase the final remaining parcel of land in the area around the stadium. The club is awaiting a ruling on the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), which is likely the last domino that needs to fall before construction on the stadium can begin. All this points to groundbreaking in 2014 and a fully completed stadium by 2017:
It is a major development that will present ongoing challenges and subject to these challenges being manageable we anticipate going out to tender for construction late this year which will make a stadium opening date of Summer 2017 feasible.
In written quotes, club chairman Daniel Levy provided additional context to the statement, essentially providing a "state of the club." Among the takeaways from his comments:
- The financial health of Spurs is paramount as this project progresses, but likewise, the new stadium is absolutely necessary in order for Spurs to remain competitive with the top teams in the Premier League. Spurs have the smallest stadium of any club in the top 20 clubs in Europe, and with Financial Fair Play regulations now in effect, increasing revenues is necessary to continue club development.
- The club has come a very long way in the past decade and expectations for the club are higher than they've ever been, which should be seen in and of itself as a positive achievement.
- Despite all the "significant changes" this season, the club is only two points behind last season's record points total which provides a solid base for improvement.
- Fans should not expect a "major upheaval" this summer, but Spurs will seek to "strengthen in key positions."
You can read Levy's full comments, which are encouraging and full of promise.
In addition to the NDP developments, Spurs also announced 2013 fiscal revenues of £147.4m, a modest increase of 2% over 2012. This included a 4% increase in gate receipts, a 14% rise in monies from domestic cup and Europa League winnings, and the new five-year shirt sponsorship with Asian insurance company AIA.
This statement is significant, as the club has been virtually silent on the NDP for a while now, which has led to a lot of public grumbling from some pockets of Spurs supporters. Obviously, a project of such magnitude as the NDP takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to move forward, but the club hasn't necessarily been that forthcoming with updates in the past. This changes that. It's an extremely positive statement on the future direction of the club and should help mollify fans who are disappointed with the results of this year's Premier League campaign.
Much of what Levy says in his quotes are not necessarily new – the club has been punching above its weight for a few seasons now which is remarkable, and being able to compete for Champions League spots for the past few years is a remarkable achievement considering Spurs' financials in comparison with its direct competitors. More interesting, in the immediacy, are his clues at what we might expect this summer in terms of transfers. It appears that Levy is aware of where the club is lacking and that our summer transfers will be geared in trying to fill the holes in the squad rather than a wholesale clear-out. This perhaps shouldn't surprise anyone, but it's nice to hear.
The club's financial health is solid, it has funding in place, confidence is high, and the puzzle pieces are nearly all there to break ground on the new stadium later this year. This is by far the best news we could receive on the NDP at this stage, and by all accounts everything's coming up Daniel.