Tottenham Hotspur has been looking at options about where to play during the 2016-17 season while they build their shiny new stadium. The ground share options tossed about – Olympic Stadium, the Emirates, Wembley – have been either shot down or been so impractical that Spurs opened negotiations with MK Dons last week to explore whether they could play in Milton Keynes. But – not so fast my friends! – the idea of a ground-share with West Ham at the Olympic Stadium might not be dead after all!
British politician Andrew Boff, a harsh critic of the city's decision to award the Olympic Stadium lease to West Ham, is planning to ask London mayor Boris Johnson for clarification on whether the Hammers have the authority to reject a ground-share request from Tottenham, or any other club. Mayor Johnson's answer could have a huge impact on Spurs' options when construction begins on their new ground.
West Ham vice-chairwoman Karren Brady had earlier flatly rejected the idea of sharing the Olympic Stadium with Spurs. "No one has asked us for our permission and, if they did, we would probably say no, depending on who it is – if you get my drift," said Brady. "We are the anchor tenant for the winter matches and nothing else can happen in that time without our permission and our football matches take priority over everything else."
It's important to note here that Tottenham does not appear to be formally connected to this inquiry. By all intents, the club appears to be focused on stadium MK for it's home-away-from-home. Even if Mayor Johnson rules that West Ham doesn't have the power to veto Spurs' ground-share request, it's not clear whether the club would pursue this option.
However, the Olympic Stadium would be greatly preferable for a variety of reasons -- it's in London, not far from the Tottenham borough; it would have plenty of seating; it would minimize travel for Spurs fans, and would pacify supporters who are upset that the club is associating itself with MK Dons. Also, it'll furiously piss off West Ham, which, y'know, bonus.
We'll keep an eye on this story. It could be nothing, or it could change everything.