It's already known that Tottenham Hotspur will have to spend a season away from home when construction on its new stadium begins, and the decision on where Spurs should play has been a highly contentious one from the very beginning. Now, the Member of Parliament for the Borough of Tottenham has come out in support of keeping Spurs in London during their time away from White Hart Lane.
Tottenham MP David Lammy, whose support and political maneuvering was crucial in helping Spurs gain permission to build their new stadium, said that he would "do all [he] can" to keep Spurs playing in London during stadium construction. Lammy was responding to a question on Twitter from Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust co-chair Katrina Law. As quoted in the Enfield Independent:
During a Twitter Q&A Mr Lammy was asked by @Katspur71 "Do you agree it is essential to keep Tottenham Hotspur in London during any period away from White Hart Lane?"
He said in response: "I'll do all I can to make it happen but the FA and other clubs must do more to help the club find somewhere to play."
Tottenham will spend the entire 2017-18 season playing home matches in another location during the main phase of its new stadium construction. The club has recently identified two main viable locations for home matches during the relocation year: Wembley Stadium in London, and stadium:MK in Milton Keynes, home to Dele Alli's former club MK Dons.
A large segment of Tottenham supporters, spearheaded in part by the THST, has been in firm opposition to relocating to Milton Keynes, a city about 50 miles outside of London. Both locations have their difficulties and downsides: Wembley has restrictions on the number of events it can host in a calendar year and is presumably more expensive to rent, and Milton Keynes is, it's said, prohibitively difficult for supporters in London to travel to due to its location outside of London and absence of reliable public transportation. stadium:MK also sits poorly with many football fans as the club is essentially a rebranded Wimbledon FC, whose deeply acrimonious move to Milton Keynes in 2001 is still considered by some as one of the biggest supporter betrayals in the history of English football.
It's not clear what, if anything, Lammy can do to keep Spurs in London, but his statements may help appease supporters who are anxious about playing in Milton Keynes. No doubt keeping Spurs in London in their year away would be preferable to Tottenham supporters in London, but Spurs also need to balance the wishes of supporters with the needs of the club, specifically if one alternative would mean further costs or delays in finishing the stadium.
Spurs are in the process of consulting with fans and hearing their opinions on the matter of the one year relocation, but has already warned fans that the final decision is likely to upset some. Scuttlebutt says that stadium:MK is the likely destination, but nothing is certain until the club makes the final announcement. The new 56,000-seat Spurs stadium is currently slated to open in time for the 2018-19 season.