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Spurs may play Europa League matches at White Hart Lane

A reduced-capacity White Hart Lane for Europa League knock-out matches? Sounds about right.

Tottenham Hotspur FC v AS Monaco FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Wembley Stadium hasn’t been exactly kind to Tottenham Hotspur this year. In the two matches held in England’s national stadium for Spurs’ disastrous Champions League campaign, they’ve lost to Monaco and drawn Bayer Leverkusen. Both times Spurs didn’t play especially well and seemed a little out of sorts on the larger Wembley pitch.

With only one Champions League match scheduled, Spurs may be going home for any future European home ties. David Hytner at the Guardian is reporting that Spurs are mulling over the possibility of returning to White Hart Lane to play Europa League home matches.

If you recall, the reason Spurs moved to Wembley was due in part to the fact that, with one corner of WHL demolished for the new stadium, it no longer met UEFA requirements for Champions League home matches. Well, apparently the Europa League has slightly... less stringent restrictions on home attendance. With enthusiasm likely to take a strong dip should Spurs qualify for Europa, it might make more sense to stage a few last “glory, glory nights” in White Hart Lane instead of taking the chance of having a half-empty Wembley.

This plan is apparently met with approval by Moussa Sissoko.

“I think it would be good for us to play at home in the Europa League, and by home, I mean White Hart Lane. Going home would make it easier for us. We know the stadium and it would be better for us.”

Moving back home would make supporters pretty happy, and would certainly increase enthusiasm for what would certainly be the final European matches ever held at White Hart Lane. The Guardian stresses that no decision has been made, but my guess is that this would be the path of least resistance for the club and even with the reduced attendance might pull in more revenue than trying to rent out Wembley again.

Now they just have to not lose to CSKA.

(Interestingly, the Guardian notes that the agreement to play all matches at Wembley next season hasn’t been formally signed yet, and hints that Spurs could consider other options for their home away from home if the players aren’t comfortable at Wembley)