Tottenham Hotspur's aspirations to secure Wembley as their home for the 2017-18 season received more good news on Wednesday. The FA appears to be taking the necessary steps to make the national stadium available to Spurs and rival Chelsea.
"The FA are planning to strip out all their non-essential events at Wembley to allow Chelsea and Spurs to ground-share for one season at the National Stadium.
But FA chief executive Martin Glenn and Wembley boss Julie Harrington believed there should be no favouritism shown to any one club provided equal terms can be negotiated."
This is positive news on two fronts. That the FA are already probing into clearing out "non-essential events" from Wembley's calendar, is a pretty sure statement of intent from English football's governing body. These events are a significant source of revenue for the FA. If the rumors of them canceling these functions are true, then it looks like the ground-share between Chelsea and Spurs is simply a formality at this point.
The second bit of positive news is that the FA has acted pragmatically as we all believed they would. Only allowing Chelsea to use the stadium would be not only a bad public relations move, but a poor financial one as well. The impartiality of the FA is refreshing and its nice to see that a Chelsea only option isn't being granted a minutiae of consideration. That said, Chelsea is offering £20 million pounds, a figure which is £5 million more than the original £15 per year reported. If Chelsea keep bidding higher, it probably won't drive out Spurs, but it could make the ground-share more expensive than previously anticipated.
Lastly, while Wembley will never be the home of Tottenham Hotspur, the team and their fans won't feel completely disconnected from the venue. The FA will still hold key events â namely the FA Cup, NFL games, and key England match-ups; but everything else will be removed from Wembley's calendar. This should make England's national stadium feel a bit more homey; even if Spurs have to share it with that dastardly club from West London who currently sit sixteen points below them.