Large construction projects almost always suffer setbacks of some kind — either delays in construction or increases in cost. However, Tottenham Hotspur executive director Donna-Maria Cullen suggests in an article in the latest issue of FCBusiness magazine that everything is going according to plan, and the stadium is on track to open as scheduled in time for the start of next year’s Premier League season.
Cullen also addressed the fact that Spurs have yet to secure a naming rights deal for the stadium, suggesting that it will be forthcoming when the stadium is further along in the construction process.
“At the moment, it is on track to open on time. There’s nothing to tell us otherwise, though I don’t have a crystal ball. If you look at most schemes, naming rights deals tend to come when the stadium is at an advanced stage of construction.
“We needed a bigger stadium because our match day revenue is way below that of our competitors. We knew exactly what we had to do to grow the club on a sustainable basis. But what we are looking to do is not just build ourselves a new ground. We want to build a new sports and leisure destination in one of the world’s top cities. What is happening on the ground would not be happening now without the football club having taken the decision to stay and invest.”
Tottenham officials have long touted not only the new stadium’s impact on the bottom line and the club’s ability to compete with the larger, richer Premier League clubs for league honors and Champions League participation, but also the way that the new stadium can positively impact the whole of the Tottenham area. The full stadium scheme is expected to create numerous jobs for local residents, and revitalize the area, hopefully transforming Tottenham into a destination area for not only football fans, but tourists and those looking for leisure and sport activities.
Cullen also indirectly touched on one of the hot-button issues recently with regards to the club’s operations — namely, the wage structure. Without specifically naming him and speaking in general terms, Cullen seemed to reference the current stand-off with Toby Alderweireld, suggesting that while Spurs cannot offer the same kinds of weekly wages that other big clubs do, they ameliorate that shortfall in other ways, and that players rarely leave because of wage demands. Spurs are in the position where they have to be deliberate, and smart, with their resources and always look at the big picture.
“Daniel [Levy] has an excellent track record of rewarding players who have made an significant contribution. Plus we have one of [the] best bonus structures. People tend to forget the all-round package element.
“Back in 2012, we invested £50m on the new training center when other clubs would’ve spent that amount on a single player. If you are a club that cannot necessarily go out and spend £50m on one player, you have to get the balance right in terms of players coming through the ranks.
“Take the Champions League home game in the Champions League. We had Harry Kane and Harry Winks playing against a club we sold two of our best players to. That game was a snapshot, if you like, about how we as a club — and Daniel in particular — work so hard to move the club forward.”
That, combined with Mauricio Pochettino’s recent statements suggesting that a deal is likely for Toby in the coming weeks, should be music to the ears of Spurs supporters as they look forward to the beginning of a new era for Tottenham.