While the rest of us are stuck in the middle of the international break basically hoping that our countrymen play well while also hoping for no catastrophic injuries to our players, a battle of a different sort took place in West London tonight. Tottenham Hotspur Football Club had a crucial meeting with the Brent Council tonight that would dictate how Spurs approached the 2017/18 season in regards to playing at Wembley and the capacity allowed.
Multiple members of the media were at the meeting tonight that involved the council, representatives from Tottenham Hotspur, and residents of the area. Dan Kilpatrick from ESPN FC and Tom Allnut from the Press Association were in attendnace live tweeting, and the meeting had arguments on both side:
On Q about fan violence/vandalism, Wembley's Bryant says: "That's not the experience we've had with fans in recent years." #thfc— Tom Allnutt (@tomallnuttPA) March 23, 2017
#thfc's Donna Cullen explains need for 90k: "Just as Brent is the proud home of Wembley, we would need to make it our proud home".— Tom Allnutt (@tomallnuttPA) March 23, 2017
DC: "At 51,000, it is a half-empty stadium. Our application is to have an advantage here." "Irrelevant" - remarks one objector... #thfc— Tom Allnutt (@tomallnuttPA) March 23, 2017
#thfc It's getting tremendously heated here. Wembley representative shouted down as he tries to make a point about TFL.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) March 23, 2017
As you can see, this wasn’t a very friendly meeting. I’d invite you all to read their timelines from this evening because this is just a few tweets in a slew of exchanges. Of course, you all want to know the result of the meeting since this was the crucial hurdle. Suffice to say, Spurs got what they wanted:
#thfc Spurs application approved 5 votes to 1. 90k at Wembley for 27 games next season!— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) March 23, 2017
This was an expected outcome once the Brent Council came out last week and said that the recommendation was to approve the application. Residents of the area weren’t very happy at the prospect of even half capacity, let alone what Spurs were asking for with the full 90,000.
Daniel Levy and company will be thrilled with the outcome. This ensures that Tottenham will play all their fixtures at Wembley next season. It also sets a precedent for fellow London club Chelsea, who will also need a temporary home in the near future when Stamford Bridge begins renovations that are expected to take up two, possibly even three, seasons to complete.
With tonight’s decision, there is one final hurdle that is a mere formality at this point, and that’s to notify the Premier League and FA of the club’s intentions to play at Wembley. This is expected to be approved without any issue.
There’s two months to go in this campaign, and while we can all crack some half-scared jokes about Spurs’ form at Wembley this season, the bottom line is that our club has a home for 2017/18 while the new stadium is completed.