As expected, Tottenham Hotspur announced via social media and the club website that they have reached an agreement to extend the deadline by which they need to commit to playing at Wembley Stadium next season.
We have agreed an extension until 30 April 2017 with WNSL in respect of the option to play home games at @wembleystadium next season... pic.twitter.com/Io5nvOEBYu— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 31, 2017
This agreement has been reached in order to afford ourselves greater flexibility before making the final decision on the decommissioning of White Hart Lane.
As we announced earlier - we shall be carefully monitoring the progress of the construction programme and public sector infrastructure delivery.
Our intention remains to spend next season at the national stadium before returning to our new stadium in Tottenham for the 2018/19 season.
The statement again corroborates that there’s something going on with both the expected construction timeline, as well as the overall funding of the projects. We’re not sure what those issues are that could potentially cause a year-long delay in the project, but apparently they are significant enough for the club to want a little more time to get their ducks in a row.
This hasn’t stopped Spurs from starting the season ticket renewal process with the understanding that they WILL be playing in Wembley next season, though, which is pretty suggestive that things will eventually get back on track with the established timeline.
I don’t really have a strong take on this because there’s still a lot we don’t know. I suspect, however, that this is just a buffer to get things in place financially. Obviously, delaying the demolition of White Hart Lane is a last-case scenario: the implications of having to stop work on the new stadium and then ramp it up again a year later are significant, and delaying the opening of the new stadium by a year is extremely not good.
If Spurs need another month to make sure that they have all the pieces of the jigsaw on the table before signing a major commitment to Wembley Stadium, then by all means they should take that time, even if it means further uncertainty in the short term over whether or not this truly is the last season at White Hart Lane.