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Spurs preparing Wembley contingency if new stadium is delayed

The club could seek permission from the Premier League to have more than one “home stadium” in a single season.

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Every day brings new images and updates of Tottenham Hotspur’s £850 million new stadium, with the new ground expected to be ready close to, if not by, the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season.

However, that’s not stopping Spurs from putting in some contingency plans just in case things hit a snag over the next few months. According to Dan Kilpatrick in the Evening Standard, Spurs are preparing a proposal to play their first few home matches at Wembley Stadium next season if it seems as though the stadium might not be ready quite in time.

Spurs have already received permission from the Premier League to play their first few league matches away from home if necessary, something that has been granted to other clubs who were either building or remodeling new stadiums in the past. That very well could be enough time to get the new ground finished and tested before Spurs’ first home match next season.

Even so, building delays can and do happen in major projects such as this one, so it makes sense that Spurs have a Plan C in place. Normally, clubs are not allowed to play in more than one “home” ground per season, but Kilpatrick writes that this was a contingency that was included as part of Spurs’ agreement with the league and Wembley before last season.

Spurs’ option to spend the whole of next season at Wembley expired last month but they have until the end of May to tell the FA if they want to continue at their temporary home for the start of the new campaign — one of the contingency plans agreed when they signed the deal with the FA last year.

The decision would rest with Premier League chief Richard Scudamore and would be made without the input of any other Premier League clubs. Spurs already have a commitment to play one NFL match in October at the new ground; the goal is obviously to have Spurs in the stadium well before then. Spurs would need to notify the Premier League before the end of May if they plan to use this contingency.