Pack your bags, Spurs fans — it’s time for a road trip to scenic Milton Keynes! Tottenham announced today via its website and through social media channels that the EFL has approved its petition to play its scheduled League Cup home match against Watford outside the M25 beltway. The match will take place in MK Dons’ Stadium MK.
We can confirm that the EFL board has ratified our application to host our @Carabao_Cup Third Round fixture against Watford at Stadium MK.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 6, 2018
The match is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 26 September (8pm).
Ticketing details shall follow in due course. pic.twitter.com/S9s9PzmGQT
This decision was made obviously because the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium isn’t ready yet, but it’s not without controversy. If Spurs are able to play Premier League matches in the new ground sometime during this season, it will be the third “home” ground Spurs will have played in this season. That’s rankled some other Premier League clubs.
Watford is already on record as being opposed to this decision, mostly because they wanted the fixture to be reversed so that it’s an away match for Spurs. That’s probably a fair argument, and also benefits Watford, especially seeing what happened this past Sunday at Vicarage Road.
It’s also not likely to make some Spurs fans very happy either. It’s pretty far away from Tottenham (at least in London football terms), can be difficult for supporters to get to, and happens to be at the home of the former Wimbledon FC, which relocated to Milton Keynes after an ownership change in 1991. That was a hugely unpopular decision, and a lot of football supporters are still upset about it and don’t want to in any way support MK Dons. The board members of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust have already said that they do not plan to attend this match.
The club, however, sees it as pretty much the only option, and the EFL has said it’s ok. So, that’s where Spurs are playing. For the record, Stadium MK can seat 30,500 fans, similar in size to White Hart Lane, and while some London-based fans may stay away, it might provide options for Spurs fans outside of the London beltway to watch a cup competition without traveling to the capital.