Tottenham’s hopes of moving to a sparkling new home for the start of the 2018-19 season have been plunged into doubt after the club confirmed the project could be delayed.
Spurs had hoped to vacate White Hart Lane and temporarily relocate their home fixtures to Wembley next season to allow construction of their new 61,000 arena to be completed.
A decision had been expected by the end of this week, but Daniel Levy has refused to sign off the move until he is satisfied that the stadium and related projects are on track.
“We continue to focus on ensuring that the future of the club is protected at all times and therefore, whilst everyone is eager to know if this is our last season at the Lane, we shall only make the decision to decommission our historic White Hart Lane when we have greater certainty on the delivery of the new stadium,” said Levy.
It is the latest complication to Tottenham’s wide-ranging project, which has doubled in cost from an estimated £400m to £800m, according to senior club officials.
Last month it emerged that Levy had written to the Mayor’s office and Haringey Council chiefs to complain about a perceived lack of support.
The club added yesterday: “The progress of the construction programme and the delivery timetable for the new stadium and associated public sector infrastructure works – both of which are paramount before any decision will be made on the decommissioning of White Hart Lane – are being closely monitored.”
It is understood that Tottenham’s deadline for a final decision on whether to take up the option to use Wembley next season has been extended into next month.
Last week Brent Council granted Spurs permission to use Wembley’s full 90,000 capacity for a total of 27 games next season, should they choose to stick to their original timetable.
Any delay could have knock-on effects for Chelsea, who had been expected to begin a three-year stay at Wembley in 2019-20 while they undertake a striking £500m redesign of Stamford Bridge.
Spurs report record revenue
Tottenham’s stadium update came as they announced record revenues of £209.8m for the 2015-16 season.
Income was up seven per cent year on year, leading to a profit after interest and tax of £33.0m, due in part to a run to the last 16 of the Europa League.
Lamela out for season
Spurs, meanwhile, confirmed that Erik Lamela will not play again this season as the attacking midfielder needs surgery on a persistent hip injury that has kept him out since October.
Lamela scored 13 goals in a productive campaign last term but has played just 14 times this season.