Spurs plans for stadium by 2017 rest on legal bid

 
Frank Dalleres
Follow Frank
TOTTENHAM have undertaken a major refinancing that paves the way for building of a new stadium to begin in earnest – but plans to open in 2017 are under threat from a long-running legal challenge.

Spurs are waiting for the outcome of an appeal against a compulsory purchase order (CPO), issued more than two years ago, before they begin the tender process for construction of the 56,000-seater arena.

If the CPO verdict arrives imminently then an opening in August 2017 described by chairman Daniel Levy as “feasible” is likely; if the decision is delayed further then that date may be put back.

Tottenham have prepared for the next phase of the development project, which also includes commercial and residential property, by clearing more than £40m of debt from the club’s books. Non-core property has been sold to TH Property Limited, also owned by the club’s majority shareholder Enic, which has also injected £40m in the form of an interest-free loan that is to be converted to share capital.

Spurs revealed the refinancing yesterday along with a £1.5m profit for the financial year to June 2013, up from a £4.3m loss the previous season. Revenue increased to £147.4m, from £144.2m, boosted by a run to the Europa League quarter-finals that raised gate receipts and prize money from cup games by 14 per cent to £11.3m.

Levy said the new stadium – first announced in 2008 – was “critical” to raised expectations which regard failing to win a Champions League place as disappointing. Manager Tim Sherwood’s future remains in doubt, but Levy indicated that close season transfer plans were intended not to be “a summer of upheaval” – like last year – “but rather to strengthen in key areas.”