Good morning all.
The question of Tottingham’s home or new home has been a thorny one. As I saw it and indeed still see it, the real obstacle has been misinformation.
My stand all along has been that I would like to stay at The Lane, but I won’t be held hostage by anyone. A serious issue that the rose tinted spectacles of some fans didn’t see was that just about the only thing for miles in Haringey making any money… is Spurs.
So when the club wanted to expand the opportunity to flog off a piece of property or land for 400 times it’s genuine worth landed like a baby delivered by a stork. A little flapping, a few raised eyebrows but ultimately the hurried untying of a big ribbon lots of happy sighs.
Then there was Stratford. Some of the Troglodytes and We Are N17‘s wanted me burned as a witch for even suggesting we could move. ‘It’s a sh*t hole, but it’s our sh*t hole!’ came the cry of the unwashed few.
I’ve even had Enoc Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech quoted at me! The same sentiment that was espoused by Tubby Baron, Sullivan. Tip: not great company to keep.
Stratford was obviously awarded to the Porn Barons and the #Facelikeakickedinfridge Corp. What becomes of this decision in terms of it’s finality is anyone’s guess. There is an huge question mark over the whole process after it was established the Bid Director at West Ham was knocking off the Corporate Director at the OPLC.
This sparked THFC seeking a judicial review. And this is a good spot to consider the misinformation issues I was talking about earlier. The Supporters Survey revealed that about a third of fans didn’t actually understand THFC’s Stratford proposal. They didn’t realise the running track would go, they didn’t understand that the place would effectively be reconstructed using much of the existing structure with zero landfill to produce a pretty sensational stadium with manageable debt that wouldn’t shackle us in transfer market for a generation.
And so equally the request for the judicial review wasn’t understood. This wasn’t Levy & Co sending a letter to the OPLC saying, ‘NOT FAIR!’ written in crayon, this was about us going 14-0, about us being encouraged to spend the price of two world class strikers on a process we were never ever going to be considered seriously in.
And again, the Supporters Survey revealed again that about a third of fans didn’t understand that. By the way, please don’t think I’m branding a third of Spurs fans as thick, here. The point I’m making is that communication in this whole business has been shockingly poor. The Official Site ain’t working.
So the Stratford plan is burned.
“Stadium projects are often dressed up in the language of regeneration when really that language is just a means to an end. But at the moment there’s a combination of factors that might provide proper benefits to all parties involved.
The economic backdrop means Spurs can’t finance the stadium project alone without seriously damaging the business. Politically there’s a move towards localism and mutualism.
I’m suspicious that the theory is little more than an attempt to weaken the state and give the private sector more freedom, but the facts in this particular situation seem to me to underline the dependency that binds together public and private, business and community.”
Can the NDP be done? I’ll be honest I was struggling to see how. But I’m now firmly of the opinion that it can be done. It can be done.
To proceed with the NDP as it stands now would be an unmitigated disaster. The costs would provide the insane with their utopia. A swanky stadium were predominantly local people could sit shouting, ‘You’re sh*t!’ at youth players as we drifted into the Championship. ‘Levy Out!’ banners will be freely available from outside the Bell & Hare.
One solution is to negotiate as much as possible from the the Regional Growth Fund. This was an inspired initiative but one that it has been suggested due to it’s high profile inevitably inspired others to also seek a piece of the same pie. Competition is likely to be intense for the monies on offer and it would not be a surprise it Tottingham were to get offered only part of their package.
Another idea is to harness the goodwill of what is a significant global support and create additional from it. One suggestion was revealed recently in the form of a multi season season ticket, about which a questionnaire was sent out recently to holders.
May I suggest another, to you? Let’s call it a, ‘Legacy Bond’.
Supporters are invited to make an investment in the Stadium Project and the Stadium Project alone. A separate company is set up. Let’s call it, ‘NDP Support’ Ltd. This organisation has no say in the football business. It does not petition Levy & Co via bed sheet protests to but Lionel Messi, reduce the amount of butter used in the bagels or let us keep our soft drink screw caps.
‘NDP Support’ would be an organisation with a primary mission to safeguard THFC remaining at White Hart Lane by drumming up perhaps £50M. It would consult with the club in advancing THFC’s reltionships with the local community. Improving recruitment of local people and intergrating the stadium as much as possible with the local community.
“A new Spurs stadium can help regenerate the area, and a regenerated area can help Spurs develop as a sporting business. And I happen to think it is A Good Thing for football clubs to contribute to the communities in which they are based.
I think there is potentially an opportunity to do something really groundbreaking here and build a project which helps the club, boosts the local economy and gives both the fan community and the local community a stake in something everyone values.
That’s going to involve all parties conceding a little, and a putting aside of ego. But the size of the prize makes it worth it. The Spurs stadium project could become a beacon.”
The idea of a Legacy Bond is for supporters to contribute in a constructive and tangible manner towards safeguarding THFC remaining as an ever improving force at White Hart Lane.
The minutiae of how these Bonds would be structured, how their worth would be protected, their duration etc is being looked at by finer mathematical minds than mine you will be relieved to hear.
But what are your thoughts?
In an ideal world all our players would chip in, but recent surveys have revealed that some of them don’t even like the chicken on the badge. In an ideal world ENIC would toss the necessary into the coffers. But that isn’t going to happen.
This won’t be for everyone and at this stage it is about sharing an idea with you all, but it would be a catalyst in making something sustainable happen, addressing matters in a businesslike fashion, opposed to sitting at the back shouting abuse telling everyone how big a fan you are.