Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Issue - Part II

In November 2007, Tottenham Hotspur hired the services of Tony Winterbottom. Mr. Winterbottom was the Executive Director of the London Development Agency/Authority (LDA) and was also the leading development consultant in the pre/post building of the Emirates Stadium.

tottenham hotspur stadion

“Our priority for this year [2008] is to make sure that we have a plan in action in relation to where we will be playing our football matches in the future”. - said a club spokesperson in January 2008.

"The club is reviewing its options and will commit to one option in the first half of 2008," commented Daniel Levy in November 2007.

Thus far, Mr. Winterbottom and his team have been working on a secondary stadium plan. We know that an initial plan was submitted to Tottenham Hotspur management in April 2008, although this plan could not be put into use as “the strategy behind it was unfeasible at this time”, said one club official to THBN.

“Mr. Winterbottom has taken into his employ another three professionals who are well versed in stadia law, design and development. “ – added another club spokesman.

Out of the three professionals that have been employed to lead the Winterbottom team, are Ken Shuttleworth and Paul Phillips, who are heading the strategic development & design aspects of the project and the project management side respectively. The third individual has not been named by the club.

Mr. Shuttleworth was the chief designer of the famous gherkin building in central London and headed the design team that drew the architectural drawings for the New Wembley.

Mr. Phillips is a buildings project manager and has already undertaken the Emirates Stadium project. Paul Phillips is responsible, under the supervision of Tony Winterbottom, for calculating the project costs.

When we asked the club if the figure-work Mr. Phillips was analysing was for an expansion of White Hart Lane, or a new stadium altogether, we were told that “this information could not be disclosed at present”.

We also asked the club why the statement they released in November 2007 and January 2008, stating that “a final stadium decision is expected in the first six months of next year [2008], had not been kept to? We were informed that “a decision has been put back until February 2009”.

Why wait until February 2009? It has been four months since the first Winterbottom report was handed to the club in April 2008. We know that the initial report was declined by the club, but no reason was given other than the fact that it was “unfeasible”. Maybe the costs involved were too high?

Maybe the Winterbottom team needs a further six months in order to submit their final report?

Or maybe, just maybe, ENIC, the company that own the majority of the shares in Tottenham Hotspur are looking to sell the club. After all, why spend extra funds on a new stadium, when you are looking to sell?

Some may argue that by commencing development either on a current stadium or new project would increase the value of the club. Whilst others claim that it would be commercial suicide to sell your stock in a club whilst managing such a large project.

We believe that ENIC are not looking to sell. This doesn’t mean that they won’t sell the club in the future, but at present, we are in safe hands.

The first-team squad is looking healthy (bar the loss of Robbie Keane and most probably Dimitar Berbatov), the new training ground at Bull’s Cross is currently being developed and should be completed in March 2010, which leaves the big question of when we will know what will happen with our stadium; will we be watching our team play at an expanded White Hart Lane, or will the club move to pastures new?

“The club will make an announcement by February 2009”, was the last word on the matter by a club official.

Let’s play the waiting game a little longer. After all, we have waited this long, what’s another six months?


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