Levy wants more support for Spurs

BY foxsports • November 20, 2010

In a lengthy post on Spurs' official website, club chairman Levy tackled critics of the proposals to move from White Hart Lane to either a new purpose-built ground close to the current site or the Olympic Stadium in east London. Levy said that extra costs nearing £50million had been accrued in a bid to preserve English Heritage sites close to the Northumberland Development Project, bringing to total projected cost to around £450million. None of that money has been offset by public funding - a revenue source that both the revamped Wembley and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium were able to utilise - a state of affairs that clearly rankles with Levy. Levy, who has also drawn ire for overseeing an application to take over the Olympic Stadium post-2012, wrote: "We have made no secret about the fact that the cost of (planning) consent will be extremely high. The revisions to the plans, to meet stakeholder approval, has added in excess of £50m to a development that could well cost in the region of £450m to bring to fruition. "Had we not made these changes to retain historic buildings then English Heritage indicated that they would have no option but to advise that the application be called in and that permission would be refused. "Meanwhile this development has not attracted a penny of public money. "This is a development with the potential to kickstart regeneration in one of the most deprived boroughs in London, where land values are poor and yet no regeneration monies are available to it. "This is in contrast to the stadia developments of Arsenal and Wembley which were both awarded public sector assistance. "These developments required substantial public sector intervention and assistance and would not have progressed without the injection of public sector money." Levy also took issue with Tottenham MP David Lammy, who has been a vocal critic of plans to leave their current home for the Government-funded Olympic Stadium. Levy said the club remained committed to the regeneration of the Tottenham area but insisted that aim could be achieved alongside the club's own aims. The statement continued: "The club fully appreciates the sentiments expressed recently by David Lammy MP in respect of our position in Tottenham - we too recognise the historic, economic and emotional aspects of this. "We would therefore hope that, rather than seek to criticise the club at this undetermined stage and make inaccurate and unfounded assumptions about our financial intentions with the club, he would now be seeking to do everything in his power to attract public sector support for the Borough. "Whatever the outcome on our stadium expansion plans we are committed to the regeneration of Tottenham, but it is wrong to suggest that we should bear this burden alone. "Mr Lammy expressed his opinion to me that he would rather keep us in Tottenham even if it means we are unable to redevelop White Hart Lane. We do not find this acceptable." Reflecting on the alternative option - inheriting the Olympic Stadium - Levy was enthusiastic. West Ham are also bidding to move in after the Games in two years and are considered by some to be a more obvious bet given the club's geographical proximity to the site. But Levy believes Spurs would provide a good fit regardless. "There is no doubt that this is a possible option for us and, indeed, many will recall that it was our original option five years ago," he wrote. "Much has been commented on us being a north London club potentially looking to move to east London - the Olympic site is in fact less than five miles from our current stadium and will be served by the best possible transport infrastructure in London. "Our fans stem from all around the country, notably around the M25 and Home Counties and travel an average of 40 miles to home matches and we regularly welcome fans from all over the world. "Common and commercial sense dictates that we, as management of the club, must look at what is in these long-term interests and the financial security of the club."


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