Tag Archives: Spurs

Tottenham stadium builders contracted until November

As each day goes past, another story hits social media about the major issues at the new Tottenham Stadium.

We blogged at the back end of July that the stadium would not be ready until October at the earliest. The blog got a lot of abuse from Tottenham fans who claimed that we were jealous, bitter, and asked how did we, as Arsenal fans, now more then them about the state of the stadium?

The truth is that it does not matter what club you support to know the state of play of a construction site if you are within the industry.

A Spurs fans at University in Reading, for example, would know less than an Arsenal fan who recruits construction workers to the Tottenham Stadium project, or a Sunderland fan who has been operating a tower crane on site for the last 2 years.

We blogged in July that the stadium would not be ready until October, but it took the club until August to release the information to the fans. Up until that point the company line was “only Fulham will be at Wembley”.

In fact, there were rumours circulating in March that the stadium would not be ready until after the second international break (October) at the earliest.

It is here where Daniel Levy needs to hang his head in shame for the way he has treated Spurs fans – which all club rivalry aside has been a disgrace.

He knew when season ticket payments were due that the stadium would not be completed before the season started. He knew that it would not be ready for Liverpool – their second home game of the season. He knew that there was a chance that the ground would not even be completed this year.

And yet he oversaw the club telling the fans a story, a fallacy, and selling the countries most expensive season tickets based on this. He took money off hard working football fans knowing what he was selling did not exist.

There have been reports that those who bought cooperate boxes are set to be refunded 50% for the 2018/19 season. Normal fans are getting a game by game refund and then having to buy tickets at Wembley. The excitement of returning to the Lane has been diminished.

Fans have been lied to, and Levy is now hiding behind “health and safety” as a justification for the stadium not being completed. To try and avoid points deductions. To prepare his defence against angry fans miss-sold season tickets.

Part of the reason is Health and Safety, but this is not the only issues. The reality is, the stadium is no where near finished.

As every day goes on, you hear more stories from more people involved in the project about problems on the stadium:

  • Slingers (operatives who direct cranes for lifting operations) refused to take work onsite.. Management were demanding slingers to undertake dangerous lifts. After a recent death in London, slingers are refusing to undertake the danger lifts. They are getting sacked. Problem is there is so much work in London, and so few slingers out of work that no one wants to work there. Lifting operations literally ground to a halt at times.
  • There was a well documented problem with the seats where 15,000 of them were injected with the wrong dye. These are still being replaced.
  • The poor weather earlier this year put the project back two weeks as they were unable to get the roof on.
  • When tested, the fire alarm system failed. The entire system requires re-wiring. As it had been plastered over and the walls finished, these need to be ripped out, re-wired and then made good. This was discovered 2 weeks ago. It is expected to take 4 months to complete.
  • The wrong lines were reportedly installed for emergency telephones; fibre optic was used instead of copper.
  • Ultimately, people just do not want to work there – it is a highly pressurised job and operatives are being coerced into working long hours. Its location is also reducing the worker pool as people will not commute. London is so busy at the moment that you can pick up 10-12 hours a day in Central London where the site is more relaxed, slower. Agencies are struggling to find anyone to fill the skills gap.

There have been plenty of reports across social media of electrical companies having their contracts extended to Christmas. Of Northern based tradesman who have been put up in digs being told to expect to still be here in 2019.

Tottenham are reportedly trying to put all the blame on Mace, hiding behind Health and Safety in order to justify playing at two home stadiums this season. But they installed themselves as Project Managers so knew every step of the way of the problems the project faced.

The truth is the stadium was never going to be ready.

When construction began, everyone in the industry knew that they were trying to complete a 30 month job in 18 months. It was always an overly ambitious deadline driven by greed.

Something like the weather early this year is not their fault, but when you are working to such a tight schedule you can not afford a 2 weeks delay.

Spurs should have been honest and realistic 12 months ago. Hired Wembley for 2 years and ensured the new ground was completed on time. Sold season tickets at Wembley and ensure the project was completed, with safety certificates, for 2019.

Instead Levy was driven by the greed – or need – for the stadium to be completed for the start of the 2018/19 season. Spurs needed the income to cover spiralling costs. The problem they now face is they do not have a stadium ready, and costs are still spiralling.

The project will end up costing over £1bn, and I would be surprised if they play at the new ground this season.


Spurs new stadium warning for Arsenal fans

And so we laughed and mocked.

As Spurs released the season ticket prices for their new ground yesterday, it became apparent very quickly. They were charging the highest prices in Europe.

For a long time, Arsenal has been hammered in the press for exactly same thing. Even though BBC’s Price of Football study always ignored that Arsenal fans get 26

games for their season ticket rather than other clubs 19.

Here were Spurs announcing that their cheapest season ticket in their new ground would work out to £41 a ticket. Arsenal’s pre-Europa League discount is still under £40 a game.

And as football fans will always do, we Arsenal fans mocked out rivals. Even if we always we moan that local fans are being priced out the game. And regardless as to what Tottenham’s pricing strategy could mean for Arsenal.


The issue is that Arsenal, Chelsea and other clubs will be keeping an eye on Spurs.

Here you have a club who have won 2 League Cups in nearly 30 years. Have not won a league title in nearly 70 years. Charging the highest prices in Europe.

If they sell out, and I am sure they will, it will get the nose twitching of Ivan Gazidis. He will think to himself “are Arsenal charging too low”. Of course, that is absolute bollocks. But football is a business these days. If one supermarket puts up their price of a pint of milk, and sales don’t drop, others will follow suit.

Arsenal would generate an additional £5-10m by marching Spurs’ pricing plan. They could generate even more if thought to themselves “we are bigger and better than Tottenham; we should charge more”.

So whilst in the short term, we might laugh and mock Spurs for their clubs new shown greed, in the long term it will just push prices up for us all.


Spurs win the battle; But Arsenal winning the war

Spurs beat Arsenal. They deserved to win.

And as predicted, what followed their victory in the North London Derby was a string of tweets and comments about how the win proves their has been a “power shift” in North London over the last 5 years.

A power shift that has seen Spurs finish above Arsenal once.

A power shift that has seen Arsenal win 3 trophies (and in the final for a 4th at the end of the month).

In that same time, Spurs have won nothing. And the only time they have played at Wembley is when they had to hire it.

Spurs fans use “records” such as “highest Premier League attendance” and “most Premier League goals in a calendar year” as proof of the power shift.

Meanwhile, Arsenal win actual trophies.

It is actually hilarious to watch the media try to justify this power shift. So desperate are they to report on Arsenal’s demise that they are creating records and new barometers of what success is.

Only last week, a Chief Sports writer for a British paper declared “Spurs do not need to win trophies to be a successful club”. OK.

And then yesterday, the leading story on BBC Sport was about how “Spurs victory over Arsenal shows they are best of the rest.”

That beating Arsenal proved they were the second best team in England – behind Manchester City. Even though victory took them to 3rd in the league. After Liverpool’s win yesterday, they have already dropped to 4th, and if Chelsea win tonight, it will be back to 5th.

2nd best team in England, but 5th in the table? Better than Arsenal, Chelsea and Man U, but are the only side of the 4 not to have won anything last year.

In fact, Spurs are the only side in the top 6 to have not won anything this decade.

Arsenal have won 3 FA Cups since 2014. For Spurs, you have to go back to 1981 to capture their last 3 FA Cup wins.

The last team to win the league title at White Hart Lane? Arsenal.

The weekend’s victory was deserved by Spurs. Just like Arsenal deserved to beat Spurs when they won 2-0 earlier in the season. That seems to get forgotten about when talking about power shifts.

I saw a tweet floating about late yesterday.

“Spurs have won 6 of the last 9 Derby games against Arsenal, with 2 draws and only one win for the Gunners”. It was created to try to highlight the power shift.

Yet a quick check of the records shows it is fake news.

In the last 9 North London Derby’s, Spurs have won 3 (not the 6 the tweeter claimed). And that is if you cut it off at 9. If you increase it to the last 12, it is still just 3 wins for Spurs. 3 wins in the last 12 North London Derby’s.

So this Spurs power shift has resulted in 3 wins in the last 12 games, and finishing above The Arsenal once in 21 years. OK.

Spurs should finish above Arsenal again this season. The second time in 22 years. But what does it all mean if they do not win a trophy?


The sadist inside me actually wants Arsenal to finish 6th this season. Finish 6th with Spurs 5th. Finish 6th with Spurs 5th and Arsenal winning a trophy. Finish 6th with Spurs 5th and Arsenal winning a trophy and Spurs winning nothing.

13 league titles, you’ve only won 2.