Tottenham Wembley move in doubt after club asks for more time to make decision

Matt Law

Daniel Levy has raised doubts over Tottenham Hotspur’s proposed move out of White Hart Lane with the club securing more time to confirm whether or not they will play at Wembley next season.

Telegraph Sport understands the potential delay is associated to the full cost of Tottenham’s new stadium project, which had already seen estimates significantly increase to £800million.

Tottenham had agreed to inform the Football Association whether or not they would move into Wembley for all home games next season by the end of this month.

But, following talks, it is understood the FA have granted Spurs greater flexibility over the timescale of their decision and the club appear increasingly likely to wait until April before making a final decision.

Tottenham have not ruled out informing the FA of their decision by the end of Friday if everything falls into place in time, but Levy has suggested that he and the banks need greater assurances.

The doubt is believed to centre around the cost of the project. The first estimate, some years ago, had been that Tottenham’s new stadium would cost £450m but that increased to £750m and then £800m since Levy struck an agreement for NFL fixtures to be played there.

There remains some doubt on the exact final costing, which the banks require to give the green light on the entire project and allow Tottenham to commit to leaving White Hart Lane.

Tottenham's new home is under construction next to White Hart LaneCredit: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

In Tottenham’s financial results, chairman Levy said: “We continue to focus on ensuring that the future of the club is protected at all times and therefore, whilst everyone is eager to know if this is our last season at the Lane, we shall only make the decision to decommission our historic White Hart Lane when we have greater certainty on the delivery of the new stadium.

“We have run this club on a financially secure basis for the past 16 years, whilst remaining ambitious and with a vision for its future growth and success.”

Levy added that “the progress of the construction programme and the delivery timetable for the new stadium and associated public sector infrastructure works – both of which are paramount before any decision will be made on the decommissioning of White Hart Lane – are being closely monitored.”

Daniel Levy faces funding questions over Spurs's new homeCredit: REX

Telegraph Sport last month revealed that talks between Levy and outside investors were ongoing with Tottenham needing to prove that they have over £200m available to go towards the new stadium.

In a leaked email to London City Hall and Haringey Council, Levy revealed the views of Tottenham’s bankers and non-executive directors, former HSBC banking chief Kevan Watts and managing director of investment fund Tavistock Group Ron Robson, had “hardened” because of the scale of funding that is needed.

Levy wrote: “They have focused on the risks associated with the development for a company that only has a turnover of £250m despite its global profile.

“The option to utilise Wembley for next season expires in a few weeks, the process of season ticket renewals, demolition notices etc are all reasons why the banks require certainty.”

Brent council last week gave Tottenham the green light to play all home games in front of a full 90,000 capacity Wembley, which was seen as a significant hurdle cleared.

Spurs at Wembley since 2009

But there are clearly still important issues to be resolved before Levy or Tottenham are willing to commit to moving out of White Hart Lane next season and moving into their new stadium for the 2018/19 campaign.

Tottenham’s financial results for the year that ended June 30 2016 show the club made a record revenue of almost £210m and a profit after tax of £33m.

Levy said: “This financial period saw record revenues and the Club's highest placed finish in the Premier League.

“Our performances on the pitch and the sight of our new stadium taking shape signifies an exciting future. As we move forward with the challenges ahead, I firmly believe that the positive outlook, unity and togetherness across the club, the team and the fans means we can look forward with optimism.”

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