Curse of New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium or Running of the Club to Blame for Poor Start?

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is a wonderful arena to behold. Between 2015 and 2019, North London saw White Hart Lane gradually disappear and an undoubtedly world-class facility rise in its place. State of the art training facilities were already in place and have drawn positive feedback from the likes of the Brazil National team. Yet it took until 2019 for Tottenham Hotspur to finally play once more at home.

That move started well with a victory over Crystal Palace in the inaugural match, but the new season has brought about more questions than answers. Is Spurs’ poor start to the 2019/20 season another example of new stadiums not bringing success or is it the way the club is run not changing that is the real issue?

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Holding Back the Years

The new stadium will bring increased revenue. Not just through football but through NFL and even Rugby Union. Women’s Super League is being played here as well. Last weekend, Tottenham Hotspur women made a record WSL attendance in this stadium. That revenue can undeniably make Tottenham Hotspur a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

Well, that is the idea anyway. Yet Tottenham have faltered at home. It didn’t take them long to lose their first game at home to West Ham United on 27th April 2019. Any idea of a fortress quickly checked. The new ground holds 62,062 and is designed to create an intimidating atmosphere with noise circulating around the ground in a similar way to Borussia Dortmund’s home.

That noise is deafening. When things, as they are now, are not going well, the silence is too.

Will the new stadium be part of a Tottenham success story or will nothing really change?

Daniel Levy – “It Will Have no Bearing on How We Run the Club”

There can be little doubt that Daniel Levy and ENIC have built Spurs on solid foundations. After a slew of managers since 2001 when Levy took the reigns from Sir Alan Sugar, Harry Redknapp delivered Champions League football before Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival brought regular top four and subsequently Champions League football. Pochettino came in knowing that he would have to work with youth, not a problem as he showed at Southampton, and have little in the way of any spending power.

The new stadium bringing in revenue initially heralded a more adventurous Tottenham in the transfer market. Yet, as Daniel Levy told the Guardian;

”It will have no bearing on how we run the club … and no bearing on those types of short-term movements [like transfers],” Levy replied. “I understand as I am a fan, clearly you want to win on the pitch. But we have been trying to look at this slightly differently, in that we want to make sure we ensure an infrastructure here to stand the test of time.”

Building a solid foundation is all well and good – Arsenal, West Ham United, Southampton, Middlesbrough, Sunderland can all testify that new stadia doesn’t mean success. If the stadium doesn’t host Champions League Football – Spurs new ground does this season but unless they win the competition the year it looks unlikely it will next – and is playing poorly, the ground counts for little. Of course, there are stadium debts to be paid for but a successful, winning team can only help that be paid off.

Conclusion

Curses are things of conspiracy theories. New stadiums shouldn’t make that much difference. The game on the pitch is still football after all.

For Tottenham Hotspur though it feels, even at this early stage, that it might become a millstone around their neck. If the additional revenue isn’t going to make any difference to the transfer policy why build it in the first place?

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is world class. To be a successful club, it is also necessary to have investment and quality on the pitch. Without that a club has nothing.

The stadium isn’t a curse but unless the policy changes from above, it will simply be a great stadium with an empty trophy cabinet. Not one supporter of this great club can want that.

If the motto is ‘Dare to Do’ then it is time for Spurs to do this. They need to take steps in becoming the successful, winning club that the infrastructure can now support.

It comes down to choices and consequently, where Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Daniel Levy go from here is down to Joe Lewis, Levy himself and ENIC.

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