Tottenham eyeing 2017 opening date for new stadium
London: Tottenham Hotspur said the opening of a long-awaited new stadium in mid-2017 remains "feasible" and they hope to put out the tender for construction later this year.
The north London club is desperate to replace their current 36,000 capacity White Hart Lane ground with a modern stadium holding up to 58,000 fans, allowing it to compete financially with its Premier League and European rivals.
It has purchased 18 acres of land over the past decade and relocated 72 businesses, but is waiting for a Secretary of State decision regarding a compulsory purchase order of further property before building can begin.
Despite that, the club anticipates putting out a tender for construction later this year, making a stadium opening date in the northern summer "feasible".
"We have fantastic, strong support," chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement on the club website (www.tottenhamhotspur.com).
"Our current 36,000 seater stadium sells out and the waiting list for season ticket holders is currently in excess of 47,000.
"We cannot stress strongly enough how critical the new stadium is over the long-term to these raised expectations.
"We have the smallest capacity stadium of any club in the top 20 clubs in Europe, let alone the current top four Premier League clubs, and given we now operate within UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, an increased capacity stadium and associated revenues is fundamental to supporting the future ambitions and consistent achievement at the top of the game.
"The new stadium is a landmark project, of importance not just for our club, but to the regeneration of an area which has been our home for more than 132 years and to London as a whole.
"It will be a key regenerative component of the local economy and a significant tourist attraction in its own right."
Tottenham, who lost out to West Ham United in a bid to move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, announced a profit of 1.5 million pounds after interest and tax in their latest financial results, excluding transfers.
They recorded a loss of 4.3 million pounds in the previous period, while their revenue of 147.4 million pounds is well below the levels of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, regular participants in the Champions League and who have much larger stadiums.
Tottenham, ranked by the accounting firm Deloitte as being among the richest 20 clubs in Europe, have not been English champions since 1961 and have competed in Europe`s premier club competition, Champions League, only once in its current form.
Levy admitted results on the pitch this season had not met expectations, with the team sitting in sixth spot with six matches remaining and looking unlikely to reach their aim of a place in the Champions League.
Having sold star player Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee in September, the club splashed out on seven new players costing in excess of 100 million pounds in total, many of whom have failed to impress.
Andre Villas-Boas was fired as manager in December following a 5-0 home defeat by Liverpool, while results have been mixed under new boss Tim Sherwood, who was promoted from his role as youth development manager.
"This season we have had to make significant changes, both in respect of coaching and playing staff and yet we are currently only two points less than last season`s tally," Levy added.
"Whilst this season`s performances and results have not lived up to expectation, we believe our squad has potential and it is important that we all now show commitment and teamwork to get the best possible finish to the season."
While Sherwood`s future beyond this season remains uncertain, Levy said wholesale changes to the playing staff would be unlikely ahead of next term.
"Our focus therefore is to continue to invest in and develop the squad - we shall not look to a summer of major upheaval, but rather to strengthen in key positions - to play the style of football for which we are famous - and to deliver the new stadium."