Guest blog from Ronan
A bigger capacity is quite obviously needed if spurs are to stay with the big boys long term. But the bizarre cost of this new stadium raises more questions than it answers.
One in particular: how does £800m debt (+ interest) get serviced without seriously curtailing Spurs’ transfer/wages budget for years to come?
No clarity at all was requested on this question from Levy, even though the THST went in there knowing that the new Lane is going to be the most expensive club ground ever built in Europe. The most expensive by a country mile.
But it’s not only those dummies who are remiss; even professional football journalists are not questioning why Spurs have decided to lumber themselves with this unnecessarily huge amount of debt.
The ostensible reason makes no sense: hosting twenty American football games over ten years would not bring in much more than £20m.
There is only one speculative suggestion out there that seems to square the circle: that ENIC are targeting a very specific type of buyer: a giant US sports consortium; the kind that would be able to afford the huge sum necessary to buy a new franchise from the NFL.
Why else would ENIC have gone to this enormous additional expense of fitting the stadium out for American football, in particular the extremely costly hi-spec retractable pitch? Certainly wouldn’t have been necessary in order to entice a Chinese or Arab buyer. Or even a US buyer, come to that.
But clearly there’s no guarantee this very specific type of US organisation is going to come forward and pay ENIC whatever they’ll be asking; the only type of buyer that would make all the additional stadium costs make sense.
Nor is there any guarantee that, even if this type of US organisation did buy Spurs, that they’d fund THFC to anything like the same extent as the new London NFL franchise they’d have had to pay so much to purchase.
More questions than answers.
But the biggest remains: £800 million + interest. How is that level of dough going to be paid off, while keeping spurs competitive at the top of the PL?