In Depth

Spurs leave the Lane – but for Wembley or Milton Keynes?

Court delay means club will have to spend a year away from home while new stadium is built

Might it be Milton Keynes or Brighton, or would Wembley be a winner? And is the Emirates really a goer? These are some of the questions being asked by Tottenham fans after their club admitted on Wednesday it is "highly unlikely" that their new stadium will be ready in time for the 2017-18 season.

Tottenham's intention is to build a 58,000-capacity stadium in the shadow of their current home at White Hart Lane but local landowner Archway Sheet Medal Works is challenging the decision by the government to approve a compulsory purchase order [CPO] of land.

The decision to take the ruling over the estimated £400m development to the High Court prompted Spurs to release a press statement on Wednesday. "It is highly unlikely we shall be able to open the new Stadium at the start of the 2017/2018 season," said the club, citing delays caused by the court case. The upshot is the club "moving away from the Lane during construction for a period of one season, to start at the beginning of a season in order to comply with Premier League rules".

The statement added that the board would act with "due diligence on alternative stadium options" with consideration given to several factors "including planning and policing and, importantly, our fans and the impact it may have on the team itself".

The International Business Times namechecks  Milton Keynes Dons' StadiumMk and Brighton and Hove Albion's Amex Stadium as possible temporary homes but admits that fans wouldn't be happy at travelling 55 and 60 miles respectively for home fans. Additionally the capacity of both stadiums is a modest 30,000.

Also unlikely to be seriously considered is the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, which will be West Ham's new ground from the 2016-17 season. At one time Spurs had hoped to make the Stadium its new home but West Ham won the controversial bid and commentators believe it unlikely the clubs would be able to reach an amicable agreement.

Wembley would be a better alternative and is believed to be the choice of Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy. According to Reuters Tottenham's ideal preference would be for their "bigger matches staged at Wembley and games against smaller teams hosted at MK Dons". The Daily Mail adds that Tottenham wouldn't be able to stage all its matches at Wembley because the "the stadium is limited by Brent Council to 37 events each year because of issues including noise, policing and parking."

The IBT also moots the Wembley idea but believes Arsenal's Emirates Stadium "appears the most viable option but would be expected to face opposition from Spurs supporters". For that matter, Arsenal fans might not be too chuffed at the thought of thousands of their hated rivals parking their bottoms on their seats.

According to Martin Cloake, a board member of Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust, there is only one outstanding candidate for the fans: "Wembley would be the preferred option," he told the Press Association. "From informal discussions, the assumption has always been that it would be Wembley.

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