Spurs still not sure if they will leave White Hart Lane
Chairman Daniel Levy delays Wembley decision until he has 'greater certainty' on Tottenham's new home
Work on Spurs' new home is continuing apace at White Hart Lane, with the club releasing new images of the stadium being built next to their current home.
However, the club's plans to relocate to Wembley next season are still up in the air after chairman Daniel Levy said he needed "greater certainty" over the timing of the building project before agreeing to leave.
It had been expected that Spurs would play away from White Hart Lane next season. They were given the all-clear to move to the national stadium last week, but say they will do so only on the understanding that their new ground will be ready for the start of the following season.
"We shall only make the decision to decommission... White Hart Lane when we have greater certainty on the delivery of the new stadium," said Levy as he unveiled Spurs' financial results.
Spurs were required to inform Wembley whether they would activate their option to use the national stadium in 2017-18 by the end of this week, reports the London Evening Standard. That deadline is now expected to be extended.
However, the club was celebrating a record 2015-2016 season financially, posting all-time-high revenues of £209.8m for the year ending to last June. Profit from operations, excluding football trading and before exceptional items and depreciation, was £63.3m, an increase of £16.6 on the previous year. Profit for the year after interest and tax was £33m.
"This does not include player transfers and contract renewals but is a substantial increase on the £9.4m post-tax profit for the previous 12-month period," says the Standard. "The lack of clarity about the new stadium will, however, attract the attention of supporters."
Spurs Wembley boost - but will they stay at White Hart Lane?
Spurs have been granted permission to host 27 matches at Wembley next season at the stadium's full capacity of 90,000, but the club has yet to decide on whether to play one final season at White Hart Lane before the ground is demolished and rebuilt.
This week Brent Council backed Tottenham's application, despite strong opposition from locals.
Planners "voted in favour of the proposal by a majority of five to one following a heated meeting, lasting three hours and 32 minutes and during which frustrated local residents were allowed to air their views", reports the Daily Telegraph.
Under current regulations, Spurs can play as many games as they want at Wembley, provided capacity is limited to 50,000. But the club is "desperate" to have all 90,000 seats available to "avoid the dampening effect on atmosphere involved in playing in a half-empty stadium".
"But the issue of full capacity proved particularly contentious with objectors, who expressed concerns about anti-social behaviour, the extra strain on transport and the negative impact on local businesses."
A final decision on where Spurs play next season may not be taken until April.
The club have at no stage said this season would be their last at White Hart Lane, says the London Evening Standard.
Getting permission to play in front of a full house at Wembley was "an important hurdle to clear", says the paper.
"If Spurs confirm the Wembley switch this spring, demolition work on White Hart Lane could begin not long after their last home game of the season against Manchester United over the weekend of May 13-14."
But the decision on when to move has yet to be made, although staying for an extra season could create more problems for the club and residents of Wembley.
"If Spurs stay another year at White Hart Lane, would they seek to stage home games at Wembley in 2018-19, when Chelsea may try to do the same?" asks the paper. "The Premier League leaders hope to move into a redeveloped Stamford Bridge in 2021, and plan to move to Wembley for three seasons from 2018-19. Were both clubs to use the stadium in the same season the number of full capacity games allowed would, in theory, have to be shared between them."