Spurs: Is this what you mean by loving Tottenham?

THE story goes today that West Ham United’s move to the Olympic Stadium has collapsed because of the legal appeals surrounding the deal.

This includes the judicial review partly forced by Tottenham Hotspur, who had also bid for a move to Stratford (against the wishes of most of their own supporters). They are all due back in court next week. Fearing delays, the Olympic Park Legacy Company have pulled the plug on the Hammers deal.

You will all think I’m biased, but aren’t Spurs being rotters here? – especially as the club boasts on its website this week (see above, right) that it is backing Haringey Council’s ‘I Love Tottenham’ campaign to promote the local area following the summer’s riots. There they are with tote bags and heart logos pledging to support local traders. Michael Dawson posed near a billboard and Gary Mabbutt gave TV interviews.

Yet if Tottenham are so behind this campaign (and the warm community coverage that comes with it) why are they still involved with the legal appeals relating to a move away from the area? It doesn’t show much love for Tottenham if you retain a hand in the fight over the Olympic Stadium.

Now, you know the local area, the local economy relies on Tottenham staying. I know it. David Lammy knows it. Spurs surely know it too. Everybody knows it. Sceptics most people would say the club’s ongoing interest in seeing this in court appears more about 1) nobody likes losing to West Ham and 2) a bargaining position to ensure they can squeeze the best planning possible deal for a redeveloped stadium in Haringey.

But as the campaign they say they back wholeheartedly – I Love Tottenham – suggests. That area doesn’t need squeezing. It needs the best possible things Spurs can bring to it. The fans and the community should no longer be left fearing that Spurs will press the button and suddenly up sticks and go. Withdraw your appeal and stay where you are, Tottenham Hotspur. Spend a few less millions on midfielders and throw them into a lovely Section 106 planning agreement with lots of community benefits for everyone. Maybe some housing blocks, nice new pavements. That’s the way to really show you love Tottenham. And we’ll all love you more for it.

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