Tottenham forced to delay move to new stadium

Tottenham have had to delay the move to their new stadium for more than two months just a fortnight before they were supposed to host their first game there.

Ongoing tests in the build-up to their return to White Hart Lane have discovered issues with “critical safety systems,” the club admitted yesterday, and it will now be the very end of October at the earliest that Tottenham can return to the home they departed for a complete overhaul in May 2017.

Matches against Liverpool on September 15 and Cardiff on October 6 have been moved to Wembley already.

More embarrassing is the failure to have the stadium operational in time for its inaugural NFL match, scheduled for October 14, which will now also be switched across London to the national stadium.

Even the game against Manchester City on October 28 is still only pencilled in at this stage, and having been forced to start their Champions League campaign at Wembley, too, Spurs could be committed to hosting all games in the competition with UEFA rules clear that in principle they expect teams to use the same venue throughout.

At least the FA last night confirmed that there would be no issues with Tottenham hosting any of their fixtures at Wembley this season.

However, the mood is a complete turnaround from less than three weeks ago when Tottenham announced an under-23 test event for Bank Holiday Monday against Brighton together with a legends game against a Bayern Munich side the following Saturday to provide the necessary test events before the ground could be a issued with a full safety certificate.

Nevertheless, this latest dramatic development comes as no surprise to sources working on the rebuild, who had long predicted that a return to playing home games at the start of this season was always overly ambitious given the extent of the work.

The first home game against Fulham on Saturday had already been arranged for their temporary home at the national stadium.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said: “We know this will be disappointing  but at the start of the project we asked for your support during what we knew would be a complex and challenging build and now we ask for your continued patience and forbearance.”

The club are currently holding urgent meetings with main contractors Mace and other trade workers employed on site in the hope of determining a clearer picture of when the ground will finally be ready for use.


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