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24 November 2010 2:35 PM

Spurs risk losing faithful fans with move away from White Hart Lane

After reading the brilliant Mihir Bose article today, I felt I simply had to comment on it. Mihir interviewed Sir Keith Mills, a non-executive member on the Tottenham Hotspur Board, and also working in an advisory capacity for the 2018 World Cup bid. The article discusses the workings behind the bid, which as a citizen of our fine country, I am interested in, but also looks at some of the pending discussions in relation to Gareth Bale, Harry Redknapp, and our proposed bid to move to Stratford. 

As many of you know, Mihir is a highly passionate Tottenham Hotspur fan as well as an accomplished sportswriter and journalist. His enthusiasm is most definitely revealed in his piece today, but also reflects the growing concern of all Spurs fans; the move away from White Hart Lane.

Although not openly criticising a move away from the home we have known since 1899, Mihir's question to Sir Mills gave the response of discontent that many of us proud Hartlaner's have felt would be in the offing.

"If the Olympic Park legacy company decides our bid is the preferred one, then we'll put all our efforts behind trying to move there. If we get a 60,000-seat stadium in the Olympic Park at a lower cost than we can in Haringey, the club will have less debt. Fans would never forgive us for landing the club with so much debt that we can't go and buy players.

"We'll be moving to a part of London that is 100 per cent more accessible; we'll generate more revenue; it's closer to Canary Wharf and to the City; and it'll attract more sponsorship."

We all know that money makes the world go round, but sentimentality must surely play a part in the future of our club? Are we to simply forget our heritage, our foundation, our home?

Up until reading this article, I had thought that the bid to move to Stratford was no more than a patsy. The Stratford bid was doomed to failure, but at least it put the ball firmly back in our court as regards the government playing a greater financial role in the redevelopment of the Northumberland Project. However, upon reading this, it does look as though our Board think they have branched out; looked at the bigger picture.

I feel that this Board is running the risk of losing its faithful members if a move away from The Lane prevails. A simple poll on their website would reveal what us true fans think of the Stratford idea. Unfortunately, the Board already know what we think, but alas, our thoughts are not what count in this financial climate, or are they?

Source: Sir Keith Mills: I know why TV probe will not kill our 2018 bid

Article by Jaymes Marsh
Chief Editor of Tottenham Hotspur Blog News - THBN

19 August 2010 1:28 PM

Transfer market limbo is even stopping wheeler-dealer Harry Redknapp

Spurs New season, no new players. Tottenham Hotspur not signing anyone, are you sure?  That's unheard of, especially with Harry "Wheeler-Dealer" Redknapp at the helm.  I suppose this is synonymous with the current non-starting transfer market. 

I can see this trend developing even further, especially with the planned financial restraints UEFA proposes to put on clubs. Gone are the days when average players could demand extortionate wages.  This won't apply to all players though.  I expect the Ronaldo's, Rooney's and Messi's of this world to continue picking up a handsome packet, but when it comes to players like David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas; earning more than 50k per week will be a thing of the past. 

The introduction of the 25-man squad hasn't assisted the non-movement of the transfer market either.  In order to sign a player, most clubs need to shift one out.  However, as I stated above, club chairmen have tuned into the prospect of not being granted a UEFA licence if they allow their clubs to spend more than they earn.  Therefore, if Harry Redknapp was planning on selling Bentley, it would be mightily difficult to get the player to break his massive contract and sign for a club that can only offer him a third, or half the amount he's currently taking home.  So this transfer path brings us to where we are now; transfer limbo.

There are pros to not signing anyone.  For instance, against Manchester City on Saturday, we had a settled squad and it showed.  City's squad is far from settled and I have a feeling that Roberto Mancini doesn't know what players will make his 25-man squad, let alone his first eleven.

Harry is still on the lookout for "that special player", but unless we can overturn the 3-2 result next Wednesday, we may never see the special one.  How angry did you feel when we went 3-0 down to Young Boys?  I was distraught!  We showed as much naivety as a virgin in a brothel.  Thank the lucky stars the final leg is at White Hart Lane, although, let's not forget what this Swiss side did to Fenerbahçe when they played away in the cauldron of the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.  Once again, let's not think that we can simply turn up and win.

Up next - Stoke away.  Nice and easy...

THBN
Jaymes Marsh & Carlos Scienza
Editors and Chief Muppets

Web: www.TottenhamHotspur.Blogspot.com / THBN.co.uk

06 May 2010 9:46 AM

Sweet and sour season for Eagles

Crystal_palace It all started so promisingly.

Crystal Palace's 09-10 season's opening game was against Plymouth Argyle and by some aberration of the FA computer, for once we were at home. We're usually nearly always away for the opener.

The first game of a new season is always an occasion for optimism. However horrendous the result there is so much time for things to change and, in the event, we drew 1-1 - Alan Lee's well-taken equaliser started his rehabilitation in a season which would see him become a firm supporters' favourite.
 
Who could have foreseen that Argyle would take the drop and we would escape by a whisker nine months later?
 
An expected defeat by Newcastle saw us bumble along until a very unpleasant mid-September 0-4 scragging by Scunthorpe United was a grim view of reality. The day marked the 20th anniversary of our famous 9-0 debacle against Liverpool. The Scouser result heralded a big investment programme in class players but that couldn't happen now under the spluttering Simon Jordan regime.
 
However we did start to show a spell of good form with a five-game unbeaten run which ended at Leicester in mid-October.
 
By the end of the month rumours were thick on the ground that David Gold was sniffing around as a prospective buyer for the club which seemed like pretty good news. But, of course, West Ham were Mr Gold's real prey and so it transpired later in the season.
 
We then embarked on an extraordinary series of five 1-1 draws which ended in a home 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough and the end of November saw a magnificent 3-0 win over Watford and a display by our talented Academy kid Victor Moses which made you realise how much we would miss him when his inevitable departure to the Loadsamoulah-ship arrived.
 
The beginning of December brought us back down to earth with a dreadful home display against Doncaster Rovers who had yet to win an away game all season. They soon put that right and slammed three goals past us at Selhurst.
 
The festive break passed with a home win and an away draw and the New Year saw us beat Sheffield Wednesday to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
 
A home draw against Wolves later in January meant we would have a tough replay away to a top-tier team but our pleasure would be short-lived.
 
Victor Moses was sold to Wigan and more heart-breakingly we went into administration for the second time in a decade or so and the 10-point deduction morphed us from promotion hopefuls to relegation possibles.
 
Mind you, there were consolations to file in the Palace happy memories scrapbook. Danny Butterfield's unbelievable hat-trick in Wolverhampton brought us a home Cup tie against another top-tier club, Aston Villa.
 
So while the administration gloom deepened at SE25, our little Cup run gave us some reasons to be cheerful. A battling 2-2 draw at Selhurst brought us a replay at Villa Park where our Cup hopes ended and it was back to relegation worries and reality.
 
Meanwhile other concerns were coming to the fore and by the beginning of March our manager Neil Warnock packed his bags and crossed London to Queens Park Rangers and a new triumvirate took over the reins - Paul Hart, assisted by ex-Palace men, Dougie Freedman and John Pemberton.
 
As an eventful season drew to a close, Palace naturally did things the hard way and our CCC survival hinged on the last game of the campaign away to the Owls.
 
It was us or them and blessedly it was us who survived after an enthralling and heart-stopping game at Hillsborough.
 
But although the footballing side of the season is finished, as I write the sale of the club is still in uncertain waters.
 
We have been told that a crunch meeting at the end of May could decide whether we live to fight another day or, indeed, whether the club survives.
 
I find myself a creditor of CPFC, having coughed up for my 10-11 season ticket last November. I only hope I'll be using it come August.

Jamesey

14 April 2010 12:24 PM

Blowing it, big time, against the Pooper-Scoops

Crystal_palace It was bitterly disappointing to see our team's performance in a crucial relegation match against Queens Park Rangers.
 
Well, let's get my penitent bit out of the way first. In my last column I put up the headline "We are staying up..." and that sentiment was based on the great optimism I felt after four excellent performances in a row and seven points out of the previous three games. Some readers picked me up on that headline, saying that it wasn't the case and it would have been better not to let my enthusiasm get the better of me.
 
After our miserable 0-2 defeat against Queens Park Rangers (Apr 10), the doubters had a lot of justification for telling me not to tempt providence. After over half a century as a Palace supporter, I, of all people, should have known better than to think we would not be let down by our team.
 
But, of course, we are talking about Crystal Palace and to expect us to beat a struggling side (struggling through performances not through a 10-point deduction) was obviously a delusion of mega proportions. After all, they hadn't won for quite a few matches and to lose at Selhurst would have dropped them into the relegation mire.
 
Right from the start we were outplayed by a lively Hoops unit and were second best in all departments. As the game went on, we seemed to get worse and worse, with misdirected passes, schoolboy errors and no discernible tactics whatsoever than hoof-ball straight to the Rangers defenders.
 
And a crowd of 20,430 (including a big bunch of very noisy Hoops fans) who had come to enjoy possibly our most important game of the season in glorious spring weather were served up one of the most inept displays I have seen since our 0-4 slaughtering by Scunthorpe United back in September.
 
Like many thousands of others, I left before the final whistle. My excuse - if I needed an excuse after what I had witnessed - was to get on board a Victoria train before the arrival of a horde of gloating, jeering, mocking QPR supporters at the station.
 
Well, we are not down yet and with three more games to play we can still stay up. There are five clubs that will almost certainly provide the two candidates for the third division besides already doomed Peterborough. But if we carry on like we did against QPR, survival is well nigh an impossibility.
 
Incidentally,  Alassane N'Diaye was sitting a couple of seats away from me. He was on his own and didn't look particularly happy.  I was mentally brushing up my French to ask him why he had been dropped from the squad but decided that wouldn't be very tactful. He is a very big man when you are next to him.
By the time I had thought of another question he had gone. And so another journalistic triumph was missed...

Jamesey

26 March 2010 4:15 PM

Noades all set for Selhurst return?

Crystal_palace Acres of verbiage have recently been expended on the subject of Ron Noades. Some love him, some hate him. But whether our former chairman ever comes back to Selhurst in some capacity or other is unknown as I write. But there is no doubt that the mention of his name stirs deep feelings among the Palace faithful.

The young anti-Rons in general parrot what their dads have told them. They allege that Ron was a twister, a shyster, sold Palace up the river, etc, etc. Older and more thoughtful anti-Rons tend to concentrate on the financial side of things, making a case that his financial manoeuvres ultimately left Ron a rich man and Palace in poverty.

I'll declare my allegiance now as a militant pro-Ron who lived though and thoroughly enjoyed the Ron era. I am a pro-Ron, and some.

Firstly, Mark Goldberg and Simon Jordan led the club into the two administrations in its history and not Ron Noades. And at this point, let me say something that is not often touched upon in the Ron arguments.

Do we actually care whether Ron ended up rich at the expense of Palace? That is debatable anyway, but the real issue is the wonderful years of success we enjoyed during the Ron years which are unarguably beyond compare. I'm not going to repeat the litany yet again of the great times we enjoyed dating roughly from the appointment of Steve Coppell to our five seasons in the top division during the '90s.

I am a football lover and a Palace supporter. I don't do balance sheets and company reports. What happened on the field is what counts for me and what happened was very enjoyable indeed, especially compared with the rather colourless years of the Noughties.

Personally I always found Ron a courteous and hands-on chairman. When I wrote to him several times, he always answered and dealt with the issues and I was nobody to him. I also found him approachable and he was often to be seen at Selhurst Park and, if asked respectfully, was always willing to have a chat, in my experience.

A lot of people seem out to blacken Ron's name, especially with regard to his so-called racist remarks. It is difficult to see how a man who opened up so many opportunities for young, local black players without fear of a white support backlash (not at all uncommon in those days) could be accused of that particular "crime".

I don't really care whether Ron stamped on kittens and attended Satanic masses, he ran Crystal Palace efficiently and the club's greatest ever successes were achieved under his guidance.

That'll do for this fan.

Jamesey

25 March 2010 4:14 PM

Thumping win disguises Chelsea's limitations

Chelsea-blog There’s nothing quite so funny in football as a quality piece of comedy goalkeeping, unless it’s by your own ’keeper of course.

The sight of David James taking a huge swing at a bouncing ball last night and making contact with nothing but fresh air was genuinely hilarious. Thankfully Didier Drogba stopped laughing for long enough to remember to tap the ball into the empty net.
 
However, up until that point Chelsea had looked far from convincing against the worst team in the Premier League. Before the goal, the Blues seemed to be waiting for something to happen rather than actively setting out to create any chances themselves, which is a strategy that will seem remarkably familiar to anyone who has seen even a few of Chelsea’s away performances this season.
 
That approach might work when your opponents have a comic genius in goal, but it will not fetch you many points from away fixtures at Old Trafford, White Hart Lane and Anfield. Although the supporters would like to believe that Chelsea will win these crucial fixtures in the championship run-in, recent performances have given them all the confidence of a mouse in a cosmetics lab.
 
The next chance to put that right is another difficult game, when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday. They have what the Blues lack – pace and youth – so with Ancelotti stating that every game should now be played like a cup final, maybe he should blood some of the Chelsea youngsters who won their FA Youth Cup semi-final earlier this week. However, that’s about as likely as being gifted goals by comedy goalkeepers from now until the end of the season. Sadly, there’s only one David James.
 
Mark Wheeler, www.CFCnet.co.uk

22 March 2010 10:31 AM

Two points squandered in Blackpool draw

Crystal_palace After our 2-2 draw against Blackpool (Mar 20) we're not hovering above the drop zone - we're in it. I have strenuously avoided joining a rising tide of Hart-knockers although it is tempting to have a bit of a go after the Tangerine travesty.
 
Like many of us, before the game I would have jumped at a draw with the Seasiders like a Jack Russell offered a bag of tripe. So when I switched on the Palace Player radio link for the second half I was jubilant to hear that we were two goals up. The second half, I hear you cry, why only the second half? Well I had to watch my favourite rugby team, Wales, give Italy a good thumping in the Six Nations (at the moment, Palace supporters have to seize our pleasures where we can find them).
 
Anyhow, imagine my amazement that we had even scored any goals at all (it's not really been much of a goalfest during the recent Paul Hart regime). The Tangerines scored early in the second half and thenceforward our tactics were retreat and defend. Even the radio commentator seemed incredulous that Palace appeared to have no interest at all in getting out of our own half.
 
Well, sides that try and defend for 45 minutes to hang on to a lead often come unstuck and, naturally we got what we had been asking for when Blackpool scored a late equaliser, followed by some Julian Speroni brilliance which saved us from returning south with Sweet Felicity Atkins.
 
All the other reports and feedback I have looked at appear to confirm the above, particularly an intelligent and insightful posting on the message boards from HOL website member "Bubbs" who was actually at the game. I think he is a fair-minded supporter but he too seemed bewildered by a tactical decision that almost asked for a defeat. Anyway we all think we would be better managers than the ones in the firing line (although personally I wouldn't argue with Fabio Capello). Paul Hart has been a professional footballer and manager; I didn't even play football at school - we used an oval ball. What do I know?
 
Another issue which comes round time and again is the subject of former chairman Uncle Ron Noades who is again linked with a possible Palace connection by a not-altogether-reliable Sunday newspaper. Ron is still capable of stirring up extreme passions among Eagles supporters - the Devil incarnate through to St Ronald of Selhurst. I don't go along the sanctification road but having lived all through the Noades era and quite a while before that too, I would welcome someone sensible back in SE25 after a decade of a loudmouth, strutting, conceited jackanapes (ie, Simon Jordan).
 
I know all the anti-Ron arguments off by heart but then I just repeat the following litany - Steve Coppell; Mark Bright; Ian Wright; Nigel Martyn; the Holmesdale Stand; the FA Cup final; four consecutive years in the top level and Euro-football had Liverpool not been reinstated; third in the top division, our best ever finish. That's enough for now though I could think of quite a few more, as no doubt the Ron-knockers can provide their own list of his alleged dirty doings...

Jamesey

19 March 2010 3:46 PM

Preparing for SmackDown at Stoke

Tottenham-hotspur Tomorrow's Stoke showdown should really be called a SmackDown.  I remember watching the WWF stars when I was a wee lad.  Wrestling world champions (world champions in North America only....) like the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan wouldn't put a foot wrong in Pulis' team.  You can see it now; famous WWF and Rugby Union commentators, Robert Marella and Bill McLaren talking into their 4104 microphones.... 

"Delap pings in one of his legendary long-throws towards the bewildered Gomes.  Oh, would you look at that!  The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan have tag-teamed whilst clothes-lining the entire Spurs defence in one fell swoop!"

Yes, let's not beat around the bush on this one.  I do worry for my side.  I just hope Stoke don't beat us up!  I won't go into the Shawcross challenge, for we all know that the lad didn't mean to do what he so infamously did.  But it's not just Shawcross, is it?  If Pulis was to throw on an extra four players, they'd expect us to scrum-down with them.

Stoke may not play the most adventurous game in the world, but they are as hard as nails.  They know how to rough up a herd of swans, which, is what the current Spurs team has evolved into.  We lack a soldier in the middle of the park.  Fair enough, I've gone on about Wilson Palacios doing a job in there for us, but the fella needs someone else in there; someone who doesn't mind getting a bit of wet earth on the Lilywhite strip. I've also touched, or hammered this point across in a previous article, "Spurs look light in midfield".  

Harry's spoken of changing things up a bit for next season.  Don't expect to see us campaigning the 4-4-2 formation in away games, which, is a shame, as we are one of the final sides that play the near-extinct formation.  If Harry and his team of merry men are going to "mix things up a bit", then players are what's needed.  I was delighted to hear that we were in for Lee Cattermole last summer, but as most good things never materialise, neither did the signing of the combative Cattermole.  If we are to have a professional go at breaking the big four, players like The Cat will come in handy. 

Words are words, whilst actions speak volumes.  Can we deliver up at the Britannia? 

THBN Prediction: Stoke 0-1 Spurs (or should I add that the 0-1 scoreline is what I hope will happen?  We can all hope, can't we?)

For more news & views, visit our blog.  Simply enter "Tottenham Hotspur Blog" into Google.  You'll see us sitting comfortably in 1st, 12 points clear of our nearest rival.

Jaymes Marsh, http://tottenhamhotspur.blogspot.com/

Out-Foxed again as Eagles lose at home

Crystal_palace I think most reasonable Palace supporters are trying to give maximum support to our new manager Paul Hart. He's got a tough job to do to keep us in the CCC. There were, of course, rumblings from some who were not over-impressed by his record and warnings from other sources that his tactical awareness and use of substitutes leave something to be desired.
 
Well after another loss (0-1) against Leicester City (Mar 16), Hart's statistics make very depressing reading - played four, won one at home, drawn one away, lost two at home.

And in over six hours' on the pitch we have managed to score only one goal. And, of course, we can't brush away our anxieties, saying that we must give him time to settle in. Time is what we definitely ain't got.
 
What mystifies is how we have changed from being a promotion-chasing team to a struggling relegation haunted shambles. The 10-point deduction, of course, put us in a false relegation position and at the moment we seem to be playing like it. And, it appears that only Julian Speroni is keeping us from some fairly big thumpings.
 
From Saturday (Mar 20) we visit Blackpool and have 10 games left to save our bacon. In an ideal world, Hart would keep us in the Championship, a rich and investment-minded buyer would come along and our current manager would be offered the job next season. But it isn't an ideal world and if we carry on playing rubbish and losing games like we are doing, the outlook is very bleak indeed.
 
To finish on a more pleasant note, those of you know me or have perused this column over the years, will realise that I am a lover of all things Hellenic. Until ill-health made flying and travelling in general an uphill struggle a year or so back, I could usually be found somewhere on the Greek mainland or islands a couple of times or even more every year.
 
One of my regular and very pleasant correspondents, Chris Feather, has designed and built a superb villa by the sea, just outside the heat and bustle of Athens (http://www.verdevilla.gr/index.htm).
 
He and his partner Silvia are looking to let self-contained studios for what could be a wonderful holiday break to see Athens or visit other breath-taking sites. Chris is a long-term and dyed-in-the-wool Palace supporter and, although I don't wish to put words in his mouth, I know he would welcome any other visitors of the red-and-blue faith to talk Palace till the goats come home. And who knows he might even be willing to give a slightly better deal to enjoy that privilege? What better way to exorcise this demoniac and chilling winter than a little trip to enjoy the glories of Greece?
 
Jamesey

10 March 2010 4:05 PM

Blackburn game is vital if Spurs are to break unwanted record

Tottenham-hotspur Mondays are normally a perilous day of the week, but fortunately for me and a lot of Spurs fans, last Monday wasn't so bad.  Liverpool had the chance to leapfrog both Manchester City and us into fourth.  All they had to do was beat Wigan. Yet, they failed in their quest. 

Monday's success means that Tottenham Hotspur still remain in a charmed Champions League qualification placing and have played a game less than Liverpool, which is why Saturday's midday game against Blackburn turns the heat up on all that don the Lilywhite jersey.

I'm fed up of saying that "this is a must-win game". I have been ranting on about must-win games all season. Therefore, I will just add that the game against Blackburn is vitally important, as are all the remainder of our games.

If we are serious about finally breaking the record of being the richest club in Europe never to have played in the Champions League, then games like this, especially games that are graced on the turf of White Hart Lane, should be won by us.

Anyone disagree?

I got the FA Cup quarter final result right, so I'll have another dig. 

THBN Prediction: Spurs  3-0 Blackburn

For more news & views, visit our blog.  Simply enter "Tottenham Hotspur Blog" into Google.  You'll see us sitting comfortably in 1st, 12 points clear of our nearest rival.

Jaymes Marsh, http://tottenhamhotspur.blogspot.com/