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Leo's London: Spurs risk cutting off the lifeblood by locking the doors to White Hart Lane

26 Jan 2011 17:28:26

Leo's London: Spurs risk cutting off the lifeblood by locking the doors to White Hart Lane

Daniel Levy seems to change his mind a lot if his public statements are anything to go by. But if he is right about the attitude of Tottenham fans to the club deserting their traditional heartland, then another strand in the fabric of football is unravelling. Levy says that even if Spurs fail in their bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after 2012 they will still consider leaving the White Hart Lane area and fans will back them. Backlash: Tottenham fans protest against the plans to relocate to the 2012 stadium     More from Leo Spall... Leo's London: Teletubbies would be easier viewing than the Hammers...19/01/11 Leo's London: Diouf should not be in the game if Mackie slurs are true12/01/11 Leo Spall: Beckhams and Bentleys left behind by football's need for speed05/01/11 Leo Spall: Who was Arsenal's all-action hero against Chelsea?29/12/10 Leo's London: It's now or never for Bendtner after all his own hype 22/12/10 Leo's London: Nasri's brilliant form means Arsenal can stop relying on Fab08/12/10 Leo's London: Fulham may be falling but Hughes remains the Spark01/12/10 Leo's London: Arsenal or Spurs for the Premier League title? Forget it ...24/11/10 VIEW FULL ARCHIVEThe Spurs chairman has claimed, in reference to the potential move to east London, that in the end 'everyone will be rational about it', although how he knows this is unclear given that the club's failure to consult supporters. The protests against a possible move away from White Hart Lane suggest Levy is wrong and riding roughshod over fans' views. But if he is right it will be a sad day for the game because part of the point of it is that it is not rational.It doesn't make sense to spend vast and increasing sums of money follow one team around the country - and Europe for some - in the hope of entertainment and success when frustration and disappointment are just as likely for most. The loyalty that keeps traditional fans true to their clubs is irrational given what they generally get back, yet the tribal spirit endures. It is too often taken for granted and Levy's approach to more than 100 years of Spurs history at White Hart Lane is another example - if he is serious about radical relocation. There is still the possibility he is not. It could be that Levy doesn't want to gauge reaction yet because his claims are hollow. It is tough to tell after he offered fulsome support for the Northumberland Development Project and its revisions during the planning process before declaring that it is not viable. Levy also expressed the club's pride at 'its roots in Haringey' and suggested initially that the Olympic Stadium was only a secondary option before committing to it as the primary choice. His latest claim hints at public transport problems being key to the White Hart Lane redevelopment bitingthe dust even though this issue is hardly new. Future: An artist's impression of the Olympic Stadium that Tottenham are proposing Wherever Spurs end up it is fair to assume that Levy has tried every avenue to get value for money.He should not be blamed for that in itself, although his treatment of fans (whether it be in failure to consult or in leading them a merry dance) is questionable to say the least. Ignoring the views of people who were once considered the lifeblood of football clubs until a move is in motion should not be acceptable just because it makes business sense.  Fred's in the wrong Frederic Piquionne's yellow card for running into the crowd to celebrate at Everton seemed to provoke incredulity in some quarters. But any anger about the West Ham player getting sent off for his second booking should have been directedat the striker for his stupidity. Whatever anyone thinks about the ruleit is well-known and far from new. Piquionne is not new to the Premier League and after a fantastic performance and potentially winning goal, helet himself and his team down. Has Carlo Ancelotti finally scored a small victory at Chelsea after his embarrassing and undermining defeat over the issue of Ray Wilkins? Given the whims of owner Roman Abramovich it is hard to tell, but the with the club apparently hitting the brakes on their rush to youth and showing willing to make at least one important signing in David Luiz, it looks that way. The looming departures in the next week of Jeffrey Bruma and Fabio Borini after the exits of Gael Kakuta and Patrick van Aanholt suggests an admission that letting experienced internationals leave in the summer and throwing the kids in this season was ill-judged. The change of heart will do nothing for Chelsea's identity of course. Are they the big spending club of old or the place to be for the next generation of top players? At the moment they are neither and at some point will have to make up their minds about what they want to be and stick to it if they want continued success. But in the meantime, a convincing win at Bolton, signs that confidence is returning and a big-money signing on the way should be enough to lower Ancelotti's eyebrow just a little.  Club-by-club guide to every Premier League transfer deal during JanuaryWatch all the Premier League goals every week on our brilliant video player  Explore more:People: Daniel Levy, Roman Abramovich, Carlo Ancelotti Places: London, Europe, Olympic Stadium


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