Day: October 6, 2010

Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and The Olympic Stadium

A week ago, it all seemed to be just about decided. A public meeting with Haringey Council ended with a vote that was unanimously in favour of the planning proposals for the new Tottenham Hotspur on a site adjacent to their current ground on White Hart Lane. The plans now only have to be signed off by the Mayor of London in order to be able to begin. Spurs supporters were understandably jubilant. The new ground would bring critical redevelopment to one of the most run down quarters of North London and would might perhaps finally bring out the latent Spurs support, which has long since been frozen out of the old White Hart Lane’s relatively meagre 36,000 capacity. Within seven days, however, there are question marks over whether Spurs might actually be more interested in moving to the Olympic Stadium, a move that has been framed by a very, very public exchange of words with the owners of West Ham United. Indeed, many are now wondering aloud whether Spurs’ interest in White Hart Lane might have been engineered for the benefit of both parties. Earlier this week, some curious headlines started to appear in the press suggesting that the Olympic Stadium was starting to gain ground as at the very least a back-up plan, should anything go wrong with the plans to redevelop the White Hart Lane site....

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A TV Dogs’ Dinner

I gave them a fortnight. But still they didn’t get to the point. After Stan Collymore’s anti-Match of the Day rant, the great, the good and the Mail’s Martin Samuel all had their say, with full advantage taken of the opportunity to stick the boot into Alan Shearer for his overwhelming blandness. Yet the one thing missing from just about everyone’s comments was a reference to what ought to have been an important point of a debate concerning broadcasting skills. And that was… er… broadcasting skills. There was one reader-comment on the issue in the Mail, in response to the afore-mentioned Samuel’s contribution to the debate. Or there would have been, if the paper had published my – entirely reasonable – comment. I sense Mail censorship, personal paranoia, a future article, or all three – make good your escape while you can. This weekend afforded the opportunity to take in the broadcasting “skills” of many of the debate’s protagonists. This included Collymore himself, as Talksport, the national sports radio station for whom he currently works, had nationwide exclusive live coverage of the Manchester City/Newcastle Premier League fixture, as we were reminded about every six seconds throughout the commentary. Indeed, we were told this at least four times more often than we were told the score. And I know this because – yes – I started counting, having heard “live...

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Liverpool Football Club Prepares For The Takeover End Game

The Board of Directors have received two excellent financial offers to buy the Club that would repay all its long-term debt. A Board meeting was called today to review these bids and approve a sale. Shortly prior to the meeting, the owners – Tom Hicks and George Gillett – sought to remove Managing Director Christian Purslow and Commercial Director Ian Ayre from the Board, seeking to replace them with Mack Hicks and Lori Kay McCutcheon. This matter is now subject to legal review and a further announcement will be made in due course. Meanwhile, Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre continue to explore every possible route to achieving a sale of the Club at the earliest opportunity. The day started with a co-ordinated attempt to saturate the American media with a video decrying the behaviour of the – for the time being – owners of their club, but it has ended with something even more extraordinary with a statement of near-unprecedented bluntness on the official club website which seems to indicate a state of near civil war at boardroom level. Welcome to the world of Liverpool Football Club in October 2010. As long time observers will be aware, October the 15th is said to be the deadline for George Gillett and Tom Hicks to secure the funding to complete their takeover of the club, in the face of...

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