The Guardian suggest that the possibilities for Tottenham Hotspur next season are ‘tantalising’ when ‘the shackles come off’, but is that really going to be the case?
David Hytner wrote in Saturday’s edition of the paper that Tottenham’s move “will enable them to bridge the gap to Arsenal in financial terms”.
He claims that the club are currently living in an “austerity period”, but suggests this could change once they move into their new stadium.
From Arsenal’s experience over the last decade or so, that’s an unrealistic expectation.
Like their North London rivals, Tottenham will have massive debts to pay off for years to come. According to the same Guardian article, they have £400m to repay to the banks in the next five years.
As well as that, they’ve pledged to find the rest of the £850m themselves.
In a decade or so I’m sure they’ll start to see the financial benefits of a larger ground. Undoubtedly, more seats (most likely at higher prices) will bring in more money. Plus, there are the NFL matches they plan to host at the ground, another money maker.
For the next few years though, I’d expect it to weigh them down as much as it is currently.
I’m sure Arsenal didn’t want to watch all their rivals outspend them season after season. That’s just the price they paid for a new stadium, and it’s a price Tottenham can’t avoid either.
Period of austerity
For the record, this period of “austerity” is hardly holding them back much right now.
Arsene Wenger’s negotiating team brought in more money through player sales as well. Tottenham received £45m for Kyle Walker up front, but still spent more than they earned.
They haven’t exactly been saving money, and that could cost them over the next few years as well.
If Tottenham don’t qualify for the Champions League, the picture gets even bleaker. Moving from Europa League to the continent’s top competition undoubtedly helped the club financially for the last two years, as much as it hurt Arsenal to go the other way.
If they lose that income at the same time as paying off those large debts, I’d expect them to end up spending exactly like Wenger has since moving to the Emirates.
We’ll see how long their top players want to stick around if that happens.