London (AFP) – Tottenham Hotspur will play all their home games next season at Wembley Stadium, the Premier League title contenders said on Friday, calling it “a momentous day”.
Spurs will need a temporary home while their new 61,000-seater ground is being completed adjacent to their existing north London base of White Hart Lane, which will be demolished after more than a hundred years of service.
Friday’s announcement means that Spurs will play their last game at White Hart Lane against Manchester United on May 14 in what could yet be a decisive clash in their bid to be Premier League champions for the first time.
“This marks a momentous day in our club’s history as it is the day we formally agreed the demolition of our beloved White Hart Lane,” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
“The Lane means a huge amount to each and every one of us and we needed to gain greater certainty on the delivery of the new stadium before we made the final decision to commence with the decommissioning of our iconic, historic home for some 118 years.”
Tottenham, second in the Premier League table, four points behind leaders Chelsea, are bidding to be crowned champions of England for the first time since their celebrated league and FA Cup double season of 1960/61.
Levy said the final home match against United next month will be a special day no matter what.
“We shall ensure that we give the Lane a fitting farewell when we play our last match here on May 14,” said Levy.
“Wembley will be our home for a season and then we shall return to what will be one of the best stadiums of its kind and the most unique in the world playing host to NFL (American football) games too — a stadium that will be key to our future growth and success.”
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s crucial league match with arch-rivals Arsenal, in what will be the last North London derby at White Hart Lane, Levy added: “Both on and off the pitch this is an incredibly exciting time in the history of our club.”
But not all Spurs fans will be quite so delighted.
Tottenham staged their European home games at Wembley this season with work on the new stadium under way and struggled to replicate their excellent White Hart Lane form.
A 4-2 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend meant Spurs have won only one of their last nine matches at Wembley, including two losses out of three in this season’s Champions League.
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