Tottenham apologise to fans and issue refund details following stadium delay
Club and fans hugely frustrated as games against Liverpool and Cardiff switched
Tottenham have apologised to supporters after the “unavoidable” delay to the opening of their new stadium at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA
Tottenham have made a new apology to their fans as uncertainty continued following the decision to delay the opening of their new stadium.
Spurs officials met members of the Tottenham Supporters’ Trust on Tuesday after the club postponed the launch of the £850m ground over safety concerns which they say they only learned of this week.
At least three Premier League games and an NFL match will be played at Wembley, with others possibly to follow, and there remains no set date for the opening of the new White Hart Lane.
“Yesterday the club received a report from [the contractor] Mace which highlighted the extent of the issues with critical safety systems,” Spurs said in a statement. “As a result, a decision was taken to defer the opening of the stadium and to move two further games to Wembley.
“Delays are common, certainly for builds of this size and complexity, however we are hugely frustrated that this has occurred with these systems at such a late stage. Whilst we would have been able to mitigate other areas, we simply cannot compromise safety.”
Spurs claim they brought forward their announcement of the delay because of the safety concerns but their initial announcement – while apologising to the NFL who will also see fixtures moved to Wembley – failed to clarify the process by which football fans would be able to claim refunds on tickets purchased for the new stadium.
“We should like to apologise to supporters for this delay,” the club added. “We are acutely aware of the disappointment this may cause supporters and shall now look to ensure that we minimise any inconvenience.”
Speaking after a meeting with club officials, Martin Cloake, the co-chair of the TST said: “We want the club to be as transparent as possible and talk to us as early as possible. We are in discussion with the club on the pricing of cup games, the mechanism by which money will be refunded and the possible outcome for Champions League games. These discussions are ongoing.”
The games that have been moved are Liverpool on September 15th and Cardiff on October 6th. Saturday’s match against Fulham had already been moved to Wembley. An NFL game between Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders will also move to the national stadium. The location of their Champions League and any Carabao Cup matches are unconfirmed so far.
Tottenham may open their stadium against Manchester City on October 28th. On that day Wembley is already booked for another NFL fixture.