Delays in opening Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium could run until 2019, according to the Mail on Sunday.
The Premier League club has already been forced to move two matches from the 62,000-seat venue to Wembley Stadium and there are fears that it could yet be months before the ground opens.
The Mail on Sunday, citing sources close to the construction of the new ground, reported that problems with the stadium’s safety systems could delay the opening by up to six months.
Tottenham had been due to open the stadium with a match against Liverpool on September 15 but this game, along with the October 6 fixture against Cardiff City, has been moved to Wembley, where Spurs spent all of last season.
The NFL American football league had also been scheduled to host its first game at the stadium on October 14, but the clash between the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders has been moved to Wembley as well.
Tottenham’s next planned home league match after the Cardiff game is against Manchester City on October 28 but the Mail on Sunday reported that the club’s private best-case scenarios do not foresee a competitive match being staged at the stadium before mid to late November.
It remains to be seen where Tottenham would play the Manchester City match should the new stadium not be ready in time, with Wembley hosting an NFL game on the same day. Twickenham Stadium has already been ruled out as an option and a report by The Times last week said that Tottenham has two weeks to decide where the game will be held.
A source close to the stadium project told the Mail on Sunday: “The critical issues include (safety) systems. Some systems are incomplete or missing and nobody knows how long it is going to be.
“Completion could run into next year, depending on what other issues crop up. A best guess is that this delay will be between three to six months. In addition, the cost of the build has already reached £1bn and it is difficult to predict what the final bill will be. The costs keep piling up.”
Tottenham last week apologised for what it described as an “unavoidable” decision to delay the opening of the stadium, with chairman Daniel Levy asking fans for their “continued patience and forbearance”.
Tottenham’s first ‘home’ match of the season took place on Saturday, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men claiming a 3-1 win over London rivals Fulham at Wembley.
Image: Tottenham Hotspur