Tottenham Hotspur has reached agreements with UEFA and the English Football League (EFL) to find homes for its games in cup competitions amid the delays surrounding the development of its new stadium.
Tottenham had been due to open the 62,000-seat stadium with a Premier League match against Liverpool on September 15 but this game, along with the October 6 fixture against Cardiff City, was last week 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 has now provided an update to the situation regarding its games in the Champions League and EFL Cup competitions. Rules set by European football’s governing body specify that in principle a club should play all its home games at one venue. However, Spurs said it has agreed with UEFA that the first home matchday of this season’s Champions League group stage, scheduled on either the week commencing September 17 or the week commencing October 1, will be staged at Wembley.
Tottenham added that should it be drawn at home in the third round of the EFL Cup, which is scheduled for the week commencing September 24, then it can apply for special dispensation from the EFL board to reverse the fixture or play at a neutral venue as Wembley is also unavailable during that week.
In a statement, the EFL added: “If the circumstances dictate a reversal is required, then the EFL Board can also determine a level of compensation to be paid by Tottenham Hotspur to the opposing club.
“The compensation precedent was set in August 2016 when, prior to the draw, Liverpool were given permission to play their EFL Cup Round Two tie under the same terms due to redevelopment work taking place on the club’s Main Stand. On that occasion the draw determined it was not necessary.”
Tottenham’s latest announcement comes after the Mail on Sunday reported that the opening of its new stadium could be delayed until 2019. The newspaper, 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’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.