Tottenham Hotspur has applied for special dispensation to play next month’s Carabao Cup match against Watford at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes amid ongoing delays at its new stadium.
The match is due to take place in the week commencing September 24, when Spurs’ new stadium will be unavailable. Wembley Stadium, where the club has been playing home matches while work on the new ground continues, is also unavailable leaving Tottenham with a hosting dilemma.
The board of the English Football League will consider Tottenham’s request to play the match at Stadium MK during its next meeting on September 6. The club was required to submit its application ahead of yesterday’s (Thursday’s) draw for the next round of the Carabao Cup.
Stadium MK is the home of League Two football club MK Dons and has a capacity of 30,000.
In a statement issued yesterday, Tottenham said: “We appreciate that Stadium MK may not be an ideal destination for every fan to get to on a weekday evening, however the club felt it would not be beneficial to request a reverse of the fixture as it would have resulted in no more than a 10 per cent allocation of tickets for our supporters at the venue of our opponents. In contrast, we shall have a ticket allocation of up to 90 per cent at a neutral venue, ensuring greater access for our fans.
“Consideration was given to a number of different football stadia and for a variety of reasons – capacity, availability, facilities, accessibility, pitch quality and clubs still being in the competition themselves – it was simply not possible to secure a neutral venue within the M25.
“We are extremely conscious of having to ask our supporters to attend home matches at more than one venue and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Tottenham last week reached agreements with UEFA and the EFL regarding its home venue in their respective cup competitions amid the delays surrounding the development of its new stadium.
Spurs said it had agreed with UEFA that the first home match day 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.
The latest development comes with Tottenham reportedly facing a struggle to secure a naming-rights sponsor for the new stadium, which has been given a tentative name of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Telegraph reported that potential sponsors have been put off by the club’s £200m asking price for naming rights.