So Iâ€™m possibly the worldâ€™s worst football fan. When my classmate Bozza explained the offside rule to me in 1994 I decided I supported Spurs, and when, at college and beyond, it transpired that Damo and Jimbo were also Spurs fans, it somewhat invigorated my â€˜interestâ€™ and Iâ€™ve paid some attention to the team â€“ over the years â€“ and particularly over the last two or three.
Now as a general rule (which I intend to break a bit over the weeks ahead) I donâ€™t write about â€œcomms strategiesâ€ and suchlike on here, but this has been an absolutely fascinating story. Other than submitting the application and speaking in controversial theoreticals (smashing down the stadium / getting rid of the athletics track etc), Spurs has held relatively quiet on the whole topic, with Redknapp in particular focussed on getting his team to the top of the table. As well he should be.
But of course, the negative outcry has begun. Football in the UK, despite its internationalisation, and that of the Premier League in particular, has ever been a local thing. The â€œNorth London Derbyâ€ galvanises the residents of different parts of the city into a neighbourly frenzy of competitive spirit. Iâ€™m brought to mind of the episode of â€œLife on Marsâ€ in which Man City and Man United fans started to wage war on each other, and of course of Terry Pratchettâ€™s latest Discworld novelâ€¦
So the move to Stratford makes little sense. Except that its a fantastic story, and despite the outcry, it seems as much flack is hitting the Olympics Legacy company as Spurs itself â€“ which makes sense. After all, if the legacy of the Olympics should retain something of the Olympics (which makes no sense to me â€“ after all, no country needs four velodromes running at 1% utilisation!), then itâ€™s unsurprising that the global athletics wonks are getting upset about it all.
Of course, if Iâ€™m right in thinking the whole thing is just Spurs going after some profile-raising publicity, and in trying to eke out some regeneration money â€“ then when they step magnanimously away from Stratford and commit their Â£500m of redevelopment to their local neighbourhood, local residents will be relieved and itâ€™ll just be the Olympic legacy company that has to contend with the fallout of ever having considered such a thing. And odds are, Spurs chairman Dan Levy will get the â€œregeneration moniesâ€ he needs to invest in his local neighbourhoodâ€¦
What do you think? Tactical bid vs. genuine interest? Comms / negotiation strategy vs. club migration? Be interested to hear.