Tottenham's move to new stadium delayed until March with all club's February 'home' games to be played at Wembley

Matt Law
The Telegraph
Tottenham's new stadium is still not ready - Tottenham Hotspur FC
Tottenham's new stadium is still not ready - Tottenham Hotspur FC

Tottenham Hotspur could still play Champions League football in their new stadium, despite confirming they will not move there before March.

The latest in a long line of delays means the last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund on Feb 13 will be staged at Wembley, but Uefa has not ruled out Spurs playing later rounds in the new stadium if they progress.

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A Uefa statement said: “Uefa will remain in close contact with Tottenham Hotspur to assess the possibility of the club hosting Uefa competition matches in their new stadium this season, if the club qualifies for the next round of the Uefa Champions League.”

The quarter-finals of the Champions League are due to take place on April 9-10, and April 16-17.

Tottenham’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace on March 16 now appears to be the earliest potential opening date for the new stadium, although chairman Daniel Levy is still yet to announce dates for the test events that must take place to earn a safety certificate.

Tottenham entertain Arsenal on March 2, but it is unlikely the club would risk using a north-London derby to open their new home.

Should Spurs move in to their new stadium in time for the Palace game, then the club will only be able to play a maximum of five Premier League matches there this season, having originally hoped to move in on Sept 15 last year.

Levy said: “I should like to apologise to our fans and thank you for your continued patience. The response from those who attended the familiarisation event was great to hear and reinforced our commitment to deliver an exceptional match-day experience for everyone.

“We shall now seek clarity in respect of building test schedules and test event dates, and provide further information on these in the next two to three weeks.”

The Wembley capacity will remain capped at 51,000 in the Premier League, but Tottenham hope to be able to use the full 90,000 seats for the Dortmund clash in the Champions League.

A Tottenham statement read: “We have now received a post-Christmas/New Year update from the contractors involved in the critical safety systems at our new stadium.

“The past month has seen remedial works take place, software issues resolved and corrected safety equipment installations increase. Testing has also continued.

“We are now liaising with the contractors and building control at Haringey Council to determine a schedule of commissioning, building test dates and building control signoffs, along with formal test event dates.

“Given the time required to deliver these and the test events, we can confirm our Premier League matches against Watford (Jan 30), Newcastle (Feb 2) and Leicester (Feb 10) – and our Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund (Feb 13) – will take place at Wembley Stadium.

“Should we continue to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup and have a home draw, this too would be played at Wembley Stadium (weekend of Feb 16-17).

“In order to reduce the inconvenience to fans, the three Premier League matches will be refunded in one transaction and similarly all three games can be purchased together in one transaction. All three matches will be Category C pricing from the 2017-18 season. The 51,000 capacity cap will apply for these fixtures.”

Tottenham entertain Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday, but Toby Alderweireld insists he and his team-mates will not be trying to show manager Mauricio Pochettino why he should stay at Spurs, despite the Old Trafford club’s admiration for him.

“That will not be our reason [to try to win],” said Alderweireld. “The reason is to play for Spurs and try to do better. There are three important points to win at home and we want to win. That is all we can do.”

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