By Christian Radnedge
LONDON (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur’s home fixture against Manchester United next month will take place at Wembley after yet another delay in the completion of the team’s new stadium, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.
The grand opening of the new 62,000-seater ground on the site of White Hart Lane was scheduled for the start of the season in August, but a series of delays meant it was pushed back until at least January.
Spurs were hopeful of moving into their new venue in time for their league clash against United on Jan 13. However, testing has not yet been completed for the club to apply for a stadium safety certificate, so it may not be until February that Spurs can move in.
“We are acutely conscious that we are asking fans to go to Wembley for far longer than any of us wanted to. However we are now seeing the progress that we needed to see,” club chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement.
“What I don’t want to do is set any firm dates until we have finally achieved a safety certificate. So many people tell me to look at other major schemes that run late and, whilst I know it happens often, we are still hugely frustrated.”
Spurs do have an option of playing all their remaining home games of the season at Wembley as a contingency.
However, many supporters have grown tired of travelling to the national stadium and Spurs recorded their lowest attendance for a Premier League game there, 33,012, against Southampton last week.
Tottenham said they would receive a status report from their contractors in the week commencing Jan. 7 and would update fans after that.
(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; editing by Clare Fallon)