Arsene Wenger warns Tottenham: Premier League title race will be much harder after White Hart Lane exit

james olley
Moving home | The development of White Hart Lane is understood to cost around £750 million: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has reiterated his warning to Tottenham that they face a huge task in competing for the Premier League title once completing their redevelopment of White Hart Lane.

Spurs’ new stadium will cost £750million and it was confirmed earlier this month that the club have agreed a £350m loan with HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Merril Lynch to help finance the project.

Chairman Daniel Levy plans to raise the rest of the money through a ten-year ground rental agreement with the NFL, a possible stadium naming-rights deal and advanced ticket sales.

Arsenal have only recently emerged from the financial constraints imposed by their move to Emirates Stadium and Wenger warned that no plan will fully insulate Tottenham from any monetary difficulties or offset the effect will have on results.

“It will be very difficult, much more than you can imagine,” said Wenger. “First of all, you face financial restrictions, which we did. Overall, it might be less in future because you have more income.

“Secondly because you don’t feel at home like you were before. And you need to recreate a kind of history to feel comfortable and to feel like you play at home. How long does it take? I would say two years.”

Spurs are expected to borrow around £90m more than Arsenal did and manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to be restricted in the transfer market for several seasons, just as Wenger endured when selling a series of top players including Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

Sunday’s north London derby is set to be the last at the current stadium and Wenger recounted his most memorable visit since arriving at Arsenal 21 years ago: the 2-2 draw in 2004 that secured the Premier League title despite conceding a last-gasp penalty.

“Maybe that one was my best but it was good and bad that season because they equalised in the last minute and we nearly had a fight in the dressing room between Sol Campbell and Jens Lehmann, because Jens gave the penalty away,” added Wenger.

“The penalty was not a penalty, honestly. It was a nice gift, once again.”

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