Tottenham are planning a multi-million-pound upgrade of their retractable pitch just three years after opening their new £1billion home. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the only purpose-built NFL ground outside America, with a state-of-the-art grass surface in three sections rolling back to reveal an artificial pitch used for NFL games, such as tomorrow’s clash between New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.
The process takes 48 hours, leaving little margin for error this week, as Tottenham and Eintracht Frankfurt’s players are due to train at the stadium on Tuesday before their Champions League clash the next day.
Spurs have been alerted to technology improvements since the original pitch was installed and are examining if the conversion could be quicker, which would give them more flexibility in staging other events. ‘We are constantly improving our facilities and evolving our stadium to maintain our position as the best in the world,’ a club spokesman told Sportsmail.
KING-SIZED FIXTURE HEADACHE
The Premier League are facing more fixture chaos at the end of the season due to the coronation of King Charles III, which is likely to lead to a mass of postponements due to police and stewarding resources being required elsewhere.
Buckingham Palace denied reports earlier this week that the coronation will take place on June 3, which would clash with the FA Cup final, but a Saturday in May or June is the most likely date which would create problems for football.
The Premier League are already behind schedule due to 14 matches being postponed after the Queen’s death and more call-offs would exacerbate the fixture congestion. There is no scope to extend the domestic campaign, which is already finishing late due to the World Cup, and the season will end with the Champions League final in Istanbul on June 10.
TOON TURNING IT INTO ‘BIG SEVEN’
Newcastle’s enhanced financial strength one year on from their takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is causing problems for the Premier League.
The club are increasingly siding with the Big Six at meetings, giving them the power to block proposals backed by the other clubs.
Premier League rules state that 14 votes are needed for any changes to be introduced so a block of seven effectively have a permanent right of veto. The altered dynamics within the top flight appear particularly significant as the Premier League are seeking to approve some contentious policy and financial changes, most notably the proposal to increase funding to the lower leagues in the so-called New Deal for Football.
Although the 20 clubs broadly agree that such a change is required to combat that threat of government regulation, there is a dispute over how it should be paid for, with the big clubs objecting to calls for each contribution to be determined by league position.
FOREST SHOOT THEMSELVES IN FOOT
Nottingham Forest continue to count the cost of failing to agree a shirt sponsorship deal last summer, with no new offers on the table a quarter of the way into the season.
Sportsmail has learned that Forest rejected several offers worth around £5million a year, which industry experts regard as a good deal for a newly promoted club, as the owners were adamant they could get at least £10m. No such deal has materialised with Forest paying a price for their intransigence.
THREAT TO SUE OVER KALVIN CLIENT
Agent Kevin Sharp is threatening to sue Stellar Football for breach of contract after losing star client Kalvin Phillips to them last summer.
Sharp claims Stellar induced Phillips to breach his contract ahead of his £44million move to Manchester City in July, but Sportsmail has been told the England midfielder gave notice of his intention to leave Sharp’s Palm Sports Management in January following the collapse of proposed transfers to Aston Villa and Newcastle.
Phillips did not sign a contract with Stellar until after he returned from England’s Nations League fixtures in June so the agency are confident of winning any legal case.