Spurs receive new stadium boost

LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur's plans to build a 58,000-seat stadium next door to their existing ground moved a step forward on Friday with a share placing raising 15 million pounds to help fund the project. The Premier League club, twice champions of England, said in a statement to the stock exchange that the cash would help them submit a planning proposal for the new ground later this year. Tottenham's shares closed up 5 percent at 86 pence, sharply higher than the 50 pence price for the new shares. Tottenham, whose current 36,000-capacity White Hart Lane ground in north London has been their home since 1899, announced last October that they planned to build a new stadium. It would form part of a complex incorporating homes, shops, restaurants, a club museum and public spaces. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said last year it would no longer be known as White Hart Lane. PROFESSIONAL COSTS "During the past two years the company has engaged a full-time team of experts and consultants to progress the development of the proposed new stadium," a club statement said. "The professional costs to advance the project to a position where the company can submit a full planning application will be circa 15 million pounds. "The directors are keen to ensure this stage is reached at no detriment to the core operations of the business, which are subject to the current economic downturn and the pressure on underlying costs which result from pushing for success in such a hugely competitive business." Tottenham, traditionally one of the big guns of English football, have struggled to keep pace with neighbours Arsenal. That problem has been exacerbated by their rivals' move to the 60,000-seat Emirates Stadium which has boosted income. Spurs, who also looked at moving to a new location, have never played in the lucrative Champions League and a new stadium is seen as vital if they are to compete for major honours. They have had a good start to the season and sit atop the Premier League after winning their opening two games.