Word on the lane (White Hart Lane) is that Gareth Bale is coming home. Seven years after Tottenham Hotspur sold their star player to Real Madrid for a then-record £85m, Spurs are bringing him back.
Depending on the final re-purchase price, the North London club have done rather well from Bale (whether his absence cost the club riches of another kind is a matter to be debated elsewhere – Bale has won four Champions League titles at Real Madrid, Spurs remain trophy-less). And while Bale was off winning trophies, Spurs have created something with far greater long-term value: a stadium which – coronavirus aside – has capacity for 62,000 fans.
When Spurs vacated the Lane in 2017, scurried off to Wembley and took out a £500m loan to finance the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, fans balked. But the stadium has added huge opportunity to the club’s revenue-generating capacity – match day and commercial revenue contribute about half of most football clubs’ total sales.