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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 24, 2011

Levy cautious over MDC

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy warned Boris Johnson his proposed 'Mayoral Development Corporation' in the N17 area was not enough to guarantee the club would stay at White Hart Lane.

London Mayor Johnson on Wednesday announced the new business initiative - which would offer incentives to new enterprises if given the green light - after rejecting calls to make Haringey an Enterprise Zone.

Johnson selected the Royal Docks in the east of London to be the capital's Enterprise Zone, which will give it a discount of up to 100% on business rates.

It is unclear what specific benefits the MDC will provide, and while Levy welcomed Johnson's announcement, he insisted Spurs would continue to explore the feasibility of moving to another borough.

"In respect of our own new stadium plans, we continue to review our position and to investigate all possible options,'' Levy told the club's official website. "We have been in dialogue with the Mayor's office and we welcome this announcement.

"We are, however, clear that this should only be considered a first step towards attracting private and public sector investment to an area which is one of the most deprived in London. There are still many details to be set out and clarification to be given as to what benefits this will bring for Tottenham.

"Whilst we look forward to playing our part in the MDC, we firmly believe the inclusion of greater fiscal incentives, additional to those mentioned in the announcement, is needed in order to attract and retain businesses, enable viable developments and to create employment in an area which has low land values and the highest number of job seekers in London.''

Tottenham last month lost out to West Ham in the battle to take over the Olympic Stadium after next year's London Games. Until then, they had been pursuing a two-pronged approach to the construction of a new home, with the redevelopment of White Hart Lane the other option.

However, Levy ultimately branded the project "not viable'' after costs spiralled to £450 million, almost double that of their Olympic Stadium blueprint. Spurs have since been actively looking for an alternative plot of land but they could be persuaded to stay at their home of 112 years if the numbers add up.

Any move away would face opposition from some fan groups, as well as Tottenham MP David Lammy, who was ambivalent about Johnson's announcement.

He wrote on Twitter: "Welcome the Mayoral Development Corporation, but surely Tottenham deserved an Enterprise Zone. MDC is a good step but we wanted an Enterprise Zone and we'll keep campaigning for one for next announcements in summer.''

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