Belfast Telegraph

Spurs set to gain from NFL's new deal

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

By Steven Beacom

It's coming. Sounds like a tag line for Jaws 10. What I'm actually referring to is a NFL franchise in the UK. The Yanks, delirious at all the Wembley sell-outs their sport delivers on an annual basis, have wanted one for ages. Their dream scenario moved a step closer this week with Tottenham announcing they would host a minimum of two NFL games per season over 10 years at their new stadium.

As part of the agreement at the 61,000 all seater venue, scheduled to open in 2018, there will be a retractable grass pitch with an artificial surface underneath for American football games.

Spurs, guided by chairman Daniel Levy, will receive considerable rent from the NFL (the world's richest sports league) for being hosts.

Soon two games will become three and four and five and next thing you know there will be a full time team. It will be called London Spurs or London Lilywhites.

Wonder what Danny Blanchflower would have made of it all? His old club will of course be accused of selling its soul. The truth is football did that yonks ago.

Spurs may be the first Premier League club to go down the NFL route, but with megabucks in it, don't be surprised if others follow suit. Manchester Marvels, Chelsea Cavaliers and Liverpool Leopards will be next.

Crazy talk? Civil Servants are now running Sport NI. In the 21st century anything can happen. And will.

Belfast Telegraph


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