English soccer club Tottenham Hotspur may be prevented from playing at their new stadium until 2019, according to a report in British newspaper The Mail on Sunday.
Sources have suggested that the new venue may not be fit for use for a further six months, potentially putting back Spurs’ first game at the arena to February.
The club has already been forced to delay the stadium’s opening until the end of October. Safety problems identified during a test event forced Tottenham to move their first scheduled fixtures at their new home to Wembley – where the team played during the new venue’s construction - along with the planned National Football League (NFL) international.
The Mail report that Tottenham’s fire detection contractor has experienced problems with the electrical wiring at the ground, while other electronic systems are not yet ready for use.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: “The critical issues include [safety] systems. Some systems are incomplete or missing and nobody knows how long it is going to be.
“Completion could run into next year, depending on what other issues crop up. A best guess is that this delay will be between three to six months. In addition, the cost of the build has already reached £1billion and it is difficult to predict what the final bill will be. The costs keep piling up.”
In the meantime, Tottenham, who have won their first two games of the Premier League season, are to meet with their construction partners, Mace, and other contractors in order to determine a new schedule ahead of the ground’s opening.
A spokesman for the club added: “Urgent follow-up meetings with Mace and the trade contractors are currently taking place. We are reviewing the situation and planned timetable to rectify and re-test, after which we shall be in a better position to outline a revised timetable.”
Originally, the plan had for the club to move into their new home in time for a home match against Liverpool on 15th September. That game will now take place at Wembley, while the club’s Champions League fixtures are also likely to be played at the home of the England national team.