Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned supporters the club are set for a period of regression as they attempt to cope financially with the move to their new stadium. Spurs are set to move into their new 61,000-capacity, £400m (according to The Evening Standard) ground in time for the start of the 2018-19 season but are braced for a series of cost-cutting measures following significant investment.
After Arsenal's move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, the Gunners were forced to dramatically cut back their spending in the transfer market and had to sell off several of their best players – including Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie – in order to justify the project. Though the club were able to remain in the Champions League spots through the period they suffered nine years without winning a major trophy.
The record signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid marked the end of Arsenal's financial prudence, and though the Gunners have won the FA Cup in successive seasons, only this season have they staged a genuine bid to win the Premier League title. Tottenham's imminent move into their new stadium threatens to bring similar problems – and Pochettino is wary of the fall-out.
"I have read a lot about Arsène Wenger saying the toughest period for Arsenal was in the period that they built their stadium and I think you need to know, and the people need to know, that this is a very tough period for us," he said, according to The Guardian. "We need to be careful because we need to arrive at the new stadium in very good condition to try to fight for everything, and try to show that we are one of the best clubs and teams in the world."
One positive for Tottenham ahead of their period of austerity is the success of the young players who have come through the academy. Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Josh Onomah and Tom Carroll have all featured for the first team this term. Furthermore, cut-price purchases such as Dele Alli and Eric Dier have excelled, meaning the policy of low-cost signings of young players is paying off.
"Our people need to understand that Tottenham changed their vision, not in terms of the football but in the way that we take decisions," the Argentine boss added. "For us, it is very important to keep the balance and find the right player, not only the strikers but in different positions.
"You need to realise that to improve our squad today is a very difficult job. It's easier to find different names on the market, to pay the money and to bring players but it's not the way that we decided upon 18 months ago. It's easier for me to say: 'OK, we bring this and this, and this player but if we don't believe that can improve our squad, why do it?"