Today will see the final League positions of several Clubs decided, ourselves amongst them. We may, however, find that we still have to wait on the outcome of the Champions League Final next weekend to know in which European competition we shall be competing.
It is a mark of our progress and the quality of our squad that each season we now look and expect to be competing at the top of our game.
Once again we have seen football played at home and away which has shown our brand and style of play around the world and led our competitors to describe us as the most entertaining team in the Premier League.
We saw several of our younger players debut in the Europa League this season and several senior players listed in the industry honours – and we were all delighted to see Kyle Walker win PFA Young Player of the Year,
Our squad has top players at all levels and we shall continue to seek stability and to retain key players this summer and beyond. We are a Club that is focussing on growth and moving forward.
This season has been one of progress for our Ladies team as they finished sixth in the Southern Division of the FA Women’s Premier League after being promoted last year and for the first time in Spurs Ladies history of 20 years they won the London Cup.
It was, however, off the pitch that we experienced some of the more remarkable and outstanding events of the season - moments of high drama and intense emotion which put a perspective on this game we love so much.
We witnessed our medics help save Fabrice Muamba’s life and saw the true humanity of the footballing world as fans united on a night when shocked silence was broken by the inspiring chanting of Fabrice’s name.
Our young academy player Ollie Modeste fought for his life after an accident and is now well on the road to recovery.
Our manager, Harry, underwent heart surgery and a lengthy court case.
We are grateful for the positive outcome on all these matters.
This brings me to a further positive outcome we must now look to achieve.
Last summer, at the start of the season, a local Tottenham resident died in an incident which sparked riots on our doorstep and made headlines around the world. Our first game of the season was postponed in the wake of the damage to buildings and our focus swiftly became our role in this community and our position as the major economic driver.
With a commitment to invest in the area around the stadium from the Mayor and Haringey Council, an investment of some £90m in land and planning by the Club and with planning applications granted, we are now pushing ahead with what is widely acknowledged to be the single most important development capable of delivering social change in the area – an iconic new stadium at the heart of a true sport-led regeneration scheme, delivering new homes, shops, restaurants, jobs and opportunities.
The scale of demolition around the stadium should leave no one in any doubt as to our intent to forge ahead with this project and we shall devote our full attention and energies to it. Work is expected to start on the construction of the supermarket to the north of the stadium towards the end of the year. We shall continue to make best use of the new space the demolition process affords and to provide extra catering and entertainment during that time.
Your support for the Club is therefore now support for the regeneration of a part of London that is in desperate need of hope and new beginnings and a reversal of the sense of hopelessness and economic deprivation that has been here for too many years.
The Foundation has and will continue to play its major part and its concentration will be on increasing education and employment opportunities for the local community. This season saw two player endorsed and supported schemes launched - E18HTEEN with Jermain Defoe as a positive role model to around 80 young people in care from four different London boroughs working to gain education and employment opportunities; and Ledley King put his name to Skills, a project run at the newly-refurbished site in the centre of Haringey, open throughout the week for young people between the ages of 12 and 19 to take part in sports, extra-curricular learning and life skills workshops.
By the time you return for the new season the First Team and the Academy will have moved to their new home – the Tottenham Hotspur Football Training Centre, Hotspur Way, in Enfield. The completion of this fantastic facility comes at the end of seven years of planning and three years of construction and fit out, costing £45m. We are proud to have seen it come to fruition.
Speaking of proud - I have been so proud on so many occasions this year – not just of our players, medics and all our staff – but also of the manner in which you, our fans, have conducted yourselves and represented our Club around the world.
Your support is what this Club is all about and I know you will be giving the team immense support today for an all-important win.
Thank you and I wish you and your families an enjoyable summer. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Lane in August.
In closing, I should like to send our best wishes to Steve Perryman after he underwent heart surgery last weekend. Steve was a fantastic player at Tottenham for so many years, a real legend and one of the great players in the Club’s history. I am sure you will all join me in hoping he makes a full and speedy recovery.