Sun 15 August 2021, 09:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Whether you are joining us at our home in the stadium for today’s first game of the season, or watching it broadcast around the world, I wanted to warmly welcome you back. Whilst there is still some way to go before we know exactly how we shall have to live with COVID-19, today is a milestone achievement for all in this pandemic as we see the stadium open to a full capacity crowd.
We have not stood still during the past 17 months and this August marks 10 years on from the riots. The Club-led regeneration of Tottenham continues - the stadium opened and stayed open, welcoming the community and the NHS when we could not welcome fans, our schools supported their pupils throughout; Beavertown is set to re-open the historic Corner Pin once again as a pub later this month; boxing, NFL, rugby and concerts are all set to return and most recently, we have set about constructing a Musco/Nike grind court and artificial turf pitch to the southern end of the stadium - facilities that will soon be launched to deliver amazing activities for the local community and fans as well as for our academy coaches who will use them to scout talent.
We shall be one of the few clubs to scout in an inner city, right on the doorstep of local youngsters.
Whilst looking to uplift our communities is part of our identity as a club, so too is sustainability and diversity.
The current dramatic climate events around the world have reminded us, not that we needed reminding, never to forget the importance of protecting our planet, for now and for future generations. Our Club was named the greenest in the Premier League following a study by the UN-backed Sport Positive Summit and BBC Sport. We also became a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework as we embark on a journey towards net zero carbon. We are passionate about sustainability and it has been wonderful working with our many partners on joint initiatives to support this.
We have also continued to show leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a founding signatory of the Football Leadership Diversity Code we have a zero tolerance stance and shall fiercely support and protect our players and those of all teams, our fans and our staff against all forms of discrimination.
And so our new season starts. I am conscious for way too many of you, this return will be tinged by sadness as you remember those we have lost from the Spurs family - as you look at seats that members of your family or friends once occupied, miss seeing someone you never knew much about, but who was also present in your area of the stadium, or maybe someone who normally would have been with you on the sofa or in the pub watching and shouting at the TV alongside you.
Today we shall look to remember and to look forward. The pandemic brought many challenges, however, it also brought a greater appreciation of what we may have taken for granted and a realisation about just how resilient we can be when we work as a team and support each other.
I want to thank each and every one of you for the part you have played and the support you have given to our Club. Everything we all do is about supporting the team that will take to the pitch today. There is so much excitement amongst the players about the atmosphere that will be generated by you all.
Please join me in welcoming Fabio, Nuno and his coaching staff. Welcome back.
Thank you all.