Tottenham apply for Carabao Cup venue switch due to stadium unavailability
Tottenham have asked the EFL board for permission to play their Carabao Cup third-round tie in Milton Keynes after being drawn at home against Watford.
Spurs are due to host Javi Gracia's Hornets in the week commencing Sept. 24. But their new stadium will not be ready by then and Wembley -- where the north Londoners are playing their home fixtures for now -- is unavailable on the dates in question.
The club have therefore asked the EFL board for special dispensation to play the match at Stadium MK in Buckinghamshire, 50 miles northwest of Tottenham.
Their application had to be submitted before Thursday's cup draw, and it will be considered at the board's next meeting on Thursday, Sept. 6.
Spurs could have asked for the tie to be reversed, making them the away team at Vicarage Road, but that would have severely reduced the allocation of tickets for their fans.
The club have also explained that they were unable to find a neutral venue closer than Stadium MK.
A Spurs statement said: "We appreciate that Stadium MK may not be an ideal destination for every fan to get to on a weekday evening. However the club felt it would not be beneficial to request a reverse of the fixture as it would have resulted in no more than a 10 percent allocation of tickets for our supporters at the venue of our opponents.
"In contrast, we shall have a ticket allocation of up to 90 percent at a neutral venue, ensuring greater access for our fans.
"Consideration was given to a number of different football stadia and for a variety of reasons -- capacity, availability, facilities, accessibility, pitch quality and clubs still being in the competition themselves -- it was simply not possible to secure a neutral venue within the M25.
"We are extremely conscious of having to ask our supporters to attend home matches at more than one venue and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
"Further details regarding the scheduling of our tie, along with ticketing, will follow in due course."
Tottenham have agreed with UEFA that their first home Champions League group match will be held at Wembley, but it is unclear what happens after that.
Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA's deputy secretary general, said of the stadium issue: "In principle the regulations state that you have to play in a single stadium, but we will have to see."