Tottenham Hotspur is an English professional football club from the town of Tottenham in North London.
It is part of the Premier League, the highest level of football in the country. With an estimated worth of £1.67 billion in 2021, it was the 9th highest-earning football club in the world generating an annual revenue of £390.9 million.
More commonly referred to as Tottenham or Spurs, the club has enjoyed decent success over the course of its history with 2 top-division league titles, 8 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and 7 FA Community Shields. At the continental level, it has picked up 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup and 2 UEFA Cups.
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White shirts and navy blue shorts have been the colours of the Tottenham strip for over a century which has earned it the nickname ‘the Lilywhites’. The club crest depicts a cockerel standing on a football. It would sometimes contain its Latin motto “Audere est Facere’ ‘ which translates into ‘to dare is to do’.
Tottenham has a large fan-base within the UK, primarily from North London and the Home Counties. Historically, the club had a great following in the Jewish communities of East and North London. All three of the club chairmen since 1984 have been Jewish businessmen with prior histories of supporting the club.
In April 2009, Spurs moved into the state-of-the-art Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The club previously spent 122 years at White Hart Lane and temporarily moved to Wembley before entering the new premises. With a capacity of 62,850, it is the 3rd largest football stadium in England and the largest club ground in London.
The supporters of Tottenham have the biggest rivalry with North London side Arsenal which began when the latter moved to Highbury in 1912. Spurs also have a rivalry with Chelsea although it is secondary to the North London Derby. West Ham United also sees Spurs as a bitter rival but Tottenham fans do not share the same animosity.
Tottenham was initially founded as the Hotspur Football Club on 5th September 1882 by a group of schoolboys who were part of the Hotspur Cricket Club. In April 1884, the club was renamed to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to avoid confusion with another London club named Hotspur.
The Early Decades
On 20th December 1895, Tottenham Hotspur turned professional and was admitted to Division One of the Southern League and went on to win the title in 1899/1900. In the following 1900/01 campaign, Spurs won the FA Cup by beating Sheffield United 3-1 in the replay of the final, becoming the only non-Football League club to lift the trophy.
After competing at the top-end of the Southern League which included a couple of runners-up finishes, Tottenham was elected into the Football League in 1908. It started the 1908/09 campaign in the Second Division and won the league title in its maiden appearance to secure its promotion to the top-flight.
In 1909/10, Tottenham began its maiden season in the First Division and ended up in 15th position. The club was not able to make much of an impact and remained in the lower-half for the next few years. The club suffered its first relegation after ending the 1918/19 season in 20th position.
However, World War I broke out at this time and the Football League was suspended from the next season for 4 years. This meant Tottenham had to wait until the end of the war to have a shot at promotion. Football resumed in the 1919/20 campaign and Spurs won the Second Division title to return to the top-flight.
In 1920/21, Tottenham was back in the First Division once again and ended the season in 6th position. The club reached the final of the FA Cup where it beat Wolverhampton Wanderers to lift the trophy for a 2nd time. Spurs then went on to finish 1921/22 as the runners-up in the top-tier.
But the fortunes of the club slipped downwards as Tottenham finished in the bottom-half of the First Division for the next 5 seasons. Eventually, it ended the 1927/28 campaign down in 21st position and was therefore relegated from the top-flight for the 3rd time in its history.
Having dropped to the Second Division for 1928/29, Spurs were unable to earn an immediate promotion this time around after ending the season in 10th place. The club remained in the 2nd tier for 4 more years until it ended the league as runners-up in 1932/33 to pave its way back to the top-flight.
Spurs caused a big surprise by taking 3rd position at the end of 1933/34 upon making its return to the First Division. But despite achieving this remarkable performance, the club had a horrible time in the following 1934/35 campaign and was relegated after finishing at the bottom of the league in 22nd spot.
Tottenham could not make a swift return to the top-tier after ending 1935/36 in 5th position in the Second Division. The club remained in the 2nd tier having failed to improve upon it in the next 3 seasons. After that, the country would get engulfed in World War II and football was suspended for the next 7 years.
The Post-War Era
With the end of the war, the Football League resumed in 1946/47 and Tottenham ended the season taking 6th spot in the Second Division table. After a couple more top-half finishes in the next two campaigns, Spurs earned its promotion to the top-flight by winning the division title in 1949/50.
Tottenham returned to the First Division in 1950/51 and went on to secure its maiden First Division title immediately after securing its promotion from the 2nd tier. The club could not defend its crown however after finishing as runners-up behind Manchester United at the end of 1951/52.
Spurs dropped down to 10th position in 1952/53 and fell further down the standings to end up in the bottom-half for the next couple of seasons. In the 1955/56 campaign, it barely managed to dodge relegation after finishing the season just 2 points above the drop-zone in 18th place.
Nevertheless, Tottenham bounced back strongly to finish as runners-up of the First Division in 1956/57 and it kept up its form by taking 3rd spot at the end of 1957/58. However, Spurs endured a bleak campaign in 1958/59 with the club finishing the season way down in 18th position.
Once again, Tottenham made a strong comeback from a poor season and ended the 1959/60 season in 3rd place. In 1960/61, Spurs enjoyed its most successful campaign after clinching its 2nd top-division title. The club then lifted its 3rd FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Leicester City in the final to complete the double.
In 1961/62, Tottenham lost its league-title to Ipswich Town after finishing the season in 3rd place. But the club was able to retain the FA Cup after defeating Burnley 3-1 in the final. Spurs had also advanced to the semi-final of the European Cup where it was beaten by Portuguese champions Benfica.
Spurs challenged for the First Division title again in 1962/63 but ended as the runners-up behind Everton. Tottenham ended the campaign with a comprehensive 5-1 victory against Atlético Madrid in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, making it the first English club to win a continental competition.
With a squad featuring several international stars, Tottenham occupied the top-end of the First Division for much of the 1960’s. In 1966/67, it finished the league in 3rd spot once again. It then beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final to win the trophy for a 3rd time within the decade.
Tottenham finished the First Division campaign in 3rd position once more in 1969/70. Earlier in the season, it defeated Aston Villa 2-0 to win the League Cup for the first time. Spurs went on to the League Cup for a 2nd time in 1972/73 courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Norwich City.
Into the Modern Age
In 1973/74, Tottenham finished the season in 10th place of the First Division. It reached the UEFA Cup final but lost 4-2 on aggregate to Feyenoord Rotterdam. In the following 1974/75 campaign, Spurs narrowly avoided relegation after finishing just 1 point above the drop-zone in 19th position.
After moving up to mid-table in the next campaign, Tottenham ended 1976/77 in 22nd position of the First Division and was relegated to the 2nd tier. But the club was able to earn an immediate promotion back to the top-flight by taking 3rd spot of the Second Division in 1977/78.
Having returned to the First Division, Tottenham ended the league in 11th spot in 1978/79 and went on to establish itself as a decent mid-table side in the early 1980’s. In 1982/83, it lifted the FA Cup for the 5th time during its centenary edition with a 3-2 win over Man City in the final.
In 1981/82, Tottenham reached the League Cup final where it lost 1-3 to Liverpool before ending the league in 4th position. Spurs went to the final of the FA Cup once again and successfully defended its title by defeating Queens Park Rangers 1-0 in a replay after the first game ended in a stalemate.
Tottenham picked up the UEFA Cup for the 2nd time in 1982/83 by beating Belgian side Anderlecht in the final after a penalty-shootout. Spurs resided at the top-end of the First Division for much of the decade, taking 3rd spot in 1984/85, 1986/87 and 1989/90. It had also lost the FA Cup final 3-2 to Coventry City in 1986/87.
The Contemporary Period
At the start of the 1990’s, the stature of the club had somewhat dimmed from the last decade after dropping down to the mid-table. In 1990/91 the club had finished the season in 10th position but went on to add another FA Cup title after beating Nottingham Forest 2-1in the final.
The Premier League Era
For the 1992/93 campaign, Tottenham Hotspur became one of the founding members of the Premier League which became the new top-flight of English football. Spurs did not make much headway in the inaugural season of the new division, taking 8th place at the end of the campaign.
During the 1990’s, despite attracting some major international stars, Tottenham consistently finished in the mid-table without achieving any real success. In 1998/99 Spurs won the League Cup with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City in the final which was its only trophy of the decade since joining the Premier League.
Tottenham continued to be a regular mid-table team of the Premier League in the immediate years after the turn of the millennium while its bitter rivals Arsenal grew into a dominant team. The club reached the final of the League Cup in 2001/02 but could not lift the trophy after being defeated 2-1 by Blackburn Rovers.
In 2005/06, Tottenham produced its best Premier League campaign by finishing the season in 5th spot before repeating the achievement in the following 2006/07 campaign. It lifted the League Cup in 2007/08 after beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final. It went to the League Cup final in 2008/09 but lost to Man Utd on penalties.
Tottenham Hotspur obtained 4th position at the end of the 2009/10 season to earn qualification to the UEFA Champions League for the first time. The club enjoyed a strong debut campaign in the competition, progressing up to the quarterfinals where it bowed to record champions Real Madrid.
In the opening half of the 2010’s, Spurs was able to assert itself as one of the best sides of the Premier League by registering consecutive top-6 finishes from 2010/11-2014/15 despite continually losing its best players to the major European clubs. Spurs also went to the final of the League Cup in 2014/15, losing 2-0 to Chelsea.
During the 2015/16 campaign, Spurs emerged as one of the contenders for the Premier League trophy but it crumbled under the pressure and eventually fell back to a distant 3rd spot in the end. In 2016/17, the club notched its best performance in the Premier League after ending as runners-up to Manchester City.
Spurs finished the 2017/18 campaign in 3rd spot of the Premier League, thereby earning its 3rd straight top-3 finish. In 2018/19, Tottenham managed to reach the UEFA Champions League final for the first time but suffered a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool after a tame performance.
In 2019/20, Spurs finished the Premier League in 6th spot which ensured that the club remained in the top-6 for each of the previous 10 seasons. That run was broken in 2020/21 when it ended the season in 7th place. It finished as runners-up of the League Cup as well after a 0-1 defeat against Man City.
For the Premier League 2021/22 campaign Nuno Espirito Santo was named as the new manager but was dismissed less than 6 months later. Antonio Conte came in as the successor and revived the side although it did take him a while to make an impact. Yet all is well that ends well and Spurs were able to earn 4th spot in the Premier League on the final day.
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