Lay off Levy

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Finally it is the end of the 2015 summer transfer window. I sound relieved don’t I? The transfer window doesn’t just take its toll on managers, players and executives, but the fans as well. The constant wheel of speculation and rumours is just as exciting as it is draining. Immediately after the transfer window closed on Tuesday, the criticism of Daniel Levy was coming in thick and fast. The general consensus was that Levy had failed to adequately bolster the squad this summer. In recent days Levy has been criticised from every corner, adding fuel to the ‘Levy out” brigade. However, is this criticism really fair?

Let’s first look at the positives of the transfer window for Tottenham. We have strengthened one of the worst defences of last season, by bringing in Toby Alderwiereld, Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer. Alderwiereld, last season, proved himself as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, and his arrival in N17 has been seen somewhat as a coup considering the shortage of quality centre-backs on the market. Trippier adds depth and quality to what was a problem position last summer, and his arrival will hopefully force an improvement in Kyle Walker’s performances this season. Wimmer is an unknown quantity, but he is young, has potential and gives us another option as a natural left-footer in the centre of defence. Mauricio Pochettino was desperate for his side to improve defensively this season, and it seems as if he has got his first choice targets to now fulfil his wish. The Club also added two young attackers in Heung-Min Son and Clinton N’Jie from Bayern Leverkusen and Lyon respectively. Both are touted as being exciting, direct, pacey young forwards who have a penchant for creating and scoring goals. For many fans, this is exactly what the side was missing last season. Although, their impact will of course depend on just how quickly they can settle into a new country, culture and league.

Apart from bringing new players in, the Club also engaged in a mass fire sale this summer which saw nine first-team players leave, including two of the most expensive flops in the Club’s history, Paulinho and Roberto Soldado. The majority of these nine had severely disappointed during their spells at the Club. Daniel Levy took the unprecedented step of selling many of these players at a loss, taking a combined £23.2 million hit on Soldado and Paulinho. Levy did this to help Pochettino, who wanted a much thinner squad this season. However, there was much frustration that the Club missed out on signing a defensive midfielder and a striker, with moves for Victor Wanyama and Saido Berainho both hitting brick walls. Some fans resorted to calling for the return of free agent, Dimitar Berbatov, such was their desperation to see the Club bring in some support for Harry Kane. Levy was castigated by fans, journalists, celebrity footballers and everybody else who wanted to jump on to the ‘Levy out’ bandwagon for this perceived failure.

Levy, since becoming Chairman of Tottenham in 2001, has overseen, and been responsible for, the transition of the Club from being lowly league finishers, to being one of the best financially run clubs in world football and being regulars in European competitions. To add to that, Levy has built a world-class training ground, and has overseen the initial development process of a new 56,000 seater stadium, that he promises will take the Club to the ‘next level’. These achievements are sadly overlooked, especially during the transfer window when fans get frustrated that Levy fails to spend the vast sums that our rivals do. Levy certainly has his faults, of that there can be no doubt. However, he is learning from past mistakes. For example, he has completely revamped the Club’s recruitment setup that has previously cost Tottenham so dearly. Furthermore, this summer Levy decided not to pay over the odds and not to panic buy. These have been pivotal mistakes that he has made in the past, which have set the Club’s development back. Just look to the 2013 summer transfer window as evidence. Pochettino’s philosophy is that it is better to wait until the right players become available at the right price, and Levy is now buying into that. There is now a long-term vision at the Club, shared by the Chairman and the Head Coach. This is something that should be celebrated by every Tottenham fan. Levy is frustrating, but he has done a huge amount for this football club and he is slowly learning from his mistakes, which will help the Club improve in the long-term. You only need to look back to the reign of Alan Sugar before criticising him too much.

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    • I think Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Man U and even Liverpool with ensure that until we up our income. We need more revenue from sponsorship deal and that where the new stadium will help. Levy is very good for Spurs and I hope he stays for a very long time.

    • Levy is the best Chairman in the league , with him around Spurs will always be able a well run club. I cant see anyone coming in and doing a better job than Levy…..

  1. absolutely right Paddy, why didnt he spend a billion pounds we didnt have on players we couldnt attract?? But why let facts get in teh way of a good Levy bashing eh?

  2. Yes he is a good business man but NOT a football man. Time and time again we miss out on players for small amounts and time and time again we finish 5th because of, we buy late and then no pre season and players take time to adapt. I would love to know if he is on share of the annual profit, I suspect he is, then that would explain his attitude. Make his bonus, for finishing 4th or better and we would see a different story

    • Please be reminded that part of the club's revenue is based on league position which will be factored into the annual profit. There is thus no conflict between annual profit and league position. Your argument is flawed.

  3. A well balanced article. Give credit where it is due. It is easy for people, like Paddy, to make bland, off-the-cuff comments, simple fact is they wouldn’t have a clue how to run a football club, let alone do Daniel Levy’s job. Keep up the good work Daniel.

  4. I agree with the article.
    Under Levy and Co, Spurs are now the leading construction club in PL (new academy facilities, new stadium, etc.) and in buying and selling players.
    Leaving the rest of the clubs to pride themselves only with glory on the field which it is important only for football clubs.
    We should be proud for having such intelligent owners and support their commercial plans.

  5. Beano you clown, the club is run for a profit, pure and simple. Levy invests in capital growth projects like the training ground and stadium (which will be a soulless corporate arena no matter how excited you are about the kop stand, with plenty of empty seats, and extortionate ticket prices), and when it's all done will sell to the highest bidder which will probably be some crazy American who wants to make us an MLS franchise.

    The man doesn't care one jot about the fans and long-term future of the club, and is just in it to line the pockets of multi-billionaire Joe Lewis. This is a man that tried to rip the heart out of the club by moving us to Stratford as it was the cheaper more profitable option, a man that sacks a manager in the middle of a game, and a man that hides behind puppets going under such titles as ‘Head of Recruitment’ and ‘Director of Football’ because he’s so ruthless people no longer want to work with him.

    This boring argument I keep hearing that we’re in a better position than we were under Sugar is ridiculous. Anyone that says Bergkamp doesn’t represent value for money and then buys Chris Armstrong for not much less (or not as much as you’d like) clearly shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a football club, and anyone that sees the nonsense he regularly comes out with on Twitter will know that the man has an unbelievably limited understanding of the game. But that doesn’t mean we should just accept this lack of ambition, and lack of investment in the playing squad, while they pocket the sky money or invest it in assets in which they’ll get a massive return.

    We’ll just keep going round in circles, and forever be an average team (hovering anywhere between 5th and mid-table), with a constant management merry-go-round (with them getting left out to dry to take the blame for Levy’s lack of ambition). It’s all so predictable and won’t change until Joe Lewis sells up. The club deserves better.

    #Net Spend last 5 YearsPurchased GrossSoldNettPer Season

    1Manchester City£472,700,000£150,300,000£322,400,000£64,480,000
    2Manchester United£440,200,000£139,500,000£300,700,000£60,140,000
    6West Ham£109,900,000£16,500,000£93,400,000£18,680,000
    9Crystal Palace£74,635,000£23,900,000£50,735,000£10,147,000
    14West Bromwich Albion£74,750,000£24,509,000£50,241,000£10,048,200
    11Stoke City£70,250,000£24,100,000£46,150,000£9,230,000
    15Norwich City£63,575,000£19,650,000£43,925,000£8,785,000
    12Aston Villa£123,850,000£90,200,000£33,650,000£6,730,000

    Might be a season out of date, but you get the point.

    • Have you ever wondered why we are at the bottom of the list? Did it ever occur to you that other clubs don't have players they could sell for a cool 85m or Modric for 36m? I guess it's Levy's fault. If we sold Bale for 10 m, we'll be much higher up in the list. It's ridiculous to suggest that we are stinging so much that even Watford is spending more than us. Quoting statistics, especially net without analysis is highly misleading.

  6. Do we crave trophies or Financial gain. Levy has been great if you're into making money but total rubbish if you wish to see Spurs win anything.

  7. ..when you see the Levy era as a Whole, there is big steps made by Tottenham. I read an article With this Dier guy who signed a New deal and he made Points about the Club had a good future, New stadium on the way and jolly good training facilities. Maybe convert Alli to Striker?! ..or to also play as a striker. I think he would be great there! :)

  8. The first thing anyone will want for their company is to make an annual profit. If you don't make a profit eventually the company will end up bankrupt and that will be the end of that. Levy is a very good business man who will not under any circumstances will let us go back to how we were in the 90's where we were really struggling financially. You can't spend what you don't have. Teams like Chelsea and Man City have had people coming into the club with huge amounts of money which is why they don't even blink at spending 30 or 40 million on a player. We do not have that money so we cannot attract those sort of players.
    In my book Levy is doing a fantastic job and long may it continue. If you want to blame someone, blame the people who hand him a players name to buy that end up being total pants.


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