I have been considering the transfer window and it was truly a roller coaster ride this summer.
Every fan always hopes that their chairman will back their manager, provide funds for new players and retain their best old players.
In my opinion, the two most comparable examples here have been Tottenham and Liverpool. Both made significant acquisitions, both had a star player courted by Real Madrid.
To start with Liverpool, Brendan Rogers was given the funds to acquire, in no particular order, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori, Simon Mignolet, Aly Cissokho and even a loan fee for Victor Moses.
The outlay is alleged to have been approximately £60 million.
In turn they sold, in no particular order, Andy Carroll, Oussama Assaidi, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey.
The amount of funds recouped here amounting to approximately £26 million.
This means that during the course of the transfer window Liverpool backed Brendan Rogers to the tune of £34 million. That is money they will not see back. It is investment, in the squad, in the ability of the manager.
Liverpool did have a notable opportunity to offset this expenditure through allowing the sale of Luis Suarez.
Arsenal offered £40 million, Real Madrid courted the player and could obviously have afforded £40, 50, 60 million, whatever Liverpool wanted really!
The club themselves could have been forgiven for choosing to cash in. He is clearly not the easiest player to manage. He declared his desire to leave, handed in a transfer request. He also isn’t exactly the model player. Currently suspended for the first 6 games, Liverpool again could have been forgiven for selling him, and in Alberto and Aspas they have already invested in replacements.
But Liverpool did not sell Luis Suarez. They cut their losses and allowed Brendan Rogers to strengthen and retain his best player. Their position remained the same throughout the off-season, Luis Suarez was not for sale. They fulfilled this promise to the players and the fans.
Liverpool currently top the Barclays Premier League table. While I am not suggesting this is related, the knowledge your best player is staying regardless of offers and will be coming back to strengthen you, must be a serious motivator. Also seeing that the club has backed the manager is surely to have a positive effect, morale must be sky high at the Merseyside club.
Now I will consider Tottenham.
AVB was given the funds to acquire seven players, including, in no particular order, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches.
This has been reported to have been for a total of approximately £109 million.
In return they released Steven Caulker, Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Clint Dempsey, Massimo Luongo and of course, Gareth Bale.
These sales provided an approximate recuperation of £108.7 million.
This means that amount of transfer funds invested into the club, without any potential for return, is £300,000.
Or, if you would rather, one weeks salary for new Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale.
And in truth I do not know how to feel about this. Had the sale of Bale always been the plan?
Daniel Levy stated he would not be leaving (similar to how the Liverpool confirmed that Luis Suarez would not be leaving), yet this has proven to be as honourable a promise as one you might expect from a babysitting Jimmy Saville…”Oh of course I won’t touch your kids! Don’t be silly!”
In any event, because I suspect peering further into the murky depths of the Tottenham boards views and contradictions throughout this saga would be a worrying thing, I consider what this amount of £300,000 means.
It means that in comparison to Brendan Rogers who go to invest £34 million and keep his best player, AVB got to invest just £300,000, and lost his.
I wonder how many more additions could have come in had the board finally backed a Spurs manager to the hilt, without their being some disastrously negative counter balance waiting to be imposed on everyone.
No, we wouldn’t have bought all of our players we eventually did buy, but we still effected sales of £24 million as well.
That would have been £54 million to invest while still keeping Gareth Bale.
Of those we did buy we could have retained Soldado (£26 million), Eriksen (£11 million) and Paulinho (£17 million).
Ultimately we will never know what would have been better, but embedding 3 players in a team is significantly easier than embedding 7.
Likewise, your board having the strength to withhold advances from any club (like Liverpool managed to hold off Real Madrid for Luis Suarez!) for your best player, and then the settling effect of knowing who will be at the club next year, cannot fail to have a motivational and team building effect!
I really hope that another years failure to back a manager will not come back to haunt Daniel Levy, and even more, I hope that next time Real Madrid erect a stage to unveil a player still belonging to Spurs, I hope that two minutes before that player signs the contract Daniel is on the phone uttering these immortal words:
“Mr Perez? Daniel Levy. I’ve changed my mind, transfers off. In the future, don’t fuck with us!”
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