Ex-Chairman Lord Alan Sugar insists Tottenham are now the kind of club that, back in his day, Spurs players asking to leave, wanted to join.
In two successive seasons, Spurs have broken their Premier League record for highest final position in the table, finishing 3rd last season and seemingly destined for 2nd this season. Tottenham have been involved in two title races over those two seasons, however have failed to pick up a trophy of any kind.
Sugar, who relinquished control of the club in 2001, feels as though the offer of Champions League football and potential title glory is more than enough to keep the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane at the club, who are to move into a new £750 million, state-of-the-art stadium for the 2018-19 season.
He told BBC 5 Live’s Sportsweek program: “We are a club which are potentially Premier League champions. I mean we ended up second this year and therefore we have Champions League football and that’s what most of the players want to be in. They want to be in Champions League football.”
“In my day the big excuse for people like Sol Campbell leaving was ‘I’m leaving because I want Champions League football’. That was their statement, now there’s no excuse because we’ve got it at Tottenham Hotspur.”
“The only other reason that they might want to leave our club is that they’re only being paid x amount and someone has offered them two x. The manager is the one who needs to step in and convince the player that he’s better off staying where he is now rather than going somewhere else. We’re a good club now. We have the potential to win the league.”
“I don’t see any excuse for any of our players leaving. To go where? Where would they go? Manchester United? They’re a good club of course but this year and the year before they didn’t really demonstrate that they were what they were when Sir Alex was in charge.”
“Chelsea, they’re very up and down. They’ve got a new manager now but they’ve had periods when they haven’t performed either. So much so that last year the anomaly was that Leicester were able to take advantage of the misfortune of all the top clubs that weren’t really playing their top performance.”
Sugar also ascertained that, should crucial members of the first team jump ship, there is reason to believe that the senior management can help to develop a similar level of talent coming through the youth system.
He added: “I think Pochettino and the back-up team at Spurs are very much orientated about bringing young players through. And, let’s be fair, no-one ever heard of Dele Alli two years ago and no-one ever heard of Kane two years ago.”
“And I think they’ve got more Kanes and Allis sitting there lined up in the youth that have seen what’s happened with those chaps, and I often say that no one is bigger than the club.”
“It would be a horrible thing if they went but you cannot live your life worrying about one or two people holding you to ransom, if you like, for the benefit of the club.”
Sugar also made a note on what he expects to be an emotional day at White Hart Lane, as the Stadium closes its gates for the last time in a game against Manchester United.
He said: “Of course there will be sadness there when they start to tear that down. I built the stadium. I built the north stand. I built the south stand.”
“Not just me but the core of the existing 30,000 fans, for example, there will be a certain sadness about it. But I don’t think we should be too sad because we are literally moving 150 yards to the left, so we’re not exactly like Arsenal coming out of where they came and going around the corner.”
“It’s going to be a fantastic leading-edge technology stadium. I’ve seen all the plans and everything and watched it grow. I think it’ll be the best stadium in England to be honest with you. Very innovative.”
However Sugar did warn that a bigger income will not automatically bring success with it.
He said: “Bigger revenues doesn’t mean you’re going to win the Premier League. I mean it’s got nothing to do with it at all.
“Bigger revenues help you, assist you, in the transfer market to buy more players but it’s all really down to the manager. It’s down to the type of players that you buy.”
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