Daniel Philip Levy. No chairman seems to divide football opinion quite like Mr Levy, but why is this? Why does the longest-serving Premier League chairman come under such scrutiny, routinely around January and June?
Levy joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2001, and still retains his chair at the forefront of the club. He has overseen some momentous leaps and bounds forward in his time as Tottenham chairman. Levy helped to bring Spurs back onto the European stage in 2006, and since then, Tottenham have only missed out on qualification once in 12 seasons.
In 2010, the Lilywhites finished in the top four, winning entry to the coveted Champions League for the first time ever. Through the following season, the North London underdogs battled their way past both Inter and AC Milan, making it all the way to the quarter-finals on their first attempt.
Tottenham are now Champions League regulars, which is no mean fete in the modern Premier League. Spurs have challenged for titles and trophies consistently since the arrival of Pochettino, despite falling painfully short each time so far.
Levy held off bids from Premier League rivals for midfield maestro Luka Modric in the summer of 2011, and when he, Gareth Bale, and Kyle Walker made their preferences to leave abundantly clear, Daniel Levy managed to negotiate over £170m for the trio.
Levy then employed managers like AVB, Tim Sherwood, and Pochettino, who all believe strongly in giving youth a chance in football. Despite selling some of the club’s biggest players, the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Harry Winks, Andros Townsend, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb were all integrated into the first team with huge success. Levy also helped champion a new ruling regarding the number of substitutions permitted, which has now been adopted across the league and serves to encourage the progress and inclusion of young players.
The chairman managed to secure Tottenham a move to the historic Wembley stadium, home of the England football team, while Spurs’ brand new £800m stadium was under construction. It is this new 60,000+ stadium that Tottenham will now grace in the 2018/19 season.
During the season at Wembley, Spurs managed to finish in third place, despite having to play 38 games away from home. Tottenham set a new Premier League attendance record that year, making their way to another Champions League quarter final, beating Borussia Dortmund and holders Real Madrid along the way.
Off the pitch, Levy recently attracted big sponsorship deals from Nike and AIA, bringing in new funds to pay towards the stadium.
Daniel directed the planning and construction of Tottenham’s new state-of-the-art training base in 2012, a training base that Brazil would use in the preparations for their 2018 World Cup bid.
The club also looks to create a positive impact on the community, and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation now employs over 200 staff to better the lives of those in the area.
In November 2017, Levy was named CEO of the year at the Football Business Awards.
This man attends every Tottenham Hotspur game. He celebrates every goal like a fan. So why is he mocked a ridiculed by so many?
Levy has always run the club as a business, looking to make smart financial decisions to drive the club forward. New facilities and giving youth a chance has provided a golden generation team for Spurs, and more importantly a settled squad.
When he has the funds available, and the right players at the right prices, he has been more than happy to dip into the transfer market. Over the past two years, Tottenham’s wage structure has been called into question, and so during this transfer window, Levy has started to pen new deals for the top players, offering them wages comparable to other big clubs.
So, should he be hounded for trying to get the best deals and do best by his club?
Would you like Levy to do more, or do you trust him to take the club forward?
Besides Kyle Walker, who has been beautifully replaced by Kieran Trippier, Tottenham have retained their biggest players across multiple Premier League seasons.
Despite not buying any players in the current transfer window, and the possibility of losing Toby Alderweireld, by now, does Daniel Levy deserve the trust, patience and belief from Tottenham fans, and the general footballing world?
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