My last article (The Transfer Window and Levy) caused a bit of a stir on SpursWeb and other social media sites. Of course, there was a lot of positiveness from those that understood what Daniel Levy was doing and has done, but the unconstructiveness (putting it politely) of those that hate Levy is where I shall focus this article.
Somebody wrote that Levy kept the club from winning Silverware because of his “tight grip” overall financial matters. This is the best one to start with:-
This doesn’t make sense (and is an absurd statement); there are clubs with less money than us that have won trophies, and those with more that haven’t. Just think of Wigan (FA Cup), Portsmouth (FA Cup), Wimbledon and Coventry (both FA Cup), Swansea City (League Cup), Birmingham City (LC), Middlesbrough (LG) and the list goes, so making such a statement doesn’t make sense or add up.
Whether one gets to the final is down to the manager, not the board (whether they are given adequate funds or not). All directors would love to visit Wembley and sit with the Queen or whomever (it is good prestige for them). And we could look at it another way, those clubs that have had money to throw at their managers haven’t always made it to Wembley.
It is true that we haven’t won a trophy since 2008 (but did get to the Final twice in 2009 and 2015). But is that down to the Director? Or the man he employees? Picking a manager is down to luck and other factors. Take winning the league. Just look at Leicester City, they won the league with less money than Spurs has. Take this season, United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal all spent more money than us but couldn’t win the league. If we want to point the finger at Levy, then it would be for getting it incorrect in appointing the wrong manager. But no director has a crystal ball, just look at United and after Furgeson left. Two managers were sacked in succession, and the third only managed second spot (even with all that money they were given).
Some say that Joe Lewis and Levy should put their hands in their pockets. Why? Because they are rich, is the answer. Rich doesn’t equal spare cash.
They may be millionaires or billionaires, but we don’t know how much they have in hard cash or just hard assets. That money could be tied up in businesses, art etc. And let us say that they did put their hands in their pockets. What next? The Levy hatters would be demanding the same for the year after, ad-infinitum. That would be foolish and damn stupid.
Clubs should be self-sufficient. Sugar took over a company from near bankruptcy. When Levy and Lewis took it over it was in the black, but not enough to spend wildly. And the current structure (then) wasn’t good enough to compete in the same way as the United’s, City’s, Arsenal’s and Liverpool’s of this world. And, of course, our stadium needed improving (a 35,000 seater stadium was not good enough for the modern era). So a long-term project was necessary to put in place. The Tottenham board started buying up properties around WHL (which would give the club more revenue, other than money coming from the stadium and merchandise). When it is all up and running Tottenham FC can get rent from those buildings around the stadium (such as Sainsbury’s is now paying). Of course, this isn’t going to be achieved overnight).
In the meantime, Tottenham Hotspur FC must rely on their own resources to get up the league table and win any trophies they can on the way.
Now let us look at resources. If you take the latest figures from Deloitte’s (Deloitte is one of the “Big Four”; accounting organisations), you will see that Spurs are rated the 11th richest club in the world. Out of the English clubs, we are 6th, behind Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, City, with United being the richest (and the richest in the world).
So, to achieve more we must build an enterprise that can put us further up the ladder of the world’s wealthiest clubs. As I said, we are rated 6th richest club in England. That means for the last couple of years we’ve been punching above our weight. When we were around the 6th position in the league (pre-Pochettino), we were where our finances dictated. Thanks to Pochettino (and Harry Redknapp) we’ve managed to get into the top four. And those clubs below us (2017/18), Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have been performing poorly (if you consider they are richer than us).
Somebody said, “If Levy had put more money into Spurs we would have won the league”. Really? Liverpool, Chelsea, United and Arsenal all put more money in than Levy, and none of them could win the league. So, it isn’t just money alone. And only the wealthiest club in the world ended up above us (and less wealthy, than United, ended up winning it: actually City are the second wealthiest club in the table). A lot of Levy haters don’t actually put their brain into gear when criticising. Shouldn’t we thank Levy and Pochettino for what they’ve achieved with such limited resources? And what they could achieve once all the pieces are put together. Levy & co are creating something that will make Spurs one of
the wealthiest clubs in the world.
Before we went into the Premier League, we were regarded as “the Bank of England”, and when we entered the Premier League, we began as one of the top five teams in England. Irvin Scholar started the processes of trying to build something better at Tottenham, as he realised that the club had limits, but too many bad business deals put the club on the rocks). Somebody criticised Levy for “overshooting” on our initial £400 million for the stadium. Clearly a comment from an ignoramus. When planning such a structure, as the new stadium, you can only work on the prices (raw materials) at the time (not by crystal ball). Inflation, Brexit etc. can, and did, push up the prices, that is outside anybody’s control. Not everybody who disagrees with me are Levy haters, but the majority
“Profit is the game for ENIC, not trophies.” Profits is the name of the game for any respectable company. Just ask City, United, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, and the list goes on. Without the focus being on profits then forget trophies. But both can go hand in hand. In fact, higher positions can add to profits as well. All excellent and sound companies must have at their forefront profit-making, otherwise, you could end up on a dangerous edge. Without profits, one can easily slip under. And if that happens, then the finger will be pointed at Levy for the reckless behaviour of dealing out Tottenham Hotspur money. As people criticised Irvin Scholar.
You must also remember something else; for Levy to fill that stadium and being in the top four, then success must be achieved on the field. Below fourth spot means Europa league, which equates to less money (in both league position and none-European Champions football). So if profit and trophies weren’t the name of the game then that would be a good enough reason to sack Levy and the board.
I’ve covered most of the criticism of Levy/ my article, but that won’t satisfy those that have tunnel vision and only want to be driven on by their hate of our saviour.
The good news is, and going by social media etc., most Tottenham supporters have enough savvy to understand what Levy is doing and has done for our club. He hasn’t always got it right (such as picking the manager), but then what director has?
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