Spurs: Profits without supporters

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

On the 14th August, it was reported by the BBC that 11 of the 20 Premier League clubs have made profits without including the fans money.

Those clubs are Leicester City, West Brom, Burnley, Hull, Southampton, Everton, West Ham, Bournemouth, Swansea and Tottenham.

Tottenham, who we are interested here, made £12.55 million profit without including the money for those that went through the turnstiles. But that is only one side of the story, in Spurs case, we have to pay off nearly a billion for the stadium, then when that is paid off we need to be able to compete and rise above those that are ahead of us in the rich league, Arsenal, Liverpool, United, City and Chelsea. And you probably noticed that these clubs I have mentioned (the clubs above us in the rich league) weren’t included in that assessment. That is because they concentrate their money on building better teams. We are not that stable financially at the moment to do that. Once we are then such observations will be redundant. Clubs like Leicester City, West Brom, Burnley, Hull, Southampton, Everton, West Ham, Bournemouth and Swansea are happy to sit midtable or even try for further up the league table without jeopardising their profit making. I can hear some of you shout, but isn’t that Tottenham/ Levy? No. When Levy came to this club, he said he wanted to see the Glory days back at Tottenham and said that it would take 5 years. Granted, that didn’t materialise as the process of achieving such aims was a more extended project than he realised.

For a start, our old stadium wasn’t suitable for the Premier League, let alone competing with the world’s wealthiest clubs. So Levy had to reassess his predictions and start to build from virtually scratch; a new and larger stadium, plus buying up buildings around the stadium to maximise profits. A long project, a project that isn’t finished yet and won’t be completed until everything is in place. But we are getting there.

One of the first parts of the jigsaw was getting the right manager in place. Eleven attempts at picking the right one (all failed), until finally reaching number 12, MauricioPochettino. Some will argue that it started with Harry Redknapp, who got us into the top four, but I prefer to start with our current manager. Since arriving at the club, he has gone from 5th, 3rd, 2ndand 3rd. The best run we’ve had since entering the Premier league back in 1992.

So, I think the Survey can be a bit misleading where Spurs are concerned. As for needing fans, of course we need them, without fans the players would be playing in a dead tumbleweed stadium. Viewers who even watch the spectacle on TV also want atmosphere at the grounds.

The next question is; should seats be cheaper? I believe in supply and demand. As long as clubs can charge what they want and still bring in the bunters, then we won’t be seeing lower ticket prices anytime soon.

I wrote an article a while back that said that the poor working man has morphed into a more affluent middle-class man (or woman). He has more money in his pockets and in some cases has moved from the cheaper seats to Premium hospitality. Those that haven’t gone that far have upgraded to more expensive season tickets. The new stadium has already sold over 40,000 season ticket (there was a 50,000 waiting list and rising), plus Premium seating has almost sold out as well. Until the money has stopped flowing then nothing will change. Granted supporters will still moan (whether they go or not), but moaning alone won’t prevent the dedicated fan from supplying their first love with money.

The survey is fancy and entertaining reading, but sometimes you have to delve deeper to see the bigger picture.

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  1. Worth a read Don. Don’t forget the time and money that it took to get planning permission to build Spurs Lodge, which has played a part in securing some of our top signings. Although not a season ticket holder, I do think that the club could see loyalty as a 2-way street. Season ticket and match day price rises are at risk of eroding our core fan base (and their kids) which is still predominantly the blue collar worker. Wembley has made Spurs much more accessible and affordable. Ticket income, as you say, is a smaller part of the income now. I recognise what the Chairman has done for the club, but on ticket prices he has overdone it in my opinion. Yes the fans may still pay, but when the Dad in front of me at the Fulham game was paying well over £140 all in to take his two sons to a game, it’s time to think long term.

  2. Well said Don. Spot on. A timely counter to the angst and vitriol directed against Levy and ENIC, especially recently over the new stadium woes and lack of transfer activity. Borne no doubt out of passion but misdirected. One should be careful what you wish for. Those old enough will remember that Spurs were close to oblivion when Alan Sugar with his ‘Apprentice’ Terry Venables supposedly saved the club in the early 90’s. Not a lot really changed even then. I have been a season ticket holder since 1946, and have seen it all – great teams great managers and wonderful football and great players, but in between, years of hopes dashed and cold nights in the old West Stand watching yet another mediocre performance.
    These last few years have been the most stable and promising for a long time for this special Club. A world class training facility, and new stadium being delivered. A fine manager. ‘The project’ is on course. Stick with it. COYS


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