Why Enic is saying goodbye by Devonian., thread from another forum There comes a time in everybody’s career to realise that the time is up and that the original dreams, and subsequent reformed dreams, are no longer achievable so it is time to pack up and make the most out of the situation and walk away with a smile. I refer to ENIC. I am fully aware of the current crisis and this is not a knee jerk reaction to what is happening – it is to remind everybody as to what ENIC was attempting and showing the failure of its initial strategy and why it started to look for buyers as from May 2007. Before ENIC bought any part of THFC it embarked, in the mid-to-late 1990s, on a plan to buy a major football club in every European country. The intention was to pool resources and even players, to cash in on football's revival and television windfalls across the Continent. By the time ENIC bought into THFC the Company owned large stakes in Vicenza in Italy, FC Basle in Switzerland, AEK Athens, Slavia Prague and a big portion of Glasgow Rangers in Scotland. This portfolio turned out to be fraught with difficulties. In May 1998, after Slavia and AEK qualified for the UEFA Cup, UEFA ruled that two clubs in "common ownership" could not play in the same competition. ENIC spent £1.3 million appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, which allowed AEK and Slavia to compete pending its decision but ultimately upheld UEFA’s ruling because ENIC owned more than 50 percent of both clubs. UEFA now wants to develop that measure into a set of powers to better protect the game's integrity (and rightly so IMO). Levy described the decision then as "a retrograde step for football in Europe", but with its multi-ownership plan in tatters, ENIC began to sell all the clubs except THFC. After AEK and Basle were offloaded, ENIC sold its 20.2% stake in Rangers in August 2004, then Vicenza three months later. It also reduced its 96.7% ownership of Slavia Prague down to 39%. As the governing body of European football would not allow multi-ownership of football clubs (and was never going to allow it) ENIC then embarked on another strategy of securing “strategic partnerships” with other football clubs on a global basis. This strategy required a top class professional who had contacts in all parts of the globe (including South America) and who was admired and was accepted into both boardrooms and training grounds around the world. That man was seen to be Frank Arnesen. Arnesen was known to have an eye for up and coming talent but was also known to be able to forge strategic partnerships – such arrangements are beneficial to all parties and works in all fields of business and is capable of working in football with the right personnel. We all know what happened with Arnesen and we all know that Comolli was brought in to replace him. There has been enough discussion on the merits of having him at the Club but the role of Sporting Director was always a good idea – that role was never about him just buying players and scouting – it was also about creating strategic partnerships globally which Arnesen is doing extremely well. That role is akin to an iceberg – 90% of the work that is done is not seen. The role also involved bringing best practice to the Club after liaising with other Clubs – please remember what Levy said about Comolli the day he joined us: "I believe he will be a huge asset to the club with his forward thinking approach to international networking and partnerships. His achievements at St Etienne show that he is also ideally suited to bring best practice to our training facilities, academy and medical divisions." I am certainly not defending Comolli, as personally I dislike the man and I feel that he has failed in some areas of his tasks, but the role is crucial to the overall strategy of THFC. That strategy has not been successful and as such we are just another PL Club in respect of that we do not have any advantage of securing young and exciting players from across the globe without paying through the nose. So, the original strategy of ENIC has failed (and was always doomed to fail) as multi-ownership of clubs was never going to be agreed by UEFA. The next strategy has also failed as we do not have the network of partners (Clubs) that we can depend upon to have a free flow of trading players – them to us and vice versa. As the overall strategy has failed then it follows that a key component of that strategy (i.e. Sporting Director) is superfluous to requirements. We certainly have enough financial clout via our normal trading partners and by using Puma alone we could have secured top class partnerships. The situation is that THFC needs to compete on the open market vis a vis buying players and the only way we have been able to spend out so much is due to the negotiating skills of Levy – all very commendable but that is not good for the long term security of THFC. If Levy goes then we just cannot afford to buy the players we need to be successful unless we greatly increase our revenue streams. The Club cannot rely upon just good negotiating skills. We all know the requirement of an improved capacity stadium and that issue has been dealt with in other threads – we cannot afford a new stadium by ourselves – ENIC will not pay out the money as that is not what they do. ENIC has failed with its strategies of trying to make THFC different from every other Club and to give us an advantage – they will never openly admit to failing but failed they have – they also know that they do not have the financial muscle to compete at the top so there is only one way out. They signalled their intentions to all shareholders in the letter to shareholders of 5July 2007 which stated: In recent months a number of other clubs in the FA Premier League have experienced changes of ownership and seen significant investor interest from domestic and overseas entities. The Independent Directors believe that, given the strong prospects for Tottenham Hotspur, in future there is the potential for a further offer for Tottenham Hotspur at a premium to the Offers made today. It is not a case of IF we are being sold – it is a case of WHEN.