THE LEVY YEARS – TAKING US FORWARD OR HOLDING US BACK? PART THREE

Discussion in 'Columns' started by mawspurs, Sep 9, 2014.

  • by mawspurs, Sep 9, 2014 at 6:58 PM
  • mawspurs

    mawspurs Staff Staff

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    By SC member minesadouble

    Of course, it would be wrong to be naive about ENIC and Levy’s motivation. Equally, it would be unfair to accuse them of reckless greed. There are numerous so-called ‘investors’ in football who have risked (and sometimes destroyed) clubs purely in the hope of personally making a fast buck. The primary duty of a football club chairman / owner is never to risk the club. Technically, like any company, a football club belongs to its shareholders, and its directors have statutory obligations to the shareholders, creditors, employees, etc. But, morally, a football club is different to virtually every other commercial enterprise. It ‘belongs’ to its community and its fans. As many of us say; owners, directors, managers and players, all come and go. We are the only true constant.

    In my opinion, Levy has made some mistakes (who hasn’t). We can argue about the manager-go-round, the treatment of Jol, the sacking of Harry, the failure to invest during January transfer windows, etc. We can even debate the rise in Levy’s remuneration from £250,000 p.a. in 2004 to currently around £2 million p.a. (still less than the likes of Gazidis, Gill and Cook earn or earned).

    But what I don’t think we can do is accuse Levy of is either (i) trying to make a quick buck or (ii) taking undue risks with our club. And Joe Lewis may not have been an Abramovich or Al Mubarak but then he hasn’t been a Glazer or Gillett & Hicks either. The Bale money was reinvested not transferred to the Bahamas.

    The fact is that Levy has to try and operate a commercial business in an industry that often defies commercial logic. The new FFP rules are designed to help Spurs compete with the likes of Man City and Chelsea (deeper pockets) but they actually make it harder for us to compete with United and Arsenal (higher revenues that comply with FFP rules). Spurs have basically been playing catch up since the early 1990s when the Sky money moved the goalposts but Alan Sugar got burned by Carlos Kickaball. The Nineties were our ‘lost decade’.

    In 2013, Spurs revenues were £147 million, split into Match Receipts (£34m), TV & Media (£57m) and everything else in Commercial Activities (£56m). Our match receipts are much lower than United and Arsenal and are (I think) the lowest of the Top 6. Like all the Top 6, we basically play to capacity crowds in the PL every fortnight, so our annual Match Receipt revenues at WHL can only really change according to price inflation and cup success.

    Although Spurs have gained from the inexorable rise in TV revenues, they do nothing to close the gap between us and other members of the Top 6, who receive slightly more. Our sponsorship revenues (shirts etc.) are rising but we still lag behind the big United and Liverpool commercial deals.

    In the future, a new stadium combined with our waiting list for season tickets should enable us to compete on more equal footing (obviously, in the meantime CL qualification and successful cups runs will help too!). But for now, the unavoidable truth is that Levy only really has profitable player trading at his disposal to ‘defy financial gravity’. There is no magic wand.

    And this, I believe, is the heart of the problem. Some fans want us to spend millions that we simply don’t have. We don’t generate the cash to splurge on marquee signings (and wages) and we don’t have a sugar daddy to put the money in (even if FFP rules allowed). Of course, there isn’t an absolute ‘shopping list number’ that has to be stuck to. If Schneiderlin had been available at a sensible price, we’d have bought him, but the money would have had to be found from somewhere else, now, or at least next January. And I don’t have time, even in this long article, to get into player salaries, staff costs ratios to turnover, contract amortisation, debt repayments, and the intricacies of the FFP rules. Maybe another day? Suffice to say that these are all complex factors that us fans don’t need to understand in detail but Levy and the board have to.

    I will end by saying that I’m neither a staunch Levy-cheerleader nor a fierce Levy-out critic. But I do have some idea what it’s like to sit in a ‘hot seat’ and I think we could have done a lot worse. Heck, my brother’s a Leeds fan! Just go back to that list of 2006 players one more time. Now picture in your mind, say, Crouchy scoring to beat Man City 1-0 in May 2010, or Bale ordering Maicon a taxi, or our shiny new training Centre on Hotspur Way. On reflection, we have made a great deal of progress over the past decade. And I think Levy deserves his fair share of the credit.
     
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Comments

Discussion in 'Columns' started by mawspurs, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. Lilbaz
    If Levy believes that the manager has lost the backing of the players and the fans, your time is up. He basically said so in the interview with garth crooks.

    You may agree with that or not it's up to you.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Mullers
    David Pleat signed Defoe in 2004, when the season was finished, Pleat did not go back to his DOF role, he was replaced by Arnesen.

    So it appears that Levy didn't have confidence in him either, in which case why are you giving him 7 million to spend when you know that you don't want him there?

    Santini was appointed and Jol was appointed as his assistant by Arnesen. Santini left in 2004 first citing personal issues and then gave the real reason why he left.

    He said:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2390870/Santini-opens-up-over-Spurs-divorce.html

    Danny boy was furious!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2390870/Santini-opens-up-over-Spurs-divorce.html

    Hold up, hold up....woah Nelly.
    You mean to tell me after nearly a whole season of extensive research and the sacking Hoddle and his coaching staff and David Pleat, you ended up appointing the wrong man, who as an inability to achieve success and does not deliver the kind of football you want to see???

    I'd say that was an error..a serious error.
  3. bigspurs
    Exactly. We never know the whole story with regards to Levy sacking managers. However the manner of a lot of these sackings, especially that of Martin Jol does stand out as particularly cold-hearted and untidy. I think Levy may be a bit of a ruthless b*stard to say the least, but then we all know that anyway.

    Basically I think we can safely say after thirteen years in charge, that generally his business sense is much greater than his football sense!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Lilbaz
    Everyone agrees that Levy could have done better appointing managers. There was reasons for appointing them but hindsight (the most powerful weapon in the world) proves they may have got it wrong. Just like 99% of Chairmen the world over.
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  5. davidmatzdorf
    This is a bit daft. In 2001, ENIC had only just taken over and Levy had zero experience of running a fooball club. Oh! He made a mistake. Or even three. What a surprise.

    By 2003/04, he had worked out that the way of doing things that had failed through the '90s was also going to fail in the '00s. So he changed the club's entire approach to squad-building and its managerial structure. How is this bad? It's called learning, adjusting and having the sense to abandon unsuccessful systems. Otherwise known as good management.

    And the result was that we were back in Europe within 2 years.

    If you want to point out his mistakes, point out the chronic one, his most notorious blind spot and the one area in which he has repeatedly refused to learn from failure: his incessant sacking of capable managers in pursuit of further improvement and his inability to see that the instability that he thus creates is what is preventing that further improvement.
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  6. davidmatzdorf
    Defoe signed in Jan 2004. The season was not finished.
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  7. Lilbaz
    Not quite. He'd been director or Rangers for a few years.
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  8. Mullers
    Incorrect David. He was formerly a director at Rangers. If we had won the FA cup in his first season and then gone on to win Blackburn then he would have got credit for it.
    As I've said on many occasions if he can credit he can get blame too. That seems fair enough to me, does that seem fair to you David?
  9. Mullers
    I know that David, bad punctuation on my part, not the first time and certainly won't be the last.
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  10. UbeAstard
    If Mr Levy's attention ever gets drawn to this area of the forum, please accept my thanks as I have long believed your tenancy has bought much more plusses than minusses.

    Thanks
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  11. Moorechild
    Thanks for the article. Very interesting from someone with your perspective. be interested to hear your views on banking and the future of Britains clone high streets as well.
  12. Gaz_Gammon
    A poor decision maker when it comes to hring and firing on managers Levy and ENIC' slegacy will be a bew stadium and running a succcessful PL side. Once the stadium is built and up and running ENIC will sell.

    That is not being a negative regarding ENIC just a point where the retun in investment will be at it's highest given the limited funding of the first team. The increase in capacity and revenue from the new stadium will not mean that the additional money generated will end up on the pitch IMO.
  13. guate
    Excellent read "Minesadouble" and I, along with many of us I'm quite sure, are grateful for the time and research that went into your well thought out article.
    Hopefully another club, a la Citeh, doesn't turn up in the near future to cause us even more delay with our plans for the future.
    (Yes I'm aware that Fair play has come into force but when has that ever stopped an extremely powerful and wealthy businessman from doing what they wish)
  14. Mullers
    Continuing on from my previous posts, after the Santini saga, Jol was appointed and by his own admittance, we were playing the kind of football that Levy wanted to see. The season he took over we finished 9th, two points away European qualification. Then the following season we finished 5th, just missing out on the champions league.
    Our best finish in the premier league EVER.

    So it is somewhat strange that in the next season Jol was expected to get champions league football.

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/250817/Martin-Jol-I-paid-for-Tottenham-top-four-failure

    We got 5th again and in the summer we tapped up Ramos and got caught doing it. With Levy claiming that it was because Jol went for an interview at Newcastle.

    to be continued..
  15. Lilbaz
    Seriously Mullers. Don't try and highjack someone else's thread that they took time to research and write. Do your own.
    You sound like that annoying bloke down the pub. When anyone tells a story he's done it bigger and better. Everyone nods and smiles and thinks what a wanker.
  16. Mullers
    So what you are saying is I should not point out Levy's mistakes in this thread even though the title is
    THE LEVY YEARS – TAKING US FORWARD OR HOLDING US BACK?
    Which is asking a question, giving a choice to a viewer.
    Topic starter didn't say I only want to see views from people who will blow smoke up Levy's arse.

    Why don't you, start your own thread about Levy where only positive views are allowed and I won't post in it, if it is burning your eyes so much that I am pointing out Levy's mistakes?
  17. Lilbaz
    I'm saying discuss his post and the points he made in it. Agree or disagree that's fine. But if you want to start writing your own blog about every mistake Levy (perceived or real) has made over the years, this isn't the place for it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Mullers
    Well yes it is the place for it.
    I think the poster skated over Levy's mistakes and I am expanding on it, I don't want to write a couple of lines about Levy's mistakes and I'm not writing a blog. By all means be as pro Levy as you want, but don't try and stop me from giving my opinions on a topic which is asking a question of the viewer and is not saying only positive views are allowed.

    Like I said if you don't like it, go and start your own Levy appreciation thread.
  19. db1
    The only failure of Levy you're mentioning though is firing managers. We get it. Nearly every club in the world seems to turn managers over quickly though, it's not unique to Levy. I think the Jol one was a big mistake but most of the others were justified.
  20. Mullers
    And the hiring of them.
    With Levy it's always 'he made a mistake, ohh everyone makes mistakes, hindsight is a wonderful thing' etc etc. But nobody affords coaches and players the same kind of luxury, weird that.
    Hossam Ghaly throws his shirt down, he makes one mistake in anger and he is hounded out of the club. There is no, he made a mistake, ahh lets forgive him, we're all human, we all make mistakes.
    It's how dare you throw the shirt down, get the fuck out of the club and don't come back.

    That doesn't seem fair to me.
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