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

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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. minesadouble
    Thanks for all the comments everybody. As I wrote above:

    "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."

    I didn't intend to skate over his mistakes but my article was long enough already! I wanted to focus mainly on the financial side because that doesn't get a lot of airtime on football forums, whereas we've had numerous threads on the 'manager-go-round' as I call it, from Jol to Sherwood.

    I totally agree that any evaluation of Levy wouldn't be all positives. But my question to myself was, have we progressed or gone backwards (judged with hindsight) during his time? My conclusion was that we've definitely moved upwards, but not necessarily in a straight line ! There have been some dips along the way. Some out of Levy's control - Lasagna-gate, Chelsea fluking CL victory - and some for which he could take some of the blame.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. Mullers
    There is no doubt that we have gone forward, no doubt at all. It is not the first time I've seen focus on the financial side but yours is certainly the most comprehensive.

    Levys mistakes of hiring and firing coaches, director of football, faliure to invest at crucial times, failure to bring in certain players are all things that have to be considered when part of the question is, is he holding us back, because it is arguably his decisions that has held us back during certain periods and arguably even now. So it should be looked at in detail, because success on the pitch brings more finances to the club.

    So that's something I'm focusing on.
  3. UbeAstard
    g
    I agree with you on Ghaly and said so at the time.
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  4. ultimateloner
    well structured and reasoned.
  5. Spurs1961
    Thank you for this, Minesadouble. Would be interesting to hear more from you in the future.
  6. playboypaul
    So, do you think Levy is holding us back or taking us forward?
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Mustard

    All you can do is judge him on our performance and achievments/trophy's. We have no idea how someone else/another company would have done because we don't know.

    I think judging him/enic on our potential shows some fairly elementary errors and ponts to a fairly poor tenure imo.

    And thats without going to the whole mess Enic has made of the new stadium.

    Couple that wilth a lack of investment in the team points to a negative. I appreciate the good things such as a world class training facility, although how many players have played in the first team as a direct consequence from there?

    Enic is an inestment company. There is nothing they have done without one eye on a return. They are hardly knights in shining armour.

    Lets not forget that Levy's total wages from when he took over almost add up to how much Enic spent on buying the entire club. With a loss of stadium capacity to boot.

    Now we hear whispers of them wanting to pull out if the right price comes in. Please let's not forget these are business people.
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  8. Lilbaz
    All you can do is judge him on our performance and achievments/trophy's. We have no idea how someone else/another company would have done because we don't know.

    Agreed

    I think judging him/enic on our potential shows some fairly elementary errors and ponts to a fairly poor tenure imo.

    Compared to what? Since 1974 when Nicholson left we have finished in the top 5, 11 times. 6 of those under Levy.

    And thats without going to the whole mess Enic has made of the new stadium.

    Yes it's Levy's fault that british law regarding CPO's is what it is.

    Couple that wilth a lack of investment in the team points to a negative. I appreciate the good things such as a world class training facility, although how many players have played in the first team as a direct consequence from there?

    Currently? Bentaleb, Kane, Townsend, Rose, Cebellos, Mason. Let alone Caulker, Carrol, Livermore. All premiership players that have been a part of our academy in the last 3 years.

    Enic is an inestment company. There is nothing they have done without one eye on a return. They are hardly knights in shining armour.

    Yes, they always have been. Doesn't mean that what is good for Enic is not good for Spurs. Their greatest return would be if we are successful.

    Lets not forget that Levy's total wages from when he took over almost add up to how much Enic spent on buying the entire club. With a loss of stadium capacity to boot.

    Levy in total wages has probably earned around £12m (you can check the financials, it's only the last 2 years he's on £2m a year). Enic spent £22m to buy 30% of the club in 2001. Since then they have spent maybe £100m (including £50m invested by Lewis last summer).

    Now we hear whispers of them wanting to pull out if the right price comes in. Please let's not forget these are business people.

    They are an investment firm and we have allways been for sale. Levy has said so plenty of times.
  9. Mustard
    Exactly
  10. Mustard
    open up my reply
  11. Lilbaz
    Okay i'll number points as this post will get really weird :sneaky:

    1/ it is impossible to say if someone else would have done better or worse. So it is a moo point "please insert Joey gif".

    2/ West Ham spent £3m on their Olympic bid. We already had designs in place so most probably cost us less. Should we have gone for it? Very debatable. If we got it we would have a prime piece of land for nothing, our stadium would be well on the way to being built and we could have developed the land in Tottenham. As it stands we no longer have to pay the 106's. But for me the way we went about it was one of Levy's biggest mistakes. There should have been much better communicstion between Spurs and the fans.

    3/ If you are saying that those players were developed before the new training complex was introduced, then you cannot judge it's effectiveness as they are the first players to make it since it was built.

    4/ What success in the 90's? Yes we need more trophies, totally agree. But we are a much better team.

    5 and 6/ We may have sold players, but with the money we bought players. In the 90's I can only remember Sheringham we made a profit on (Ok Gazza if we go to the beginning) the rest we made a loss, because they were crap.
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  12. Mustard

    1. Thank You.

    2. I guess we'll never see eye to eye on this. Levy went arse about face on this. You get the land then you build. We are not gypies. How many years and counting? And the whole Olympic thing was an embarrassment.


    3. Mason? We'll see. But yes of course its a plus. And yes of course it will help, but lets be honest. We are not seeing any fruit as yet. Kane could be the new Shearer. But lets not say that's because of Levy and his training ground. But don't get me wrong. I see the new training ground as Enics best achievment. Going by your argument though its been paid for by Livermore and Hudd. ( Wrongly though )

    4. one FA cup and one league cup supercedes 2 league cups. Its all about the glory brother.

    5. Don't get your point. We sold players for Enic to make money first. Not for the team to achieve.

    On a side note is something happening all I can here is sirens. I live in North London
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  13. Lilbaz
    5. But Enic haven't taken any money out. It has either been reinvested into the squad or infrastructure of the club. you can see this by reading the financials which are online.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Mustard

    Not sure I totally agree with this when you factor in Levy's wages and the fact they bought up all the loyal fans shares for a pittance so they could 'build a stadium' without the constraints of the stock exchange.... Where is the investment?

    There are no financials because they de-listed mate.

    Enic will make 100's of millions out of us.

    Fact.
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  15. minesadouble
    There are pretty detailed accounts produced (about 45 pages) that are audited by independent firm (deloittes I think). Although we delisted from stock exchange the company still has to produce accounts for shareholders and third parties. There is no sign of enic taking material amounts out of spurs. The profits have all been invested in players and infrastructure and salaries.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. minesadouble
    I am researching a second article but will spare everybody for a while !
  17. Lilbaz
    Please remember that we do these slightly ahead. The June 2014 will be out between Jan and April next year.

    http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/upl...cuments/Annual_Reports/annual-report-2013.pdf
  18. Mustard

    They don't have to and they haven't in the past. They bought up all the shares for a pittance so they are not a plc. They did this under the ruse of it making it easier to build a stadium. You'd have thought they would have bought the land first? I appreciate its difficult and quite unforeseen that you would get something like Archway but it wasn't beyond the world of improbability.

    Their strategy is just like everything else they do. Scattergun.

    Now we are faced with an uncertain future and rumblings that uncle Joe wants to sell.
  19. Mullers
    Since we got 4th our league position has got worse and we haven't earned as much as we did when were in the champions league.
    We've won one trophy in 14 years which is no better than the Alan Sugar era. The same as Swansea, Wigan, Birmingham city and Middlesborough who have considerably less resources that we do.
    Middlesborough and Fulham have been to the final of the Europa cup, we haven't got past the quarter finals.

    Portsmouth has been to the FA cup final twice and won it once, Wigan have won it, Southampton has been to the final, Everton has been to the final, West Ham has been to the final, Cardiff has been to the final, Hull has been to the final, Millwall has been to the final and Stoke has been to to final.
    We have not won it or been to final for 24 years

    Everton have finished in the top 8 more times than we have. They have qualified for the champions league the same amount of times as us.

    So I guess the answer to your question is, he is holding us back.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  20. Lilbaz
    Everton have won the league 9 times in there history, we've won it twice. In the last few years we've mostly finished above them. They have never qualified for the Champions League.

    I agree we need to win more trophies.

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