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Realistic Summary - from a lifelong fan


New Member
Sep 19, 2019
Realism – a great club / strong finances / lack of football success

Yes, I know that we could go 4th if we win our games in hand but please let us be realistic and evaluate where we really are. Not, clouded by the panic of mid table mediocrity or the rose-tinted spectacles of qualifying for UEFA Champions League with a top 4 finish.

In many ways – (I hate to say it but….) I do not want us to gain qualification this year as it would make a lot of us Spurs supporters think everything is great and the problems solved – they are not!

Let me be clear upfront - I am not in the Levy / ENIC out brigade: they have created a strong platform for our club. My message is - keep the board but " for goodness’s sake" - change your strategy / policy / investment / early recruitment methodology!" to reflect the contemporary environment.

Shareholder value

Levy is an acknowledged brilliant negotiator and has a sound business mind. Levy and Board have probably focused on maximising shareholder value rather than football success - but my view is that these two elements go hand in hand. The club value would be higher if we succeed on the pitch in the premiership and Europe. Our club value is around £2B - half that of United - and the big 4 and (even) the Arsenal are above us.

The main reason our value has increased so much is not the stadium (which we must pay for still) – but TV revenues. It is not a brilliant board strategy – as all the other big clubs’ values have increased by roughly the same %. ENIC bought from Sugar and co - for around £100M and that is a great return on investment but in % terms not that much better an increase in value - as Leicester / West Ham / Everton. We were just lucky to have been in the era of Cable / Satellite TV! (E.g. Leicester was brought for around £35M and is now worth around £450M so increases are similar in a shorter timescale!)

Yes, it’s a Football business – but it is so much more than a brand

I understand the need to run the club like a business – in the boardroom. Levy and ENIC have done a absolutely marvellous job at that. We are in a strong position financially – for the future.

But – financial stability does not mean “job done”. Who ever bought a car because the car maker was stable, or a suit, dress, or shoes because the brand / company was run efficiently? Or phone / TV / PC / laptop because the board were effective, and the company was profitable. The Tottenham brand of football is what make supporters follow our team. The message of “a well-run club” – does not sell tickets or gain young new supporters. Exciting football and success – do!

Increasing our fanbase – increases long term / sustainable revenues

Changing our recruitment strategy and status in the top 4 will increase the fan base (How many young fans are we attracting compared to the top 6 clubs? – when I look at the shirts of children who use to play in the park with my son – there are not too many from Spurs shop!). We are not even featured as a major game on TV much. As – our European match mean playing Premiership games on Sunday – we are nearly always the team that is shown as the late match – not the live one! We are not creating future fans – as well as the top 4 clubs!

Player recruitment

Our team value is around £620M – way below the big 4. The Board’s transfer strategy and investment policy over the past 10 years plus has been one of “Mid table” conservatism. Buying players last minute, mainly from sides going down to the championship / Continental / African / South American bargains! Many of whom are excellent - but have not been tested in the continuous running game / attrition / never ending slog and winter cold of the Premiership.

Playing style

Our playing base reflects mixed styles or various managers over the years. Some were bought because they were great at (say) pressing then they were asked to hold back and play on the break. The various players have styles that do not match their team-mates. EG can the midfield get the best out of our attack? Can we really manage transitions of play – defence and attack?

Then we feel good because we have 62% of possession - most of which is in our own half - and consisting of sideways / backwards passes. When we go forward - we go in a predictable attack against a settled opposition defence. I would like to see the stats of passes forward accuracy rather than all passes accuracy!

Spurs traditional way – of the 50s /60s - is not totally relevant either – Arthur Rowe’s "push and run" Bill Nicholson’s short-passing style, building attacks through midfield probably needs to be made more sophisticated and contemporary. It does not fit the style of the players in the current squad. It is difficult to see who fits harmoniously in a 4 / 4 / 2 or a 3 / 5 /1/1 or 3/4/3 or any high press modern formation. OK – yes – if we could find another Christian Eriksen and another Luka Modric and fit them into the formation – it would be phenomenal.

Still a fan!

I support all our players and want them to succeed - but they play as separate defence / midfield / attack with no cohesive linkages or incisive final 3rd penetration / And almost lack confidence in the defence to attack transition points / pressing is sporadic and uncoordinated and we are not sure if we are playing on the break or pressurising the opposition defence.

Honest assessment

We have a great group of players (many are world class) – who give their best. But we are a are club whose position – on paper and in reality - is somewhere between 5th and 10th in the premiership.

Be honest – who from our current squad (on current form) would a top 4 premiership clubs (or major European clubs) rush to sign? .... perhaps 2 (I will not name them - but you know who they are). Then think about who we should sign from the big 4 clubs! (or major European clubs).........a lot of names spring to mind,

Be even more honest – who (on current form) from our current squad would West Ham / Arsenal / Wolves / Everton/ Leicester / Villa think about signing?

• You can add another 2 definite! Then perhaps another 3 or 4 - inc a couple we have only just bought!........Ok – there a few for the future like: Gill / Rodon / Sessegnon / Tanganga / Skipp and a few from the youth set up or who are out on loan.

Frightening – isn’t it?

Manager / Football director and Coach

The farce that was our recruitment of a new manger was down to Levy. Not simply because it was on his watch – but because it reflected how top managers saw his strategy and our club. Nuno was on a hiding to nothing – which was a shame. And even “the special one” could dig us out of the hole the ENIC board had placed us in.

Conte is a great coach but what can he do with our current squad to guarantee to get us to (even) the top 6? next season? ………….We need to buy new players / buy early and integrate swiftly. We are 7 or 8 great / world class players away from the top 4 clubs.

Fabio Paratici will, I hope, bring some stability and long-term continuity. And Levy is still one of the shrewdest of negotiators.

I think we can all predict how the Conte era will end - after a few years! But let’s try to create a long-term future under Paratici with a coherent and cohesive board strategy.

New style needs investment and time

We might pick up a couple of players in the winter transfer window - but the summer window (and next season) must be our focus.

Conte realistically needs somewhere around £200 - £300M - and the authority to buy early in the summer window - so we don’t have our normal sluggish start trying to integrate players. ( Again - the poor starts previously have been caused by the investment and transfer policy). Even then we target 2/3 years for a revival – when everyone is fully integrated.

Board discussions

I – like many lifelong Spurs supporters (since I was 5 years old – and would never change my support and love for the club) would dearly love to discuss this with the Board! My thought is - yes add a couple of (business minded) board directors - from the supporter’s