Dear Mr Levy,
We find ourselves at yet another cross-road. Is that a little too over dramatic?
De-listing the club to become a private company for investment reasons in order to finance the Northumberland Development Project now that the Olympic dream is dead. With the added touch that you could potentially look to sell the club either before any stadium is built or after. Keeping your options open is shrewd. We’ve come a long way since Irving Scholar, spent a big chunk of that time in the wilderness. Almost went under in ’91 but saved ourselves with the FA Cup. Then the irony of El Tel bringing in Alan Sugar, only for a spoonful to make the Venables go down and then eventually introduce ENIC (and you) into the fold as the new custodians of our mighty club.
Sure, the business model has always been top drawer. The footballing side never quite coated with brilliant white, always tinged with dark spots of naivety as you continued to employ people who would advise you about how best to handle the on-pitch developments. You did your best with the director of football system, bless your heart, remaining loyal to it until you stuck a gun to the back of its head and pulled the trigger. You always looked to sign young British players with sell-on value. Jenas, your poster-boy for this ethos. How did that turn out in the end? You battled United. You fought off Chelsea. Both having varying degrees of success (and failure) at bullying us. Although we did our fair share too when picking off players from lesser clubs.
You know how to play this game of chess. You’ve stood your ground and learnt your lessons. The whole Comolli/Jol/Ramos episode the reason for that bullet to the head of the DoF system. You trouble-shooted the bloody mess with Harry Redknapp, appointed in a back to basics deployment that not only worked but elevated us to the next level.
Desperation some thought in the appointment but you cited how Harry was a former target, someone that always interested you. You were hardly going to look abroad again. But it’s worked even though in so many ways it shouldn’t. All those years chasing the top four finish dream and the dream becomes reality. That was your doing, not on the advisement of others. I guess if you make several mistakes on the trot you are bound to get it right eventually.
Good luck, great timing...no matter how it’s perceived, it worked. It seems the club and its fans have been cleansed in recent years what with tangible progression witnessed by all who visit the Lane.
Is that dramatic enough for you?
Let’s however not gloss over the Olympic dream that was a nightmare for so many. Now that you’ve officially denounced any possibility of us ever wishing to bid for a running track, I scratch my head attempting to work out (again) just how Machiavellian your tactics in the process were. Was the NDP simply a ruse to suggest that a new stadium in N17 was not viable therefore validating a move to East London? But then the NDP was viable to start off with and become not so much once the club expressed interested in the OS.
But according to you (at the time) the OS interest pre-dated the NDP anyway, which somehow made it ‘alright’ to bid. Seems far-fetched to suggest the whole bidding process was an angle towards securing monies from government for funding. Mainly as we still await to see if anything is ever forthcoming. Could you have possibly fallen for Boris and his fluttering eyelashes, enticed to bid only to be used by certain parties for the benefit of consolidating legacy promises? Every conceivable scenario was accounted for, right? You knew the risks, right? You're meant to be the king of bluffs, no?
Losing 14-0 suggests we never stood a chance. Could you have been fooled? Surely not, this shrewd cunning business man that you are. Regardless, dirty tricks by all involved. Politics and posturing aside, we’re back where we started again. Back home trying to figure out how to finance a 55K + stadium.
I bet you’ve got moves like Jagger, swaggering around your N17 headquarters, puffing away on your Cuban cigar whilst snorting caviar off a high class escort girls thighs. That’s how I’d behave if I was you. Although I’d lose the glasses and get me a hair transplant. You can hardly lose. Even if we lost our manager to outside interference in 2012, the club is in such a healthy state with its football that we could easily attract a top drawer coach to continue our march forwards.
So what is my point exactly? What am I doing here? In your home, wearing your clothes, breathing in your scent from your pillow. What do I want? What is my objective? I guess it’s one born out of frustration. Even though the yearly annual financial report reads like an unstained original copy of the Marilyn Monroe first edition Playboy, delightfully incisive and titillating...I find myself grudgingly accepting your work ethic and applauding you. Grudgingly.
See, I wonder and question your loyalty. Deep deep down, this club, this club that belongs to me in heart if not on paper is an ends to a means for you and your fat cat shareholders. You go through the motions to serve the master plan you have laid out for the investment made.
Don’t accuse me of being naive. I understand wholeheartedly that modern football is foremost a business first. If a club is run efficiently and effectively it supports the footballing aspects without complaint. Which means that once a particular standard is achieved on the pitch, off the field profit margins increase and aid continued growth on the field. Both feeding each other to increase revenue and heighten potential for glory glory nights.
You make an investment, you want to be getting something back from it. You want that portfolio to look good for the next one. Loyalty to your shareholders as a priority doesn't mean that Spurs as a footballing entity will be stuck with second best.
You could even argue the point that someone who is just a little disassociated with football (i.e. not a true fanatic) is the best option to run a football club as they make decisions with their head and not their heart. They do not get side-tracked by emotion. But you see, my issue is that if you’re a chairman...if you are the THFC chairman, then your job at its most basic fundamental level is to do exactly what it is you do from one day to the next. It’s the decisions made on the footballing side that sometimes appear to lack that measured ingredient, that mixture of both head and heart. That element of the speculative is sometimes that missing spark required to give us an edge. As opposed to ruling unequivocally with the accounts book.
Yes, before you interject, I did notice the Rafa van der Vaart calendar in your study next to the stack of audio tapes with 'TOP SECRET' scribbled across them. You dirty dirty boy. Didn't know you had a fetish for booty calls. Although, between you and me, the woman on the tapes sounds a bit rough. Just my opinion.
I’ll get to Rafa in a moment.
Ignoring the OS debacle by mentioning it again, I still feel the necessity to question just how all consuming your stubborn ego is with matters of a footballing nature.
You didn’t want to sign Scott Parker. The board of directors did not want money spent on signing him. Most Spurs fans didn’t want him signed. I didn’t want him signed.The manager however did. Regardless of opinion, do you not wish to support the person you’ve employed and his judgement? Or are you once again surveying the investment purely on a fiscal level rather than a footballing one? Because let’s face it, Parker won’t be sold on to the next club in Carrickesque fashion.
Everyone is more than aware of Harry and his transfer policy and favouritisms. Chasing foreign and continental signings when your manager wants a good olde traditional fry-up; it stinks of DoF not by name but by nature. Therefore it undermines the relationship, at least it appears that way from the outside looking in. That and the dart board with Redknapp newspaper cut-outs you have. Also in your study. Which appears to be a shrine of hate, what with the Glenn Hoddle voodoo doll. At least I think it’s meant to be Hoddle. There’s far too many pins inserted in it to know for sure.
You’ve done good they say. You signed van der Vaart. But surely that was less of the good and more of the opportunistic? Had Real Madrid not called you or had the other interested club followed through with their interest we’d have been left with nothing when the window shut. We weren’t even after a midfielder at the time. You might have built up a relationship with the White Storm, hence the courtesy call, but it was more ‘we want rid’ from them rather than us knocking on their door.
Genius they called you. Or to be exact, genius only when Rafa is on form. When he’s not he’s a hindrance to the team and Defoe should play instead in a more traditional 442 formation. But this was not genius. This was going out to do some late night shopping at Tescos to pick up some milk to go with your tea only to come back with chocolate digestives. Not essential for a cup of tea, but you wouldn’t say no. But then that digestive, its so so good. With or without tea. So does it really matter that you came home with digestives when you didn't actually have the intention of picking them up in the first place? They make you happy even if you weren't meant to have them. Did we really need the milk any way? Should I accept that things happen and its not how they happen but its what happens because of it that matters more? Why bother with the hows and whys?
Perhaps we should bother (Rafa now, not with the digestive metaphor which let's face it crumbled several sentences ago).
There is no clear agenda when it comes to signing players. Adebayor is on loan. What happened to chasing skirt in La Liga? All for show, running around like a dog on heat, salivating? Or is this a continued waiting game. Chess board piece in hand, but refusing to move it until the not so distant future is slightly clearer and less foggy?
The two South African players were signed why exactly? So we can send one of them to Preston North End and the other to sort of be able to cover one or two positions but not truly cover said positions with much oomph. A non-sexy utility player that cost peanuts in transfer but more in wages. If they were signed to simply maximise exposure in SA, I’m told it’s nigh impossible to find Spurs shirts out there so that investment hardly inspires.
You also failed to pay the extra few million required to sign a centre-back. It’s funny how said player is ‘over priced’ yet we are content with signing the likes of Hutton and Bassong to name a few, and lose money on them because they simply do not fit in and are not worth their original price tag. Either we’ve tightened up on signing player of the moment players or we don’t quite have the money to splash out on any given target – as essential as one might be to consolidating that all important on the field progress.
Sure, we kept Luka Modric in Lilywhite. Well done for standing your ground, for another year at the very least. If we qualify for CL and he still wants out then we can at least enjoy the £30M or so we earn from his departure. If it’s actually reinvested in players. But genuine kudos for that particular statement of intent. However it has more to do with me holding Luka captive for three days straight, tied to a chair, eyes strapped open watching a big screen playing various You Tube clips of Tottenham teams, past and present in a continuous loop. I did screw up a little with the editing. I might be partly responsible for his erratic form this season. I can sometimes see it in his face. Still not sure how the goat porn got in there.
Elsewhere, we dithered with Leandro and now he’s worth three times his original valuation. You and Harry dither with each other all the time, both reading off a different script. If you’re holding back because of what might happen in January or the summer of 2012 then I guess I should cut you some slack for your damage limitation management. Waiting again I assume to make your move when you know for certain. That chess piece gripped tightly, mulling over a contingency plan.
Do you see why I’m so confused? I’m trying to discredit yet find myself reasoning. That's what you do to me Daniel. You are Edward to my Bella.
To try and understand your methodology I’ve had to immerse myself into the world that you live in. Hence the shaved head and the hefty six thousand plus investment in importing a Real Doll™ from the States. Custom made with life-like dour facial expressions thanks to their patented Face-X system. But no matter how many times I get on top of it, I remain flaccid. If you’re interested, I’ve stuck it on ebay. Every orifice has been thoroughly cleaned out, I promise. Including the ears and armpit areas. Made to order to look exactly like Karren Brady. Get your bid in quick sharp though, this one bloke, DS69, has bid a few times already. He hasn’t stopped emailing me. Wants me to sell it to him directly on the cheap, the perv.
Perhaps I can’t quite forgive and forget and ignore the whole Stratford affair which has left me with tainted thoughts of you in my head. But then I should ignore the rhetoric and simply mark you on how the team performs on the pitch – ignoring all the alleged behind close door disagreements illustrated so colourfully by Redknapp during the summer, head peaking outside car window, SSN mic in face. What does it matter how things play out in the boardroom if the team continues to do well? Modern football has changed so much that we concern ourselves equally with what the suits do along with what the men in shorts do. When it should simply be about the latter.
Perhaps as much as I hope you used Stratford to gain strength back in N17, the same game of thrones is playing out between chairman and manager. The same politics and posturing. Both protecting ego. But all that truly matters is that whenever the next change occurs, it's one that doesn’t dislodge the stability built. That and hopefully better beer available at half-time. Seriously, Carlsberg? Really? Still?
The both of you are more alike than you think. Both self-serving but yet beneficial to those that pay to get through the turnstiles. You know your money. Harry knows his left from his right. Ask Gareth. If we qualify for the Champions League again, all the dithering in the world will be of no consequence because the achievement will be enough for most.
It would appear I am no closer to comfort. As I stand naked in front of your bedroom mirror, tucked in, so many questions remain answered. Does it matter, does it truly matter how we’ve come to be where we are? And how much of a pimp are you with the mirror on the ceiling too?
Fortune favours the brave, right? Even Redknapp is beyond criticism compared to recent managerial statistical history even if he wings it occasionally. But how can anyone be accused of winging it when we have one of our best squad of players since the 80s? Can't all be luck. I should be content. I should embrace it. I should only worry about my deepest darkest thoughts if they ever see the light of day instead of drowning in conspiracy.
I need to leave now and go home. I'm going to keep the bottle of Old Spice I took from your bathroom as a memento. The dog is fine by the way. She'll wake up soon enough. Ketmaine. I do hate to waste the stuff on animals. Also, make sure you check your answer phone. Four messages from Carlo. He’s a bit insistent, isn’t he? I deleted them. But there’s one from David Pleat I kept. Something about a tasty defender plying his trade at Charlton he wants to scout. Irish origin. Can play up front. Sounds exiting. Money where your mouth is please.
Yours wishfully positive and trusting,