Tottenham send their regards

Bale

No bid has been made for Bale. Nobody has cited a price tag or valuation aside from the hyperbole the media have created over a potential fee and the accompanying quotes from Real Madrid and pundits who react to loaded questions (mostly of their own doing) that are then either taken subtly out of context or have blanks filled in to beef up the headline.

More Bale, via Twitter

@darrenyarlett contacted Donna Cullen at Totttenham who confirmed there is no truth in any contact between us and Real Madrid over the player (would she admit otherwise?) and that the relationship we have with them (which is as special as the one Jose Mourinho left behind I suspect) does not allow Madrid to publicly speak about Bale and a move to La Liga. Which begs the question, why continue to tap the player up via Marca and the European/British press and what exactly is this relationship, aside from it being a handy soundbite Levy cited when Luka Modric was sold?

What if..?

Still on the subject of Gareth, if there was a bid that touched the ceiling of the ridiculous and smashed itself through the loft conversation, say anything above £50M, would it be worth considering?

Firstly, would all the money be made available to the coach to spend on new players? If so, we wouldn't be able to spend it all on the one player to replace Bale because then what exactly would be the point in selling him in the first place?

In addition, if the bid was £80M, the logic that states we can't say no based on the fact that we have no idea how much he could be valued (or devalued) this time next summer due to loss of form, injury, is flawed. Its flawed because we may as well never seek to sustain a consistent balance and just sell our very best players which leaves us in this state of flux. A good healthy state of flux but one where we are always missing one or two parts to push on further.

If Bale was sold this summer and if we signed 2/3 new players for the first team giving us a better balanced side there is no reason why we can't continue our progression and the ability to compete. Perhaps this is the reason why we can compete. Because we're always blessed with one stand-out talent that can finance our future. Except, we hardly speculate with the type of forcefulness in the transfer market that would deem this to be a working template. Sure, we do pick up quality players (Llors, Vertonghen) but never that one game-changer. We just don't seem to have too much of an issue selling a game-changer when we are in possession of one.

"Oh God..it's Levy time"

"Oh God..it's Levy time"

However, you can't replace a game-changer like Bale. We still haven't replaced the subtle genius of Luka Modric or the catalyst van der Vaart. 

As far as I know we're hardly in a position where we are desperate for money. If any potential fee from Bale goes into the new stadium fund rather than investing in the first team then our predicament is one that means this state of flux is not going to be escapable until the NDP is complete. Maybe this is a very underplayed, unaccounted survival plan under the revenue is doubled in X years time.

Stepping aside from the business element of the game and the realities of player valuation (when it's best to cash in) and their personal ambitions, if the game is truly about glory then we must keep hold of Bale and spend what money we do have in making our squad strong enough to make him think twice about even considering a departure next summer. Statement of intent, right?

What is truly ridiculous about all of this is that we have one more season to achieve yet another impossible dream before Bale probably does request a move on. His ambition will take precedence over our own. Delaying the inevitable appears to be the only way to seek that desired path to glory.

Townsend

18k fine. A ban of four months, three of which are suspended which means the ban is practically over (June 23rd). Naughty boy, gets wrists slapped, this story is over before it even started.

Franco Baldini

Would love to know how a new director of footballesque system would work. At the moment Daniel Levy's role is more 'general manager' than it is chairman. Making bids for players that are presented to him (by whom? I don't know) sometimes detached from an influencing opinion from coach or manager. We saw this last season and in the summer (Pienaar last season, and this summers early signings like Vertonghen and Sigurdsson) before AVB was appointed.

Baldini currently in contract with AS Roma as their general manager.

Having someone who can focus completely on new acquisitions and answer to the coach (rather than perhaps avoid the repeat of the confused Damien Comolli 'relationship') then we might have something that allows for more comprehensive long term scouting that will sit comfortably with Villas-Boas methodology and our training facilities.

If AVB is currently drawing up a list and Levy is testing the water with bids it still feels like all responsibility for capturing a new player falls into the lap of the chairman especially if target number one fails and the back-ups are wheeling-dealing last minute surprises, when perhaps all is required from him is final sign-off. Baldini as support (DoF or technical director) to what AVB wants can work. If anything because Baldini is a football man rather than business.

Comolli was at odds with Jol and it was obvious his role was to 'appoint' a coach that could work under him (which is why Jol was sacked and replaced with Ramos). That was a success.

The coach is still the most important part of any proposed new structure. However, to truly complement this, Baldini (or other) would look to bridge youth policy with the academy into the first team to aid AVB's template for success. I think Spurs in some ways have already laid the foundations for this over the past few seasons but we might that new structure to solidify it.

Game of Thrones (HBO)

I'm still reeling. The North never forgets.

It's given me an idea though.

We should accept Madrid's interest to speak to us and allow for Perez and a delegation to visit the Lane to see if we can mend this not so special relationship and look towards a marriage of politics. Agree a deal allowing them to sign Bale, a deal that makes both clubs happy, then drink merrily and dance. Bale leaves the party to sign the contract (formally) along with agent and a Madrid representative. Perez and Zidane remain to enjoy the hospitality. The doors to the meeting room shut.

Then the band start to play 'Can't smile without you'. The penny drops. Perez leans forward, pulls Tim Sherwood's blazer sleeve upwards to reveal he's wearing under armour. 

There is no Bale to Madrid agreement. There is no consummation of the marriage. It's a trick. No contract signing will take place. The Luka Modric transfer hasn't been forgotten.

Levy shows no mercy and Perez and Zidane are cut down with restraining orders.

"Tottenham send their regards"