I don't usually allow for guest-blogs. I thought I'd give someone else the opportunity to share some perspective on Bale and some of the financial thinking behind the players valuation and impact to Spurs if sold.
Thanks to Dan Jones @DanBJones for writing this up.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock all summer we all know that the social media hotbeds of Twitter and Facebook along with message boards all over are currently full of debate and opinion on whether Gareth Bale will leave Spurs this summer and more importantly, whether he should leave.
I’ve seen many fans stating that if we received an offer of £85million or more then we should sell. You simply can’t refuse that amount of money, that you’d be crazy to, that no club in the world could let alone little old Tottenham. I’ve seen several state the fact that even the mighty Manchester United couldn’t resist an £80million offer when they sold Ronaldo to Madrid.
So who are we to refuse even more for Bale?
Though that’s not such an accurate comparison. Man Utd, and Sir Alex in particular, had a real knack for being able to sell their top players without it impacting them on the pitch the following season. Beckham, Stam, Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo all being prime examples. All sold yet with Utd still going on to achieve success. But we’re not an established force as Utd were at those times and we don’t have the stewardship and longevity of a Sir Alex at the helm.
To those Spurs fans that say if we received an offer of more than £85million the club would have to take it - I ask you why? Yes it’s silly money, crazy money, a record breaking transfer fee but what would be more beneficial to us right now? That amount of money deposited into our bank or keeping Bale as a Spurs player for the season ahead? What would we actually do with the money?
Here are my arguments as to why keeping Gareth Bale this summer would be worth more to Spurs than even an offer of £100million.
As it stands there’s currently a little over 4 weeks until the transfer window closes. Let’s assume he did leave for Madrid and that the transfer took just over a week, which even then is ambitious. That would then leave just 3 weeks until the transfer window closed. And just as importantly only 1 week until we kick off our first game of the season away at Crystal Palace. Starting a season without a complete first 11 and squad due to uncertainty around our top players? We’ve been there before haven’t we?
So if we sat with £100million in the bank. We could buy 2 or 3 world class players with that and strengthen the squad even further claim many fans. But could we really? Firstly the reality remains that Spurs still aren’t a big enough club when it comes to attracting the top tier of players. We can’t offer Champions League football which the best players generally crave. We can’t compete with the top clubs around the world in terms of the wages we offer. Every chairman of any club that we want to buy a player from suddenly knows we have £100million burning a hole in our pocket and over inflates their transfer fees. Plus who’s to say that all of the money would even be made available to purchase players especially when we have a new stadium to be funded.
If Gareth Bale currently played for another side we would never be able to go out and sign him. He’d be out of our league. To us in that respect he’s irreplaceable. We wouldn’t be able to compete with the level of clubs that would also be in for him. The only way Spurs have been able to get the Gareth Bale’s of the world is by buying young players with potential and hoping that they fulfil it. No matter how much money we have in the bank we’re never going to be able to compete against the City, Chelsea, Utd, Real, Barca, Bayern, PSG, Monaco’s of the world.
Then consider the attraction that he currently gives to Spurs in terms of enticing the better players around to come and play with us. Keeping him would show the strength of our ambition and the best want to play with the best. Selling him shows any potential targets the exact opposite. Why would a team that has ambitions to be the best, to challenge for titles, to win trophies sell their best player. Hardly encouraging for any top, ambitious players that may consider joining us.
Bale is a very unique player in world football right now. There’s better players in the world yes. But in terms of what he offers a team there’s not many like him. Which is exactly why Real Madrid are allegedly prepared to throw such a ridiculous sum of money at us to get him in their side. Spurs simply couldn’t just replace Bale, and it could be a very long time before we saw his like at The Lane again.
But that’s all very much on the footballing side. Then there’s also the business side to consider. Levy, Joe Lewis, ENIC, they don’t care about the club many cry. They’re not fans. They’re only interested in balance sheets and turning a profit. Therefore if and when such a huge bid comes in they’ll take the money. As that’s ultimately their end game. Think what you like about Levy and Lewis but one thing that’s for certain is they’re very shrewd, very clever and very tough businessmen. They won’t just simply see the £ signs of the offer and start skipping to the bank. There will be a lot more for them to weigh up and consider than just that.
They’ll know a lot better than any of us just what Gareth Bale is worth to the club commercially right now. And his stock has never been higher. He’s become one of the most talked about players in world football, he’s a marketing man’s dream with the way he conducts himself off the pitch and is probably the most marketable player in the Premier League right now. He’s currently signed up as one of the team for the new BT Sport channel, in his Spurs shirt. He’s currently on the front cover of the new FIFA game next to the best player in the world, in his Spurs shirt. He’s currently lit up larger than life in a fantastic NBC advert overlooking Times Square, New York promoting their Premier League coverage, in his Spurs shirt.
Now just look at that exposure and coverage for the club. It’s the like of which we’ve never seen. The extra ‘fans’ that potentially brings worldwide, the extra shirts and memberships that then get sold off the back of that. Just how much do you think that’s worth right now. All of which would be lost if Bale was sold.
The reality is that right now Gareth Bale is worth a lot of money to Spurs from a commercial and business perspective. Then consider that with him, along with the signings already made and hopefully Soldado still to come too, we could fire ourselves back into the Champions League. We all know what that’s worth financially to a club. Assume perhaps that without him we ended up falling just short again. For arguments sake let’s say that his commercial value and the riches of qualifying for the Champions League added up to say £50-60million. Suddenly selling him for £100million effectively nets down to £40-50million from what you’ve lost in letting him go.
How many Spurs fans would be happy to see Bale sold this summer for that figure? I’d imagine not many.
Though I’d even go one further than that. With the additions already made and the seemingly imminent arrival of Soldado if we were to keep Bale and have luck, not a word generally associated with Spurs unless it’s of the bad variety, with injuries and maybe add a left back too I see that as a title challenging first 11. Without Bale I don’t. But he could shine even more this season in an even better side and stronger squad. And barring injury or a ridiculous loss of form is he really going to be worth a huge amount less than he is now next summer? No.
You see, this isn’t just as black and white as Real Madrid throwing a load of money at us and everyone getting blinded by the size of the bid and simply accepting that he’s off to sunny Spain. There’s far more to it than that. My personal belief is that from both a footballing and business perspective it makes no sense to sell Bale this summer. I also think that Levy and co are shrewd enough to see this too and will dig their heels in and hang onto him for one more season.
If we fail to qualify for the Champions League again, and even if we do, I genuinely don’t think there’s many fans that wouldn’t wish Bale well if he were to move on at that time. But this isn’t the right time. Not for the club, nor for the fans. And possibly not even for Bale when you consider his own personal circumstances with a new baby and being so close to his family. It was interesting to read Michael Owen’s comments this week about how a move to Real Madrid isn’t necessarily all you expect it to be. But then that’s another argument for staying that I’ve not even touched on.
Money talks yes, but don’t underestimate just how much Bale is currently worth to the club in a Spurs shirt as opposed to a Madrid one.
So there you have it. There are the reasons why I strongly believe that Gareth Bale won’t be leaving Spurs this summer. Of course this now means that a deal to Madrid will be announced by Friday and we’ll be tabling bids for Loic Remy and Tom Ince…Spursy.