I was reading some comments on The Fighting Cock forum in relation to the podcast from two weeks ago where The Trust and the chap running the @ENIC_OUT twitter account joined the regulars to discuss the current 'crisis' and the necessity for the club to recognise the disconnection between owners and supporters. You can listen to the podcast here: http://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/2014/11/s4e15-nineteen-eighty-four/
I've always attempted to remain balanced for the most part. I don't dismiss everything positive ENIC and Daniel Levy has done. I've also been wrong in the past, mostly with the same type of rationalising I was guilty of when defending Andre Villas-Boas. However, one particular response to the podcast and to @ENIC_OUT (refereed to as Levy_Out below) was to suggest that supporters are lost in disinformation around the ills of our chairman and the manner in which the club is being run. So I responded. Touch of Devils Advocate and a fair degree of my own perspective. Which proves that you can take a single thing and see it half a dozen different ways.
The thread for this is here. The quotes are from Spurs_Bob. Responses mine.
yeah. just a couple of things to add to the bullet points raised by #Levy_Out
"In ENIC’s entire 13 years with Tottenham Hotspur they have spent a total of £313million, but importantly they have recouped a staggering £414million in player sales."
£414M in player sales. Around half of that figure comes from selling four players, right? Modric, Bale, Berbatov, Carrick, all of whom were purchased for a fraction of the price. So basically what is being said here is that #Levy_Out doesn't like the idea of good business in the transfer market and would much rather sign more players like Sergey Rebrov.
The club is run on a business model that requires the sell-on profit from our best players to finance the next manager appointed (to replace the one that was sacked/run away) meaning we have a culture of existing as a stepping stone meaning players signing for us are always thinking about the next move on. This means that the mentality of the club is a defeatist one. If we all agree the only way we can make money and compete is to follow this model then we'd be content enough to get on with it and roll with the punches. However, we're not because most feel that because of the lack of emphasis on the football itself, we are caught in a constant loop, a repetition of a 'brand new dawn' that always ends in darkness. I don't doubt the fact we try. Levy does love to try. But the disconnect between him and the coach is always easy to see.
"Even during the Redknapp era where some sensible investment would surely have secured a third place finish (Spurs were 10 points clear of 4th placed Woolwich at Christmas), Levy opted to bring in Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha for nothing rather than back their manager financially".
Harry Redknapp was given more money to spend on players than any other manager in the club's history. An estimated £125M or, over one third of the entire expense incurred since ENIC took control (as claimed before - £313M) was spent during his time as manager of Tottenham. Is that a sign of not backing the then manager?
"Levy rarely finds the resources to sufficiently back his managers"
This, as is shown above, just simply isn't true. How can spending over £100M on players in transfers be not backing a manager? It's OK saying those players are crap now but, at the time of signing them, not ONE Spurs fan had anything negative to say. Anyone remember this White Hart Lane chant?
"You've got Fernandinho, We've got Paulinho, f*ck off Mourinho, We've got Paulinho"
Most know that Levy and Redknapp had 2 completely different transfer visions. Levy signed players Redknapp didn't want and Redknapp always wanted the cheap, old and cheerful. Yes, he finds the resources and does spend money. Usually he's the one doing the shopping. We all thought the £100M spree would be glorious. Turns out that AVB wasn't invited on the jolly.
"During 13 years at the club Levy has hired 11 permanent managers".
Yes. and by the looks of the internet, that will soon be 12 if the 'fans' have anything to do with it. The same opinion was shown to Villas-Boas, Sherwood and Redknapp. The fans wanted these men out of the club, as they are doing now with Pochettino.
But, I digress. 11 Managers? Is that a realistic figure or is it used in a vein attempt to prove something?
Hoddle - 2 years
Santini - resigned (14 weeks?)
Jol - 3 years
Ramos - 1 year
Redknapp - 4 years
Villas-Boas - 18 months
Pochettino - ???
I make that 7, one of which quit so you could argue; 6.
AVB quit because of the clusterf**k in-house. Mostly AVB's fault for not accepting help but the lack of support for the coach was just as much as a killer. We bring someone in to develop a new progressive blueprint to match up to Hotspur Ways potential and completely balls it up. Everyone involved is accountable. You can bang on about how great we're doing under ENIC compared to Scholar/Sugar in both finances and league positions but that doesn't mean we have to accept it all because 'it's better than it was and we don't deserve anything more'. You can't keep rebooting and sodding about with a DoF system and just blame the coaches appointed for not being up to the job whilst most watching from the outside can't figure out if the players signed are the completely unequivocally choices of said coach.
Yes, the fans are idiots and the self-fulfilling prophecy is to 'sack the coach'. In same ways maybe we all deserve ENIC because they have as much patience and love to deflect the blame as the fans.
Chairman's salary, success and stability:
"Levy’s ever increasing wages are currently in excess of £2million per annum, despite his obvious inability to bring about any success or stability to the club."
No opinion on this at all. It's an investment firm. He runs it. What do people expect.
Correct me if I'm wrong but, Tottenham Hotspur is a board controlled business, right? So the idea of a chairman simply "giving himself a raise" doesn't seem that plausible. I mean, what would the other board members think of this? Do they discuss it? Of course they do.
Again. Don't give a sh*t.
"Enic have the very worst trophy haul of any owners in the post war era" "Their average league finish over the 13 year span of control is 7th"
So by this logic, a lucky ricochet off Gary Mabbut's thigh is the deciding factor of success? Or Tommy Hutchison scoring a header in both gaols? Is that how success is measured or, is it better to measure this across 38 games of a season?
When was the last time Tottenham had an average league finish of 7th over 13 years? Can you remember? Further more, Tottenham have finished in the top six during 7 of the last 9 seasons. Again, when has that ever happened? Have you ever seen a Spurs team with a statistic like that? No, you haven't, because it hasn't happened in your lifetime. (unless you are proper old)
Any professional footballer, manager or anyone with any sense will tell you that winning a league title is the highest accolade football has to offer.
Agreed. This is a non-event of a complaint. We are competing against clubs with untold riches that have come by way of corruption and oil barons. Add to it Sky Sports changing the game and leaving a gulf that took a decade for us to cross. But we got there, more or less. We had momentum and tbf we have been desperately unlucky not to make a couple more cup finals than we have and also get into the CL more than once. Had we had the luck we wouldn't be discussing most of the complaints. However, from a management perspective there are plenty of misdemeanour's where we failed to speculate and take a risk when we needed to consolidate. Is this because of lack of experience? Pressure? Lack of backing from the board? A combination? Is it a learning curve we are still working our way through? Perhaps yes. But take a closer look and you'll find the same inceptions. Our most successful appointments have been accidental.
Irvine Scholar and Alan Sugar is as far back as my connection to the club goes so any other chairman I can't really comment about however, are you seriously suggesting that under ENIC we are less stable than when under the other two eras?
You must be blind if you can not see that since ENIC has been in control of Tottenham, they have not only recouped massive debts on the club but have also put Spurs in a position of being one of the most financially stable clubs in the country. On top of that, ENIC has, and is continuing to, installed superb infrastructure at the club. Tottenham now have on of the best raining facilities in the world.
Scholar had all the right ideas and the wrong implementations. He was ahead of the game but his naivety almost killed the club. Sugar fixed us up (I was outside the high court for the El Tel debacle, turns out our messiah wasn't as clean as we believed him to be). They've done great but they've done great in terms of building up their asset rather than using the football to build us up. Now look at how the asset is struggling, for them to sell on and for us to be proud of. When the football isn't the driving force behind it all, it won't work.
"The price of Tottenham’s lowest season ticket has increased by just over 77% since ENIC took over the club in 2001."
This has no meaning without comparison, right? I mean, which club's ticket prices haven't increased since 2001? Have they increased at the same percentage as at The Lane? Probably not. Are Tottenham's hikes in price that much more than those of other teams? Again, probably not. I'm not sure our chairman can be held responsible for the current climate in the English game.
Most expensive season tickets in the country. I guess it is our fault that we buy them.
"Tickets are available for the big games on Stubhub for as much as £1,000"
As I understand it, the ticket allocation system allows Spurs members access to buying tickets first, after which, tickets go on general sale. For a 'big game' tickets are extremely difficult to get hold of yet, according to the above claim, are still being sold for "as much as £1,000". So, by that logic, isn't it actually Tottenham fans themselves ripping off other Tottenham fans as they are the ones more likely than most to be able to buy the tickets? Where does the chairman's blame for this lie exactly?
By allowing Stubhub to facilitate the transactions they're creating a market for it (for a one off payment - a case of profiting by encouraging fans to profit off each other). You want StubHub? You might as well want an oil baron. Guilty as charged. No more questions your honour.
I will leave with a couple of questions for #Levy_Out
Since when have Tottenham been "one of the big clubs"?
Why weren't these issues surfaced after the 3-1 win against Inter-Milan?
Why do you support Tottenham?
It's our right to question everything especially if we don't believe in the answers being given. I'd say that the club - the owners - will always be in a position where they'll be accused of looking after their interests above any of our own. Probably because if they run the club like we the supporters wanted it run it would be chaos. That doesn't mean they can't acknowledge our existence every so often. I want this club to be about the football yet we're forever talking about the politics. That means the club is doing something wrong.
As for citing the 3-1 and the 'Redknapp Glory years' - I've said this myself. If these problems exist all of the time then we should not be content and quiet about them when the football is great. Otherwise that makes us just as bad as the ones we point our fingers at. This game of blame continues to rock on.