Tottenham's Got Talent and the Daniel Levy connection
For reasons which will become obvious, I can't reveal my full identity. But let me just say that, I am involved with Tottenham Hotspur and have many years experience within the football industry, at clubs and for sporting agencies. My work involves close liaison with Daniel Levy’s ENIC (that’s the English National Investment Company) and, as a result, I have seen what goes on from the inside and this has left me increasingly uncomfortable about the integrity of Tottenham and particularly the workings of their chairman.
It's long been known that there is quite a degree of "wheeling and dealing" at White Hart Lane (You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5fwFba59lQ ) But press reports on "wheeling and dealing" are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ENIC’s manipulation of, not only potential transfer targets and the fans expectations, but also the media and hopefully, in this email, I can shine some light on the smoke and mirrors trickery of Levy.
Take the last transfer window as an example. Shambolic you’d think? No. It was expertly planned right down to the finest detail, nothing was opportunistic or desperate, everything was staged. Spurs purposely waited until the last hour to bid for Charlie Adam because they knew it would fail but at least the endeavour would gain press coverage, allowing Redknapp to perpetuate a ‘hard nights work’.
In the previous one, they were always going to sign van der Vaart. The player did not become available last second. Levy know a forward would propel Spurs into the top four, so avoided this and signed a midfielder which would generate excitement but also limit the team and confuse tactics.
It's no big secret amongst the fans that Spurs have been looking for a centre forward who could crack the top four push again, particularly in and around the penalty box. At least that’s the illusion Levy has created to appease the hungry Tottenham faithful. The reality is, there were no true targets, just frivolous bidding and political statements where everyone pretended Spurs were busy trailblazing across La Liga bidding for anyone with two legs and an eye for goal when in reality Spanish club presidents gained kudos for rejecting bids for their star players. It was all pre-planned and agreed. A gentleman’s agreement.
So far in the history of Levy and Harry Redknapp, no one has ever signed who has not been a "buy then sell at profit" signing, and it does sadden me that, all those thousands of linked players, lining up via message board ITK threads, often behind a members only error message, are basically wasting their time.
The directors at Spurs are not looking for the talented players, they already have those. The reality is that the producers are hunting out oddities, freaks and, I'm ashamed to say, mentally ill people, to act as amusing fillers on News Now. They are nothing more than made up transfer targets and they don't even qualify for medicals and work permits!
It's quite disgusting and shameful really, how the board and Levy operate. People come from all over the country, often at great personal expense, standing outside the Lodge waiting to see a major signing because they think Tottenham is a talented team missing one or two key signings that would stand them a chance of realising their dreams.
I can tell you from the inside that Spurs is no more a "contender", than I am an astronaut. Nothing is left to chance at Spurs, everything is micro-managed, choreographed, manipulated and planned down to the last detail including, the chaotic deadline day transfer madness and average obvious signings that can sometimes prove disruptive or warrant scratching of the head. Recent South African signings for example are simply there to aid the clubs promotion and awareness in Africa.
The ability to manipulate Sky Sports News opinion is vital if you are to control fees and indeed get the required transfer value for a player and an agreeable donation to the Tottenham Foundation. Levy sees this as essential to the success of the club and are very open about fact; signing and selling players of quality is impossible for an investment company if it purely looks to retain them and not sell them on for profit the moment their value doubles. if it was purely left to the fans, as Harry recently said "They’re idiots". Everything at Spurs is geared towards telling you who you we should be signing with misinformation and planted sound-bites with the media and sports writers, particularly via Harry Redknapp who acts as the protagonist for the chess game Levy is playing. It's an art really, which they have honed to perfection and Spurs are now world leaders at.
The micro-management of Dimitar Berbatov’s transfer was incredible. I was really quite shocked at how the club let him go up to talk to City when he was always going to be picked up at the airport by Utd. From a starting point of wanting Berba sold, Levy had totally screwed Fergie in the process to the tune of £30M. But it looked like it was Utd and Berba controlling the destiny of the Bulgarian. Levy looks like he put up a gallant fight and looks better for it when he lets us know the money the club have received for the player. But what did we get in return? Frazier Campbell. Levy hardly interested in plugging the hole that was left. Money earned, job done.
In the present, as a footballer on the flanks, Gareth Bale has a relatively short shelf-life. Levy knew he was going to have to hit the ground running to maximise Bale’s transfer potential, particularly if they go ahead with a planned sale to La Liga or Italy.
If you think Bale was bad during that run of games when Spurs failed to win with him in the side, you haven't got a clue. With an "anything goes" attitude all morals have long since gone out of the window. There was no allowance for Bale’s age and he was expected to perform before he got injured which he did, rising hopes for his return. When he did, they then strategically played him in games that Spurs would possibly fail to win in order to generate negative hype around the player being jinxed, building up a body of disgruntlement. Then they pretended to offer him out on loan to other clubs, waiting patiently for BAE to get injured and then start Bale, first at left-back then left-wing. They always knew he would be a star, and this way it was rags to riches with an impact that has left the Welshman with a £30M+ valuation. The story its self, worth its weight in gold.
And if he gets exhausted, there's always some other youthful player in the Championship to pluck from a team right under their nose. I've seen it a million times.
Of course, once Bale’s pace goes, it's game-over and he will be commercially redundant for a few years until he re-signs for Spurs as a player in his mid-30s. By the time he gets through that, the world will have moved on and his fan-base will have moved onto the next big thing. Will he make a successful comeback? In my experience I'd say probably not. Because before Bale’s pace goes, he’ll have been sold to Man Utd or City. His return to Spurs will be nothing more than a sham, a player on his last legs earning a few more dollars.
I've also met Luka Modric privately a few times over the past couple of years. He's a really nice bloke with a generous, warm personality and the most wonderfully cute, girlie-giggle. There's nothing to not like about Luka. He's a really sensitive soul and this comes across as him being a bit effeminate. But in a world of thuggish chavs, Luka’s a real breath of fresh air really and a real delight to chat to. Do I think Luka is gay? No, is the short answer to that. Levy and Redknapp have got a lot to answer for in their initial styling and image for Luka
Like many Spurs midfielders, Luka may have issues in coming to terms with sometimes having to play alongside Jermaine Jenas but in a year or so he’ll also be sold to Man Utd. But right now, he's just a great midfielder...a bit different, I admit with the hair and the dainty baby elf type frame ...but a great lad just the same.
I hope Luka and Bale are not damaged by Redknapp’s tactical and formational shuffles geared to keep Spurs from a permanent spot in the top four, fortunately, history warns otherwise...but whatever, the genie is already out of the bottle and come this summer or next, their lives will change forever. Whether it's a good or bad experience being a superb player at Spurs in this day and age, only time will tell. But as an football insider I have serious reservations about what is about to happen at White Hart Lane and I doubt the home fans are ready for what's coming.
Thanks to my friends on Twitter and Facebook for getting this email out. Without you my voice would be silent.
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