In Tottenham we trust
My head is pounding, gut churning. You know how it is with man-flu. Fathers amongst you will appreciate that in the first year or so of having a baby you tend to pick up any cold/virus they pick up. Probably a lack of vitamin c on my part, but I appear to be sick without fail every 5-6 weeks. Or perhaps I’m not sick from a bog standard bug and the baby is just a patsy. Perhaps I’m just depressed and I don’t know it.
Lack of summer sun, lack of summer transfer activity.
Sure, we’ve had the Modric saga slapped down like rolled up newspaper squashing a fly. Luka supposedly said what he said. Levy responded and closed the matter. Whispers of a possible statement from the Croatian, but nothing yet. Perhaps there’s no point in one although it would silence the vultures of the press if he came out and said something pro-Tottenham – ending any further sequels to the first episode of discontent.
New kits out. Love ‘em, hate ‘em. Seems like there’s an unwritten rule which must state something like: We shall not release the perfect kit, instead we’ll retain some imperfections with random streaks of yellow just to make it look like some thought went into it. Sponsor pays money, sponsor has right to include their logo on kit, but would be nice if both sponsor and club found a middle ground where they would share a celebratory drink with style. Style, for the record, does not include yellow or a bold font.
Then there’s the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust. You know who they are, right? Quite a few of you do but it’s always up to someone else to remind you, to give you a poke of encouragement to take a look when you’d have probably missed it altogether.
I had no idea they meet with the club on the 14/06/11. I missed a tweet earlier this afternoon that would have linked me to the minutes made live on their site today and only found out about it because someone gratefully left a comment on my blog. Considering the questions asked and the answers given, its information that should be far more reaching. You know, neon lights and not a candle in the wind.
Blogged earlier here highlighting some of the minute but now I have some available time to run through a couple of things that stand out for me.
“The Club is very busy behind the scenes trying to make the NDP viable”
Pretty much what appears to be a very positive message given in the meeting. Either that or a PR friendly ‘we’ve not dismissed the idea of the NDP’. The issue still remains one concerning public sector grants. The project still weighs in at around £250M - £300M leaving it with that not viable tag currently.
You do have to wonder what the committee discuss every week when it's obvious nothing changes from one to the next.
Have we looked elsewhere? Yes. But the land near Tottenham Hale is equally not viable due to the expense of purchasing it and countless surveys and God knows how much more time would have to be spent on proposing design, affect on the surrounding area etc etc.
We appear to be stuck in limbo in terms of direction. The club are at least investigating an increase in any proposed capacity (along with market research for corporate hospitality) but no movement (as you would expect) on naming rights and the supermarket deal. No stadium means we can hardly have a sponsored name for it.
As for the Olympic Stadium shambles, the legal challenge is in process. End of July is when Levy and co will find out the result of their complaint. I guess this is the back-up plan, be it one rooted deep in fantasy (if Levy honestly thinks he’ll get anything over-turned he’s mad). Then again, it’s not about over-turning a decision, you would think it’s more about making a point in how the decision (recommendation) was made.
The point being, we (the club) we’re used to force the reattainment of the running track and the OS legacy via the publicity of our bid in comparison to the one made by West Ham United. Considering how voting went, it was a blatant stitch up. Not that I have any complaints about it. Say no to Stratford all day long. But from the minutes the following leaves me a little cold: “Uncertainty remains that NDP will ever become viable”.
Add that quote with the following: “DL advised that he has no preference re stadium he just wants a stadium solution whatever that may be” – and we are back to the question of geography and history against revenue and progression.
There’s no time-frame on any of this, which makes me question the whole premise of the NDP and it's contingency plans that would have been in the original discussions the club had when outlining the ground redevelopment. To quote the past, if the OS never existed, if the games were to be played in France next year...thus no OS...where would we be looking towards now?
Club suggests we lobby DL David Lammy, Boris Johnson, the Sports Minister and the Local Authority 'to constructively point out the benefits that would accrue to the local community from providing some Public Sector grant support to the stadium project'.
Game of tennis.
Nothing we don’t know already. We need to ‘trim the existing first team’. No sh*t Sherlock. We’ve got enough deadwood to reconstruct the Great Fire of London. Get the impression Danny boy is always looking to make a profit on a player bought and then sold on. Which might see us getting unstuck with one or two turning away at the thought of paying what our valuation is for the likes of say, Robbie Keane or Wilson Palacios. Selling players who no longer fit into our plans will also aid with the wage bill.
‘There will be activity this summer’.
Set your watches for the final ten minutes on the last day of the transfer window. No, hold up don't fret, it’s just how it all works. Deals only kick-off in domino fashion when everyone gets desperate as time runs out. Levy states he understands why there is a perception but it’s not deliberate.
Phew. I was going to suggest we only have a transfer window of 2 days in the middle of the summer for all clubs to do their deals in. It will be akin to Wall Street with loads of chairman waving their hands around in the air screaming and shouting. Robbie Keane will no doubt be in the thick of it, signing for at least seven boyhood clubs who would share him across the course of a season.
Levy cites wish lists and clubs working through them. Perhaps it’s best to just cross out the ones that are unlikely or just start from the bottom up. Unless Carlton Cole is at the bottom of said list. Let’s be fair, I don’t think it’s an easy job to do. As long as we do have a wish list and we aim to work through it with urgency. Problem can usually sit with the opposing club who might want to hold off for a bigger fee. That’s not to say I will be forgiving if we don’t sign what we need to sign this summer. Have to be decisive.
Interestingly, the manager puts forward recommendations for players and the chairman and board of directors discuss taking into account long term financial implications. Actually, that’s not that interesting. It’s quite traditional. Although obviously Levy does a bit of work on the side (i.e. van der Vaart).
The hypothetical situation outlined (during the meeting) in terms of when the chairman/directors would say no to a proposed deal relates to a big fee for a 30+ player with little chance of re-sale or the possibility of a new manager taking over during the player’s contract who might not see the player as part of his squad.
Hypothetical or perhaps a clue to our not so far off future? I would hope the club look at certain potential players on merit of ability/experience and what they could offer in the way of leadership and that galvanising touch. Now say signing Scott Parker for £8M-£10M would fall into the ‘just say no’ category due to his age and the fact that Harry will probably not be Spurs manager beyond the 2012 season. It’s logical not to splash out such a sum on a player that wouldn’t even be first choice at Spurs (my two cents). But say, just for the hell of it, Drogba was available for £3M-£5M...would that not be a worthwhile investment? You wouldn’t get any money back on re-sell but you’d make your money back on another CL placement. No? That's the risk, gotta speculate to accumulate.
Finally, academy players. Lack of. Club are aware improvements are needed. Caulker gets a special mention, as many of us already hope he will be a special player for us in the future. We need more of this.
Harry and the Press
Brilliant side-stepping here. Harry calling fans idiots, accepted by the club as an inappropriate comment to make but it’s the fault of Sky Sports thus, mitigating circumstances, that Harry was given a leading question to answer. We’ve apparently spoken to Sky about this.
Harry loves the media, media loves Harry. Always the potential for the good and bad. Perhaps if Harry limited himself to only, say, 400 interviews a day...he wouldn’t slip up too often.
Shame the Trust didn’t ask why Harry persists with the disassociation (it’s always ‘them’ never ‘us’). I’m being petty now. We all know his only priority is to himself. I hardly care as long as he produces the goods next season.
We didn’t make as such from the CL as other English clubs due to the limited stadium capacity and restricted corporate hospitality. All links into the search for a NDP solution or a potential agreeable move to a new location that won’t fragment support. Although chairman is simply looking at the club as an entity, a brand and all that matters is that 60k capacity and plenty of boxes for the rich to swim in tubs of caviar whilst drinking unicorn blood from diamond encrusted skulls of baby seals. Because he knows in the CL (gotta get back there) we would sell out and the revenue would make us richer. If we’re 14th now in the world (last time I looked) then it’s scary to think how strong we’d be with a new stadium.
But then, call me soft, call me a romantic...I’d rather it be just under 60K and built in N17. Tottenham is Tottenham after all. Sorry, I want my cake and I want to eat it.
Kit and Sponsorship
Reason for delay in release of kits? To coincide with the shirt sponsors launch of a new product. I honestly don’t think anyone is going to care about the launch of the shirt sponsors new product. Do football fans really take note of what's on a kit other than the badge? I know advertising is just that but I didn't spend the 80s painting the walls because Liverpool were always on tv drunk on Holsten.
Under Armour from next season replacing Puma. Five year contract. Let’s pray they don’t include the random yellow streaks in their début kits.
That’s as much as I can muster.
Join me on Twitter because that's where I live.