Just Say No


Daniel, it's 7pm on Tuesday the 25th. Whilst you're off gallivanting with the Spurs team on their US tour, you've still found time to remotely detonate cerebral mind bombs for the masses of fans back at home. Everyone has defaulted to the seasonal fetal position. Whilst other clubs are spending ridiculous money, we've yet to make a transfer move. The pre-season is a thunderous storm of seethe and it's raining salty tears.

You've said that the activity (outside of non-activity) is impossible to be sustainable. I won't pretend the bubble has got bloated and seeing it burst is appealing. Not looking likely to do so for a while yet. Especially if television rights in England push towards clubs selling them individually (in the future). Clubs outside the bubble will be in ruins.

You said that anyone spending £200M or more than what they're earning will eventually suffer the consequences of a chaotic catch-up. I guess there's a point here, if the bubble did burst then you're left with players on several hundred k's per week with no exaggerated value to sell-on. It's all quite unlikely though because football will probably shift towards a super league and those that are spending £200M will cement their place in its upper echelons. The rest will romanticise about transfer taxes and grass-root development and die a quiet death.

You cited that we've invested money into physical facilities for long term growth, as opposed to these excessive quick wins. Although quick wins are just that, preludes to winning.

You highlighted the importance of the academy producing home grown players and that we don't need to go out and spend £20M, £30M or £40M on a player. Unless it's a panic buy on the final day of the transfer window. To be fair we struggle to sign any for less than £5M most days. Ah, but that isn't true. We signed Dele for £5M. He's probably worth £200M in the current market. Kane was an academy product. £250M from a 400k investment? But these figures mean nothing to the man on the street, especially if the player is leaving Spurs.

You stated we have a coach that believes in the academy and agrees with you. A match made in heaven, at least from your perspective. Whether it's all a disguise for tightening our belts over the transition into the new stadium is beyond my financial knowledge. Not having a £300M stadium naming rights sponsor confirmed might be influencing the fiscal stance but it's hardly breaking the mould of what we're used to in the day to day. After-all, you have an image of someone that is eternally stubborn and hard to negotiate with.

You confirmed that unless we find a player who'd make a difference we would rather give one of our academy players a chance. Regardless of the stadium build. You've made it clear that we've yet to be in a place where we've found the player we definitely want but can't afford him. Now this is both obvious and paradoxical. You're hardly going to advertise any interest in say any player we're being linked with. Why would you? Fans are foolish to think this. However you're also protecting the potential that we might sign no one. The defence will be this ethic that suggests we know exactly what we want and what we need and if nobody fits the bill then nobody signs. You're also suggesting that we would and could in theory spend BIG if we wanted X player. So in a nutshell, we don't have any targets we'd publicly admit to. Literally, much ado about nothing. Just words.

Even though I truly believe Poch can work wonders with under performing players and the youth and get the best out of any raw gem. Even though I truly appreciate our more composed organic growth and the binding of a team that is maturing as one entity over (hopefully) a short space of time to produce silverware. Even though this is admirable, let's not pretend that any given 'superstar' transfer we've seen other clubs complete in the past month or two wouldn't strength us. Poch will hardly turn down extra quality to give him the extra options. At the same time, imagine Poch at a City or Barcelona. I doubt he'd turn his head at a £200M war chest. So I guess this ties in with the model you're perpetuating. Works for you, works for him.

From the other perspective, us - the supporters - shouldn't be naive to think any of those transfers we've witnessed could have been hijacked by big little Tottenham. Player wages own the game. We live in an age where there is so much money, the power plays take place between agents and the players. Always pushing upwards. And why not? It's about earning. Whilst they expand their brand we're sat watching increasing ticket prices and the marginalisation of the next generation of supporters. It's hardly accessible for us to understand their mindset whilst we struggle on with paying to watch them struggle with their millions.

Look, I get it, in the past we've scatter-gunned are way through transfer windows and it's pot luck whether the players worked out. We acquired new players by the half dozen and then clumsily looked to fit them in. There's structure now, we're looking at particular skill sets. But we're back to the only reality that matters and that's whether we can maintain the momentum we've built up. We've done it for two seasons and both times the word on the street in the summer was a resounding 'no chance' because of what was going on around us. But we still achieved and had there been one or two wins here and there when we only got draws...well, you know, game of inches. Or rather a game of signing players when we need them.

Based on this, based on that lack of depth off the bench to avoid stretching the squad...it's a no brainer that new players will strengthen us.  It's so obvious it's embarrassing to say it out loud.

Here's where my head is pounding.

Of course we're only going to sign players we want. Of course the players have to be the right ones. What we gonna do, sign players we don't want? Fact is, even though we are composed we still sometimes seem to lack decisiveness. It's too early to cry about it though. There's still time, right? For all the £50M targets out there other clubs are speculating on, I don't believe for a second there aren't a couple that completely fit the bill. In fact, sod the price tag. If the player is right in terms of our football philosophy and if the player isn't courted by clubs willing to pay 200k+ then what we waiting for? Of course, middle-tier players are now being valued at £45M and stubbornness means we won't entertain them.

I know Daniel, I'm beginning to lose myself in the rhetoric. It's all a bit messy. Trying to rationalise. Again, I do get that if we end up signing three players (let's say one of them is Barkley) then we'll have had a decently healthy window simply because you and Poch have got the players you feel are the right ones. But nothing? No signings? No signing? Then rely on academy players? Why make it difficult? Why place obstacles internally when we've having to fight against all the external ones? Why not speculate to accumulate? Surely this is business 101?

Do you get me Daniel? See, from a PR perspective, being this transparent only sounds like an excuse because all fans are interested in is consolidation that proves our ambition. Why? Because it's logical and because of all the reasons I've mentioned. All we can do is trust in your faith and the managers and what we're left with either way. What we have, for the record, isn't too shabby. Is it enough? Is it worth the risk of finding out by not being adventurous in the transfer market? What with the tick tock of the footballing clock edging closer to midnight.

I'll end on this.

Signing a couple of players or more, even a big signing (in the eyes of the fans) also helps the squad mentality. In terms of competing in all competitions, bit of rotation, bit of something different. It helps because if we don't consolidate, the superstars we've already got will do what their peers are programmed to do. Move on. Football exists within the boundaries of the present. Longevity is undoubtedly important if you wish to attain a consistent challenge. Puncturing history even once in a life-time is what we live and breath for. It's in essence what football is to us. A moment. Moments. Which is why supporters live in the now and you Mr Chairman are invited to do the same.




Spookytape recording