Date: 6th November 2017 at 4:08pm
Written by:

It wasn`t that long ago that any article appearing on VS, irrespective of the subject, would turn into a Levy-bashing, or current manager-bashing, attack. But over the last couple of years it seems that the ‘bashers` have become more and more silent and progressively faded away until, now, they have disappeared completely. Threads, no matter what subject is up for discussion, are no longer taken over by repeated calls for Levy`s head, or the head of the current manager.


The ‘Levy detractors` on VS were consistent in their criticisms; mainly that he would not spend money, and he would not back his manager. They simply did not trust Levy to do what it takes to progress the club … the progression, as they saw it, being the immediate acquisition of trophies or the purchase of ‘world class` players for obscene amounts of money.

Financial constraints in comparison to other clubs were rarely considered.

What changed?

Just as some supporters did not trust Levy, it seems that Levy did not trust some of his previous managers. What many supporters failed to grasp is that Levy had a plan, a long-term plan. We can clearly see that plan unfolding before our eyes in every aspect of the club`s functioning. A few supporters on VS understood that plan. They advised caution, they advised patience, and they advised placing their trust in the THFC Management and Board. They advised a steady and incremental approach in progressing the club to where they dreamed it should be; an approach that would not only lead to success, but would make success sustainable. Levy did not want to buy glory (even if he could) because it was not a business ethic he aspired to. And modern day football is very much a business. He wanted the club`s glory to be sustainable and enduring, which was a far more realistic approach to the business of running a football club in this day and age. Yes, he had a plan. But there was one vital ingredient missing. Until …. along comes Mauricio!

In Mauricio, Levy appears, at last, to have found a manager to share his vision for the club`s future. A manager he can trust. A manager he can support. Of course there is still a fair way to go before Levy`s plan reaches full fruition, but it`s getting closer every season. There will be hiccups along the way. Life throws curve balls at unexpected moments and they have to be dealt with. Key players might, for whatever reason, decide to leave. The manager, for whatever reason, might decide to leave. Some things are beyond the club`s control. But the stronger the club`s foundation is, within its financial capacity, the less damage any curve ball will create and the easier it will be to overcome it.

Of course some of those ‘curve balls` will see supporters having a rant now and again …. it`s the nature of football and being a supporter. Any point dropped is unacceptable to some and deserving of some harsh criticism. Having supported Spurs for almost six decades, I can understand, but not enjoy, how a team can beat Barcelona in a CL game and then lose to Wigan in a league match. …. within the same week! The beauty of football is that any result is possible on the day and the many variables that affect the game are not always consistent.

Daniel Levy is a strong person and long time supporter of THFC. He is the longest serving Chairman in the Premier League. He has just been recognised with an award by the Premier League in honour of his achievements. His vision, the ‘bigger picture`, is now clear and has taken the club to the brink of sustainable success and potential glory not seen since the 60s.

The future is looking positive and can be viewed with optimism. In the meantime I am looking forward to Levy`s continued absence on future VS threads.

It`s just my opinion, of course. What`s yours?


49 Replies to “Conspicuous By His Absence!”

  • Ever since we finally and perhaps some would say overdue permission for a new ground, I’d say Levy has stepped up his game, before then I do think that he often (and I’ll be kind and say he listened too much to the wrong advisors) got a lot of the managerial appointments badly wrong. When he took over he was full of aspirations and even timelines for key progress, almost all of which slipped. At heart he is unquestionably a fan, but for me his trade-off between getting financial investment decisions right has often been wanting. That said, let’s be grateful for a dying breed: a British owner and a fan to boot. The new stadium will be his (business) crowing achievement, if as we should, we can transplant that into the playing side, we will, at long last, be back in the games elite and for that he should be applauded fro his dedication, staying power and keeping his eyes on the prize: a proze that must come next: Trophies!

  • Life is just one big learning curve from start to finish. Maybe, Levy has just been on a long learning curve as far as the ‘football business’ goes and has now got it sorted in his head. Personally I think that he has been a fan for so long and involved with the running of the club for so long, that he could well be described as ‘another one of our own’!

  • The biggest knock against Levy is the lack of trophies. That is not 100% his fault, but as the chairman of THFC, ultimately the buck stops with him. Until he delivers a trophy, the criticism will continue and the longer the wait for a trophy drags on, the more his record will look poor. There have been some changes in recent years though. We finally have a manager for the future (at last) and we do seem to go for bigger fish in the transfer market (although Levy’s net positive transfer spend remains an objective). However, buying expensive players isn’t a goal in itself but rather a way to increase our club’s chances of winning trophies. So rejoicing that we are spending more is pointless – the question is: are we closer to winning trophies? While we have solidified our place in the current top 4, we still seem some ways off being able to match the pace of a title winning team (Chelsea last year, City this year) and the cups haven’t offered much more. Overall, some positive developments in recent years, but also the reality that it’s taken us 18 years to get here, which is a very long time to wait. Certain fans will rejoice that we are on a positive path now, and disregard how long it took to get there. Others such as myself will look at the overall tenure, and point out that there have been many years of stagnation tainting Levy’s tenure overall, and several false starts. A mixed bag but far from a resounding success for me.

  • The one thing that is also strongly in Levy’s favour for his approach to never over-extend the clubs finances or by buying and paying for players that the income couldn’t sustain, is for everyone to simply look at all the clubs who have ever been in the premier league and see the trial of destruction and devastation that many ex-owners and even current owners of ex-PL clubs have left behind by trying to buy glory, yet being unable to sustain it – it’s a horrible list of what at some time or another were the great and the good and for some has been and will continue to be a decades long struggle to reinvent themselves; thankfully because of Levy’s prudence or inability (read it which way you want) to leverage Joe Lewis into bankrolling the club whenever things got sticky…we are a club who can proudly say, we stand on our own two feet.

  • I can’t join in with this Levy love-fest. My 2 biggest gripes are 1. if Levy doesn’t pay the going rate of wages to his top stars ,we will lose them & probably a disillusioned manager too as he sees his prize livestock sold off to our rivals.2.does any other top club buy as many donkeys who don’t fit in to the Poch way of playing as we do? The responsibility lies with Levy who hires the scouts [or lack of scouts]& does the negotiating of transfers himself with the accumen of a drunk gambler. I also think his spanking new stadium is too small for a club that has the biggest fanbase of any London club.

  • Rather than the statements of adoration for our esteemed chairman expressed by some, I would rather ask the pertinent questions, as I have in the other thread relating to this subject. Following on from those other abject failures as Spurs chairmen Messrs Scholar, and Sugar, why as it taken some 18 years for the current regime to position ourselves to finally be able to compete with our near neighbours for honours? Why have they been sat in a new 60,000 seater stadium for a decade or so amassing revenues far greater than ours, enabling them to pay fees and wages to attract top players, that has led to several trophies and titles, and until this season assumed annual qualification for the CL, almost entirely under 1 manager? I am fortunate to be able to remember the early 60s when Spurs supporters could taunt and ridicule the gooners, due to the relative performances of the 2 clubs. Unfortunately Arsenal saw the light, reacted to their own mediocrity, and did something about it, whereas Spurs limped on after ” the Nicholson era” with a succession of incompetent chairmen and a series of managers with 1 League Cup, and one CL QF to show for the last 18 years under the Levy tenure. At last it appears that we just might be able to start to compete with the PL bigees, always assuming that the increased revenue from the Northumberland Park project including the new stadium, will actually be reinvested on the pitch in fees and wages to recruit top quality players as required, and to keep those we already have by paying them competitive wages. It should be remembered that during the long years of ENIC ownership, and lack of success, our owner regularly appears in the top 10 of the Sunday Times Rich List as a billionaire, whilst he and his sidekick Levy have maintained a policy of under investment in this football club long before the restrictions allegedly imposed by any FFP rules, with the obvious lack of success. Levy has presided over an almost unrivalled cycle of wasteful and expensive hiring and firing of managers, in most cases denying them the investment necessary to equip them with tools necessary to succeed. He has now finally stumbled on a guy, probably more by luck than judgement, who appears to show that he might just turn this club around and enjoy some success, always assuming he gets the backing he needs and deserves. If of course we instead direct the increased revenues into further improving Mr. Lewis’s life style in the Bahamas, and to maintain Mr Levy’s earning capability amongst, or indeed actually the highest in the PL, then this success may once again be denied. It should be remembered we are a football club, not a Merchant Bank or a Building Society, and our success is measured by trophies and honours, not on the balance sheet, the dividend, or by the excesses of the life styles of those in control. Levy has yet to earn the accolades being bestowed on him by some, let’s wait and see the arrival of the success we have been starved of for so long before we sower him with them.

  • I agree with Greavesabovall. Fans have a short memory. Frank may have a more balanced input on this. Re the short memory…one only have to look at the mood swings, euphoria drawing v RM to disappointment losing to Man U, followed by another round of euphoria beating RM and critical of the way we handled Palace.

    Can’t dispute that the club has been on a steady rise under his tenure, but forget all his mistakes at your peril. Yes, he hit VERY LUCKY recruiting Poch…just his type of manager in every respect. Selling Walker (regardless of the circumstances) irritated many as the memories of Modric, Bale, Berbatov and Carrick resurfaced. Let’s not judge him (on the football side) until some silverware has been delivered for a (presumably) very large trophy room in the new stadium.

    I’d also say that with the football side, for once, on a stable footing, we are seeing Levy’s business acumen in the development of the new stadium, Use of Wembley to get a larger exposure, the overall marketing, fan base improvement and the obvious wheeling and dealing in the transfer market for the best financial returns for ENIC. However, there is still the issue with unable to complete transfers in a timely manner, the need for occasionally -ve spend, i.e., speculate to accumulate. I’ll also add that his reputation in the transfers impact adversely our ability to negotiate some deals. I also question the drawn out saga v Archway which delayed the stadium build….imo, paying them an additional mill or 2 will have saved us more in the long term as the cost of the stadium has escalated from the earlier projections.

    In summary, we see the team doing well and the stadium rising in front of our eyes, we can brush all the past issues under the carpet. I wish my employer would give me 18 years to crack the code!….. (For Levy, whilst being the highest paid football club CEO.)

  • Personally I have not had that much of an issue with Levy as some on here. Yes he can bug me with his last day transfers that seem to be often panick buys and we pay over the odds, and of course sacking managers quickly, but I never really felt he was as bad as some made out.

    First, I never brought in to the idea that Levy sanctioned transfers ALONE, just wouldn’t happen, I am sure managers and others had a say, so when they went wrong I couldn’t understand the bashing he got as if he was the only one to blame. Also transfers are difficult and can fall through and so last minute panick buys I guess are expected to make numbers up, the key is to try and not get to the last day, but with the money being thrown around in wages players hold out I am sure to see who comes in for them, and that makes it hard for our club.

    I didn’t like the way Jol was sacked and treated, but overall Levy has done alright with what he has got.

    I think we now have a better match in Levy and Poch, mainly because och wants to develop players, it seems to be in his blood, and this works better in the financial model we have at the moment. I still think our transfer policy can improve a lot but the stadium is very impressive and in a way I feel sorry for Levy because for any mistakes he has made, he is a Spurs supporter and it must hurt being bashed the way he has unfairly at times.

    I think levy will want to stay with spurs and continue to develop the club after the stadium is built and I hope he does, and getting recognition as the longest Pl chairman is wonderful, he is surviving in a very bizarre, competative business and for me he deserves credit.

  • I agree with you Frank in that over 18 years, Levy was bound to hire someone eventually who get it right. That said, we still have not achieved anything in real terms. NO trophies, 2nd place with 86 points!!! Only Spurs could get 86 points and not win the Prem. 3rd in a season where Leicester City won the Prem. It remains to see what we do this season, but there has to be a trophy this season or there will have been no real progression. I love what Poch is doing and how he is doing it. I hope he brings in the silverware this season. I have been a Spurs fan for almost 40 years. This is the best squad I have seen at Spurs. I really thought that the Pleat team of 86 was going to be title winners and become Spurs legends. This squad have the ability to do that. Bringing back Bale would make it a certainty.

  • Have to say that I agree with Geoff on this. Football is a business and has to be able to support itself – otherwise it becomes a playground for feckless billionaires. I don’t look enviously at Chelsea or City because they are vulnerable to their owners getting bored and walking away, to be replaced by someone who doesn’t have bottomless pockets, and enact a disastrous refinancing.
    What ENIC- Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy – have done is to create a solid financial base, enact a plan to develop that into the near, medium and long term, with the right personnel in place.
    It is fair enough to criticise the lack of success on the pitch, and there may well be some truth that DL was on a learning curve, but would you really want him to move on now?
    As far as the delay on the stadium goes, I don’t think the blame can be laid solely at ENIC’s door. Any planning application needed to be approved by the communist state of Haringey – whose planning committee appears to have been stuffed with Arsenal fans – who only appear to have joined the real world after the riots of 2011, and given Spurs the support that was previously absent.
    Daniel Levy is one of us? Absolutely he is, and if we do achieve any trophy success this season, we should be singing his name along with Poch.

  • It’s a great fallacy for me that the clubs being backed by billionaire owners are somewhat more vulnerable than others. It seems that the PL is the place to be for billionaires looking to invest in a new toy. If Roman ever was to pull out of Chelsea (unlikely in the short term), I’d imagine there are probably 2 or 3 other “Romans” just waiting to buy it off of him and run it for the next 20 years. The PL, and its global exposure, represents a tremendous platform for anyone looking to invest in the entertainment industry. With every year that passes, the argument of “Chelsea and City are owned by billionaire owners who will eventually get bored and leave the club in a mess” gets weaker. Roman has been around 13+ years, which is longer than most previous owners of CFC. The same is valid for City, whose owners have been in charge for almost 10 years. I’m not disputing that building the club up progressively is a more elegant, or less artificial, way to develop a club, but that’s not to say that all other models are bound to fail. The other thing which is striking to me, in threads about Levy, is that when people praise him, the only 2 things they ever mention is financial stability, and the stadium. Nothing about the football. Which is unfortunate… for a football club.

  • BelgianSpur – The problem with your “Billionaires are great” argument is that really its not about having a rich owner, its about having the richest owner. Roman is supposed to be worth £14bn, unfortunately for him that’s pocket change to City’s owners. That’s why the Qataris bought PSG rather than an English club, they didn’t want to go head to head with the UAE. Subject to the vagaries of FFP if you are going to buy success then you want the owner with the deepest pockets. So where exactly do you get an owner with more money than an oil state ?

  • jod – and the fact that Roman has less money is relevant why? He still has invested enough money to field a competitive team which has won the PL twice in the last 3 years. It doesn’t look like it’s holding him back too much, does it?

  • Ken Dagnall, yes, I recognise that the planning issue with the local council can be a very time consuming exercise as public and politicians get involved. However, imo, we had more or less got the green light and Archway dragged their heels the squeeze the best deal for them….who’d argue with them?. The fact that they DID move and accepted a compromise offer suggests the negotiations were akin to our transfer dealings. We may have been up and running with our stadium over 12 months ago.

    Then I bet it cost between 1 and 2 mill to fight and lose the OS battle with the Spammers……a move, imo, that would’ve destroyed all the heritage of our club…..that was purely £££ signings spinning in the owners’ heads.

  • BelgianSpur – Make your mind up, either its about spending money or it isn’t. If you are saying Roman has spent less money more effectively than City’s owners then so can we, in fact we have done. The “Billionaires are great” argument disappears.

  • jod – It’s about having a transfer kitty which is big enough to compete for the world’s best players. Once you have that, whether the owner has 14 billion, 27 billion or 300 billion is irrelevant. Roman’s Chelsea is rich enough to compete with any club financially. Chelsea’s squad is deep and full of quality. Chelsea can compete with anyone financially, we cannot. Therein lies the big difference.

  • Well, according to a recent survey, several European clubs have paid many more times than us on their players to establish a team … but we now have the SECOND most valuable team (current value of players on the transfer market) in Europe. Second to Manchester City. That puts us ahead of Madrid, Barca, PSG, etc. You can argue the pros and cons and turn it inside out and upside down any which way you want … but it seems to me we’ve been doing a hell of a lot of things right.

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