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Lets Get Real!

It seems an obsession with some fans that we should spend whatever it takes to get this or that player, when the reality is a very long way from what some expect.

I have to say I would be absolutely amazed to see Tottenham spend £30m+ on an individual player, simply because the maths wouldn't work out. Firstly we have to assume we would have that amount of cash to spend, but lets for the sake of argument, agree that we have somewhere in that vicinity to lavish on strengthening the side. Add a little, no doubt in being able to sell one or two players that AVB didn't see in his plans and we potentially have a very nice sum of money to spend. However, even if we had, 30, 40 or 50 million to invest, I would safely suggest that we would be looking at several players as opposed to one or perhaps two box office superstars. If we can't afford them or they aren't available, then we simply get on with what we have.

Picking up Willian and Damiao might be the dream of many, but any deal will have to be based on Tottenham's valuation and not the whim of a rival owner. £30m the pair, perhaps, but much more would simply not happen. Now my reasoning for this is quite sound, or at least I think it is. I base my thinking not only on our clubs ability to spend and attract the biggest names, but also by what appears to be a verity sensible way of doing business. Spending £30m on one player is heaped with risk. putting everything you have into buying one player may show ambition, but it also represents a gamble that Spurs can ill afford. What happens if that player struggles for form, gets injured or simply gets homesick for his mums home cooking? Spend that money of two or even three players, and you spread the risk and if one or even two players struggle, surely one will recoup the cash.

Buying established players who have perhaps struggled following moves or are currently out of fashion or favour seems to be something Spurs like, just as much as buying ones that are emerging as top players, but are perhaps not seen as being quite ready by the games elite. Players such as Vertonghen may well be good enough to play for the very best, but to the likes of Barca or Real, perhaps he remains a year or two away from their thinking. Tottenham may well consider buying him for £9m now in the realistic expectation of getting good work from him and selling at a Modric style profit is their best and most realistic means of doing business and keeping pace with the competition.

At a time when plenty of clubs are desperately trying to lighten their financial burdens, there are players available for a fraction of their previous worth, problem that we are still seeing is that they still expect huge wages or signing on fee's which in many cases are too rich for a club like Spurs, but as we have previously seen with signings such as Rafael Van der Vaart, there are some great players who are sensible in their expectations and prefer playing ambition to a bigger pay-packet. Similarly a club that has money and a proven record of coaching and developing players are a very sensible stepping stone between levels and therefore Tottenham are again an attractive option, especially as they are developing, whilst seemingly challenging for honours, giving youngsters a great platform to learn and also showcase their talents.

Being sensible with our money is perhaps the way we as fans need to accept our club doing business over the long term. We need to understand that until there is strict financial legislation or we have a maya rich sugar daddy, we have to wheel, deal and gamble with our money and hope that in buying well and often potential, we will lose of some and gain big on others and in doing so continue to gain a reputation for developing and polishing potential, whilst also still achieving reasonable success on the field. Buying the biggest and richest players may be exciting, but I think we need to get real and accept that we will be looking at certain areas of the market and once we come to terms with our position, I think we will enjoy the game all the more...

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 17 2013

Time: 3:40PM

Your Comments

Now I have written this, I just know we will spend £50m on Falcao or similar just top make me look stupid...
I think it'll be safe to say Ox that you will not be taking a dive in the grade of your intelligence.
Ah the painful sting of reality! Do I really want to be told that in january we will only being signing one or two young players with potential? No, I want to foll myself with the firm belief that we are on the verge of signing Willian, Leandro, Belhande, Son, Moutiniho, Lilic, Sanchez, Llorente, Erikson etc. Wow what a list of talent and all these guys are going to be spurs players by teh end of the month or you could believe Ox's cock and bull story above!
Slurms McKenzie
This is a good article and there are a lot of home truths in it. We do NOT have the money for players that command a transfer fee of 20m plus, it will never work for us on our structure (the correct structure I may add) It is silly to think we can spend that type of money. We as fans and a Club need to work our way up and develop our players, which is why I am so happy with AVB he believes in this and this will make us stronger than any one off 30m player.
I dont think the majority of spurs fans are expecting a 20, 30m striker. We just need to fill in a gap. £8 on Remy i think would have been a risk worth taking.
But apart from Yidmarks and a few others, I dont think many of us really expect them big money signing and esp not in January, but saying that this is still some good value for money signing out there to help us achieve our goals.
Good article. It does surprise me when people have a go at Levy for not signing Willian or Moutinho, I really don't get it. Not for once have I thought we were in for these types of players because we do not spend £25m or more on a single player and no, it is not about time that we started. Those that moan that Levy does not "take the plunge" in the transfer market will be the same fools who will moan that ticket prices have gone up to uncontrollable amounts next season. People seem to want their cake and eat it at times.
so what of the modric millions added to that the vdv millions... where is the money we had tabled for mouthino? we sell two players for a combined +/-43'000'000, spend 15, leaving a balance of 28, and now we're skint and can't have anyone expect a couple of free's. absolute nonsense. ox, this article reads like you were paid by the pr department.
Cape Town Spurs
buy cheap buy twice....we spent what 15m on Dempsey and Gylfi and pay c£150k pw wages....both very hard to sell if we wanted to, and what do they bring apart from mediocrity? I too would be surprised to see us splash 30m on a player despite being told we would by the club....remember Arry? And Yes spending a large sum on one player is a risk but you have to take risks to reap reward all we'll get by buying mediocre players is mid table obscurity....
Was VDV sensible in his expectations or did he have the good sense to understand this was the best deal for him at the last hour. I think RM and VDV got the most they could out of the situation. We were the only ones left standing who were willing to pay that amount. COYS
how did the big clubs get big? Success on the pitch by getting the best players....
Think you might have that Bi-polar disorder OX. Im sure the other day you were commenting on how we need X Y & Z! I get your point, and it is a point well made. We all know the score ox, yeah we would love to be able to blow £35m on a player but it isn’t going to happen. Lets take willian as an example, Shaktar have put a £20m price tag on his head solely because they know Chelsea were interested. No other club bar PSG would entertain a £20m price tag for such a raw talent. I Think the reason why us fans get annoyed is because we NEVER take a calculated risk on a player, unless they are dirt cheap, and by the time we are sure about putting a bid in so is the rest of Europe, which drives the price up and we lose out. The other thing is OX, like the striker situation, we have needed one for the last 4 years. Llorente, Son, Negredo, Wolfwinkle are all available and due to contracts or clubs running out of cash are availbel for a very affordable fee. But I would guarantee that we don’t sign a striker this January.
ox, I on't think you have to worry about Falcao. PSG will spend the 50M on him. Even if it were 25M, his wage demands will be through the roof (fairly so). I think, the same 50M could be better spent on Holtby, Son, Willian, Negredo, Sissokho. COYS
I tasty 6 month loan deal for a good striker that wants to play! There must be a few of those knocking about.
oh no dread the fact we might actually buy a top player, one who captivates the imagination and has kids wanting to be him in the playground and buying his with the average prem fan now 41years old and the next generation of fans dwindling and less fanatical in their support it's much more prudent to blow half a billion quid on a concrete bowl!....allegedly 'cause by the time it's finished it'll need ramps for the fans as the average age will be in the 60's!!
''We want Harrods goods @ poundstretcher prices'' Daniel Levy's title for his new book
spu 4 life
I for one will be glad when the window closes, after hours scouring the web for any shred of transfer news that Willian Damiao or anyone is on their way to the lane, I know i'm wasting my time but i cant stop myself! I think the likelihood is that we have already done all the business we are going to, though i do have some lingering hope that a big deal could yet happen. There will only be one, if there are any at all. Willian maybe?
I knew just from this articles title that it was going to rub me up the wrong way, and I was proved right despite it being a well written piece. No club has ever achieved success by bargain basement shopping. The glaring exception being Man Utds golden generation 15 or so years ago, and we will never see the like again. Certainly not at our club based on my knowledge of our current youth crop. I won't put an actual figure on what I would spend on one single player, but there is no reason or exceuse for not bringing in the best quality that we can afford given whatever our budget may be. It is painfully, ridiculously, embarrassingly obvious that we have needed a grade-A striker for the best part of four years now. So if we were prepared to spend £20million plus for a single player in the Summer (Joao Moutinho) then why shouldn't we expect that the same amount of money can be allocated to one single player now when we need it the most? What difference has 5 months made? We had it then, so we have it now. We were prepared to spend it then, so why shouldn't we expect the board to be prepared to spend it now? What's the difference? And before I am accused of being short-sighted and going for immediate gains, let me put it this way. Anyone who would rather bean-count than consolidate our top-four place right now is jeopardising not only what could be a great season, but also jeopardising the next half a dozen. It may well be the case that Bale to Madrid is all done bar the signing. But don't you think he'd be much more likely to fancy staying if we were in the CL next season? To him, add Sandro, Walker, Verts, Lloris and one or two others who may well have there heads turned by any number of clubs able to offer them Champs League on a regular basis. An offer that WE could also make, if a statement of intention is made RIGHT NOW to cement our top four credentials in the short term and show our current stars that we aren't all bluff and bluster and that they can achieve their dreams and ambitions right here!!! Maybe it comes down to personal ambition. And I would rather at least STRIVE for the best and fall then be content to be an also-ran. There's nothing embarrassing in failure if the intention was noble and good. And I remember someone with certain ties to our club saying something along similar lines a few decades back!!! Time to dare and to do.....come on you beautiful Spurs!!!
Real Madrid want shot of the extent they may pay him off...we could offer to supplement that with a wage till the end of the season (a bit like Ade loan last year) at least that way we would still get international exposure and keep increasing the brand.....the brand I know people don't want to hear it but a brand has value!!!
Just read that Juve are only offering £3m for Llorente as he is out of contract in the summer. Does anyone think we have put a bid in but the player is wanting to go to Italy? Surely Bilbao have offers of Twice that amount for him.
Kaka i think is finished. No sense getting him in. Llorente, on the other hand, would be spot on. Could he be persuaded though?
I think Juve and Llorente agreed it last year....otherwise they may have come in for Ade...
Yorkspur If we are to do any 'big' business between now and the deadline I think the Willian deal looks the most likely to happen in Jan.
shedboy, Kaka is breaking down. I thought it would be a good idea but he looked way off the pace the other day (until he was sent off for his second card - and he as a sub).

Shedboy, I actually agree with your statements above re: fans, age and priorities. It's why I don't understand why we don't go in for Son and Mitroglou - 10-11M for the 2. Huge market in South Korea (we'll be in Hong Kong in the summer) and a huge worldwide Greek market. Both can score and both have looked better and better year over year. COYS
yorks-he's on his last legs for sure but I think we'd get half a season out of him...he is a year or two younger than Parker. But the exposure and signal would be good...
Everyone wants us to spend big, but didn't we spend HUGE amounts on Bentley and Bent? What value for money they turned out to be. We should always spend big, just like Liverpool did on Carroll, Henderson and Downing, what could possibly go wrong, they're knocking on the door of mid-table atm, a huge achievement on such a budget, apparently it's the only way to win things? Oh...
on the right lines Peter but they already need recognition, they should be touched by the fame brush...a bit like Honda for japan (not suggesting him now) a player that is already a hero in his homeland...or is that why we bought Dempsey? Shame about Kaka I wouldn't have thought Jose would put out a player who couldn't track back!
The reason we are well covered in all other departments apart from attack is because its those attacking players that cost top dollar and Levy obviously does not want to risk 20m+ on a single player, I suppose that may be understandable given the tight ship he runs but it does beg the question-what do our scouts do exactly? Im sure Levy would spend 10-15m on a talented goalscorer so surely somewhere in Europe or s.America there is a good striker who could bang the goals in with the service they would get from Bale,Lennon & co...
Crissybwoy - Yeah but downing carrol and henderson were terrible buys! Bent was mismanaged and Bentley is.....err
LilyWhiteHart, I have no doubts that the funds are there. I think, we would pay up to whatever our valuation is for Leandro and any other number of players so long as they wanted to come, their club wants to sell, and they would fit within our wage structure. Leandro has been tracked by a whole host of clubs (just like Remy). The issue in the Leandro case seems to be a reluctance to sell - to anyone. Milan, AC, Barca, RM, Chelsea, ManU have all been said to have interest in the player. They can all pay way more than what we would. We have a right to match. Seems to me if there was a desire to go, he'd have gone. This window is the first time there have been rumblings from all parties that something might be up. My point is, unless you have willing parties around the table, there is no deal to be had short of paying people to be intereted. Spurs do not have the wherewithal to pay above the odds. COYS
this is true crissybwoy, both over 16m, when we spent 5m on bale and 1m on Lennon. once bitten in those cases, we will want a nailed on success if we are to spend that much, if such a thing exists. again its back to Willian or Moutinho.
yeah spend big on Bentley who was putting crosses on a sixpence for Santa Cruz only for him to fire in crosses one and then get pelters for using hair gel....and they were giving it to Bale as well...still he did come in for Lennon and help us get CL proper so whilst a waste of money not a total waste...and he still earns less than Gylfi!
hudderspur, agree with your post, terrible buys indeed. Just making the point about spending big, Downing looked good (not great) for Villa and Carroll (some on here wanted to sign him, not me though) looked like he had potential to progress, much like Bentley did in his youth. We've been burnt hard over Bentley, can't believe he's still at the club, still, at least we now have cover for Lennon after his stint in Russia. ;)
oh and Bent, whilst Sandra is obviously the better finisher why buy a player used to playing up top on his own and shoe horn him into a 442? There's spending big on quality and then there's spending like a Chav winning the lotttery. And he did manage to increase his value after he left us ...
Bentley and Gio were bought for the system that Ramos intended to use. Firing Ramos and bringing in Harry undid that, thus they no longer fit. Harry wanted a 4-4-2 with pace on the wings. Bentley couldn't play the MF role and certainly was not quick enough to be a winger. Gio was just always on the wrong side of Harry. Bentley has regressed hugely. I question whether we looked enough in to the mental qualities o Bent and Bentley. Same could be said of Pav, Gio etc. Lots of talent, just no mental toughness. COYS
WindowWonder, it also begs the other question I asked in my post mate. If we had a £20million+ bid for one player (Joao Moutinho) accepted in the summer, then why aren't we perfectly entitled to expect the board to be prepared to sanction the same amount of money on a player who we need now far more desperately than we did then?! Come on you beautiful Spurs!!!
You've only got to look at Chelsea's last three home league results to show that simply throwing huge amounts of money around to buy and pay players doesn't guarantee anything.
Should have said league and league cup results.
shedboy, Bent can't even get a game in a bottom-three club, I'm not saying he's found his level, but even he probably can't have imagined how awry his career would turn out when he got his 'big move' to us. I feel bad for Jol on that one, desperate for a LW and Comolli blew the budget on Bent when we had the highest-scoring partnership in the Prem the season before in Keane and Berbs. Utter madness.
TQ2Spurs, very good point.
The word 'guarantee' is so overused on here that it's staggering. No player, young or old, cheap or expensive, foreign or homegrown, is 'guaranteed' to succeed at a new club. If they were then they would be priceless. Every transfer is a calculated gamble. Of course some are more expensive than others, and constitute a bigger gamble. But what's the alternative?! Bring back the Yorkshire Cricket Clubs policy?!??! The lack of ambition of some people frightens me. And it will bite us in the ar$e once again at the end of this season when the rumblings of an exodus surface because we didn't take a punt and consolidate our place at the top, where the top players want to play. Come on you beautiful Spurs!!!
LilyWhiteHart, we can either believe we are being strung along with the bids, or we can assume that they are trying, within reason, and the price becomes inflated, or the club doesn't want to sell or the player doesn't want to come. I believe Levy, AVB and Co. are trying. I suspect that we are priced out of a lot of deals. Dempsey was not panic. He was the first guy on the list to work out. He wasn't top of the list, but he was the top one on the list who said yes at a level we could afford and the selling club was willing to sell. It's how it works. Harry wanted Neville. Levy (and presumably the scouts and persons responsible for valuations) made an offer based on the valuation (which takes in to account salary etc) and it was thrown back with a derisory comment or two. Felaini has a 23M buyout. That means there are only about 6 teams that could pay it and most of those wouldn`t be interested. Other fly-by-night operators may be willing to roll out the cash, but the player would likely then remove. It`s the point of a buyout clause. Bale will cost 55M if someone wants him. If it comes, bite the hand off and move on. Willian, Dzagoev, Alderweirald and Son would not cost that much. COYS
It's worth considering that any transfer kitty includes probably includes money for wages too. Just getting a player to sign a new contract is like signing a new player. But after all the meticulous building of our squad we've done over the ENIC years I think it might be time to make a big money marquee signing. You have to make sure you're getting a seriously talented and reliable player for the money, but eventually it is the only way to go up to the level we are only just short of. Again, reliability of talent is the key when taking that kind of gamble, but if they're going to get homesick or have a sulk on 75k plus a week, tough! Show some respect and do as you're told!
Lilywhitehart there has been too many cases like that where we were supposedly close to sealing big money deals for world class players(Aguero,Rossi,Moutinho)which never seem to get done,I just dont think Levy would ever pay that sort of money and while negotiations probably did go on for Moutinho I would imagine that particular deal was never actually gonna happen...but being linked with big stars is good press for Levy so thats what probably the case there IMO..
TQ, I think the recent form of Chelsea says more about the attitude of their fans than their transfer policy. Lost at home to QPR and drew with Southampton, yet away from home thrashed Stoke City, notoriously one of the most difficult destinations on the circuit. They thrashed Soton away and lost at home to Swansea too. They're not coping with the negativity of their fans at home.
As a realist I find great pleasure in being able to honestly say i believe that our squad is a signing or two away from seriously challenging for the league title. Damiao, Willian, Rose (returning from loan), Alderweireld. If we could have roughly two players for every position, we could make a serious title challenge.Let the likes of Huddlestone,Dawson go.Players that don't fit into AVB's ethic.
Buying players is all about spotting real quality.We did well with Berbatov,Modric and Bale,who are world class as proven with their sell on value.No way will Dempsey,Siggy or Dembele have these sell on values.My point here is,have we lost the scouting ability to find such talent,afterall we let Suarez,Michu and Hazard slip through our fingers when we were in a good position to sign them.I believe we have lost a vital voice in the backroom,no idea who that genius was,but he aint there anymore!
That's a good point edmonton, one our own supporters should keep in mind.
LilyWhiteHart, our ambition, or similar lack thereof is irrelevant. We are run as club that spends within its means, plus or minus, every year. CL is what we need, to be sure. I believe the previous manager had a squad capable of it all of the last three years. We have spent mony. Our wage increases over the past 5 years has been quite telling. Would CL this season have kept Modric? No way. Would it have made VDV want to accept a supporting role? Doubt it. Would not have stopped King from retiring. The odd player will hold out for CL. Most hold out for money. Ade had a deal done early with us. He just waited to squeeze more out of City. So he chose money over the team. I think most players do this. That said, the majority have the good sense to get it done at an appropriate time. It's a money issue. Spurs don't spend over the odds. If only I had the same control when at the pub. COYS
Aye, especially as the second half of the season is now underway. Utd, City and Arsenal all have to come to the lane. Lets show AVB some support and give him and the team a helpful boost so it doesn't all collapse again!
WindowWonder, the Moutinho deal was undone by third party ownership. It was never close which was why Moutinho never stopped training or traveling with Porto. We were never in for Aguero or Rossi. Both were a question of using Spurs to get more. Aguero got more money and his old club got more money because we pushed up the value. City had to pay more to get their man. In Rossi's case, didn't he (amazingly) get offered a new deal to stay? Did he ever really want to come to Spurs? Remy chose QPR because of a video game. Sure he did. He went because their owner was willing to give him (not his club who could have sold to any number of clubs willing to pay the price) more money than the others. There are guarantees in football. Remy has a contract. If he does naff all he gets paid. COYS
This is a good article but for me you have slightly missed the point. The main reason that there is some areas of discontent with Levy and the board is because he won't put his hand in his pocket AT ALL, let alone for £30million plus. At the moment Younes Belhanda is available for £9 million. Demba Ba was available for £7.5 million. Kaka and Sneijder are available. Cazorla was available. There are so many examples. I understand we bought Dembele, Vertonghen and Lloris but the reason we got them is that we were able to double the meagre wages they were earning in cash-tight leagues or at cash-tight clubs. I am all for bargains, but it seems Levy has to tick a lot of 'bargain' boxes before he is completely happy. On top of this we get statements telling us how close we were to signing key players - from Juninho to Moutinho. I expect one for Sneijder this January. It would be great if once, just once, we go and spend what is necessary on WORLD CLASS - not just Premier League quality. We have to look at United, City and Chelsea, they are littered with WORLD CLASS players. Liverpool have Gerrard and Suarez. Arsenal have Cazorla and Wilshere. Even Everton have Fellaini and Baines. These are players who would walk into any team in the Premier League. We have Bale and at a push Lloris. I love Sandro, Dembele and Vertonghen, but let's not kid ourselves that they would play week in week out for City or United. I understand the focus on youth and development, but sometimes a big signing can provide impetus in the squad. 3rd is there for the taking this year, I really hope history doesn't repeat history repeating if you know what I mean....
There is no doubt in my mind that the supporters (of which I was one) were more a detriment than a benefit in the WBA and Norwich games. If those had been away games, I bet we take them both. The fans put so much pressure on the players to perform. People on here complain because we won 2-1 and didn't rip the opposition a new one. It's not enough to win. It has to be done with flair or it doesn't count. Our away form has been great this sason. The second half, WHL has to be a fortress. Do that and CL is ours. COYS
peterballb, Good morning to the Canadian church of Enic! A season back you were telling us all Peter, THFC were just 1 top quality coach, away from being a Premiership title winning side. Redknapp was the problem according to you! Well, now a year on, Harry's gone, 60 million has spent spent by your hero Daniel Levy, the entire mount he raised on last summers sales of the likes of VDV, Modric etc, etc, etc to play Fantasy Football Ebay with, and now your telling us the team is weaker? 60 million spent and yet now we are weaker? Who's doing the buying Peter? Well it ain't AVB! It's your 2 steps forward, 3 steps backwards, loser of a Fantasy Football chairman... Have a nice big up ENIC writing day peter...
Excellent posts Seb tho I wouldn't agree Baines is 'world class' very good left back still.
Sebthespur, Ba is on more than we would have paid him. The transfer fee was never an issue. His knees and the wages were. Schneijder has stated he expect 160knet/week. Well that aint going to happen. Kaka looks terrible. RM want rid, they don't want to subsidize. Carzola sure, but then he wanted Arsenal. I agree on Belhanda, though I would still go the Sissokho route. The whole picture must be taken in to account. Wages are more and more the obstacle. Transfer fees rarely are. COYS
Schneijder or Dempsey/Gylfi? Schneijder would be a little less on the transfer fee....wages are about equal.
pelebro, why don't you spoil us with some of your optimistic wisdom then.
Pelebro, the church never closes. f you actually read and reported my pots correctly, you'll note that I stated 3 quality players. Striker, wing player and keeper and we needed to consider that Ledley would not play forever. Redknapp himself always stated 2 quality signings from competing for the title. He could have had Suarez. Nope, too much like VDV according to those who had his ear.

But back to your constant distortions. We needed, according to myself (I was not the only one, but let's pretend I was) 3 quality players, striker, wing cover/option for Bale and Lennon and a proper keeper. So we got Lloris. Great job. He is a top keeper. We lost King, Modric and VDV. Not a good player amonst those three. So we signed Vertonghen (IMO the second best young CB in football - after Howedes). Again, great move. Got Sigurdsson and Dempsey to presumably replace VDV. Not the same quality individually and I won't judge either or both until season's end. It looks a loss, though Dempsey has been more productive than VDv this season. Dembele has come in and done well. He is not Modric, but has been very good. So are we weaker? Well we lost one of the best CB's in the world (when healthy) and World Class players in Modric and VDV, replacing them with some very good (not world class) players. We have a better "team" this season and I'd suggest that AVB has had a huge influence on games. We have also upped and extended the contracts of Walker and Bale.

IMO, we are a better "team" than last season, but I think most would admit expecting us to be battling for 6th. We're in 4th, 2 points out of third with less talent, but better coaching. If we still had Modric and VDV, we would still be lacking a Pacy, talented winger as cover/option for Bale/Lennon and we need a striker. AVB and the team ethos has made up the difference in quality, but we still need a few top signings to compete for the league. Let us pray. COYS AMEN
chelsea form is more to do with their owner sacking a man who was getting good performances and good results and replacing him with a 'hack' (to borrow peter's phrase) the fans are showing their diospleasure, it's what happens when you take fans for granted...our owners would do well to heed the warning!!
shedboy, fans don't score goals or win games though chief.
As well as bleating about the cost of buying this or that player, incidently not £30, £40 million players, very very few if any of the players we have been mentioning would cost that as a pair, never mind each, we should be looking at the potential cost of not filling the obvious holes in our squad. How much does anybody suppose we lost in the last 2 seasons by missing out on the CL, is it worth risking another failure, and more lost revenue, especially with improved TV revenues etc. We may of course muddle through with what we have i.e. 1.5 strikers (Adebayor has been a waste of space most of the season, and is now off on his African jaunt at our expense, and Defoe blows hot and cold), no lock smith MFer, we have already been denied at home by WBA, Norwich, and Stoke City all at home, and QPR away simply by them allowing us to bounce off of them at the back, create little, and if we do, failing to finish. It is now obvious to every team in the PL that if you sit with 9 or 10 behind the ball v Spurs, you have a good chance of a point or nicking it on the break. It is not as if 4th place is a forgone conclusion, as it was last year if we missed 3rd. There are Arsenal, Everton, and I wouln't be surprised a revitalised Liverpool, all vying with us for that CL place, we are already weakened by the loss of Sandro, the delay in Kaboul's return, and our reliance on an aging and not 100% fit Scott Parker for the foreseeable future. Surely it makes good sense to try and cement that fourth place by making a couple of astute signings in the last 13 days of the window, an AMFer and a striker. At least it would portray an illusion that we are in fact a football club, and that we actually care about the team's performance, rather than pretend to be a branch of Goldman Sachs, with the chairman taking the balance sheet to bed with him for comfort.
The same argument goes at QPR, it is all very well ridiculing Tony Fernandez for the signing of Remy and probably M'Villa, but he hasa simple sum to do i.e. how much am I prepared to spend to stay up, to off-set the amount I know it's going to cost me to go down, simples.
At least two of us can smell the coffee thfc1882whl, I sincerely hope we are not both typing "I told you so" come May, it will be so sad, all for the sake of a modicum of ambition.
A lot of fans are overly ambitious with who they expect will want to play for us. Clearly we've attracted some decent players in the past, but any world class player would want CL footy. Furthermore, given that we're not in it, then we can't expect a deep squad of brilliant quality. We can't expect decent players to sit on the bench of a Europa League team. That said, I'm surprised that the likes of Sturridge and Remy are happy to move to lower down teams. They're the standard of player we should be aiming for.
Once again good points Frank. The choice is a simple one. If we continue to refuse to spend more than £15m on any player in today's marketplace then we will never be regular Champion's League participants. If that is OK for some of our fans then good for you. I, however, feel that would be a true shame as we are capable of much more with only a little bit of extra investment and a slightly less risk-averse attitude. If ENIC don't see that it is possible or desirable for them to push us up a notch then, again, that is fine but they must be honest about it. The biggest slap in the face for me is that we are constantly fed a line by the ENIV hierarchy but it the words are never backed up with deeds. Be honest and they will have my support. Continue to dangle a never to materialise carrot and eventually the joke wears thin.
Is it our scouting network's fault? Or Levy being afraid of another Bent/Bentley mishap? There are plenty of great alternative targets around. Don't want to put a wish list down or anything, but a big name signing can leave a bitter taste and empty pockets.
Hear hear SpuriousLife, you are absolutely on the button yet again.
Frank, if QPR, Southampton and Villa all go down (not out of the question) they will be taking with them 100M in net spend, most of whom will have been for players that have no intention of being in the Championship and most of whom are on wages that will not be affordable in the Championship. You are correct, Fernandez can do what he wants with his money. If they add M'Vila, just on net spend on transfers, they will be 40M in the hole. Being in the PL would just cover that cost (bottom team gets - all revenues in - 40M, top team 60+), if there were no salaries etc involved. If they go down, their revenues go down 40M assuming they can get the same number of fans at the same ticket amount. This could be calamitous. If Fernandez doesn't care, then why should I. Just don't try to suggest that this is in any way in the best interestsof the club, or the fans. It's a plaything. Remy joined him because of a video game. I thought Video killled the radio star. COYS
SamParadise, this "they will only go for the CL is a falacy. Were Newcastle in the CL or did they have any hope of being in the CL when they got Ba, Cisse, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, are QPR in the CL or striving to get in, no, so why do the likes of Remy and M'Villa consider going there, or Sturridge to Liverpool. The simple answer is if you approach players firstly that are available, and willing to move, if you approach their club in a way not designed to pi$$ off their chairman, and everybody else involved, then convince them that they have a realistic chance of a regular spot an you actually want them to come an join you, sell the vision, the plan, and lastly you must negotiate a reasonable contract with them, that is vaguely competitive, and not an insult to their intelligence, then you have a good chance of getting them. Perhaps in there are a few clues as to Levy's lack of success in the transfer market.
thfc1882whl, unless there is a CL deal that has grown by leaps and bounds, I doubt your figures. That amont is how much ManU got for losing in the finals two yars ago (they made more than Barca) and is more than Chelsea made last year for winning the whole thing. Those numbers seem incredible. I believe that most of it is predicated by your media share and the results (win worth more than a draw worth more than a loss). Spurs CL run, as I recall got us somewhere between 20 and 25M and at year's end we had an 8M profit. I would imagine, if you get out of the group stages next year, it would be worth about 30M to the club. COYS
Peterbalb, the point you are missing when discussing the Tony Fernandezs of this world and the Roman Abramovichs of this world, and dear Daniel Levy or indeed Joe Lewis in the same breath, is that in the case of the latter, they are not remotely interested in owning a football club, they are owning a business. Do you think Levy sulks around the house for hours if we lose, I do, I feel it, it spoils my weekend. I am sure that Fernandez and Abramovich feel the same way, they are fans, they care. I'll bet Joe Lewis gives a toss whether we win, lose or draw on a Saturday whilst he is on his lounger in the Bahamas. I don't think so. Football is much about passion, it's a religion, it's not, and hopefully never will be about, "whats in it for me".
"Football needs to change," he declared. "There are clubs out there who are spending money that if they were in a real business they could not afford. That inflates it for everybody. For the sake of football, proper business sense has to be made."

Tony Fernandez' own words when he bought the club. Just over one year later his new manager said that too many of the players were on ridiculous salaries, well beyond what they offer to the team. Since then they have signed Remy and are cose on M'Vila. What do I know. He's worth about 400-500M. His net spend this year will be 40M or more not including salaries (and they have a lot of players). If they manage to stay up (odds should be fairly long), they will have access to the 40M that comes for surviving. If they go down he could be taking 1/8 of his net worth to float the team next year. Sounds like proper business sense to me. Methinks, the fan in him, has caused him to act emotionally, rather than objectively.

I believe Levy is a fan. I also know he is the second largest shareholder. So he is also in it for him. Just like Harry, BAE and anyone else you wish to name. It's a business, except when it comes to us fans. COYS
thfc1882whl, where did you read that? Chelsea last year earned 23M in TV revenues while United, the year prior received 46M because they are United. Has UEFA gone away from their formula (can't see why they would) that gives a certain amount for each game in the group stages, a premium for winning a match or getting a draw (differing amounts obviously) and then an amount for your television share within your local TV arrangement. Spurs, in TV dollars would still get way less than United and Less than Chelsea or Arsenal and if you happen to play on the same evening you might get virtually nothing.

The thing is you have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. We can't throw everything at the problem. Players get crocked. Players don't settle. There are tons of things that could happen. At the start of the season I stated that there were 4 teams vying for the other two CL positions. We were one of those teams. We remai one of those teams. We aren't United and we aren't City and we don't have the bottomless pit of Chelsea. We, like Arsenal, have to compete within our means. Liverpool keeps spending, and I would argue they are spending themselves further and further away from success. COYS
thfc1882whl, the runaway train you speak of is salaries and that has been out of the station for years. It is completely out of control. COYS
There is nothing that I have seen remotely like that. Those numbers sound insane especially in the current market. I understood that they were going up, but not to that extent. CL has definitely changed the landscape, but it still protects the powers of football. ManU, because of their market share, will still get double the TV revenue that Chelsea does. It's just the way it works, unlike in the PL where it is share and share alike causing ManU and Liverpool to complain. There really is not enough given for better table position. 800k or 1M is really not a lot and not worth a gamble of players, IMO. Only the CL gamble can pay off, if, and it's a big if, you can keep wages under control. COYS
thfc1882whl, the prize money this year in the CL is (all figures Euros) 8.6M for the group stages plus 1M per win or 500k per draw. Round of 16 3.5, quarters, 3.9, semis 4.9 finalist 6.5 and winner 10.5. So the most one team could get assuming they won all of their games is 40M plus your share of the TV revenues based on your share within your country. So United, if they win, will get between 60 and 70M. If Arsenal win, somewhere between 40 and 50M. Getting out of the group probably gets a team between 20 and 30M dependig on TV money. It's not enough to justify signing Falcao, as an example. COYS
Brilliant article. Yes Ox I know you see the reality. AM SICK OF MOANING SPURS FANS! When are you slum dogs going to get behind the team? We are up against spending giants ....when we spend 15 million, they spend 40. What do you expect? You all want the stick on a moon! Levy is very shrewd and clever otherwise we'd be like villa lol. Give the guy a break. He has a plan and it working buddy well! On the flip side , when you are lucky to have possibly one of the best wingers in the world and Lennon bombing down the right with an awesome pairing in central midfield and a sturdy defence and a top goalkeeper it does ask the question, are we one star striker away from challenging for the title. But it's too late I'm afraid to say. Even spending big now probably won't convince Bale to stay ;( What an opportunity passed though. Imagine if we had signed an Aguerro or a Suarez . Maybe we would be battling for top spot and Gareth could for fill his obvious desire for titles and trophies. I can't blame him, he's a good honest lad. I for one am still backing Levy and AVB all the way. I can't be arsed to moan and bring negativity to my club. Please join me. 4th is pretty sweet considering our tight wage structure and business sense. Can't wait for more Champions League footsie.
Ps. Stop moaning about Levy ext missing out on talent. People like Demba Ba and Aguerro just didn't want to go to us. And if we pay someone 150k a week we have to pay all our top players 150k a week and then we're just a bunch of Leeds
Tony Fernandez is a supporter (like most chairman) of any football club that he manages to buy, which makes him totally opposite to any normal football fan.Just like any player who idiotically has to clasp the name on his club shirt and pretend to be loyal.
matt hoten
Willfry, bloody good post,had to watch the QPR game from the pub and had to listen to a load of moaning Spurs fans who totally had not a clue how difficult it was to play on a tight pitch against a mid-table squad of players parking the bus
matt hoten
matt, yes QPR was a banana peel of a game. A team, backed in the corner who had to win (desperate) versus a team that needed to win to put pressure on those around them in the standings. Huge difference in motivation. As for the tight pitch, come on. Loftus road is 2 yards longer and one yard less wide than WHL. We didn't bury our early chances and that left them in the game. Mackie, SWP, Park and M'Bia did a great job of taking time and space away and our lack of creativity and chemistry in the final third was very telling. Bale and Walker could have also done better with free kicks. Cesar, credit where due, made a couple of great saves as well. COYS
Even if Barca offered Messi to us today for £35m I think Levy would rather wait until the 31st to see if he could save a couple of £m
Willfry, I am absolutely behind your assessment of the QPR game. It was NEVER going to be a walkover, there were too many factors making it one hell of a tricky game. And if Cesar had an off day then we would have won relatively comfortably. It wasn't a vintage performance, but I didn't walk away too disconsolate. The only massive blot was the Sandro injury which is a true hammer blow, as big as losing Verts, Bale, or Lloris in my opinion. But the nature of this article is too defeatist, and seeks to underline many opinions that we should aim low and settle for less than we should rightfully be able to expect. THFC1882 said Bill Nich would be turning in his grave when he see's the lack of ambition of ot only our board, but also a lot of our fans and he's right. I said as much in a previous post on here (Sorry THFC, I just HAD to get that in there mate!!). I love your enthusiam Willfry, truly I do. And I loved our Champions League adventure with the zeal of a giddy teenager. But with the team/squad we have this year we will not finish fourth. This is my opinion, and I won't be convinced otherwise unless strides are made in this transfer window to bring in a striker and a tricky ba$tard of a midfielder. There are not enough goals in our team. This is a sad fact. There is also nothing unpredictable about us. Stick two men on Bale and you nullify at least 50% of our attacking threat. We will see more draws, and more QPR-like performances from now until the seasons end without additional guile and firepower. And with a likely mini (or not so mini) exodus in the summer due to the prospect of another season in the Europa League, then we can expect more of the same next season. I just hope to all that I hold dear that I am proved unequivocally wrong!! Come on you beautiful Spurs!!!
LilyWhiteHart, I agree with you this squad will not finish 4th, especially now that Sandro will probably be missing for the rest of the season, all we need now is for Defoe to get injured or sent off an suspended and we are stuffed. But we shouldn't be worried because Daniel Levy "has a plan", the pity of it is that plan has nothing to do with winning football matches or league finishes, or CL qualification, or progressing the club on the pitch, it is about running the club as cheaply as possible, and avoiing spending any of Bahamas Joe's money while feeding the occasional bollox to the supporters, which is soaked up like blotting paper by some of them, to keep pressure off himself. What a prospect for a once g support reat football club, I would agree that "Billy Nicholson will be turning in his grave", but he would also be "counting his blessings" that he wasn't manager under this mob. Even he would have struggled to win trophies if he had had the level of support enjoyed by his many successors.
Peterbalb, I glean from your many apologist posts supporting every single move or lack of that Levy/Lewis make, that you are a shareholder as well as a fan. "Levy is a fan", where did that come from, I suppose Lewis is a fan as well. Their actions prove the exact opposite, they are business men pure and simple, it's just that for some obscure reason companies and groups with which Lewis is involved have a penchant for taking financial interests in football clubs an leaving all of them worse off when they move on.
I am amazed that there is still this expectation that Levy is going to part the Red Sea, and emerge from the wilderness on January 31st, and lead us to the promised land, with his deadline transfers. It won't happen, everybody has twigged it, it is old hat, he ain't half as clever as he, and many of his disciples think he is, remember Porto in the summer, they wouldn't wear it, and neither will others. If we get anybody in now, it will be another Gregor Rasiak, Frazer Campbell or Louis Saha (by the way Daniel, he has just been chucked out by Sunderland, ideal deal for you, he would cost nowt), or we might get a modern day Andy Booth on loan. Proper signings ain't going to happen, the safe slammed firmly shut after the Zeki Fryers deal, we won't even splash out £1.8M to bring Holtby in early, rather waiting till next season, after we have missed out on the CL for the third season running. Levy is a fan, pull the other leg it's got bells on, it's laughable.
peterballb writes, "matt, yes QPR was a banana peel of a game. A team, backed in the corner who had to win (desperate) versus a team that needed to win to put pressure on those around them in the standings. Huge difference in motivation." What peter was actually saying, in an ENIC kind of way, was that Harry out coached AVB on this occasion, got his team to battle harder than Spurs and Stopped AVB's attacking plan. I wasn't surprised in the least, because I saw Redknapp do exactly the same thing when Danny Boy begged him to save THFC from the drop. Good to see Harry getting the backing in the transfer market from the QPR board, something Levy refused to do, after Harry had saved his arse from the drop and turned THFC into a top for and Champions League. Poor AVB's Enic nightmare is just beginning...
Lets Get Real! There will be no big time success, or new stadium at THFC as long as Joe Lewis continues to fund Daniel Levy's THFC Fantasy Football/Football Manager/Ebay play thing...
You need to get laid pelebro.
Take your dong out of Harry for a bit, he's gone, never to return, get over it. We move on.
Crissybwoy, Yes we move on with the next coach in Levy's long list, (8 and counting...) who is currently being undermined, interfered with, held back, restricted and not backed in the transfer market, because our clueless chairman truly believes he knows more about football than the very coaches he employs. A clueless chairman who just loves to play Fantasy Football/Football Manager/Ebay with THFC. Only problem is, he's not very good at these games, as his appalling record of having the worst trophy per season percentage of any THFC chairman in over half a century 100% proves! There will be no big time success at THFC and no new stadium, until Levy and his penny pinching triple billionaire, sugar daddy, have gone, sold up, cashed in, never to return!
Now that it has been confirmed that Sandro will mss the rest of the season our squad is weakened. We have cover (Livermore, Hudd) but they are nowhere near the quality of Sandro. Will ENIC invest to maintain the current level of midfield strength for thirst of this season or will they try to muddle through with the remaining midfielders we have. I think we all know the answer to that (and it doesn't involve new faces arriving at the club). COYS! I just wish ENIC understood that the success of a club starts with success ON THE PITCH!
* the rest
Fair points pelebro. I notice you conveniently forget that when we used to win trophies it was a level playing field with all the other clubs in the division, somehow I don't think it's quite the same competing with clubs that spend over 100% of their turnover on wages alone. Why don't we at least wait until the window closes before letting rip. I'm not for a minute saying we will sign anyone, there may be a Rasiak in the pipeline lol, I'm just holding back the ammunition to stop the 1% chance of myself looking like a tw*t IF IF IF we do sign someone good. We're two points off third, that to me suggests we're actually doing alright at the minute. We only need tweaks to the squad, that in itself is progress from some of the dross witnessed in the past, we've got the youngest squad with the most potential that we've had for a few decades, the future looks alright from where I'm sat, and in my opinion better than you're making out. Unless of course you yearn for the days of Toda and Docherty. Progress is still progress, regardless of how fast or slow it is. Have you ever thought that maybe we needed to grow the club as a brand to be able to afford the stadium, look at the trouble Valencia had with building their new stadium, it almost destroyed them as a club. You can't start building until the funding is in place and all the sums add-up or you risk financial ruin, I'd have thought that would be obvious and also logical but still some people fail to understand that. If it was as easy as people make out then they'd be millionaires themselves, but they're not, they're frequenting a forum for fans and dishing conjecture like they're a part of the boardroom instead of sunning themselves somewhere nice and hot.
pelebro, I can only assume you have never played sports at any advanced level. I can tell you there is a world of difference between a "must win game" for survival and a "must win game" for table position. The motivations are completely different. As for AVB being out-coached, I don't accept that. The game was just like tic-tac-toe. QPR really did nothing to go seeking the three points accepting that if they defended well, they could get a point, 3 if they ere lucky. We played to make sure we were solid at the back and controlled possession hoping for a moment of brilliance or a QPR mistake for the three points, otherwise we get 1 point. They needed 3 points. We would have liked 3 points. We both got a point. Interpret it how you wish. COYS
yes, pelebro, Harry has Fernandez willing to go in to his own pockets. Not just Harry, his predecessor too. Fernandez preached strong business fundamentals when he bought the club last year. Proceeded to have a net spend on transfers (not salaries) of 20M and this year has added another 30M. Assuming none of those players work for free, it is a huge net spend when you take in to account that being in the PL gives you the 40M for participation. So let's say 80M in revenue plus whatever the marketiing, stadium etc brings in for the club. Assuming another 20M or so (a generous figure) in revenues, they would have about 100M in revenues that would be offset by the transfer debt (50M) and salary commitments. 25 players averaging 50k/week would amount to 62.5M plus all other expenses. So, the best case scenario is he is losiing money. The question is, how much each year? 10M? 20M? 40M? Well, he is worth between 400 and 500M. How much of his net worth will he stmach throwing away? How much will relegation cost the club? Can he stomach losing 15-20% of his net worth to be a fan? If he can't and he goes, he loses. No one cares. But the fans and the club lose. And that's why FFPR should have teeth. COYS

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