Tottenham Focus – Daniel Levy, a master of negotiation?
During and since the close of the transfer window, there appears to have been criticism in some quarters of Daniel Levy’s transfer policy, criticism apparently based on a couple of factors. Levy’s hard-nosed negotiating tactics, meaning Tottenham miss out on players, or deals take too long to complete, and ambition in not trying to sign “high quality players” such as Hulk.
This is perhaps unfair on Levy for a variety of reasons. Firstly most of the information regarding failure or length of time to sign players has come from an arguably pro–Harry, anti-Spurs media, who appear to have their own agendas rather than any, expected impartiality. Plus their stories tend to state “sources” rather than actually being able to quote anyone specific. Outside of the club, how much information is actually known?
Some transfers wishes like Hulk or Falcao could be termed a pipe-dream. The reality is Spurs do not have the attraction of Champions League football for some players. Nor the income – match day receipts are below other clubs [one of the reasons for a new stadium], or the TV income [lack of Champions League again]. Coupled with the disadvantage from the prohibition of third party ownership and lack of oil rich billionaires, Spurs cannot afford to compete in fees or wages with others - Zenit St Petersburg or Paris St Germain are examples. Until the new stadium or regular Champions League football, and with clubs already in the Financial Fair Play monitoring period, isn’t Levy just running the club prudently, determined not to be held to ransom in the transfer market?
There should be an acknowledgement that not all transfers will get done. As hard as chairmen/manager’s may try, not every deal can be made – for whatever reason – fee, personal terms, third party ownership and salaries. However, there were a multitude of transfers completed. Again this summer, Levy looks to have maximised sale value and brought quality players in cheaply.
Can anyone really argue that the six signings at a combined cost of little more than a Fernando Torres or Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson is not excellent business? Especially considering that the sales raised more than purchases and the sales, loans and players released have saved considerably on the wage bills.
For example Luka Modric, the Croatian was eventually sold for circa £33million [inclusive of add-ons]. Far less on the surface than the £40m from Chelsea rejected last year. Seemingly tough negotiations with Real Madrid found a compromise gave both clubs [and Modric] a resolution.
Madrid have a world class player relatively cheaply in the actual fee; Spurs should get close to or above the £40million – the difference being the income from friendlies, tours and potential loan opportunities. Deals within deals, compromise and solutions until as André Villas-Boas argued – terms were found that would be acceptable to everyone – but these negotiations take time.
Multiply that by at least 20 in respect to the number of deals being negotiated by Levy in the summer, undertaken during times of personal issues for the chairman and the results have been arguably nothing less than exceptional.
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