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Tottenham Focus – Daniel Levy, a master of negotiation?

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By Alan Robins

Monday 10 September 2012

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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By Cheshuntboy on 10 September 2012 at 13:37

It's funny - you can list Daniel Levy's long record of failure in his near twelve years in charge at WHL but it's water off a duck's back to his happy clappy fan club. The club is financially sound because the supporters pay sky-high ticket prices, and the chairman only shops in the bargain basement (where he picked-up AVB, who'd been rejected by Abramovitch as shop-soiled)- 'to dare is to do' should be changed to 'never mind the quality, feel the width' so long as Levy's in charge.

By bleh on 10 September 2012 at 13:26

This is a terrible article. It doesnt give any reasoning why he made stupid decisions all summer. First the sacking of redknapp, followed by ridiculously long negotiations on Modric giving us tiny amount of time to get a replacement. Meaning we didnt get a replacement. Being untrustworthy like the Lyon chairman pointed out. He says one thing and when the time comes to write the deal down on paper, he tries to cheat his way into getting things cheaper. We have no proper striker other than Ade now. If hes injured we are stuck with defoe up front, which does not work . But wait!! We instead spend our money on Gylfi and Lloris when those are not priorities at all. And yea just because he got VDV for 8m because Real wanted to offload him doesnt mean hes a great negotiator. It means hes got luck with 1 good deal. So yea, not everyone is stupid. This article is.

By Carl on 10 September 2012 at 12:53

What I cannot really get my head around is that we have been knocking on the door over the past two/three seasons and I believe that we were not that far away from having a real good go. This was acknowledged by both Fergie and Mnacini as Spurs being title contenders. What happens is that we turf out the manager whose guile and experience has got us playing quality football and a balanced squad that is not that far away. What Happens then is beyond me as we then dismantle a squad which has a good bond and the incoming manager changes the way we play.I understand that players come and go but not to the extent of what has happened at Spurs mid term. It is like ripping up the tried and test method and going back to square one which is untried with a failed manager who came from a club with a greater war chest than us. Please explain to me.

By StanB on 10 September 2012 at 12:06

And what about the Olympic Stadium fiasco. Wasted years and wasted money. OK after it was lost and with a load of legal bluster he saved a bit of face by getting some infrastructure cash out of Boris (but that's not for the club). But overall it has lost us years of revenue and growth with the cost burden still to be fully felt. If he was so smart he should have moved more decisively and earlier.

By Ed on 10 September 2012 at 11:54

Where's the analysis of levy here? Just an apologia, gives him a pardon almost in the first par! Look at Levy's record: seven managers in 11 years, one trophy and one season in the CL. And this guy is a successful club chairman? Give me a break. We lost moutinho because of his tactic of going to the very last minute in negotiation transfers. It was a complex transfer and there wasn't time to sortbout the details. If he had started when he should have, several weeks before, the difficulties would have been solved. This ain't rocket science. But Levy failed. Time for a change!

By HK Fraser on 10 September 2012 at 11:31

Hear Hear!!! Finally some sensible talk. In Levy I trust completely! He has done extremely well for us especially getting us back respect from the rest of the premier league. Now when the 'big' clubs are mentioned Spurs are once again counted as being amongst them.

By Tim old git on 10 September 2012 at 11:13

Wow what a change to read some sense on the net , I'm sick and tired of reading so many slating Levy when he's been stunning for us , two 4th's in the last 3 seasons and it's been 25???years since we've had a top 4....People dont realise that we have to run the club under our own steam unlike so many of our direct competitors

By George on 10 September 2012 at 11:13

But now we don't have world class replacements

By TommyHarmer on 10 September 2012 at 11:12

Thank you ... THANK YOU!!! If only the boo-boys could read this kind of stuff - though they probably don't want to believe that we can't sign everyone in the world! I have heard so much stuff about Moutinho, but reading between the lines, Porto came back in with a lower selling price very late on and then left insufficient time to negotiate with third parties. Even this may be only part of the story, but WE don't know. My only view is, as you say, that we made some good deals at good prices, got players who wanted to come, shifted a lot of dead wood and reduced our wages bill.Compare this with Chelsea's buying in the summer and we just have to stop booing and understand that winning the Champions League may take a bit longer .... or people could fxxk off and boo at Chelsea ............ COYS!!





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