Chickens coming home to roost and a plea to the players from the heart
When Chelsea won the Champions league in 2012, I immediately sat down and wrote a long piece saying it was a disaster for Spurs and predicted long term ramifications. I didn’t write for any publication at the time. It was before Logan had invited me to write for HotspurHQ. I just felt so strongly, I had to commit my thoughts to paper. I sent a long letter to the official Tottenham magazine and got a polite response from the editor. I also put a shorter version on my own personal website at life2too.com.
Unfortunately, the predictions are now starting to come true. Spurs posted results showing a £4million loss recently. That would be a profit if we had the Champions League money. The owners have not been afraid to spend in recent years but should be commended for the fact that they have kept the clubs finances close to balancing whilst doing so. I would feel sick to my stomach with worry if we had the debts of some of our more successful rivals. With Arsenal, we have been one of the few Premier League clubs that have not gone in to massive debt. That relatively small incursion into loss, however, is probably a significant factor why we did not enter into the transfer market in this window and why AVB’s statement that our squad does not need strengthening sounds so thin.
To me, our situation is a bit like the country’s finances and the double/triple dip recession. People have short memories. If we don’t have the resources, cuts in planned expenditure have to be made. It’s painful deciding how much to cut and from where. This is the $64 million dollar question, literally. The reason for our current precarious position has not changed and goes back to our failure to qualify for the Champions League.
We need to regenerate the club by qualifying again this season. To make it more likely that we do so, we need to invest now in a landmark signing. If we invest too much and don’t qualify, we will be in even more trouble next year. If we don’t invest now for fear of going into debt, as it appears we are not going to, then we are less likely to qualify for the Champions League this year and will be in even more trouble next season. There is still the combined promise and spectre of the new stadium on the horizon. The promise of the much needed increase in revenue that comes from increased capacity. The spectre is the potential for failure on the field if in order to pay for the stadium, we can’t afford to spend on the players needed to keep us in the Premier League, let alone the Champions League. It is a gamble either way and I wish Daniel Levy and the owners the best of luck. In football, more than any other business, no matter how hard you try, luck seems to be such a massive factor. It’s one of the things that make it so exciting. Not making a signing now puts the manager and the existing squad under even more pressure. The evidence of the Cup result against Leeds suggests that they have been flattering to deceive and do not have the commitment and depth of character needed.
I nearly died 18 months ago and am still fighting my way back from a brain tumour which blinded one eye, a 3 day post-operative coma and 3 strokes. I am lucky to be here at all, let alone blogging about my beloved Spurs. There were (still are) times when the setbacks seem too much, unfair and I feel like throwing in the towel, just as the players must feel right now. I refuse to give up and so must they. This is another pivotal moment for the club.
Hotspur HQ has given me the opportunity to get my views out to a wider audience, for which I am grateful. I hope I bring a smile to your faces with some of my blogs and stories from the past but also there is a slim opportunity to make a difference today by affecting opinions and behaviour for the better. If any of the players read this I hope it makes them determined to prove me wrong and give that extra effort for the rest of the season.
We have several players with excellent ability and they have performed well in most games most of the time. Watching the team in some of the performances in recent years has been delightful and uplifting. It really makes a positive difference to a supporter’s life.
Using another analogy, they remind me a bit of Andy Murray. He showed real promise for years and could have gone either way after his Wimbledon defeat. He finally came good at the Olympics and the US Open by ramping up his effort again and again in the face of disappointment. Despite his injury hampered set back in Australia, he is now a real Champion and history will see him as such. Never again will he be regarded as the nearly man. Tottenham’s players still have the opportunity for glory and to make history this season. Europa League Winners and Champions League qualifiers. Sounds good doesn’t it lads? They will still be talking about you in 50 years’ time. It will mean real 100% commitment and effort in every game that’s left this season. That’s tough but can it be harder than what I’ve managed to achieve personally over the past year? Talk about coming back from injury, I’ve had to work back 30 years of strength into my left arm that I lost at a stroke, literally! If I can do it, so can you.
Come On You Spurs!