Memo To Daniel Levy: Tottenham’s Transfers Completed By 17th August


The publication of the Premier League fixtures should come as a spur to Tottenham Chairman, Daniel Levy, to ensure that all Spurs’ transfer business is completed in time for the opening of the new season on Saturday, 17th August.

Memo to Daniel Levy

Daniel Levy’s preference for concluding Tottenham’s transfer business on the last day of August has had a detrimental affect on Spurs in past seasons. His reluctance to bring negotiations to a swift conclusion in the hope of achieving a reduced fee in the final day’s frantic transfer activity is all well and good in a business sense but not from the manager’s or team’s point of view. Last minute deals have collapsed, leaving Tottenham short of cover in important positions while any players who are signed at the last minute require a number of weeks to fully settle into a new club.

In three of the past four seasons Tottenham have failed to perform adequately in the opening matches while negotiations have been on-going for potential new signings and the lost points have proved costly.

Learn from Past Experiences

  • 2012-13: Last season Spurs took two points from the opening three games with two at home against teams Tottenham from whom would have expected a maximum return. Once new signings were in place, Spurs won the next four League matches after the international break. The 7 points dropped at the start of the season meant that Tottenham were always playing catch-up and with Spurs requiring only an additional two points to ensure Champions League qualification, it was an opportunity missed.
  • 2011-12: No points from the opening two games but admittedly they were against the two Manchester teams who finished the season as Champions and runners-up. The introduction of Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker into the team saw Spurs go on an undefeated run of 11 games from September until mid-December with 10 wins and 1 draw. Spurs finished 4th but one extra point would have seen them up in third and a guaranteed Champions League finish.
  • 2010-11: Four points from the opening three games with two of the matches at White Hart Lane including a home defeat by Wigan. Admittedly, Spurs had to play their two qualifying matches for the Champions League but the lack of depth in the squad told in that defeat. This is the season which is held up as one where Levy’s late bargain hunting worked to perfection with the signing of Rafael Van der Vaart from Real Madrid at a knockdown fee but it doesn’t always work out so well.
  • 2009-10: Tottenham started the season with a settled squad, two new players made their debut on the opening day of the season as four consecutive victories took Spurs to the top of the Premier League table. At the end of the season, Spurs finished 4th and achieved their coveted Champions League place.

Daniel Levy (centre) [photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Every summer, Tottenham fans implore Daniel Levy to complete transfer deals as quickly as possibly. Ideally, they should be done by the time the players return for pre-season training in early July. This would give new players the opportunity to become accustomed to their new club, manager and players plus understand their role within the team.

Obviously all transfers can’t be completed as quickly as that but new players should be available for the opening matches of the season. The current system of transfers in and out in the last two weeks of august leaves the manager uncertain of the composition of his squad. Rafael Van der Vaart was involved in Tottenham’s opening two matches last season but was in Germany with Hamburg by the time Spurs drew with Norwich in the third game.

Changed Days

Transfer business has changed greatly since May,1971 when Tottenham signed Ralph Coates from Burnley. As Spurs played their final game, Bill Nicholson was not at the game. Instead, he was meeting Coates at a service station somewhere to complete the signing of Spurs’ newest recruit in preparation for the next season. It was as simple as that.

Today there are so many people involved in the negotiations that transfer negotiations drag on endlessly. Already a number of clubs, however, have announced new signings to be competed at the beginning of July when the transfer window opens officially. Where Tottenham are concerned we continue to be fed a diet of rumours and speculations on players in whom the club are supposedly interested.

In what is going to be an even more competitive Premier League than usual, a good start to the season is essential for Tottenham who need to make that step into the Champions League and become serious challengers for trophies. Only with that will they be able to ensure that they keep their best players not just this season but in the years to come.