If he doesn’t do much more, Levy has failed Tottenham

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy looks on at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy looks on at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images) /

Daniel Levy is facing stark backlash after invoking on behalf of Tottenham the government’s coronavirus job protection scheme, becoming the Premier League’s second team to do so. 

It means that all 550 non-playing staff at the club are forced to take a 20 percent pay cut during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Levy, in particularly shrewd Levy fashion, decided the most financially viable way forward was to trim slightly everyone’s wages so, hypothetically, more of his staff, in the long-term, can keep their jobs.

At least that’s what he’ll tell you.

But his knee-jerk, selfish and temporary solution is fraught with more holes than an Albanian motorway. The harsh, despicable nature of the decision was compounded by the fact that all affected staff members found out about the salary cuts just 30 minutes before the official announcement. Nobody has ever mistaken Levy for the compassionate type. But you’d expect at least an iota of humanity from football’s Dr. Evil.

The protection scheme allows staff to claim 80 percent of their wages, to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The main issue, though, is that the 550 non-playing staff’s salaries barely scratch the surface of the club’s cumulative wage structure.

Obviously it’s the players, the on-field talent, who take the bulk of that wage structure, most of whom earn millions of pounds per year. In Levy’s defence he is unable to, without agreement from the relevant unions, demand pay cuts from players.

On Friday the Premier League’s 20 clubs agreed they will ask players to take a 30 per cent cut on their annual wages to help the league direct financial aid to England’s lower-tier soccer divisions, plus financial support for the federal health ministry. So at least there is promising movement on that side of the financial equation.

Now the onus is squarely on Levy and his close cohort in the upper reaches of Tottenham’s executive branch to do more, to aid those in desperate need.

Levy could have held off a while longer before invoking the job protection scheme. Some non-playing staff are in desperate need of a consistent, whole paycheck. And Levy, had he not been so impulsive and greedy, could have delayed the decision to cut their salaries by 20 percent.

Instead, by donating £2 million of the absurd £7 million he earned last year, Levy could at least look for a second like a leader he professes to be. A £2 million pound donation would equate to almost £3,636 to each of his 550 employees, which, for most, would help put food on the table for a full year.

And really, what’s £2 million for a business mogul rolling in cash, someone who can live off the other £5 million for the rest of his life without having to work again? I’m giving Levy a break by only asking for £2 million, especially when you consider that he earned a £3 million bonus for delivering a stadium almost a year after the scheduled completion date.

Newcastle and Tottenham are thus far the only top flight sides to apply the government’s job protection scheme. You can be sure other teams will soon follow suit. But it’s incumbent upon people like Levy, those in powerful positions with the financial means to help out the less fortunate, to act selflessly for a change, and for the greater good.

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If executives and moguls don’t lead the way preceding the unprecedented recession assured to follow this crisis, the lion’s share of the population, like most of Spurs’ 550 non-playing staff, will once again be left harshly out in the cold.

And in the process the club will knowingly alienate countless loyal supporters.