Spurs’ boss Levy admits ‘transfer mistakes’


Tottenham financial results Image: Coliseum GSVA

Daniel Levy, Chairman of the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (UK), admitted recently that the top-flight have made “transfer mistakes” which are still impacting the club despite a growing financial position.

‘sky sports’ stated that Spurs have announced their annual financial results for the year ending June 2022, the first full season since the COVID-19 pandemic restricted fans from attending matches, with the total revenue increasing 22.7 percent to £440m from £361.9m in 2021.

The Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, commonly referred to as Tottenham or Spurs, is a professional football club based in Tottenham, London, England (UK). It competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The team has played its home matches in the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since April 2019, replacing their former home of 36,284-capacity White Hart Lane, which had been demolished to make way for the new stadium on the same site.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the home of the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in North London (UK), replacing the club’s previous ground, the White Hart Lane. With a seating capacity of 62,850, it is the third-largest football stadium in England and the largest club ground in London. It is designed to be a multipurpose stadium and features the world’s first dividing, retractable football pitch, which reveals a synthetic turf field underneath for National Football League (NFL) London Games, concerts and other events.

‘sky sports’ further stated that the club defended their position earlier this month when questioned by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (an independent, not-for-profit membership organization run by fans for fans) over their transfer spending which has seen them invest more than £500m since April 2019 in the first team.

In a statement, Levy reinforced the club’s commitment in the transfer market although admitting that the money they’ve spent hasn’t always paid off.

Admitted Levy, “Our spend levels show we have invested in the team – however, we walk a fine line between long-term investment and short-termism. This is why our recruitment must be first class as mistakes at this level have a financial and sporting impact for the future seasons. We have felt, and continue to feel, the financial impact of supporting player purchases which have not worked out as planned. We have taken steps to improve this area of operations and we believe the recent transfer windows reflect this. Our aim has always been to combine the financial stability of the club with remaining competitive on the pitch. We have to do what is right for us and sustainable in the long term.”

Tottenham spent a further £47m in the January window on Arnaut Danjuma (winger for Spurs, on loan from the LaLiga club Villarreal CF [Spain], and the Netherlands national team) and Pedro Porro (Spanish professional footballer who plays as right winger for Spurs on loan from the Primeira Liga club Sporting CP of Portugal) although the Premier League club Chelsea F.C.’s spending spree sent alarm bells ringing across Europe and stressed a greater reliance on Financial Fair Play.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP) are a set of regulations established to prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success, and in doing so not getting into financial problems which might threaten their long-term survival.

Nyon, Switzerland-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, as well as some Asian countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Armenia. UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Because of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, FIFA and UEFA suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

Observed Levy, “The landscape of Premier League has changed significantly in the last decade. It is understandable that some fans call for more spending, much of which is unsustainable for many clubs. We are competing in a league in which we have seen increased sovereign wealth ownership and consortia finance, and in a league where the spending power is now vested in the hands of a few who dominate and have the ability to distort the market. We welcome the changes to the governance of the game which will compel greater financial sustainability and financial fair play (FFP).”

Added Levy, “Major changes have been introduced in Europe around FFP regulations, including the newly-launched UEFA financial sustainability rules, the full impact of which will be felt from season 2025-2026. They are based on three pillars: Solvency, stability and cost control and clubs will have three seasons to adjust to them. Many expect that these new rules will be a game changer for the sport. Even tighter regulations may follow.”

Spurs’ Financial Health

Spurs’ improving financial position from June 2021 to June 2022 was largely impacted by their match receipts which rose from £1.9m to £106.1m thanks to their first full season in the new stadium at capacity.

But their time in the Europa Conference League saw their UEFA prize money fall from £23.6m to £10.2m.

The UEFA Europa Conference League is an annual football club competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.

TV and media revenues were £144.2m down from £184.4m due to a number of games and related TV and media revenues from 2020 being played and accounted for in 2021.

Commercial revenues from sponsorship and merchandising grew by 20.7 percent to £31.5m as a result of new sponsors, stores being open and the start of new major events being hosted at the stadium throughout the year.

The club’s operating expenses (before football trading) increased 18.7 per cent to £403.4m from £339.8m due to increased first-team costs and the return to full matchday operations.

The profit from operations, before depreciation, amortization, player trading, interest and taxation increased 15.7 percent to £112.3m from £97.1m.

The loss for the year after depreciation, amortization, player trading, interest and taxation was £50.1m, down from £83.8m the previous year.

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