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Chairman interviewed

Posted on 9 September 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Your chance to listen to Chairman Daniel Levy being interviewed by Brian Alexander for radio Five Live's Breakfast Show on Sunday.

To listen,click hereor onto the audio link in the right...

Daniel Levy: We set out when we first came in here that we had to get Spurs back up into the top flight of European football and I very much hope over the coming years that we will be a regular contender in the Champions League but in the short term we've clearly got to get ourselves into the UEFA Cup.

Brian Alexander, BBC Radio Five Live: You need a top six finish.

DL: Yes, absolutely.

BA: And you feel that is realistic?

DL: It's difficult but it is realistic. Therre are probably eight or nine teams competing for that top six but we hope at the end of the season we are one of those.

BA: If you are right, Tottenham finish top six and qualify for the UEFA Cup next year, ENIC have interest in other clubs, AIK Athens, Rangers, Slavia Prague, Basle, what would happen if Tottenham were drawn against one of those teams in the UEFA Cup. Where do your loyalties stand there?

DL: As far as ENIC is concerned, if we had two clubs competing against each other in European competition, ENIC can't lose because one of them will prpogress. Obviously, being a supporter of Tottenham, I would very much hope that Tottenham would win. Wearing my Tottenham hat, that is clearly what I would want.

BA: So, are you a big Spurs fans and a fan all your life or one of these business hot shots who has acquired an interest in football over the years?

DL: The first game I ever went to when I was a kid was at Spurs. I'm very much a Spurs fan but my feet are firmly on the ground and I know that is absolutely vital that this club needs to be run in the appropriate manner to make sure this club is still around in another 100 years.

BA: Most people would say, most hardened businessmen, including Sir Alan Sugar, who was here a few years ago, would say football as a business just doesn't make any sense. You can honestly see some hard financial sense in football, can you?

DL: There is no doubt over the last 18 months football has gone through a very bad time. I think in the long run there is an opportunity to make money out of football, but you have to take a long-term view.

BA: Say you do get into Europe and earn more money as a result of that, isn't there a vicious circle here where, like Manchester United have done, Liverpool have done, Arsenal have done, to stay in that European League, you have to invest a lot of money on players. Players are the main asset, the main commodity you have to buy in, are you of the mind to open the cheque book willy-nilly are are you going to be pretty tight?

DL: I think there's a balance. I think the idea of opening up the cheque book willy-nilly does not work any more in football, as we've seen with clubs in Italy that have no gone bankrupt.

BA: Can you ever see the day when you look at Rio Ferdinand and think 'he's worth £30million, I'll have a go'?

DL: I cannot envisage a situation, not at the moment, at least, where Tottenham commit £30m on a single player. I think that is a very dangerous business strategy. With the best will in the world, you could sign who you think is the best player but if he breaks a leg or it goes wrong, it can have serious consequencies for the club as a whole. I think it is all about finding the right balance.

BA: Whereas some clubs, Chelsea, Rangers, you are on the board at Rangers, that have spent lots of money are quite exposed financially.

DL: Rangers, over the few years, has lost something close to £100m as they gambled to be a European club. Now look what's happened. They are not in the Champions League. I just think one has to be sensible.