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David Buchler: Q

Posted on 2 March 2001  - 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).

The <I>Official Spurs Website</I> caught up with our new executive vice-chairman David Buchler on his second day in office at White Hart Lane on Friday morning to discover his take on the key issues surrounding the future of the club. <P class=MsoNormal><B>You are here to oversee the day-to-day running of the club and also to formulate a future plan. What are your initial impressions and will there be changes in the short-term?</B><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>DB: </STRONG>Well, I've only been here 24 hours. I've met a lot of people, shaken hands with many people and spoken to almost everybody in the club. Some of its been quite emotional, we've had quite a few hugs and kisses&nbsp&#59;- pleased to be back sort of things.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>From my point of view that's great and it's great to meet people that have been associated with the club for so many years and long may that continue. I am not here to provide a revolution. I am here to try and provide a long-term success for the club and that is from top to bottom.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>There are some fantastic people working in the club that have been associated with the club for years and have their heart and sole in the club. Long may that continue because we need many of this sort of people working here and being involved in the club for as long as possible.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>So I'm not going to cause a revolution, but there is a big job to be done. It started yesterday.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"><STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>You were here at the club in 1991&nbsp&#59;- there must be a marked improvement in the set-up between then and now... </STRONG><o:p></o:p></SPAN><P class=MsoNormal>Yes. There has been a fantastic amount of work done over the last five or ten years in terms of building the club and putting it on a proper financial footing and try to get facilities done and that type of thing. Yes, there has been a huge amount done.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"><STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>You mention that wish to improve the relationship with the supporters, what impression do you want or imagine the fans have of you. The perception of you is crucial. Do you think, given your background, supporters might view you as a bit of a number cruncher?</STRONG><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>An interesting point, men in grey suits coming into club and all that sort of stuff&nbsp&#59;- and I'm a man in grey suit. I think you do need to find this exquisite balance between the men in grey suits and the ability to ensure financial stability because, God forbid, we ever go through a crisis like we did in the early nineties. We cannot afford that.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>So you need that, but you need to match it with a passion, a heart and a soul that is bound in every inch of this club. And I think if you can get the combination right you then have something that could be successful.</SPAN><B><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'"></SPAN></B> <P class=MsoNormal><B>Will it help that you've been revealed as a season ticket holder?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B> <P class=MsoNormal>Well, I certainly hope so. It certainly enables my kids to warm to me a little bit more because I think they're going to be interested in what goes on. Never mind being answerable to everyone else, I'm answerable to my kids&nbsp&#59;- and they're the biggest critics in the world.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>I don't know where things went wrong between the club and its supporters, and I don't really want to comment on that. All I know is that whatever the situation is, we have to have a teamwork and partnership between the club and its supporters and everyone who has an interest in the club's success. We need to build that partnership, we need to build that teamwork and I am absolutely at one with those who want to see that happen.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"><STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>On the subject of opening the lines of communication between the club and the supporters, have you had any early thoughts on how you might go about that?</STRONG><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>No, but I'm going to be talking to a lot of people. I'm going to be talking and talking and talking to a lot of people in order to get to the consensus which will be an important thing to achieve, which is what we should be doing and how we should be doing it.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"><STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>There is often talk about three or five year plans when a new regime sweeps into a football club. Do you think a lot of supporters would like to know about the three-month plan?</STRONG><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>Yes, good point&nbsp&#59;- and I hear that. With the three-month plan you very often see the political purchase of the football player because you want to get the quick fix. I believe there is some flexibility within the club coffers or whatever.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>But I have to tell you that until Europe sorts out this transfer system, I really don't want to get into a situation where I would be wasting the club's resources in order to try and find a swift solution to something that could totally backfire on me in a few months time.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>So I think I've got to be a little bit cautious about this and we all need to be a little bit cautious about it and I know it's a bit of a pain, but I also think that we've not got a bad squad. We've got a lot of injuries at the moment, but deep down we've not got a bad squad and we've got some great players. I think we've all seen some really good matches here, but we've also seen some lousy matches. I think the lousy matches have probably been a result of some of the injuries we've had.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>If we can get the squad back to fitness and get the squad really working again, who knows? We might all be rejoicing at the Millennium Stadium in May. Fingers crossed.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"><STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Since the announcement of the takeover, much of the media attention has centred on George's future and there was countless stories linking Glenn Hoddle with a return to the club&nbsp&#59;- can you clarify the matter for our fans?</STRONG><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>I think it would be absolutely daft to make changes at a time when the club has won through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and only lost once in the last nine games. You have a manager in George Graham of proven credentials, proven over a long period of time.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>I shall be speaking to him, I shall be speaking to David Pleat and everyone in relation to the club. But George Graham is the manager, he has a contract until the end of next season and I'm looking forward to him completing his contract and being successful for the club.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"><STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>And you'll be pulling out all the stops for Sol, Darren and Les... </STRONG><o:p></o:p></SPAN><P class=MsoNormal>There can't be a single supporter of the club that doesn't want Sol Campbell, Darren Anderton and Les Ferdinand to still be here next season and I'm included among that batch. I will pull out every stop that I can to try and persuade them to stay.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>Every contract has two parties to it, I will do my bit, and I hope by doing my bit, that will persuade them that they want to stay. So let's see where that goes to.</SPAN><B><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'"></SPAN></B> <P class=MsoNormal><B>To finish, a quick-fire round on Spurs...</SPAN></B><B><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'">how long have you been supporting the club?<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B> <P class=MsoNormal>Since the early sixties.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Favourite moment in that time...</STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>Tony Parks' save in the final of the UEFA Cup.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Times"><STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Favourite player... </STRONG><o:p></o:p></SPAN><P class=MsoNormal>There's so many of them. I remember many of the sixties side, I remember seeing that Jimmy Greaves goal when we beat Manchester United 5-1 and he went round five or six players to score that magical goal half way through.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>I remember the wonderful flicks and headers that Alan Gilzean used to make&nbsp&#59;- a master craftsman if ever there was one. The strength of people like Alan Mullery and Ralph Coates, and players like Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle were all great, great players.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>I think the one player that I focus on when it comes to greatness is Paul Gascoigne. For one reason, more than any other and that was I feel more than any other player in 1991 when we won the FA Cup, he was responsible for seeing us through four or five of the early games just by the brilliance alone of his play and the goals he scored. And single handidly, at a very difficult time for the club, he pulled it up by its socks and enabled it to succeed.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>And of course who will ever forget his goal against Arsenal?<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>I suspect that, despite all of the other great players, despite enjoying everything that Klinsmann did, that Ginola did and others whose names I have forgotten and will apologise immediately for, that probably would be the endearing memory.<STRONG></STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>During the period of time between when you were appointed and finally took over, when you came to games did you take your seat and think - 'in a few weeks this will all be mine'?</STRONG></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>Never. And I still don't because this isn't mine, this is yours, this belongs to everyone who is listening to this broadcast. The day that I ever think it is mine I hope the supporters will turn round and shout 'Buchler out', because I don't ever want to get into that situation. <P class=MsoNormal><I>Listen to this Q&A by clicking <A href="">here</A></SPAN></I>