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Press conference

Posted on 17 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).

Key questions and answers from David Buchler&rsquo&#59;s conference with the written press on Friday evening…<BR><BR><B>Q: Managers and chairman fall out all the time, could you not have given it a few more days?</B><P class=MsoNormal><B>DB:</B> It is very difficult to describe the whole context of the meeting that took place this afternoon, but I question why this was raised in the first place in the way that it was. I also question why the attitude was as aggressive as it was. And I have to tell you, this club is a great club and we are all, and I am, just a bit player in its history. It had a large history before I arrived, it will have a large history after I&rsquo&#59;ve gone.<P class=MsoNormal>We act, and must act in a quasi-trustee position in relation to its future, the heritage and what it&rsquo&#59;s all about &mdash&#59; and that goes for everybody. And anybody that feels they can work beyond that is not working in the interests of the club in general.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Given talk of the manager&rsquo&#59;s position since the takeover, it would be easy to see this as an excuse…</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>I wouldn&rsquo&#59;t have sacked him. If I was going to sack him, and I&rsquo&#59;ll tell you the truth I haven&rsquo&#59;t spoken to agents about a new manager, I would probably have lined somebody up, I would have other thoughts in process &mdash&#59; I wouldn&rsquo&#59;t have done it three weeks before a semi-final.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>You said you questioned the motive behind the attitude that George displayed. Can you elaborate?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>I don&rsquo&#59;t know. Everyone will speculate about it and it would be wrong for me to comment. But this is not the way that someone who has the real interests of the club at heart should be acting.<P class=MsoNormal><B>Do you think he was trying to provoke you?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></B><P class=MsoNormal>Well I was provoked. And I have to tell you, when I&rsquo&#59;m trying to build a team that is cohesive from top to bottom, and I&rsquo&#59;m faced with wanted to talk about a particular issue, and the response I get is aggressive and wholly defiant &mdash&#59; that&rsquo&#59;s not building a team between the manager and vice-chairman. That&rsquo&#59;s not the way to deal with it.<P class=MsoNormal>I&rsquo&#59;ve been taken aback by it. It&rsquo&#59;s not where I wanted to be.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>George said he had put a player to the board who he wanted to sign before the transfer deadline. How does this now leave the club in terms of re-building?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>It&rsquo&#59;s a very good point, it&rsquo&#59;s very difficult, but I&rsquo&#59;m not playing a short game here. I&rsquo&#59;m trying to play a game for the medium and long-term future of this club. We did talk about certain players, we did agree on one player who we would make an approach for and have done. There have already been discussions in relation to that particular player.<P class=MsoNormal>We did talk about a list of players, we did talk about an eight-figure sum in terms of trying to re-build the squad during the course of the summer. We talked about how many players were needed and there was no lack of ambition in what we were thinking about and where we wanted to go.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Was it during the meeting that you said &lsquo&#59;this is no good, we can&rsquo&#59;t work together, you&rsquo&#59;ll have to go&rsquo&#59;, or was it afterwards?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>The meeting today was called in order to discuss why he made the press comment that he did and what that was all about. As a result of the comment he made, it was clear to me at the end of the meeting that there was absolutely no way that he had the club&rsquo&#59;s interests at heart.<P class=MsoNormal>There was only one meeting which was a quarter of an hour&rsquo&#59;s worth of discussion. At the end of that it was fairly clear where the discussion was leading. The discussion was wide-ranging.<P class=MsoNormal><B>What was his reaction when you told him he was sacked?<o:p></o:p></B><P class=MsoNormal>He shrugged his shoulders, he said &lsquo&#59;so be it&rsquo&#59; and he walked out.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Had George Graham been warned previously about talking about the financial situation of the club?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>George Graham had received a written warning from the club about talking to the press, particularly as a result of the libel action that had been going on. So he had received a written warning from the club, against which he had appealed.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Was that warning was from the previous administration?<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"></STRONG><BR>That warning was from the previous administration.<P class=MsoNormal><B>In what way has he broken his contract?<o:p></o:p></B><P class=MsoNormal>There is very clear reference in his contract about talking outside the club in relation to club&rsquo&#59;s activities against the interests of the club. What is absolutely mind-blowing for me is he knew I was having discussions yesterday with Sol Campbell&rsquo&#59;s agent &mdash&#59; he knew that.<P class=MsoNormal>He knew as well, because we&rsquo&#59;ve discussed it, that one of the main issues that I needed to address with Sol&rsquo&#59;s agent was the ambitions of the club. That is one of the things that Sol is interested in, he wants to know that was have ambition, that we are going somewhere.<P class=MsoNormal>He is a winner, he wants to win with the club. I felt this morning that he (George) was totally undermining that position.<P class=MsoNormal><B>Are you now more hopeful that Sol will stay at the club?<o:p></o:p></B><P class=MsoNormal>What I would say is that Sol&rsquo&#59;s heart is in the club, there is no question in that, you could tell from the meetings I had yesterday. I do not know what the reaction will be as a result of the manager leaving the club. But I will find out.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>You make your statement by who you appoint…</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>There has been so much speculation all over the place, and I tell you that this is not something I would have sought in relation to the club&rsquo&#59;s future at this particular point in time. George had another year to run and I would have wanted him to see it out.<P class=MsoNormal>The club now has an opportunity to reassess and that&rsquo&#59;s what we can do. We&rsquo&#59;ll will reassess in terms of the football side. Future success is important, but also how you get that success and there is now an opportunity to look at all aspect of the club and its heart and soul and all the thing that are important to the fans.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Would it be desirable for someone like Glenn Hoddle, who is part of the heart and soul of the club, to come back?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>I&rsquo&#59;ll make it absolutely clear, I&rsquo&#59;ve not spoken to Glenn Hoddle, I&rsquo&#59;ve not spoken to anybody. This club is going to look in the UK and in Europe to try and find the right manager to take it forward.<P class=MsoNormal>I think we have to have a manager that has the ability to attract players, to work with all of the people in this club in a positive, modern style and I think that&rsquo&#59;s something that we have to look at.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Do you think George has done a good job?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>I wouldn&rsquo&#59;t have wanted to change him. I didn&rsquo&#59;t want to change our manager. I would have wanted to see things change and I would have wanted to see perhaps a slightly different style. But I wouldn&rsquo&#59;t have wanted to change our manager.<P class=MsoNormal>We have had a lot of mediocrity that I&rsquo&#59;ve seen sitting in my seat. This year there has been a lot of mediocrity. A lot of games this has been a very unhappy place, but you&rsquo&#59;ve got to counter that by saying we&rsquo&#59;re in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>In the original meeting with George, was it made clear to him that you expected a change in style and what was the reaction to that and the fact that he appears to be upset at the amount of money was been promised. Was it plain to you then that he was unhappy?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>The meeting was a very open meeting. We talked not only about putting money in, but also how money has been spent. How it has been spent over the past five years and the basis of how the money&rsquo&#59;s been spent. <P class=MsoNormal>Bear in mind that over the past five years the club have spent over &pound&#59;50m on players. In the last three years the club has spent around &pound&#59;40m and sold &pound&#59;10-11m.<P class=MsoNormal><STRONG>Is putting the record straight important in terms of recruiting a new manager who would not want to feel that he has his hands tied?</STRONG><P class=MsoNormal>I don&rsquo&#59;t know what &lsquo&#59;limited funds&rsquo&#59; means, but the players we were talking about are not limited players. The sort of money that was available in my view, and I think in most people&rsquo&#59;s view, could never be regarded as limited in that respect.<P class=MsoNormal>The other element that is so important is not the amount of money, but how you spend it. I don&rsquo&#59;t want to go into names or exact sums.<P class=MsoNormal>What we have lacked, certainly in recent times, is a council of the wise and good, particularly on the player&rsquo&#59;s side, that has got Spurs at heart and has got Spurs&rsquo&#59; interests at heart. That is certainly something that I have been and will be thinking about.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;