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The Buchler Files

Posted on 20 June 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 executive vice-chairman David Buchler’s audience with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust. The meeting was essentially a private affair, but the official website has permission to produce extracts from the gathering for our wider fanbase.

David on the Manchester United game, signings and the way forward for us as a club.

DB: There has been a lot of discussion over this. People said to us in March when we came ‘how much are you spending? Who are you signing?’ and all this sort of stuff.

The whole process is a gradual one. I think most people were at the Manchester United match. The most pleasing thing about that game wasn’t just what happened — which was like the release of a pressure cooker — all of a sudden, everybody was able to be as one as a club.

For me, what was so amazing was that for the first time in years we had real excitement, not just from the usual ends that chant — but from the West Stand! It was unbelievable. Some of the old guys from around where my season ticket is were up on their feet. It was like a release.

I think there were two things that happened. I think in that game we saw a real glimmer of some real football being played. It wasn’t the be all and end all, but those of you who were at the Chelsea game and Arsenal game saw the gulf that existed between what we were doing and what other teams were doing, how we were playing and how they were playing.

A few weeks later you see what is beginning to happen and it is quite good — pleasing to the eye, beginning to pass the ball again, playing football again. Of course that is very much Glenn’s philosophy in terms of how he wants to run things.

I think what happened there was the excitement of knowing that things are going to change, that there is a ending to the old decade, the disputes that there might have been, the disputes between the club and supporters, the problems between the club and the manager and all sorts of stuff that was going on. It really whacked us over the last decade in a really bad way.

One could begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are lots of things to improve on, but you could see the light. It was a release from the pressure cooker and it was so exciting.

Then we go to thinking about where we’re going, and the question was ‘who are we signing?’, all of a sudden, we can begin to see that some of the things Glenn wants to put in place — that both Daniel and I are great supporters of — going back to thinking about playing football again and passing the ball.

Somebody said to me when I first came in that we’ve got to go back to our roots a little bit. What this club is all about and remembering that, remembering the football stuff. That’s not going back and just thinking about our past, but it is going back to thinking about our heritage, which is very important to us.

In doing that, I am absolutely convinced that we can do that, play attractive football and be successful. I have no doubt.

Look at the sides in Europe who are successful. They are entertaining sides, not sides that just kick up and down, these are sides that are intelligent and who are thinking about the game, have got intelligent players and have winners in their side.

The two players that we’ve signed already, and I have to say this, some people say Teddy is too old and that we’ve gone back. At the Manchester United game, like it or not, you saw the class that he has way and beyond most other people on the pitch. I think it is going to be great to have him back. It is a limited period, he’s not going to be here for four or five years, but certainly in this last period of his career I think we’ll get a lot of value.

He is an outstanding player, he doesn’t rely on pace, he is going to fit into the standard that Glenn is going to adopt. Poyet as well, outstanding player, top of his class. Both of those players are winners, both have been involved in winning teams and want to win.

We’ve got a lot of great youngsters that are coming through — a lot of credit goes to them. What these guys need are senior professionals who are used to winning like these two, plus one or two signings that I can’t talk about.

But we’ve made as a club, five or six offers around the UK and Europe for different players and I have been struck by the enormous difficulty in getting deals done. It is not a question of money — it’s all sorts of things.

The other deal we’ve done is with Goran Bunje — that’s what we call him at the moment — he’s like a Beckenbauer, he’s exactly that style of player and will be a great asset for us. He was the captain of Red Star Belgrade, he’s played in the national team and I think we are almost there in getting his work permit sorted out.

In each case it has taken probably two months work. Of time, cajoling, of thinking time at the beginning and then going to the club for permission, then talking about the contract — it’s a long process.

We’ve done three, we hope one or two more — and I hope that gives you a bit of a flavour.