So, ENIC announce that all
shareholders who accepted their offer for club shares will get paid out,
according to an announcement on the Stock Exchange.
Will the company holding the bulk of the
shares in the club try and take it private ? They said at the time
of the offer to buy shares that was not their intention, but who knows.
We have seen Newcastle United be de-listed
after discount sports retailer Mike Ashley bought out the Shepherd and
Hall families to take control of the club.
But Ashley is a Spurs fan.
And a big mate of Paul Kemsley, who is a
made his money from property and runs Rock Investments.
Which is half owned by Joe Lewis through a
vehicle called Rapallo, of which a certain Daniel Levy is an executive
And Lewis and Levy are both
linked to ENIC and Tottenham Hotspur.
Another mate of Kemsley is Harry Redknapp,
who he part owned a horse with.
Harry Redknapp claims he was offered the
Spurs job in January 2007.
So where is this circular route taking us ?
Maybe nowhere. But maybe it is a way
of getting Ashley on board to inject some money into the club to make
them a force to be reckoned with. A denial came out today that
Kemsley has no intention of taking over with Ashley, but then, other
papers reckoned that the man who bought Newcastle United three months
ago for £133 million and has since pumped in £30 million to reduce the
debt at the Geordie club, has done so to make it more saleable and
rumours are that he has set a price of £220 million. This will
give him £50 million profit and given that he has a history of making
quick profits from company buying and selling, the Chinese and Icelandic
bidders for the club might tempt him if they hit the right price.
This will give him the money needed to buy
into Tottenham and with stories hinting he might take the company off
the Stock Exchange, it would make it much more desirable should he wish
to do the same as he has at St. James' Park.
Among all this wheeler dealing, what we need
is stability both on and off the pitch. While stories of Jurgen
Klinsmann heading an American consortium to take over at White Hart Lane
might sound tempting, he will be running the club ... not just the team
and reports suggest that any arrival will see the departure of the whole
of the management structure and a new system introduced at the club,
which Jurgen would have complete control over. It might be the
change the Tottenham need to take them to the next step, but how far
will we slip down the ladder waiting for it to have an effect ?
An interesting article in today's Observer
details some of the machinations which have been going on behind the
scenes that have lead to the current untenable situation. Many of
the insights are attributed to sources within the club.
Mentioning the chairman and Kemsley dabbling
in team selection and giving full backing to Damien Comolli over Jol,
who they have reservations about shows how the Head Coach's position has
been undermined. Additionally, they claim that Donna Cullen
(former Head of Communications and now Communications Director) often
edits the Dutchman's programme notes, causing a rift to have developed
The article reckons Joe Lewis and Daniel
Levy are setting Tottenham up to sell it off. A new ground with
Champions League football will make THFC a much more tempting (and more
valuable) proposition if they do want to move it on. With Kemsley
given the task of sorting out the club's property portfolio, he has also
been given a position which allows him to be more active in the
footballing side of the company.
With the major sticking point still burning
in the back of all the players in this farrago's minds, Michael Carrick
comes back like an unwelcome ghost to drift through the midfield against
It was his sale which appears to have caused
much distrust in what was going on at the club. The Observer say
he went to see Levy about negotiating a new contract late in the 2005-06
season. Being on wages of £25,000 a week, he asked for it to be
raised to £40,000 and was more or less told that he could leave, as the
club would not pay him that amount of money. At that stage he had
wanted to stay, but as the board would not budge on their offer, the
interest from Manchester United became apparent and Carrick started to
listen to what they had to offer him.
While it is believed that Damien Comolli had
advised Levy that Tottenham did not need Carrick, as he could secure the
services of Didier Zokora, who he felt was a better player, the bids
went up for the Spurs midfielder until it got to the stage where Levy
made a last minute offer of £50,000 a week, by which time it was too
late and Tottenham had to settle for the £18.6 million from United.
The story that came out of Carrick wanting to leave was true by the time
the transfer happened, but only because he felt that Manchester United
wanted him more than Spurs did.
It wasn't simply the sale of Carrick which
caused the distrust, but Jol had signed an extension to his contract
only to find that the man he was building a side around had been
off-loaded without his knowledge. The relationship between Head
Coach and Sporting Director have been fraught at Tottenham, but for it
to work, there has to be respect, co-operation and communication.
It appears from the Observer story that there is little of all three.
The summer saw Jol wanting to pursue the
purchase of Stewart Downing to balance the side (although goodness knows
why). The deal was near completion when Levy insisted that
payments for the winger were to be made in instalments and negotiations
came to a halt. Jol's focus switched to Martin Petrov, but the
club's unwritten policy of not signing older players with little or no
resale value put a halt to bringing in Dimitar Berbatov's Bulgarian 28
year old team-mate. Thus he was free for Manchester City to snap
up. The paper reveals that talking to agents, they find it
difficult to do business with Levy, as he thinks he is a master
negotiator, while they have a different view.
In the article, it claims that the Dutch
coach is not overly impressed with Benoit Assou-Ekotto and seeks a new
left back (although Bale might well be the one to feature there) and he
wants replacements for Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe, who he feels do
not conform to his view of how professionals should apply themselves.
The writer claims that Defoe's record away from home is not what is
expected of a Premiership striker.
I think that last section might have come
from last season, when Defoe played few games away and was unlucky on a
number of occasions, but more from the way the team played outside White
Hart Lane. Lennon had a cracking season in 2005-06, but last
season, injury and lack of form hampered him, thus making him less
effective. When he returns fully fit, it will be a key ingredient
of any success the club has as to how he performs.
There is no doubting that some areas of
Martin Jol's management need some honing. Substitutions and the
way the team play away from home are two that immediately spring to
mind, but if there are factions at the club who do not feel secure with
him at the helm, you imagine it is only a question of time before he
goes. One way or the other.
But for what he has achieved already, he
deserves to be backed and given time to build, It may be that
Spurs so not replicate their successes of the last two seasons, but we
are still a long way behind the teams who have Champions League
experience and the money that being in that competition brings year on
year. Lots of players come to Tottenham because they see the
potential for success on what Jol has done. Without Jol would the
club have to start all over again and where will the money to fund a new
manager's spending come from ??
At the moment, it looks that there is only
one thing the club is good at ... and that is shooting themselves in the
foot ... neither another injury we need nor the bad news associated with
NOTE : Incidentally, while it has no bearing
on the matter, when Mr. Kemlsey sold 27-35 Poultry, the Grade I listed
former headquarters of Midland Bank after just five months for a profit
in excess of £30 million, the financial institution which gave him
advice was Olswang - a company which has among it's employees a certain
Espen Baardsen, although it is not thought he had any input in this