Big Summer For: Tottenham Hotspur

by Ben McAleer

In a new series this off-season, Ben McAleer discusses some of the clubs that are in need of a big summer to progress next season. Starting with Tottenham, who had Champions League football ripped from their clutches despite a top four finish.

*Pop*. With Didier Drogba’s winning penalty against Bayern Munich on Saturday night, that pop was the sound of Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League dream ending. With that penalty against the Germans, the Blues were crowned, *sigh*, Europe’s best team, despite ending the season as England’s five places behind top spot.

With Spurs finishing fourth, Chelsea were given priority to enter the competition ahead of the North London side and, after 2005 and UEFA’s rule change following Everton’s fourth place finish coupled with Liverpool’s dramatic win over AC Milan in the final of the tournament, it is now impossible for Harry Redknapp’s side to take place in next years’ competition, meaning a second successive season in the Europa League.

Without Champions League football available at White Hart Lane next season, the ramifications are set to be massive. From player’s wanting to leave in order to play in Europe’s elite competition to the financial implications, this summer is set to be one of the longest and most difficult in recent memory for Tottenham Hotspur.

No Champions League football – their fault

Spurs fans can blame Arjen Robben for missing his penalty in the final, Lionel Messi for failing to score from the spot at the Camp Nou in the semi final or Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ivica Olic for missing their respective penalties in the shoot-out all they like. But the fact of the matter is, missing out on Champions League football is their own fault.

Back in February, Spurs held a 12-point gap over fourth placed Arsenal before, ultimately, capitulating and sacrificing the stranglehold they held over third place. In the end the race for third place went to the last game of the season and after the Gunners 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion, irregardless of Spurs’ 2-0 win over Fulham, saw the former retain their spot in the Champions League next season.

However, that run between February and the end of April wasn’t the fault of anyone but manager Redknapp and the players. They are the ones that were charged with achieving a top four finish and whilst they managed to secure fourth on the final day of the season, it could easily have been a higher position in the Premier League had Spurs not had the disasterous run.

Yes, Bayern Munich were the better of the two teams, as were Barcelona in the semi-final, but, the most important game of the season should involve Tottenham Hotspur, not their London rivals or the second best team in Germany. Spurs should have had Champions League football wrapped up weeks ago, not relying on the Bundesliga side to overcome the Blues at the Allianz Arena.

Transfers

With that Drogba penalty on Saturday night, Spurs’ transfers targets shifted very, very quickly. Marseille front-man Loic Remy was reported as wanting to see if Champions League football would be played at White Hart Lane next season before making a decision on his future. However, with Europa League football all the North Londoners can offer, any move for the Frenchman now appears highly unlikely.

Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen, last week, claimed he wants to join the club regardless of whether Spurs reach the Champions League or not, and with personal terms reportedly agreed between the club and player, all that is needed is for a fee, believed to be around €15m, to be settled with the two clubs.
Yet, when it comes to attracting top class talent, the lack of attraction drawn to performing in Europe’s top competition will begin to show as the summer drags on. And it isn’t just bringing players in that will be affected; holding on to the star performers will prove an equally, if not greater, task.

The likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale will both be heavily linked with big money moves to a number of Europe’s heavyweights. The latter, in particular, came close to leaving the club last summer, seeing a transfer request that would aid in securing a move to Chelsea turned down before chairman Daniel Levy rejected three bids from the Blues for the Croatian.

The same player in question is likely to want a move away from the club this summer having stalled on signing a new £100k-a-week contract in recent months, with the schemer opting to wait to see the outcome of the season before putting pen to paper. However, with no Champions League football on offer next season, it is highly unlikely that a new deal will be signed and, if Modric’s body language in the second half of the season is anything to go by, his head is no longer focused on Spurs, but rather on the move to the next big club to come calling.

Bale is another whose future is likely to be ravaged with speculation, with many teams already linked with his signature. The Welshman has become one of the prized trio at White Hart Lane, with Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart, and with four games still to go of the season, insinuated that he would be looking to leave the club should they fail to reach the Champions League.

Now that the inevitable has happened, chances are the vultures are likely to start circling their prey. Prior to the last game of the season, Levy stated that none of the big name player’s would leave the club this summer, and reports today suggest that the club have sent a letter, I’m hoping strongly worded and in blood red to show Spurs really mean it, to all those enquiring about Bale that he isn’t for sale.

Then again, every player has his price and if the player wants to leave, it may be hard for Spurs to reject any bid for the duo, especially if it is a record breaking offer from the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Financial implications

Last summer, Spurs only made a net profit due to the deadline day sales of Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios. The income from TV revenue from Champions League heavily contributed to this, while the lack of spending on new player’s (the club have spent just £16m since they fourth place finish in 2010 on signings) have helped the club stay out of the red.

Reaching the competition again was vital to the finances of the club, with no club making a profit from the Europa League unless they reach the final. With the Northumberland Development Project now beginning to pick up steam, the boost in income could have gone a long way to speeding up the plans to improve the surrounding area.

Furthermore, the wage structure is unlikely to increase as a result of the lack of Champions League football. As many know, Spurs have one of the tightest wages budgets in England, meaning the club can’t throw money at players in a vain hope that they would join, like Manchester City did after the 2009/10 season.

Now, without the increased income, a net profit is looking less likely than it did last season, despite Spurs appearing on TV more than any other team in the Premiership last season. With it, looking to tie down a number of the key performers on extended contracts is unlikely to occur due to the small financial wind fall that would have come with Champions League qualification.

10 Responses

  1. Ruairi Keogh says:

    Is this meant to be a news blog? Where’s the news, a rehash of everything covered in greater detail on a thousand other sites. Wheres the beef?

  2. Ray says:

    So you fancy youself as a soothsayer do you, it’s deja vous as I seem to recall the same bollocks written last Summer by all and sundry, Spurs fail to make it to the CL and the vultures will be circling to pick at the prized bits from the Spurs bones. Modric will be off Bale will be off Sandro will be off even Kaboul and Dawson. I wont be surprised if the low class in the media start spreading rumours that Kyle Walker is next up on the list. Allied to that, the best players in Europe and the world for that matter wont want to join Spurs because the cant (A) offer CL football and (B) pay low wages. Spurs are not a poor club by any streatch of the imagination, only the eleventh richest in the world. The low class among you have it in your head that Spurs are Blackburn Rovers or Wigan in disguise, under estimate Daniel Levy and it may serve you better to look at Arsenal who under Wenger has been an ever present in the CL but continue to sell their best players to the highest bidder year on year yet they are never labeled in the arse friendly press as a selling club. True, Spurs will miss out on the extra revenue from the CL but once again may I remind you that Spurs are far from poor or undesireable. Time will tell but you’re piecemealing last years story in order to make a new on, boring.

  3. Nabeel says:

    Without CL last year, Spurs made a 21m profit, check skysports transfers on Spurs to confirm. This year we plan on selling fringe players, JJ, Giovani, Bentley etc. In fact it is mentioned that there are eleven fringe players up for grabs, Saha might be joining that list as well. This puts us well in the buying seat and all we need is three extra players. Modic is the only player to mention that a decision will be made after the Euros, the others are commintted to Spurs, because Spurs are a family more than a club. Players tend to stay where they get game time. Let Modic go, he’s not the only creative midfielder in the world. I say we let go of the Gem and take the Diamond.
    COYS!

  4. RhinoNeal says:

    You paint a pretty depressing picture about Spurs yet at the end of the day we did finish fourth. In real terms we should have at least finished third which I would think would attract players to the club especially also the way Spurs were acclaimed last year, by various sources, as the club playing the best football. The only thing of concern for me is has Harry Redknapp learnt by the dreadful transfers he made last season. All for the quick fix with no long term plans in place. He needs to stop looking for the bargain, ex premiership players who used to be good but he thinks he can squeeze a bit more out of them. What happened to coaching and bringing through players? He needs a new team of scouts because ours do not seem very good. He needs to bring in scouts that know about foreign players. He also needs to learn about team rotation and stop wearing out the main first team all the time. Redknapp has all these people aroung him like Sherwood, Ferdinand, Bond and Jordan…why? what do they do? We have all those players sitting on the bench who never get a chance…why? If you are not going to play them then get rid of them but at realistic prices. It’s just dead money sitting there. Get rid of Jenas, Bentley, Corluka, Defoe, Dos Santos, Gomez, Bassong, the list is endless. If they are not on Redknapp’s plans then he has to sell them and get a squad who can all contribute. Personally I would still keep Defoe and Dos Santos because they have skill but just are not used as much as they should be. It sounds all gloom and doom but really with a bit of tweaking to the side we could be challaging for the title. Would love to see Dalmiao and Vertonghen bought in and Adebayor retained. Those two strikers would offer a plan A and a plan B but Redknapp just needs to learn how to do this. We need to bring in a talented scouting system able to find gems all over the world because ours are doing nothing. I am not up for changing Redknapp but he needs to learn and focus on the team without any distractions and learn by his past mistakes.

    1. DJS says:

      Do you honestly believe that Harry decides who is to be bought and sold at Spurs.
      I think not, he doesn’t hold the purse strings. He has to make do with what he is given.

  5. akshayaalase says:

    tottenham hotspure must sold to all extra bench player to help budget spure this qwality player sign this window spures need players 1.vertghen 2.ollson/silvestar 3. Green 4. Ganso/ilicic/pjanic/pabon dorlan 5.hazard/kransic/robin/hoilet 6.diarra 7.adabayor 8.suarez/remy/toinovin/ 9striker -kone/berbatov free or loan or any sell 1.corulka 2.rose 3.jenas 4.bentlay 5.kranjar 6 bassong 7.defoe 8.modric

  6. RhinoNeal says:

    Yes I do believe it was Redknapp who chose Saha, Fridel and Nelson. I agree he may have been limited to the amounts of money he was allowed to spend but why choose players so old? Why aren’t our scouts finding young players with promise. I am sure those players are about wherever in the world. The problem is Redknapp has no clue and no help spotting talent together with a chairman whose main concern is turning a profit. What confuses me is why he went along with Redknapp in buying these old players and even if they cost nothing you still need to pay them. What makes me laugh though is our motto ‘To dare is to do’ but I think we should change it to To bid but not to do.

  7. Christopher says:

    This is getting boring isnt it? but do you know what, sell modric! yes he has great awareness, vision, technical ability but he has a weak shot, never scores and goes missing in too many games. give his role to vdv then play 2 up front!
    cant wait to see how much robin van persie will go for!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply