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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Levy breaks his silence to talk up Tottenham's potential

An interesting article in The Times about how Daniel Levy is learning the hard lessons regarding the press and the games they play.

THE trouble with not saying much, as Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, has found out, is that stories can go unchallenged. Like the tale that he put the telephone down on Roman Abramovich when the Russian billionaire rang to ask about buying Tottenham. Not true, although they did discuss multiple ownership of clubs.
There is also the danger that people misinterpret low profile for a lack of leadership. After four managers in almost as many years (five if you include Giovanni Trapattoni, whose wife exercised a last-minute veto on a move to London), the Spurs board has certainly heard the accusation that they do not know their own mind.

Levy’s willingness to talk this week is not a sign that everything is perfect but, after some wrong turns (Glenn Hoddle, Jacques Santini), it is hard to remember when there has been more reason for optimism. The team are third in the Barclays Premiership and they host Everton at the end of a week when record annual profits of £4.1 million were announced.

Spurs had four players — Paul Robinson, Ledley King, Jermaine Jenas, Jermain Defoe — in the England squad that qualified for the World Cup finals. Only Chelsea could match them and, had Michael Carrick been fit, there would have been five.

If Spurs are not yet restored as a leading club in England, they are at least beginning to behave like one. Plans have just been submitted for a new £30 million training complex on 60 acres of greenfield site near Enfield. “Compared with our facilities at Chigwell,” Levy said, “it will be like comparing a one-star hotel with a five-star.”

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