To ‘dare is to do’ may be the most fitting expression when referring to the proposed takeover of Tottenham by American giants AEG. With the club looking to truly cement it’s place among the top four in the Premier League and even go the extra mile for a genuine year-on-year assault on the league title, the purchase would greatly increase Spurs’ spending power and position and the transfer market. Is this a welcome move from the club’s perspective; one who have done incredibly well at appointing the right manager and slowly but steadily re-built the squad to where it is today. We’ve already seen the negative feeling at other Premier League clubs in recent times following the purchase of their clubs by American owners. Something to be concerned about, or will this be the best move for a club in the ascendancy?
A key feature in all of this will be the position of Daniel Levy, who it is said will remain in place at Tottenham, thus allowing a smooth transition. It will do wonders for the club with great ambitions to remain firm with a strong foundation. We’ve already seen the steely determination and eye for a bargain from Levy, who did exceptionally well to keep hold of star player Luka Modric over the summer and snap up Rafael van der Vaart from under the noses of more high profile destinations.
The move from AEG would allow Spurs greater flexibility in the transfer market, significantly upping the club’s manoeuvrability on the wage front and adding the glamour signings that would play a big role in helping the club to hang on to it’s assets. Philip Anschutz, the owner of AEG, has a personal fortune of over £4 billion and would again play a role in helping the club move into a new 60,000 seat stadium.
While there are a great number of positives to take from a takeover and the seemingly endless possibilities that arise in the aftermath, is it the most desirable when compared to the way other American owners have left their mark in the Premier League. The Hicks and Gillett reign at Liverpool was disastrous on all accounts and subsequently played a part in the club slipping out of the Champions League places in the league. Similarly, the Glazers at Manchester United have caused much controversy in their handling of the club and supporters have regularly voiced their displeasure at the owners. In much the same way, Arsenal supporters have been left greatly frustrated by a lack of action from majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, looking at him as more a sports collector rather than a sports owner. The common theme here is that these owners have arrived into a sport that they know little of and only use the clubs to compliment their already impressive list of sports interests in North America. But what could be the deciding factor here is the role of Daniel Levy, who is likely to continue to have a great say in the direction of the club and take steps towards a positive and competitive future.
With the attractive position Harry Redknapp has helped the club into, by making Champions League football a realistic target, playing attractive football which draws compliments from all over the league, and even getting one over on a regular basis against fierce rivals Arsenal, it only seemed logical that talks of a takeover would start to emerge. It’s exactly the sort of club that investors will look at; with it’s rich history, fan base, and fundamentally, the plans for a new stadium that will only help the club grow in stature.