Daniel Levy could be about to sting one of his closest allies as Tottenham Hotspur near a landmark appointment…
According to the BBC, Spurs are expected to announce former Juventus chief football officer as their next sporting director this week, a position that has not been filled since 2015.
But this has raised doubts about the future of technical performance director Steve Hitchen and that has caused a worrying reaction behind the scenes.
As revealed by the reliable Alasdair Gold at football.london, several staff and players have been left unhappy by the situation surrounding Hitchen, who found out late in the process and is thought to be a very popular figure at the club.
It’s understood that Spurs want him to remain and work with Paratici within the football structure but it remains to be seen just how that would work as the Italian is expected to receive the responsibility for decision-making.
Furthermore, it means the North London outfit are back at square one as Hitchen’s initial managerial shortlist will likely be ripped up for Paratici to get his own man in.
This situation certainly evokes similarities to Levy’s appalling treatment of former manager Martin Jol, whom he sacked during a live game – a UEFA Cup defeat to Getafe – in October 2007.
His replacement Juande Ramos was secretly photographed during a hotel meeting with the club whilst the Dutchman was still in charge, so everyone knew it was coming, just as is the case with Paratici now.
Jol was by no means a remarkable head coach for the Lilywhites but it was his time at the club that laid the foundations for the following years and he was one that was quite popular with the fanbase.
Arguably, only Mauricio Pochettino was a bigger hit with the Tottenham faithful in the past two decades.
Again, this draws further similarities to this emerging situation because, as Gold states, plenty amongst the current set-up admire Hitchen and the work he does for the club.
Starting as a scout in N17, Hitchen helped signed some of Spurs’ biggest stars, namely Luka Modric and Benoit Assou-Ekotto before going onto be the man behind Liverpool’s move for Luis Suarez in 2011.
Evidently, he has an eye for a player but Levy’s latest move puts his position in jeopardy and that could seriously hinder Spurs in the long run.
Paratici, as good as his track record is with signings, has never been in and around the Premier League, which is something on Hitchen’s side.
Levy and his reputation took a dent with the Jol situation, so he must ensure that he does not repeat such a fatal mistake here with one of his longest-serving counterparts.