Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Hey big spenders! How do Spurs do it?

BACK page of my beloved but soon-to-die London Lite today (e-edition.thelondonlite.co.uk) had to be all about Spurs and their record profits. Last year, according to the accountants, they made over £33m, up from a meagre £3m last year.
But further analysis reveals chairman Daniel Levy has done more than just balance the books with Harry Redknapp over the past 12 months. Miraculously, given this set of results, my sums show they have actually spent almost £150m in 16 months, with Juande Ramos (Roman Pavlyuchenko, Luka Modric, Heurelho Gomes) doing the early buying before Harry came in and re-signed departed Spurs favourites Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe plus, more recently, Sebastien Bassong, Niko Kranjcar and Peter Crouch.
Yes, while North London rivals Arsenal scrabble for scraps (okay, Andrey Arshavin (£16m) and Thomas Vermaelen (£10m) were good buys, but we've hardly seen a mega-spree from Arsene Wenger) Spurs have splashed out £150m since the summer before last - only mega-bucks Manchester City in the Premier League and, further afield, Real Madrid can beat that.
Spurs spent £119.3m in the year ending June 2009, but their books don't show the further £29.4m spent on Crouch, Bassong and Kranjcar, which puts quite a big dent in that record profit of £33.4m.
Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool? Not even close on the spending front. How the hell do Spurs do it, on smaller crowds with recession-hit backers... and they're redeveloping White Hart Lane, building a new training ground and... I dunno.
Look, here's the Lite quotes from Levy, make of them what you will in the light of their spending: "We have made significant progress in delivering on our long-term vision for the club. We have always had three key priorities and you will have heard them oft repeated - investment in the first team, a new training centre and an increased capacity, state-of-the-art new stadium.
"We have assembled what we believe to be one of the most talented squads we have had during our time in the Premier League, the ground is being turned and pitches laid for the new training centre at Bulls Cross in Enfield and we have submitted a planning application for a stunning new stadium on a site next to our existing stadium."
Levy is in talks over a new shirt sponsorship contract from next season, with the deal with Mansion set to expire at the end of the current campaign. God on the shirts next year perhaps? They'll need Him to maintain those spending levels!
Oh, and son Harry has just called from the car. England's cricketers, after that bright start to their tour in South Africa, went into game three in Bloemfontein today - their first Twenty20 of the safari against South Africa A - expecting another stonking win. I hear they were all out for 89. Gulp. South Africa's also-rans got there with 15 balls and four wickets to spare. And what did I say in the Lite today? I quoted Graeme Swann saying they'd be fine without captain Andrew Strauss, who doesn't get on with the shortest version of the game. He got 72 and 117 not out in those first two 50-over wins. Only Alistair Cook (22), Eoin Morgan (11) and Paul Collingwood (18) got double-figures today. Ouch. Check out Swanny and James Anderson on twitter.com later. There may be belated fireworks!

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