London (AFP) – Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has slammed the “unsustainable” spending of Premier League clubs during a frenzied summer transfer window.
At least £800 million ($1.04 billion, 896 million euros) has been spent by English top-flight clubs in the current transfer period and Levy believes the exorbitant spree is bad for the sport.
Manchester United paid a British record £75 million for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Manchester City broke the world record fee for a defender with their £52 million swoop for Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy.
City alone have spent over £200 million on six new players, while Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have all made club record signings since the end of last season.
The Premier League’s spending is on course to break the record £1.2 billion mark for a single window, but Tottenham have opted out of the lavish deals, so far failing to make a single signing.
Defending Tottenham’s ultra-conversative approach, Levy claimed the other 19 Premier League teams were putting their financial health at risk.
“We have a duty to manage the club appropriately,” Levy said.
“Some of the activity that is going on at the moment is just impossible for it to be sustainable.
“Somebody spending £200 million more than they’re earning, eventually it catches up with you. And you can’t keep doing it.”
With Tottenham having to spend up to £800 million on the current redevelopment of their White Hart Lane stadium, Levy acknowledged it was prudent to be more cautious in the transfer market at present.
But he denied the stadium costs would stop boss Mauricio Pochettino getting a player he wants as Tottenham look to improve on two successive near-misses in the Premier League title race.
“We have to find the right balance but I can honestly say it is not impacting us on transfer activity because we are not yet in a place where we have found a player that we want to buy who we cannot afford to buy,” Levy said.
Tottenham sold England defender Kyle Walker to Manchester City for £50 million earlier in the close-season.
Yet Levy believes the success of players like Harry Kane, who has developed into an England striker after coming through the club’s youth academy, shows it isn’t necessary to reinvest all the Walker funds on new signings when that might stunt the progress of a youngster.
“The academy is important because if we produce our own players we don’t have to spend £20 million or £30 million on a player,” he said.
“An academy player has that affinity with the club and that’s what the fans want to see.
“Unless we find a player who would make a difference, Mauricio Pochettino would rather give one of our academy players a chance, regardless of the financing of the stadium.”