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Leagues: EPL

Tottenham, If You Want to Be a Big Club, You Have to Act Like One

Every summer in the transfer window the news pipeline gets flooded with transfer speculation, rumors and big signings.  When the drama surrounds your team’s chance at making a big name signing or potentially losing its key player, blood pressures rise in the hearts of fans.  The anxiety of what could happen to your team is as nerve racking as watching the final moments in a penalty kick shootout.  For Tottenham Hotspur fans this summer, it’s been a very frustrating summer.

We all remember the drama in January when Liverpool’s Fernando Torres forced a transfer move to Chelsea, later proclaiming, “The target for every footballer is to play at one of the top level clubs in the world.” This summer is no different with Tottenham Hotspur’s star Luka Modric.  He recently handed in a transfer request to initiate a “dream” move to Chelsea.  His comments mirror Torres’: “Chelsea is a club that all players dream of joining.”

Of course, these types of comments and moves are nothing new in the Premier League.  Top players are always trying to move up the Premier League hierarchy.  What is different about these players’ requests is that they were in long-term contracts and their teams had a lot of potential of offering what they wanted.  Clubs that wallow in the bottom half of the EPL table year in and year out don’t have much incentive or the finances to keep their star players at all costs.  These clubs are willing to part with their players if it helps them balance the books or can help them fund more affordable talent.  Securing Champion League football is not on their immediate horizon, so selling a top player for a big profit makes sense.  But what about the teams that do have a realistic chance at gatecrashing the top four?  How should they respond to selling key players when a top club comes knocking with big money offers?

Tottenham Hotspur is a team in this situation, having consistently finished in the top quarter of the table and actually breaking into the top four last year.

With a disappointing run at the end of this season they failed to secure Champions League football and now top clubs are coming to poach their team of its top players. What is interesting about the transfer speculation surrounding Tottenham’s Luka Modric is not the fact that he might leave, its the stand Tottenham is taking to keep him from leaving.  From what I have seen, it is uncharacteristic for clubs in the EPL to refuse big money offers when a player is unhappy and wants to leave.  Is this because Tottenham truly believe they can get back into the Champions League if they keep Modric out of the hands of teams like Chelsea and Manchester United?  According to Harry Redknapp, if you want to be a big club you got to act like one. “Manchester United won’t sell Wayne Rooney, Chelsea won’t go and sell Lampard or Terry and you never hear people talk about them getting sold so why should we sell Luka Modric?  If we sell Luka we are just a selling club basically,” stated Redknapp.  Former Spurs keeper Kasey Keller further supports these thoughts, “I don’t see Manchester City selling their players to rivals. Manchester United don’t do it.

“Maybe Arsenal are a little bit different but their fans are upset about that. If you want to be one of the big boys you have to act like it.”

“Tottenham have to reach that stage. At some point they must make a decision.

“Are they going to honestly and truly compete with these teams or are they just going to hope it all comes together at the right time and challenge for a year or two.”  Keller is hoping Tottenham have the ambition.  However, the veteran keeper expects Modric to get his way as Tottenham will eventually give in.  “They have been in this position for the past 20 or 30 years,” he argued.

“You can’t cut corners and expect to compete at the highest level.

“You can’t sell your top players if you want to compete with teams that don’t.

“History says of course they will sell Modric. He will get mad enough and finally someone will give them a number that they can’t turn down.”

Keller’s analysis rings too true. One only needs to look back to January when Liverpool turned down repeated offers for Torres from Chelsea, stating, “The player is not for sale.” Yet when Torres expressed his unhappiness at Anfield then the club cut a deal.  Time will only tell if Modric leaves Tottenham under the same circumstances.  Apparently player contracts don’t mean much.  If the player is whining and moaning and hands in a piece of paper stating they want to leave then the club will have no choice but to let the player go, even if they have five years to serve on their contract, as is the case with Modric.  When Champions League fever sets in, just look around the corner, or in Modric’s case just across town.  For managers, owners and club chairmen who do not have millions at their disposal, securing CL football is much more daunting.  It’s a tough situation, even when your team has a lot of promise.  Selling a key player also opens the floodgates for other players to follow suit as they lose faith in the team.

“Of course we have got to keep Modric and add to him – that’s the key,” added Redknapp. “Unless we improve in the summer then you can’t expect to be in the Champions League.” Redknapp is understandably keen to keep hold of his best players, “We have to keep improving every year because everybody else is going to improve. We just missed out last year, we finished fifth because the four teams in front of us were just a little bit stronger and they are going to get much stronger in the summer.”

Of course, Redknapp and chairman Daniel Levy’s reasons for keeping Luka Modric could all be gamesmanship and cunning tactics to get a huge pay off at the last minute.  However, I want to believe that Tottenham’s reason is authentic and wish other clubs would knuckle down and get serious about challenging as well.  Without clubs taking this type of stance how is the landscape of the EPL ever going to change?

I hope Tottenham keep Luka Modric, if only for the fact that they will stand up to the establishment and try to beat the big clubs at their own game.  Of course it may be easier to just advertize around the world, “Big daddy billionaire wanted”, as disposable income seems to be the only proven way to success.

With that said, what do you think of Tottenham’s stance?  Will holding onto their players give them a better chance?  Is Harry Redknapp correct when he says, “If you want to be a big club your got to act like one.”  If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it a duck?

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  1. James

    July 26, 2011 at 4:42 am

    UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are a bit like parenting. You can tell your eight year old that if he doesn’t tidy his room by the end of the day you’ll take his bike away. But if dinner rolls around and it’s not quite neat, but still not the absolute mess it was that morning and you believe he made a genuine effort to clean things up, you may let him keep the bike. Especially if you were really looking forward to that father-son bike ride the next day.

    UEFA-bashing is popular these days (especially from Special Ones) but, in fact, European soccer’s governing body has approached the Herculean task of implementing FFP with two much needed ingredients: common sense and flexibility.

    The basic concept behind FFP is that you can’t make more than a certain amount of losses over several seasons or UEFA will punish you by not awarding a license to play in the Champions League or Europa League. This will kick in from the 2013-14 season, when the maximum “losses” (acceptable deviation) will be €45 million ($66.8M) over the first two “monitoring periods,” 2011-12 and 2012-13. (If you have time on your hands and enjoy both legalese and accounting, you can download the regulations.)

    Now, you may remember that Chelsea announced a loss of €83 million ($123.2M) for the 12 months ending May 2010 and, since then, splurged roughly the same amount on Fernando Torres and David Luiz, virtually assuring a comparable, if not greater, loss for the 2010-11. Or that Manchester City, was around €150 million ($222M) in the red for 2009-10 and that was before splashing out north of €200 million ($296M) over the past two transfer windows. So how on God’s green earth can these two clubs hope to comply with FFP?

    The answer is that FFP is, at once, stringent and fuzzy. For a start, bear in mind that a club’s annual financial statement is not equivalent to what the UEFA Financial Control Panel will be considering in terms of FFP. A whole bunch of expenses and revenue streams get included in a club’s accounts which are not included in assessing FFP compliance. For example, much of the investment in youth development or stadium/facility expenditure is not counted toward FFP. For some clubs that can mean as much €20 million ($29.6M) lopped off the annual expenses.

    Oh, while we’re at it, let’s knock one widely held misconception on the head right now. UEFA will be vigilant when it comes to any kind of attempt to circumvent the rules. So, for example, Sheikh Mansour can’t buy, say, a used football from Manchester City for €100 million $148M) and then book that as revenue for City. Or, rather, he can, but UEFA will only count what it considers the “benchmark fair value” of the ball as revenue … probably €19.95 ($29) or so. By the same token, Roman Abramovich can’t get one of his companies to sponsor Chelsea for €200M a year: UEFA would look at the “benchmark” sponsorship deals — probably Barcelona’s with the Qataris — and only count, say, €25M ($37) toward FFP.

    Another key factor which is often ignored is that if a club can prove that it’s outside the FFP parameters because of contracts signed before FFP came into effect, then UEFA will look the other way. So basically any contract signed before June 2010 which causes an overspend won’t be counted. The effect of this rule will, obviously, wane over time, but, initially should provide a decent cushion in reducing the wage expenditure.

    Also, transfer spending does not automatically show up in a club’s account as an expense. Or, rather, not a full whack, because clubs tend to amortize player acquisition costs. Take Torres, for example. It’s not as if his arrival automatically added €60 million ($80M) expense to Chelsea’s 2011-12 accounts. What clubs do is spread out the acquisition costs of a player over the life of his contract. In Torres’ case, it was five and a half years so Chelsea “only” takes a hit of around €11M ($16.3M) in 2011-12 (plus, of course, his annual salary).

    But perhaps the most important factor is hidden away in Annex XI of the FFP regulations. And this is where things get fuzzy. If a club can make a persuasive argument that it’s losing money today, but that this is part of a long-term strategy that will lead to break-even or at least FFP compliance, then UEFA may decide to grant a license anyway. Now, obviously it can’t be as simple as “We’ll make a €500M loss this year but don’t worry because we’ve signed Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Wayne Rooney and Manuel Neuer and our strategy is to win the Treble every year while selling out our stadium and charging fans a thousand euros a ticket while selling a billion jerseys around the world…” It has to be “credible.” But, of course, “credible” can mean different things to different people. (Some of those subprime mortgages looked awfully “credible” to a lot of folks until they blew up in everyone’s faces.)

    The other factor is that UEFA will consider a club’s “trend.” (And this may be the saving grace for clubs like Chelsea, City, the two Milan teams,etc.). In other words, if you cut your losses year on year and show UEFA you’re moving in the “right direction” then they may license you anyway, even if you don’t meet the requirements. A bit like the dad and son bike examples above: show good will, stick to it and we’ll be understanding.

    Some of the more virtuous clubs will, no doubt, complain, if and when UEFA’s Financial Control Panel applies the rules in Annex XI to give somebody a “pass” into the Champions’ League. But, in fact, UEFA is using common sense. Make regulations too hard and inflexible and clubs who don’t have a prayer in terms of compliance will simply give up (which, incidentally, would weaken the Champions’ League appeal). The trick in applying this “common sense” of course will be to do it in a way that seems “fair.” Because if you’re a little too understanding then your daughter, who always keeps her room nice and neat, might get a little peeved when her brother suffers no consequences and gets to keep his bike when, in her opinion, his room is still a relative pigsty.

    Read more:

    • Nelson

      July 26, 2011 at 8:45 am

      Great post. Not sure what it had to do with this article. Could be an article in itself. With that said, didnt the owners of City just pay themselves for the naming of their stadium Eastland’s to Etihad for 120 million? With what you suggested about UEFA I suppose they will need to decide the fair price of that as revenue for Man City’s books. Arsenal’s was around 100 million so if that is “sensible” Man City will still be helping themselves out immensely.

      • Why?

        July 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm

        Good post James and a great analogy at the start, don’t parents usual have favourites?

        Man City’s new deal with Etihad has no benchmarks to follow as it is not just a stadium naming rights deal it includes extended kit sponsorship and a hole area regeneration sponsorship reportedly coming in at £400m for ten years. I’m told it is the biggest deal of it’s kind in any sport whether this is true or not I don’t know.

  2. david

    July 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    The fact is this. Modric is one player, he isn’t god he can be replaced. Pjanic would cost £9-11m and would do Mods job as well if not better.
    Levy needs to get a CF that is the biggest problem, and get the dead wood out, cash and player deals would be the key but only for decent players this would cut the wage bill up a bit. The Modders money could buy sometime in terms of a wage bill.
    This fecking ground needs sorting, essentially we are losing millions a season due to the season ticket waiting period, we could fill a 60k ground easy, go the Lotto fund, European Sports comity or whoever it was that gave Liverpool a load of cash to build at Stanley Road or Bill sodding Gates and build a big arsed ground, yes there will be repayments but the other option is going through this star players out debacle next year and the year after that.

  3. Dr Elisha Mafunga

    July 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I believe Spur,s chairman and Harry will keep there undertaking to the fans who would like to trust there words that Modric will not be sold. If they sale Modric for any price. The fans will never trust the Chairman and his manager Harry.

    Spurs must not be the supermarket of the Premier League. The must aim to qualify for Champion League this coming Season. They must buy two players. The first should be striker who can score eighteen or more goals per season. The second is a defender of quality.

    Some of the players are not worth wearing the uniform for Spurs, We must sale them to other clubs and cut the loss for paying there salaries. it does not make business sense to keep some of these players while paying there salaries.

  4. Taimur

    July 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Convert chances or not, Sneijder is still a world-class talent and Modric is also good. But like I said, every team has to improve their standards on the pitch this season, including Tottenham and Arsenal. Some teams have the talent to push for the top four, but not the application that’s needed. Spurs got too cocky after their European exploits against the Milanese sides, and they suffered in the domestic league. Arsenal were in prime form in 4 competitions and once they lost the Carling Cup final, they just capitulated in all the other competitions one by one. Talent is there, but application is not. It’s going to be a fun Premier League and European season. Look forward to watching all the different leagues and Champions League.

  5. Mark from L.A.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I bet Luka gets sold when the Price Is Right, and then Kranjcar will fill that slot, and with the money hopefully Harry will get some real strikers and fix his Gomez problem.

    People talk a lot of crap about Modric and his numbers but the biggest problem is the front line doesn’t convert the chances he provides into goals.

    As for Schneider being twice as good, give me a break. Schneiders strikers convert and produce results, they make him look good.

    Don’t forget ladies, this is a team sport, and everyone has a job to do, and the strikers for Tottenham don’t do their jobs the way they should.

  6. tommysunshine

    July 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Oh and by the way, Modric is staying at Spurs for at least one more season

    I will buy everyone on this forum a drink at the Tribeca Grand if he is in Chelsea colors come next month


  7. TAimur

    July 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    IF you aren’t with German or French football, then I’ll give you another example of a team having to sell their best players to bigger clubs. Lille just won the French league title and they had to sell Gervinho to Arsenal. Borrussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga and they had to sell Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid. It’s sad that teams that have just won the league are having to sell their players to their rivals or other teams because they have the money. It’s madness! But it’s capitalism! The only way to convince players to stay at the current club is to improve the quality and standard of play of the team and get closer to winning a league trophy and get into Champions League football. That should convince the star players in the team that the club they’re at has a bright future and they don’t have to become hookers and entertain clients with the highest money. Luka Modric, I hope you get booed at whatever stadium you play and in whatever competition you play in, you mercenary.

  8. Frank

    July 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Wenger should try and get the two diffender he promise two buy, and get mate and allow fabregas to go, i love the partten of mate way of play, why i said this is becouse any lefter is unstopperble and beside he can play any wind

  9. lieutenant

    July 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    …meddlers alot of busy snouts in the media, Iam sure there are other talented midfielders for any club…maschernao torres, ronaldo moved to bigger* money clubs silverware ? chelsea smeg-heads!…I know some spurs dudes posse outlaws in london berserkers! lol…

    • Nelson

      July 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      can you translate that please?

    • MennoDaddy

      July 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      It’s like you’re trying to communicate, isn’t it?

  10. tommysunshine

    July 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Fernando, those strikers you cite got us into the top 4 last year, you ignoramus.
    Honestly gaffer some of these commenters you have on the EPL ship are all at sea. If these empty vessels continue to make such offensive noise, I will locate to a different boat.
    I have the highest respect for the captain of this ship but alas it is populated by inarticulate, uninformed, cretinous cabin boys.

    • Fernando

      July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      Those strikers are why you didn’t finish in the top 4 last year. How old are you? 12?

      As the guy who keeps posting about “cabin boys” I only see one ignoramus and that’s you fella.

    • R2Dad

      July 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Cretinous might not be so bad. if the Gaffer is Captain Pugwash, are you Roger the Cabin Boy, Willy, or Master Bates?

  11. dominjon

    July 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    “values-based approach” = Not going belly up. Teams like Spurs, Arsenal and now Liveprool are trying to compete at the top level while being self-sustaining. Chelsea and City aren’t. Utd have massive, massive debt payments, which they can only support by being as succesful as they are. I think if Fergie steps down and the replacement is a failure you could see a host of real problems there.
    As to ‘strict’ Financial Fair Play, lets see what UEFA do about the City deal, where they just a record breaking deal in any sport from a company that has never made a profit, but happens to be owned by the half-brother of City’s owner.

    • MUFC77

      July 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      I doubt even City would be stupid enough to announce such a deal without having run it by Uefa in some way to make sure its legit. At the very least you have to assume they have done their homework and are reasonably confident the deal will stand up to scrutiny. It wouldn’t do the clubs image any good for them to announce such a deal only for Uefa to Veto it.

  12. tommysunshine

    July 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    OK, so I’ve taken a break from this site in the hope that some of the commenters would have taken advantage of the web and printed material to learn something about the beautiful game.
    No such luck. Gaffer, despite your best efforts to raise the level, I’m sorry to say that ignorance is still flowing on this forum like tequila during a Las Vegas lock-in.
    This post, Alabaster, is irrelevant drivel from beginning to end.
    Spurs have had a tough time of keeping hold of their talent for over two decades. So does everybody with exceptions, notably Barcelona.
    Man U lost Ronaldo to Real, Juve lost Zidane to Real Madrid. We’re not the only ones.
    Spurs are virtually the only big club that operate a values-based approach and act on principle. We don’t pay silly money and exorbitant wages. We do the right thing.
    ChicagoDaddy and Vincent, my concern that you both are attempting to destabilize the situation at Spurs with lies and ficticious rumours is outweighed by the fact that you matter less in the overall scheme of things than an inebriated tramp shouting at underground users entering Seven Sisters Tube Station.

    • Fernando

      July 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      First off, your humor is poor, let me get that out of the way.

      Secondly, this “values-based approach” is why Spurs always seem to finish out of the top 4. Last year, Spurs proved the weight of balancing the Premier League and the Champions League were beyond them. Spurs may not pay silly money but they do some awfully stupid things with it. Such as having a strike force (Defoe, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko) that doesn’t score enough goals. What about bringing Robbie Keane back only to send him away again.

    • Nelson

      July 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Selling a key player like Modric would strengthen the very people you are trying to overtake. Chelsea and Manchester United know this well and do not practice it. If they must a star player, it is to Europe. Thats how Ronaldo left. I can probably agree with you on Tevez leaving for City, but realize he left for a club that finished 10th in the league during that transfer, so they were not a league rival either. The point is you wont find ManU or Chelsea selling one of their top players to each other. Granted, most of the time their players are not requesting a transfer, because they got everything a footballer could dream where they’re at. I agree, Spurs have had a tough time keeping their players for the past 20 years. That is stated explicitly in the article. The point of the article is now they feel like they need to change that. Spurs have a great squad and Redknapp probably feels like this coming year will be do or die. If they hold onto Modric and make the Champions League then he will be happy. Bale will also stay if that happens. Spurs will get more Champions League money and be able to build the squad even more. And its a big ‘if” but if Spurs can maintain their quality through the redevelopment project of the stadium then they can get more ticket sales and start increasing player salaries to compete with the big boys. Losing Modric on the other hand is more than just losing a player, it is a symbol of defeat. If he leaves then Bale has stated he will be headed for the exit door. Spurs will be scrambling around for a replacement for Modric which wont be easy. Who would be a realistic signing anyway? Scott Parker! They will fail to secure CL and basically they are back to what they have been doing for the past 25 years, supplying big teams with talent.

      • Fernando

        July 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm

        Your point is fair. But with Modric and Bale they failed to finish 4th last year. Spurs main activity this off season has been to keep Modric against his will. You don’t keep a player who doesn’t want to stay. Levy played this game with Berbatov and lost b/c he took too long to sell. History can repeat itself.

        Where are the other signings by Spurs to show the rest of the players that the club is serious about getting back into the CL? The squad comprised as is will not finish 4th.

        • Nelson

          July 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm

          “But with Modric and Bale they failed to finish 4th last year.”
          -agreed but Arry believes adding strikers that can actually score will fix that. I’m curious if Modric’s attitude will turn around even if they get some good strikers. They need to sign soon or Im afraid it will be Europa League at best next year. The latest rumor is 27 million + Daniel Sturridge. Chelsea tried this one with Liverpool for Torres in January, ha! They will let their leftovers go to a rival but you can bet they wont let Drogba go. The last thing they want is him haunting Stamford Bridge in a Spurs uniform. Even though he is not linking up with Torres and may not even get starting 11 football consistently with them.

          • Fernando

            July 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

            The only way Spurs finish 4th is if Arsenal slip up even worse then last year.

            I’m of the opinion that Chelsea should get rid of their over 30 players. So getting rid of Drogba isn’t that outlandish.

            Spurs are showing no ambition right now. If their best signing of the summer is keeping Modric how exactly have they improved the squad? How does that change Modric’s view that Spurs aren’t matching what he wants? The need to get better…

  13. Daniel

    July 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    As a Spurs fan I hope Modric stays and as a fan of football in general I wish that players would honor contracts they’ve CHOSEN to sign. It’s fine to tell your club you’d be interested in offers if they come in, but if the club doesn’t want to sell then be a professional and get the job done. No one forced you to sign in the first place and I have a hard time seeing a 50k/week wage a hardship. Really, what do you want to buy that you can’t currently afford? I realize there’s more to it than that, but it’s still annoying.

    Moving on, if some team is willing to pay a large sum of money then it’s not such a loss to lose Modric. Kranjcar might be a step down — especially when he gets more than 10 minutes a month of playtime and is treated as such– but not much of one; or Pjanic who’s both younger and been linked to Spurs.
    Modric –> Niko/Pjanic while investing the money and also going Crouch —> Llorente/Benzema/some-other-world-class-forward is a net GAIN. We have midfield to spare but nothing to get excited about up front.

    Spurs can be a contender even selling their stars — just make sure you get the better end of the deal. Sell Modric but make sure you get enough money to buy a quality replacement with enough left over to strengthen the squad up front.

    Final though, if a target costs 30mil and we only want to pay 25 — PAY THE EXTRA FIVE MILLION! even if the individual player is not worth it, because last season (and this if we’re not careful) we probably missed CL by not wanting to spend a couple of million more on some player. How much money did we lose by not getting CL money? COYS!!!

  14. James

    July 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Drive up the price as high as those knuckleheads over at Chelsea will pay. Then we can pick up a lower-priced option in the midfield and maybe a striker or two who can find the back of the net.

    I hate the idea of losing his skill in the midfield, but if he wants to move, there’s no sense in keeping him around. Let’s get what we can out of him now rather than risking him sulking about on the field and potentially shaving millions off his asking price.

    • Why?

      July 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      how long would it be until those lower price players came good and were taken by say Utd and Inter? Or didn’t do anything? Putting Spurs right back where they started again, fair enough if sold higher they could say they made a profit but you show me a football fan that’s more interested in profit than success and I’ll show you an idiot.

    • MUFC77

      July 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      Modric has something like 9 goals and 11 assists in the league in his last three season in nearly 80+ games. With the amount money you would get for him it cant be that hard to find a replacement and get a similar output, you would still have cash to strengthen in other areas. Get rid of the some of the other deadwood in the squad and Spurs could be stronger over all next season.

      • MennoDaddy

        July 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

        Maybe. Two responses to those stats you cite (and I’ve heard this many times): 1. Modric doesn’t score a lot, but that’s not his role. He had his fingers in just about every goal Spurs scored last season, however. His role is indispensable. Also, and this isn’t his fault, he’d have a LOT more assists if Spurs didn’t have a bunch of Muppets on the front line.

        • MUFC77

          July 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

          Good point, I still think though that if Chelsea bid 40m+ they should take the money as long as its guaranteed to be reinvested back into the team, if not keep the player.

        • Mad_Andy

          July 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm

          “he’d have a LOT more assists if Spurs didn’t have a bunch of Muppets on the front line.”

          Most intelligent comment on this whole page and sums up the problems at WHL in just a few words.

        • Jon

          July 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm

          I’d still like to see them bring Berba back, I think he’d link up great with VDV:

  15. Vincent

    July 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    As a Chelsea supporter myself, I believe that Tottenham genuinely do want to keep Modric to fulfill their ambitions, rather than just acting like they do just to get more money out of Abramovich.

    With that said, however, I think it’s a shame the way Redknapp and Levy have treated Modric over the past 2 months. Levy telling him that if he doesnt submit to whatever he says, he’ll be benched the entire season, and Redknapp saying that Modric is just “confused” when he says he wants to leave for a bigger club, is just wrong. They cant fault a good player for wanting to play for a good club that can provide him realistic chances of Premier League Titles and possibly even Champions League success, not just empty promises of such – which are all Spurs can provide.

    • MennoDaddy

      July 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      That sounds like rumor-mongering to me. As a Spurs fan I’ve been pretty well connected to this whole saga and this is the first I’ve heard that Levy told him to “submit to whatever he says [or] he’ll be benched the entire season”. The “confused” thing is also taken out of context — Harry used that word to describe Modric’s state of mind after his meeting with Levy, not to criticize him for wanting to go.

      Lots of stories floating around up there, but let’s try to avoid heresay, yes?

    • Mad_Andy

      July 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      “Levy telling him that if he doesnt submit to whatever he says, he’ll be benched the entire season” Total bollocks of course, no doubt gleaned from some Chelsea fan forum or even more laughably from the Sun newspaper. If Modric wanted to leave so badly why did he sign a six year contract last year? He can request a transfer as much as he wants, and Chelsea can make as many bids for him as they want, but the bottom line is Tottenham has him under contract for another 5 years.

      If he wants CL football so badly, then he needs to man up and help the team he plays for achieve CL football again next year – otherwise Luka is going to be a very unhappy boy indeed.

      • Vincent

        July 26, 2011 at 12:16 am

        Its funny that all Spurs fans care so much about contracts now. When you signed Modric, was he not under contract to Dinamo? When you signed Gareth Bale, was he not under contract with Southampton? When you signed Jermaine DeFoe, was he not under contract to West Ham? And when you signed Van Der Vaart, was he not under contract to Real Madrid? I guess what you’re saying is that contracts dont matter when Spurs are trying to buy someone, but they do matter when they’re trying to keep someone. Hypocrites

        • ish

          July 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

          modric had actually signed a 10 year deal with dinamo. he basically had a verbal agreement that if a bigger club came he would be allowed to leave for a good price.
          supposedly he had the same agreement at tottenham and lowy will have to eventually honor it otherwise it could affect players coming to tottenham if he doesnt honour agreements outside of written documents.
          tottenham will likely agree to a price of 30-40mill

  16. Why?

    July 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I think the problem for Spurs is their wage cap is around £60k? (I belive) If Chelsea want Modric they would easily pay £120k or much more. What would you expect Modric to do?
    The problem for Spurs being they don’t pay what the top clubs do. Although they do and always have spent on the players themselves they cannot compete with top clubs wages now ,and even if they did pay Modric the £120 or whatever to keep him happy other players would soon be after the same this means Spurs would have to take a risk which is what you do in business as they would need to finish top 4 practically every year while slowly increasing their revenues from around the world with their success which we know bring new fans (just look at last year) which also in turn brings more money. The only problem being the new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. It would take Spurs many years of slowly building but the FFP have now put pay to this they cannot pay the wages as they will default on the FFP. It looks like the FFP are designed to keep those top clubs as top clubs, so Spurs have to settle for the position they have had for years. If they cannot compete with other clubs wages their best players will always be sold. FFP not a fair as first thought!!

    • MennoDaddy

      July 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Another reason why Spurs need the Northumberland Development Project and need it NOW. If they can build a 60K seat stadium via the NDP, they’re in a much better financial situation than they are right now in a 35K stadium with 20K fans on the waiting list for season tickets!

    • trickybrkn

      July 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      But the problem with your logic is two fold… 1. Teams like Chelsea and Man City would not be playing in Europe under strict FFP rules. So they could pay what they want but be stuck in England. Whereas teams that grow organically would be right there to take those spots.

      You’ll have Arsenal and Tottenham playing German and French squads in the Champions league…

      2nd that FFP would do away with overpayment to top players, leveling the playing field for clubs, and allowing players to actually stay at clubs, cause they will be paid market price, not inflated hyper free market.

      FFP is very fair, and it will force teams to not collect debt, not collect players, and keep salary within budgets… It will discourage insider payments for stadium naming rights, and sugar daddy clubs.

      of course you hate it cause your a City fan, but the reality is there are so many clubs in Europe that are over leveraged, drowning in debt… that this needs to be enacted.

      • Why?

        July 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

        Showing yourself to be an idiot is beginning to become a bit of a pass time of yours isn’t it!
        Why on gods green Earth would UEFA want any teams competing in their competitions other than those who make the most money world wide???? Don’t you think they make more money the bigger the club the more sponsorship, TV rights money etc!

        Clubs have always collected debt as you say it has never caused any club to fold rather it has given clubs a shot at the top but please feel free to inform me of these clubs that have folded because of debt which good old UEFA are nicely saving them from!. Many years ago teams such as West Ham could have competed as they could gamble i.e. spend big to give it a go, just like Utd in the 80’s if they fail then may suffer but they will NOT go under. When UEFA starts to realise the massive amounts of money involved in the game from the 90’s why the hell would they want a semi or a final with the likes of West Ham v Club Bruges? they would lose money hand over foot, are you totally blind to how football works as a business? why do you think they pay so much to finalists?

        My Club will not be bothered by FFP neither will Chelsea or Utd and many others as they are all attempting to reduce their losses some more successfully than others. Utd have had huge losses over the last year or so! Interest payments are included (not debt strangely enough) in FFP. Here is a cutting from their latest losses in June ‘Red Football Joint Venture Ltd, has announced a record pre-tax loss of £109m for the financial year ending June 2010’ does this tally with the FFP? They are also having to spend a lot this year to consolidate which they haven’t really in the last couple so it‘s only gonna get worse, but guess what they are trying to fix it and can show this to be the case just like Chelsea, City, Madrid, Barca and many, many more.

        Open your eyes to what FFP is really about it does not affect my club but it is affecting football just as the Premier league’s new payments system did in the 90’s or UEFA’s Champs League as without these payments teams like Spur’s would have their chance just as football was before the money came in the 90’s the Evertons, Villas and Forests winning the league to name a few these teams no longer even stand a chance of this, meaning more and more glory hunting fans following top teams that are growing tired with the monotony of doing nothing year after year after year while getting their best players taken by those clubs UEFA have let gorge themselves at the top table with unfair money backing, other teams have no chance. You my happy Hammer don’t have a clue what you are on about!

        • trickybrkn

          July 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm

          you really don’t understand FFP. do you. Yes if big clubs can’t get their debt or loss in order, they won’t be in Europe. END OF. Now City will try to get around this but maxing income from the Stadium deal.. but that is already drawing red flags everywhere. maybe they pull it off maybe they don’t.

          Fact is most clubs will find accounting loopholes to get by… The FFP is so poorly written that this is almost certain… but the reality is the nature of it is to save clubs like West Ham, who under poor Icelandic ownership did ‘go for it’ and buried themselves with bad contracts… one of the main reasons they went down.

          You seem to have a bit of intellectual suspension of disbelief when it comes to City. and your history is way off… In the 90’s Liverpool Leeds and Blackburn won once, Arsenal twice and Man United 5 times. Last Time Forrest won was 78. Villa in 81… and like your history, this theory of income distribution is really nothing but Thatcherism.

          • Why?

            July 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm

            ‘you really don’t understand FFP. do you. Yes if big clubs can’t get their debt or loss in order, they won’t be in Europe. END OF.’

            I don’t understand FFP are you right in the head? For one the FFP are seen as guide lines for clubs not law, Clubs need to show that they are managing their spending and making an effort to come into line with them but that’s enough to keep them in the click as long as they are not running up massive debts. Do you really think they would ban Utd, or Madrid and in so cutting their own nose of to spite their face? Don’t you realise that your Club that has won 3 FA cups and won in Europe will never do these things again with the help of these rules on more glory days, yes you may have a go at the League cup because the big boys put out weakened teams will this make you happy?

            You really think they are helping Clubs like West Ham? Football has always been about risks and going for glory not business now glory only happens where the money is. Did West Ham go out of business when they get relegated? Answer NO! They got relegated the same as Leeds, City, Utd, and practically every club that has ever existed giving other clubs the chance to take their place, all clubs struggle at times. The UEFA FFP are so obviously designed to keep the top clubs top stay top, but feel free to tell me how this won’t happen? How are they helping investers coming to West Ham? They are stopping others investing as has always happened in football every fan used to dream of a Jack Walker, Abramovich or Mansour buying their club, not any more. Without clubs being able to take those risks that they always did in football how the hell are any other clubs outside of this the top cartel going to join this click, think about it, they are not.

            Liverpool have never won they Premier League neither have Leeds, the 90’s I am so blatantly referring to is that of the premier league this is when I point out that football changes for the worse. Blackburn won it because of massive investment but because of there size was not enough to keep them as challengers but did take them from a small to lower div club to the milk and honey of the Premier League did this investment harm them? The point I’m making is that anybody could really win the league in the pre-premier league years as the monetary gap wasn’t as big. After the Premier League look what has happened, Forrest were a small club it would be like Bolton or Stoke winning the league now! It’s never going to happen! Go look at those Wikipedia pages you keep visting see how the league winners were spred through the 50’s,60’s,70’s and 80’s compare this top the last 10 or 15 years.

            ‘Fact is most clubs will find accounting loopholes to get by…’

            Get by what? mid table? the odd quarter final? How will these clubs attract new investors? who will be interested in them except for selling off their assets? I will say again you are BLIND to what these rules are about? In a few years when you are saying what is the point of watching a team that cannot possibly win anything (for gods sake we are already practically there!) and talk of European super leagues are rife then you will see it OPEN YOUR EYES MAN. UEFA are only interested in there own survival and feathering their own sordid little nests, they don’t need West Ham to do this but they do need the big clubs with the big players!

            Football in the 60’s,70’s and 80’s was usually a local Chairman pumping his money in for the team he has always supported losing money yr in yr out it is no longer anything like this it is now big business where only money counts and FFP are just hepling this along.

          • david

            July 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm

            “Do you really think they would ban Utd, or Madrid and in so cutting their own nose of to spite their face?”

            Yes they will.

            In Italy both Fiorentina and Juventus have been relegated under FIFA regulations imposed in Seria A, yes one was for match fixing, but the princple is the same.

            The problem with the FFP is that there are a lot of loop holes, like Etihad paying City £400m for naming rights of Eastlands, when Etihad are part own by the same group that owns the club. In other words money laundering.

          • Why?

            July 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

            No they won’t, simples.
            What have the relegation of Italian teams got to do with UEFA I think you will find this is dealt with by the Italian F.A and not UEFA as you seem to think.
            You haven’t got a clue what money laundering is have you?

  17. MUFC77

    July 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Nothing wrong with selling a big name player to another club as long the buying club pays top dollar and the money gets reinvested in top class replacements. If Harry is so worried about the drastic effect selling Modric will have on his team then hes probably overly reliant on one player and they will never have any success. Hes right to fight for Modric and try to convince him to stay but at the end of the day he going to go at some point.

  18. Fernando

    July 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    A big club sells a player to whomever will match the offer they want. United sold to City b/c Tevez wanted more playing time. Deal done, United move on and win the League again. Liverpool sell Torres for a ghastly amount of money and they bought two other strikers.

    Spurs should sell Modric and buy his replacement with the amount of money Chelsea is going to give them. It’s pretty simple really. If there’s one man to speak about honoring contracts, it’s got to be old Harry.

    Spurs aren’t a big club b/c they’re being held back by the fear of losing a player. They’re scared. How does that make any transfer target want to come to Spurs?

    • MennoDaddy

      July 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      “Spurs aren’t a big club b/c they’re being held back by the fear of losing a player.”

      Ridiculous. What does that make Arsenal in light of the Fabregas saga?

      Look, Modric will likely go. He might even go yet this summer. But part of the reason Levy and Redknapp don’t want to sell him (besides that he’s the best player on the team) is that Chelsea so far have come in with repeated low-ball offers. £22m? £27m? That’s insulting, especially after they splashed out £50m for Fernando frickin’ Torres just last January. If Abramovich starts actually getting serious, i.e. £35-40m, THEN we’ll see just how solid Levy’s “under no circumstances” ideals really are.

      • Fernando

        July 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm

        You must be very wealthy to deem 22-27 million as low ball. That’s pure profit considering how much Spurs paid for him in the first place. Levy’s stance is milking this transfer for as long as he can. The problem with that is, once this deal is done the transfer window will be almost shut limiting the time he can find a replacement a la Berbatov. This hurts the club rather then helping.

        What does the Torres deal have to do with Modric? Totally different circumstances, Chelsea were desperate to buy back in January. Is Modric worth 35-40 million? Of course not, b/c that means that Sneijder is worth double that.

        Arsenal is scared too. They’re putting up a fight for a player who doesn’t want to be there. It’s no wonder that North London will probably have no silverware this year.

        • Guy

          July 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

          “The problem with that is, once this deal is done the transfer window will be almost shut limiting the time he can find a replacement a la Berbatov. This hurts the club rather then helping.”

          Good point. If Levy does have some price he’s waiting on he also needs to have a cut-off date that won’t put him in that situation. It will do Spurs no good to get a few more $$ for Modric and then find no one left on the market with which to replace him…if that can indeed be done.

        • JaySpur

          July 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm

          Spurs paid £16.5m for Modric also there maybe a sell on clause owing his former club, therefore the profit is not so brilliant & in todays inflated market crazy money like £35m is to be expected for a ready made EPL world class player, IMHO.

          • dan

            July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm

            I would argue Modric is even more valuable than Torres. Finding a solid playmaker that has proven EPL success is very tough to find. United are struggling right now even for it!

            The best case scenario is to keep him for 1 more year, buy someone to replace him this year and show the guys like Bale that they are serious bout being a top club and that the club is bigger than a player. THEN you can sell Modric to someone in Spain or Italy but not to those c*nts across London.

    • david

      July 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      Ok Fernando
      United didn’t sell Tevez, his contract was almost up and he didn’t want to sign another. United were forced to sell him or end up giving him away. City just happened to be the club that had the cash.

      The reason Levy wants Modric to honour his contract is because Spurs have always had this revolving door with the best players. Levy is essentially making a stand, like Alan Sugar did with Anderton 17 years ago, he knows its about not being pushed about by rivals or players who are on long contracts. We have a squad of players that are good and we are trying off load, which is always the case yet the best ones are the ones that draw bids.

      Spurs aren’t a big club for one reason and one reason only, White Hart Lane. Gate receipts account for around £1.7m each week of the season, this means a wage cap of £70k has to be put in place or the club will fall into debt. When a move to a bigger ground does happen, if ever, that will generate around another £600k extra which will mean the wage cap could be bumped up to £110k (ish) bearding in mind the squad size is kept to 25 players. If you look at Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, City and United they all generate much more from the gate due to having a larger capacity stadium.

      In terms of “fear of losing a player” we’ve seen it all before, there is even talk of getting Pjanic as Modric’s replacement which I believe is a much better option as he is a much better and younger player with a higher level of experience.
      The reason certain players don’t want to come to Spurs is the wage cap, you will not get a world class CF in this day and age for less that £100k a week. The best option is for Spurs to sign a younger players with potential (which we have started to do in recent years) beef up their market value sell them on and then repeat, until the Ground gets sorted.
      This WILL work it worked for Lyon, and they then spent 7 years at the top of the league.

      • Why?

        July 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm

        As there seems to be a dispute on the Tevez sale between Fernando & David I’ll put it right. United never owned Tevez he was on loan from MSA (basically his agent) United offered to make him one of their highest paid players and to cough up the £25m asking fee, Tevez refused this as he said he felt that he had been disrespected by the Utd team in leaving it until his contract had near enough expired before discussing a new contract. that’s it in a nutshell.

      • Fernando

        July 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm

        Long term the ground is an issue financially but not in this case. Whatever the circumstance on Tevez, FACT is he was sold for a good sum. I don’t recall seeing Fergie coming out on his high horse everyday saying he’s staying no matter what (if he did then I’m wrong.)

        Spurs unwisely did not invest in a better striker when they made it to the CL believing the strikers would repeat their performance from two years ago. As we now know, this cost them 4th place.

        Difference between your Lyon example and Spurs is that Spurs don’t play in France. Spurs could probably win Le Championnat but alas they can’t. And this system won’t get them into the Champions League either. Spurs aren’t poor they’ve just spent unwisely.

        • Why?

          July 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

          Fernando TV rights pay more than a larger stadium these days at the higher end. Utd did not receive a penny from Tevez’s sale and Fergie could not say he’s staying as he didn’t belong to them and he was out of contract unlike Modric. Ronaldo was in contract when Fergie repeatedly said he wasn’t for sale but eventually he was sold.

  19. ChicagoBrian

    July 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Could add a few paragraphs about what’s going to happen with Bale too. Can’t see him staying.

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