4 Ways That Tottenham Hotspur Can Resolve Their Current Cyclical Crisis

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“Club in crisis” is a broadsheet headline that sells many papers but doesn’t really tell us much since every club is seemingly in crisis at every moment. However, while Tottenham Hotspur isn’t in crisis in that sense, the atmosphere around the club is certainly not sunshine and roses. The club’s current state is probably as bad as it has been since Juande Ramos was manager early in 2008. This time, the crosshairs have not been pointed at the manager, they’ve been pointed higher, and it’s not just a subsect of supporters this time. Not all of the problems are down to Daniel Levy and ENIC, but they have to look in the mirror and make some tough decisions for the betterment of the club. But, so do the supporters. Here are some short-term fixes that can at least put a band-aid on the gaping wounds of the club.

1. Allow Mauricio Pochettino to have his own scouting staff and sign his own players:

This would require Franco Baldini to be sacked, probably Ian Broomfield, and many other scouts upstairs as well. Part of the reason for Spurs’ current struggles has everything to do with the players as much as the management and it’s safe to say now that many of the Baldini signings have been flat out busts. Changing managers like shirts can only work for so long before the man who signs the players has to take the fall. If anyone is likely to be sacked in short order, it will probably be Baldini. Mauricio Pochettino can only imprint his style on a certain number of players before he’ll have to bring in his own to see the fruits, which means Levy may have to hire a brand new scouting staff in order to accommodate this. He will also need to be more hands-off in transfer dealings, but as history has shown that is not likely to happen.

2. The club needs to have a dialogue with all supporters

Spurs are a notably secretive club when it comes to dealings with almost everything, and now that has worn on most of the supporters. The Tottenham Supporters Trust will soon be meeting with the Board, which is a good first step to improving transparency, but it is just a start. The club needs to explain why certain moves are being made, why certain people are being hired, and why actions are being taken even if many supporters disagree with them. This at least can build some trust between Levy, ENIC and the supporters where there is almost zero right now. A little trust can go a long way to massaging the criticism now being hurled at Levy and ENIC. Levy earned some good will when he did the Ice Bucket Challenge back in August, and while he doesn’t have to do that again, some public statements would do wonders into how many supporters feel about the men running their club.

3. Loosen the purse strings even a little bit

ENIC are running the club the way they are for very sound business reasons and that is admirable considering the obstacles they are up against. However, even if they cannot be Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United or even Arsenal, they can make a statement of intent by signing players and spending money to improve directly on the pitch. Improvement to the training facilities and spending all of this money on a new stadium is great, but instant impact can be achieved if even one splash is made in January. It would at least keep the hounds at bay in the short-term. This also extends to another point that will be made shortly.

4. The support at White Hart Lane needs to improve

While the performances at the Lane this year have mainly been sub-par, the atmosphere has almost as much to do with it as do the players poor performances. A raucous crowd can lift the atmosphere at the Lane, and when the place is really moving the atmosphere is unlike almost anything in Europe. People wonder why Tottenham have such a fragile, mentality especially at home, and it’s because the pressure from the fans to do something and their edginess when things go wrong can be absolutely suffocating and cause the players even subconsciously to play with more fear. If the booing stopped, and more supporters sung and cheered even despite the bad play, the players would feed off that. When opposing managers comment on how the atmosphere makes it easier for visiting teams to play at the Lane, it’s a damning indictment and shows that the supporters have just as much of a role to play. If you say you are willing to be patient with Pochettino as he grows into the managerial role at Spurs, then show it by not booing if things go wrong and singing and chanting, since you’ve said before you’d be willing to accept it.

Those are all short-term fixes. Long-term fixes are harder to articulate but there is one that could be made that will instantly build good will within the supporter base and improve the atmosphere at White Hart Lane in one fell swoop – lower ticket prices.

Tottenham’s average season ticket price is the second highest in the Premier League behind Arsenal. It’s no surprise that if people pay more for their tickets, they will expect more. So if someone has paid 80 pounds for a ticket, they will expect more of their club and their experience than if they paid say 40 for the same seat. Lowering the ticket prices across the board will bring new fans into White Hart Lane – fans who are more vociferous and bombastic and who could improve the atmosphere dramatically because they expect less and are willing to go to the Lane without expecting too much. As a supporter base, if we are willing to accept growing pains, then we need to show it with our conduct at home games and the club needs to reciprocate by lowering ticket prices even by 5%. That would be a statement of intent.

Spurs have some of the best away support in the league, and if certain changes are made, that atmosphere can return to White Hart Lane as well. It wasn’t long ago that the experience at the Lane was at the pinnacle in Europe. It can return and the club can return to prominence along with it. These simple changes can be made now and in the future to ensure even a fraction of it returns.

If not, then Spurs will continue to be in a cyclical crisis that they can never get out of.

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One Response

  1. Mysterious J November 12, 2014

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