Daniel Levy has called on Fabio Paratici to improve Tottenham Hotspur’s recruitment after the club laid bare the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and falling out of the Champions League.
Tottenham’s net debt has risen by just over £100million from 2020 to £706m and the club have made pre-tax losses of nearly £150m for the two-year period of the pandemic.
Match receipts, which had earned Spurs £94.5m in 2020, dropped to just £1.9m for the financial results ending June 30 2021 because of games played behind closed doors.
Tottenham also lost out on more than £25m in Uefa prize money after dropping out of the Champions League, making £23.6m after playing in the Europa League in comparison to the £51.2m in the 2020 financial results.
Levy, Tottenham’s chairman, claimed to have spent £400m on players since opening the £1billion stadium in April 2019 and believes the club’s recruitment must now deliver better results.
That responsibility will fall on Paratici, who was appointed managing director of football in the summer to work closely with Levy, director of technical performance Steve Hitchen and head coach Antonio Conte.
In a statement, Levy said: “Player spending is no guarantee of success, and our focus must be on improved recruitment, coaching, fitness and a competitive mindset.
“Fabio continued the rebuild in the summer, resulting in the average age of our new summer signings being 22 years compared to the average age of 31 years for the outgoing players.
“We shall also look to continue the well-established path for youngsters from our Academy to our First Team. I know that Antonio’s approach is if a player is good enough, he will play, regardless of status or age.”
Former head coach Nuno Espirito Santo was not mentioned in the statement at all, although Levy did acknowledge that having to sack the Portuguese so soon after he had replaced Jose Mourinho, who was also dismissed, was not ideal business practice.
“It is far from ideal to make changes to coaching staff, however, we have acted swiftly and decisively when we felt it necessary, always looking to act in the best interests of the Club,” said Levy.
“We extend a warm welcome to Fabio Paratici, Managing Director, Football, and our new Head Coach, Antonio Conte, along with his coaching staff. We are also delighted to see Ryan Mason join this group. The appointments of Fabio and Antonio are a clear demonstration of our intent and ambition.”
‘Building blocks for future success are firmly in place’
Levy has faced accusations that his attempts to monetise the stadium through other sporting events, such as NFL and boxing, together with concerts, have been at the expense of maintaining Tottenham as a top four Premier League team.
But Levy insisted that all revenue generated from outside activities will be invested back into the football side of Tottenham’s business.
“Going forward, therefore, our strategy is clear – to drive and generate revenues to invest in all of our football activities,” he said.
“Football success, in turn, supports the growth of our Club, our fanbase and consequently wider, commercial opportunities and partnerships, which then deliver further revenue to reinvest in football – the virtuous, sustainable circle on which our Club model is based.
“We shall develop new and diverse revenue streams to increase recurring revenues. Third party events such as conferencing, NFL, concerts, boxing and rugby are all examples of this. Our stadium is a key component to our revenue growth yet, unbelievably, we have still not seen and enjoyed a full season in our new stadium with attendances.
“We shall continue to invest in our senior management and our staff to deliver this and look to decrease our reliance on football revenues alone, such that we protect our Club’s long-term sustainability.”
At a time when he has come under fire from a large section of supporters over Tottenham’s lack of trophies during his time in charge, Levy also took the opportunity to defend his own record as chairman and that of ENIC, the company that owns the club.
“Since ENIC became the majority shareholder in 2001 we have had a clear three-step strategy,” said Levy. “Firstly, we worked to improve football performance and, whilst no one club has a right to a smooth, continuous, upward trajectory, we have seen the club rise from middle to bottom-of-the-table finishes to being in European competition in 15 out of the last 16 seasons.
“Secondly, we built a state-of-the-art training centre to attract, train and retain the best talent, both for the Academy and the First Team. We have gone on to do far more than that with the delivery of our award-winning player accommodation, ‘The Lodge’, which has been instrumental in providing exceptional rest and recovery facilities for players and, during Covid-19 times, provided an ideal isolation facility for the early return of players to the squad.
“Thirdly, we set out to deliver an increased capacity stadium that would not only generate greater matchday revenues, but also the opportunity for more fans to attend games. Our Club could not remain competitive with one of the smallest stadiums in the Premier League.”
Levy added: “Our building blocks for the future success of the Club are now firmly in place.”