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Blame life, not Levy

7 min read
by The Fighting Cock

Daniel Levy is at fault for quite a few things, but he isn’t responsible for Tottenham’s above average season.

As the technology teacher placed another weight on the bridge I had laboured over all weekend I remember remaining totally calm. My construction, with a giant helping hand from my dad, wouldn’t buckle or break. I had poured my heart into this object, even my dad, a man who has proven himself to be a bit of DIY master, sent me off to school that day full of Italian bravado. 

imagesFifteen minutes later my class were laughing. My bridge had shattered. My pre-testing promises of incredible results and top of the class predictions lay scattered across the floor, bits of PVC glue and wood sprinkled with the remains of the other bridges. My construction had held quite a bit of weight. More than most, but not quite at the top. Disappointment washed over me. As a Year 7 student I had learned something that would stand me in good stead for the rest of my life.

Regardless of how meticulous, how methodical, how much money you spend, who you ask for advice, who guides you, success is never guaranteed, not even mediocrity is. 

Nothing in life other than death and having to pay a tax or two is guaranteed. As Spurs fans we should know this, as witness of countless false dawns we should be aware that success isn’t purchased ,thought up in management meetings or hand delivered by UPS.

We can try our best, ensure we have the right equipment, the right design, but then should one small piece of that construction fail the rest will splinter around it. Why one piece fails is due to a multitude of reasons, some man-made, others predetermined. It’s fate.

Nothing in life other than death and having to pay a tax or two is guaranteed, as Spurs fans we should know this

Some of you may reach for the famous line “No fate but what we make” but this only applies if you are Sarah Connor and have the advantage of Terminator coming back in time to tell you to hit Miles Dyson, but in reality what did she do? She wasn’t even able to stop two average follow ups, an under appreciated TV series or even her main objective, Judgement Day.

A football club’s success on the pitch is something beyond the control of any man, business or corporation. There are too many variables, too many small things that can have knock on effects and create the latest SKY drama. 

Over the last few days there has been a host of articles, comments and Twitter accounts looking to pin the blame someone for this totally unacceptable above average season. February has just broken and we haven’t cemented a Champions League place or collected any silverware.

The majority of sharpened pitch forks seem to be pointing at Daniel Levy, and honestly this is quite an acceptable target. There have been quite a few dreams over the past 6 months where I have woken up hot and sticky after fantasising about burning a heart celebration into his forehead, or beating him to a pulp with Bale junior, but is he really to blame for what has happened to our season?

Spurs haven’t won a league title since 1961, we haven’t lifted the FA Cup since 1991 and the last trophy we celebrated was the 2008 Carling Cup. Success isn’t something we bathe in, its something that comes along at various points and reminds us just how uplifting the sport of football can be.

Now I am not saying because we have always been a bit short of silverware we should remain so for eternity, but I am questioning why should a lack of silver be stick to beat Levy with.

At every juncture they have moved with the best intentions of the club at heart. Those intentions may be financially motivated, but that is what football is today. It is a business. Its not nice to think of it this way but for a football club to exist at the high end of English football, it has to be run with the bank balance in mind.

There has been quite a few dreams over the past 6 months where I have woken up hot and sticky after fantasising about burning a heart celebration into Levy’s forehead

I am not going to martyr myself for “raison de Levy,” as I already stated there are quite a lot of his ideas I disagree with. He along with the other power people have made some fundamental errors in handling us the supporters, or as we are now referred to, clients.

Their misdemeanours run off the tongue, Stratford, StubHub, Y-word, Thomson Holiday, bigging up the Real Madrid partnership etc, but what really matters, what is the crux of the problem is what happens on the green stuff.

As with pretty much everything in life, good news will chew up bad news, spit it out and have it smelling like a freshly bathed and Miss Dior dipped Natalie Portman. Win a string of games and the mood lifts, as supporters we will as a mass allow a lot to slide as long as the team wins.

However at the moment, we aren’t winning quite as often as we should be. In the space of a month or two, we have been given a couple of damn good thrashings and been drop-kicked out of two cup competitions by local rivals.

Levy and his misdemeanours have our full attention. One of the biggest sticks to beat him with is our penchant of pocketing large amounts of cash by selling key players. However, this a by-product of the team that these stars existed within, failing.

Does Dimitar Berbatov, Luka Modric or Gareth Bale walk away if we are pushing for titles and Champions League perhaps not, but the thing is we aren’t, so they did. Who do we pin this blame on?

Just like with my bridge that splintered across the technology room’s floor, was the overseer to blame? Was I at fault? Was it the materials? Or was it the teacher?

Basically it comes down to a combination of reasons. In football only one team wins. Only one team will win a league, the rest just try to lose as little as possible, but losing is part of the game. Football is an animal that cannot be controlled. There are situations that are beyond any planning , just look at some of the defining moments over the last couple of years.

Marton Fulop throwing three goals in against Woolwich on the last day of the season. Arjen Robben and Leo Messi missing key penalties against Chelsea, a wayward Kyle Walker back-pass against Liverpool, and Jermain Defoe being just a centimetre away from putting Spurs in front at Man City. Millimetres, bad luck and unadulterated bizarreness. Levy’s fault.

Does Dimitar Berbatov, Luka Modric or Gareth Bale walk away if we are pushing for titles and Champions League?

These are situations that cannot be controlled, they are a pebble thrown into a pond, but their ripple effects have led Spurs to where they are now. Nothing went wrong, no one is to blame, stuff just happened. Their is no person that needs a Scooby Doo unmasking, no Colombo “one more thing.” It is what it is.

The Spurs board are no more responsible for this than you or I. No amount of planning, strategy or even cold hard cash can affect football. It’s what makes it the game we all obsess over. Yes money helps, but it isn’t the magic wand.

Man City have an FA Cup and one league title (at the moment) despite a billion pound outlay. Chelsea continue to throw huge amounts of money at their squad, but they aren’t nailed on winners every season. The “Galaticos” may have sounded like super heroes, but they were defeated by a coaching plan instituted a decade before at La Masia, which in itself doesn’t win every year.

Football this glorious beast is also devilishly mischievous. The best team doesn’t always win, whilst the right team even less. Blame Levy for the StubHubs and commercial partnerships, but for a dull draw away to Hull, he is innocent.

[author name=”ARLombardi” avatar=”” bio=”I read, I write, I speak, I edit for The Fighting Cock” twitter=”ARLombardi[/linequote]

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.


  1. Spurgatso
    05/02/2014 @ 4:49 pm

    Good read pretty much on the money,its about time we all calmed down a bit.Yes things ar’nt as good as we hoped they’d be with our super summer signings,but there alot better than a good few seasons I remember.I believe our team will come really good when we’ve put all the traumas behind us.As for the Hull draw I think we struggled against them a few times earlier in the season.COYS

  2. billynomates
    05/02/2014 @ 4:49 pm

    Although you acknowledge his various off pitch misdemeanors, you treat them like they’re ‘no biggie’ when they’re in fact, the primary reason why the ‘pitch forks are being sharpened.’

    This isn’t a footballing issue. You’ve missed the point entirely.

  3. Mark
    05/02/2014 @ 4:52 pm

    Top article! My sentiments exactly!

  4. borris
    05/02/2014 @ 4:53 pm

    No he isnt. That’s tough titty, but the responsibility sits with him.

    When Chelsea were spawning their way to the blaggiest CL win in the history of the universe, we were probably getting ready to sell our best players already, as well as every other season that we’ve had an auction of our best player/s!
    (Liverpool did not sell Suarez last summer and look at em now)

    The 2 years under Redknapp (who I am really not a fan of) we were in the strongest positions to consolidate in Jan window and push on.. We all know how those 2 years went.. (Ryan Nelson & Saha) – Although, for me, Redknapp has to take a share of the blame too as his rotation was woeful and we should never have gien up 10 point leads 2 years in a row! –

    • Dan Mac
      06/02/2014 @ 8:46 am

      And we didn’t sell Modirc the first season he wanted to leave… we also kept Bale for 2 additional years after he first one PFA player of the year. You have a selected memory and you select the bits that can go on to make your bitter rambling sound knowledgeable… Yes Liverpool kept Suarez, let’s see if they can do it twice.

      The years under Redknapp you can’t blame the signings on Levy – the one signing Levy made over his head was VDV and that was the best signing we made under redknapp… The rest of the dross had Redknapp’s name written all over them – aging prem players etc, none of them had the ring of a Levy signing.

      You basically don’t balance your views at all – as the article says, there are bad decisions being made but a lot of that has to do with taking the risk to achieve a position higher than turn over should allow. Levy has done a lot of good as well as some of these bad decisions, take a step back, look at the bigger picture and realise we have been the only team in the last 20 years of premier league football to challenge the top four on more than a single occasion and without a sugar daddy. No other team has risen from the mid-table dross we had to the position we’re in and sustained it.

  5. Steve Heywood
    05/02/2014 @ 4:54 pm

    I for one have been very vocal in my belief that Levy is wholly responsible given he oversees us lurching from one manager to another with absolutely no thought, direction or plan and hence season after season of inertia. How is this season above average when the football has been highly unwatchable and we are out of two cups and likely to finish 6th or 7th? Plenty of words could be applied to Levy’s stewardship but meticulous and methodical aren’t two of them and Sherwood’s appointment sums it up in a nutshell.

  6. jimmyriggle
    05/02/2014 @ 4:57 pm

    Good read and I agree with your points about the on field stuff, but I don’t agree at all with this:
    “Their misdemeanours run off the tongue, Stratford, StubHub, Y-word, Thomson Holiday, bigging up the Real Madrid partnership etc, but what really matters, what is the crux of the problem is what happens on the green stuff.”

    This misses the point completely. What REALLY matters is not what happens on the pitch at all as we know we will always support the club through good results and bad (despite the moaning and whinging of many.) What we won’t tolerate is lies, deceit, lack of clear communication, endless profiteering and generally being treated like dirt by the people who have the PRIVILEGE to be in control of the club we love.

    Defend Levy and ENIC all you like for footballing performance but it’s time they answered for a lot of the dreadful commercial and fan-based decisions they’ve made recently .

  7. Aaron Wolfe
    05/02/2014 @ 5:42 pm

    This sums up everything I feel about the current conversation regarding ENIC and Levy, particularly the roll of bizarre luck. How different might things really be had the best team won the Champions League cup that year? Would Modric have gone? Bale? Maybe but who knows? Either way, the irony of all of this is that we haven’t even been THAT bad this season! We’re on pace to match our all time record points tally.

    Yes we’ve been woeful at times, we’ve lost key games, and been punished heavily but I think our current place is much more a function of how absolutely amazing the current top four have been and much less about how poor we’ve been.

  8. Delboy
    05/02/2014 @ 6:16 pm

    Good article but several points we must take on board.

    1/.Levy’s refusal to buy a striker(didn’t have to be a top striker or that expensive,but Saha please; taking the piss to say the least): a disgrace.

    2/ Suarez wanted out this summer and Liverpool had a buyer;Rooney wanted out and Man.Utd had a buyer;Bale wanted out.Suarez and Rooney both stayed,Bale didn’t; thank you Mr.Levy.

    3/ The biggest con this season is the papers, pundits etc.. Stating that Spurs spent all this money last summer: horse shit;we were the ONLY Premiershp club to receive more in transfers than we spent.FACT.And the same this transfer window just gone and 2or3 previous transfer windows.I wonder if Levy really wants Champions League football at the Lane.

    Some astute business man he is;doesn’t realise that to make £100, one has to invest £50.

    The sooner we get some rich Arab,Chinese,Russian or whatever backers in the better.Levy/ENIC out.

    • jim61
      05/02/2014 @ 6:48 pm

      If you had stacks of money and were interested in buying Spurs would you

      1. Wait until the new stadium was open – say 3/5 years.

      2. Buy now and determine final features of new stadium, but have all the hassle of actually managing the transition from old to new stadium, on same/adjacent site. With possibly a temporary stadium needed for a while.

      • jim61
        05/02/2014 @ 7:00 pm

        or cancel the new stadium and expand WHL.

  9. RBS
    05/02/2014 @ 7:33 pm

    You cite minor variables such as Defoe v City and Fulop v Goons as evidence of Levy being unlucky and that therefore we shouldn’t blame Levy. Howeve during that same January when we were so close to beating City to put us in the frame for a faint shot at the title, what did Levy do to help push us on? He allowed Redknapp him to sign the aging Saha and Nelson. If Levy had shown some balls and bought a player of quality then we may not have had to worry about Fulop on the last day of season giving the game to Arsenal – we would probably have already finished above them.

    Star player after star player sold at their peak (Carrick, Keane, Berbatov, Modric,VdV and Bale), manager after manager sacked, two people to blame – Levy & Lewis.

    So yes we can blame Levy for a dull draw v Hull.

    Levy earned 2.2 million last year (the second highest chairman renumeration in the PL) and no doubt he also took a dividend from ENIC.

    I can scarcely believe he is being defended.

  10. ultrapunch
    05/02/2014 @ 7:45 pm

    Only 4 clubs have won the Premier League so far this century. Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City. What 4 clubs have the highest annual revenue? Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City!! Spurs will never win the Premiership until they generate more revenue. They need a 60,000 seater stadium!! They can then afford to pay salaries of £200,000 per week to attract and keep the very best players.

  11. brossy
    05/02/2014 @ 11:21 pm

    some things we can control unfortunately. one big one springs or rather lumbers to mind, the Mighty Daw at centre back for 10 years, and lately elevated to captain. well only 3 more years to go

  12. spurian
    06/02/2014 @ 12:15 am

    in levy i trust

  13. spurian
    06/02/2014 @ 12:19 am

    best chairman in the prem. yes hes made mistakes, who hasnt. 0nly 36000 stadium, onlý been in the champions league once and yet the 13th richest club in the world

  14. Paul
    06/02/2014 @ 3:14 pm

    Surely the least Mr “ivory tower” levy could do is keep the natives informed of the stadium development…its not much to ask.
    Lets face it the silence is deafening on lots of levels, Y-word, Managers, partnerships, stadium build…we are treated with total disregard.

  15. Marin
    06/02/2014 @ 7:05 pm

    Unexpectedly poor piece from otherwise good contributer like Lombardi! Just one thing sums it up – the draw at Hull (fully expected it to be a loss after the City debacle) is a logical consequence not a reason!!!

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