Question Time!!

As I’d mentioned a few weeks back, I have a nice treat in store for my fellow Oeufers…..the opportunity to ask a Spurs legend a question that will be answered on this ’ere site!!

Cool huh?? Well it gets much cooler.

I’m not talking about just any legend. I’d suggest this legend would easily make the top 5 legend list of all of you guys and gals.

Want some clues?

He’s a retired footballer.

Want more?

He played for Spurs (and boy, did he play for Spurs).

Enough for you? I’ll leave it at that and let you guess, then once the truth is outed, please put your questions forward and I’ll publish his answers in due course!

Penny pinching prick, or another beating stick?

beating stick

In these unprecedented times of difficulty, where lives are at stake and the economic future of the entire planet is on a knife edge, our attention has turned to the world of football and the all conquering English Premier League, or more importantly, how those involved in the PL are responding to the Coronavirus crisis.
This scrutiny includes the issue of the obscene wages that PL players earn, especially at a time when they are not working, which rightly breeds much contempt from a general public that are currently losing their jobs, under increasing financial pressure, and have an uncertain economic future. But I’m not going to debate the rights and wrongs of this, instead, my focus is on how THFC have reacted.

As I am sure you are all well aware, Daniel Levy issued a statement 3 days ago with regards to the Coronavirus, and how the club were reacting. The most relevant part of that statement is the following excerpt:

“Yesterday, having already taken steps to reduce costs, we ourselves made the difficult decision – in order to protect jobs – to reduce the remuneration of all 550 non-playing directors and employees for April and May by 20% utilising, where appropriate, the Government’s furlough scheme. We shall continue to review this position.”

There has been a significant reaction to this stance from the media, pundits, a government minister, and our own Flat Oeufers alike, condemning the actions of the chairman as greedy, unnecessary, and generally the wrong thing to do in the current climate. Amongst this, there has been the usual fabrication:

“To put it another way, the staff at the club who are paid the least amount of money, are taking pay cuts, while those on million pound contracts (including Daniel Levy) will lose out on nothing.” Football365 article

“Anyone furloughed who earn over 36k are getting capped at 2.5k per month max. Nothing else is being paid to any of them.” Flat Oeufer

“Levy ain’t taking a pay cut, he’s deferring payment on his obscene and disproportionate salary.” Flat Oeufer

To put these claims into context, at the time of writing, the only available evidence where such claims could be justified is the above excerpt from Levy’s statement. Read it again. Read the claims again. I cannot think of any reason why such unfounded claims would be made, other than to dramatise and whip up an emotional reaction over and above what is already being seen, but lets move on.

The negative reaction to the clubs actions centre around two core elements;

Should a company that earns millions in profit be taking advantage of the government scheme where taxpayers money is being used to cover 80% of furloughed workers wages up to a maximum of £2,500?

Should a company that earns millions in profit be cutting the wages of 550 members of staff by 20%?

Firstly, it has since been revealed by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust that 40% of the 550 members of staff discussed have been furloughed, meaning 220 employees. So at the very maximum, the government scheme is contributing 550k per month towards THFC staff wages.

Why does a company that earned £68.6 million last year need 550k per month in taxpayers money?

Lets put some context on that by way of comparison. Here’s a list of just some large companies that have taken advantage of the furlough scheme, and what profits they earned last year:

135,000 furloughed workers
$21.08 billion profit

43,000 furloughed workers
£102.5 million profit

Greene King
38,000 furloughed workers
£246.9 million profit

British Airways
30,000 furloughed workers
2.9 billion (euros) profit

30,000 furloughed workers
£913 million profit

This list could go on, and on, and on, and on, but I’m sure by now you get the gist.
Are THFC any different to these companies? Has their revenue been affected any less than these companies? Are THFC doing anything that other massive businesses that create staggering profit levels aren’t doing??

You could subsequently argue that all of these companies (and many, many others) shouldn’t be using taxpayers money either. Surely those profit levels mean that they don’t need to? That they can take the hit by themselves?

This brings into question exactly what financial impact the Coronavirus will have on the club. When trying to quantify this, you could easily estimate how much revenue they may be losing up to, say, the end of the season in May as is the norm.

Final league position prize money in the last financial accounts was £32.3m

Planned televised March and April games postponed (5) £1.13m earnings per televised game, so £5.65m

Matchday income, currently unknown, but putting a low estimate of £2m per home game, 5 home games left, £10m

Breach of broadcasting deal if season not completed 750m, £37.5m per club

So just on those four factors (there will no doubt be many more, such as paused sponsor payments), that’s £85m down. How is that £68.6m profit looking now? You could argue that our revenue has probably gone up since that £68.6m profit was realised, as that set of accounts had most of the season at Wembley, with just a few games at our cashcow new stadium. But that 68.6m profit included our run to the CL final, with earnings from that alone being around £90m, and this seasons exit in the round of 16 meant CL earnings of around 55m, so 35m down. I think this figure would more than account for any extra revenue we may have received up until fixtures were postponed, by comparison to the previous financial year.

A reminder that this is only taking into consideration any lost revenue to the end of the current season in May, around 6 weeks time. Should THFC, or any business come to that, assess the financial implications of the social distancing measures for 6 weeks? Especially a business run by Mr Levy, a well known ambassador of long term strategies? How uncertain is revenue after this period?

England’s deputy chief medical officer warned on Sunday that the UK’s coronavirus lockdown could last for “six months or more”.

“Some kind of distancing will likely be necessary for at least six months,” William Hanage, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard University, told FRANCE 24. “The distancing measures already in place are stopping the establishment of new cases. Those already infected should be resolved for better or worse in two months, after which the goal will be to prevent the surge we have seen in the first wave happening again.”

“The German health institute’s idea that two years of restrictions could be necessary to deal with the coronavirus presents a “fairly likely” scenario, Hanage said, adding that it “depends on what is meant by restrictions; two years of the current state is unlikely, but two years without large gatherings is another thing”.

That last paragraph again.


I’ll put this another way.

Should the current lock down in the UK be lifted by say, June (very doubtful), how many of you chaps that regularly go to games would be happy to sit in a packed tube carriage, walk through Tottenham High Road amongst thousands of people, and sit crammed in a stadium with 62,000 other people in August? How about September? December?
If the 2 metre social distancing rules are still in place even after the lock down is lifted, as expected, would every football player be excluded from this to entertain us in what is a contact sport? Would these footballers agree to it, potentially putting themselves and their family at risk?

Based on this, in projecting potential losses, the following question must be asked.

How much revenue could THFC potentially lose over a longer period to say end of this calendar year? Or even to the end of next season?

It’s a shit load. A shit load that makes the £68.6m profit we enjoyed look insignificant.

So should THFC, a company that has paid millions in tax for it’s entire existence, be entitled to claim government help (like every other UK company) when faced with such losses?

Should THFC make tough cost cutting decisions (that in fact save jobs) when faced with such financial losses and uncertainty?

I’ve no doubt some of you have decided the answers to these questions already, and my above ramblings will have no bearing on your judgement.

A tad disappointed in the magic one

What a week, what a season, what a manager.

There’s no doubt that magic Pochettino has been intrinsic in our progression over the last 5 years, and you would struggle to find a Spurs fan who wouldn’t want him at the helm for the foreseeable future.


I’m finding myself somewhat miffed and disappointed at his airing of dirty laundry in public concerning his future at our beloved club.

There are many that won’t agree, “good on him, putting the pressure on Levy”. In fact, it is the kind of pressure that I would suggest a majority of Spurs fans want to hear, and he talks about “transparency” and “being honest with the fans”, all great stuff in normal circumstances.

But these here circumstances ain’t normal.

Firstly, there’s the small matter of a Champions League final in less that three weeks. Hugo has already come out and said that all this talk won’t affect the players. Standard line, but what else is he going to say? I can’t for the life of me think of any good reason why this spanner in the works would be thrown in at this moment. It can’t possibly have a positive effect, and only offers a negative.

But in my mind more importantly, it completely throws immediate planning up in the air.

He says that he won’t talk to Levy until after the final.

So how does that help us get transfers sorted early in the summer window, which is exactly what him and us fans want? Would players commit to Tottenham without knowing that Poch will still be there? Will Levy commit to transfers when he doesn’t know if his manager will still be there when they arrive, or if a new incoming manager actually wants said players??

Then there’s the situation with our existing players.

Will Eriksen or Tobes commit before they know if Poch is staying? Will this delay only enhance the possibility of another club moving forward with plans to sign them, considering they have nothing else to currently focus on?

If Poch isn’t committed, then how can we plan to sell players without his approval?

He talks about having a plan in place, but his actions and comments have done the opposite, putting any current plans on hold.

We all know that Poch is an emotional chap. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and sometimes has the tendency to have outbursts to the press when the pressure is on, or equally when the pressure is released. We’ve seen it lots of times before, especially at this stage of the season. And there’s talk of him being emotionally drained. Well I’m sure we can all relate to that after Wednesday, and maybe that is an excuse for the timing of his comments.

But bearing all the above in mind, was this needed in public? What good has it done, or more importantly, what damage?


We’re Live!

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Another cup London derby, following ties against Watford, West Ham and Arsenal on the way to the semis. No easy route, for sure, though Chelsea’s hasn’t been too simple either, having beaten Liverpool, Derby and Bournemouth on the way.

What I wouldn’t give for the same performance as the last time we locked horns, from both sides. We gave them a footballing lesson at their place, quickly gaining a two goal lead via the mercurial Dele Alli and the chief One Of Our Own, before Son’s incredible run and dribble to make the lead three. If Luiz had at least made some kind of effort to not look incredibly useless in trying to stop him, it might have been considered as a goal of the season contender. Giroud got his obligatory consolation goal in the latter stages, as he always does against us. Let’s hope Luiz plays, and Giroud doesn’t.

Here’s our lot…..

Likey, likey.


The Modern Enemy

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Chelsea at home then. Actually, not quite home, home from home.

I don’t want to steal Dan’s regular Friday thunder, but this is now for me THE derby.

Looking back at the past few seasons, games between us lot and them lot actually mean something, rather than the Arsenal games that have had little affect on final league positions, cup runs etc. Our old enemy have moved well behind us, there is no doubt, and although the NLD is always an important fixture on the calendar, the stakes are relatively low, apart from the obligatory bragging rights. We will finish well above them again this season.

The 2016/17 season saw us compete with Chelsea for the title, running them pretty close for most of the 2nd half of the season, though falling 7 points short. If we’d have won the November away game, then it could have been extremely close.

The same season saw us lose to them in the semi finals of the FA Cup, and in the previous season they were the victors against us in the League Cup final too.

It’s very easy to throw around comments such as “this is the most important game of the season so far”, which I usually find difficulty in understanding. We’re in a position where we expect or need to win most games, so the next game is always the most important.

But this is important, very important.

We’ve not hit top form this season, not by a long way in my eyes, but are still only 5 points off the incredible Man City in the league standings , and one point behind Chelsea.

Chelsea haven’t lost yet, and a loss to us on Saturday, combined with us leapfrogging them in the PL table could have longer lasting consequences.

It would also give our team a well needed boost for the busy schedule ahead.

I want this win, bad.

Season defining? Probably not. But it wouldn’t ‘alf ‘elp.



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Worrying news today about Glenn Hoddle being taken seriously ill whilst filming in the BT Sport studio.

I’ve no doubt that for some of you, Glenn is the reason you are Spurs fans. A legend of White Hart Lane, he epitomised the way Tottenham play, the way football should be played, and gave us 12 years of incredible memories as a player.

I’m sure I speak for everyone, not just Spurs fans, but football fans all around the world, in sending Glenn our very best wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery.


Quiz Time!

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Interborefestlull. The empty stadium, the performance and the scoreline sum it all up pretty perfectly, nuff said.

Still, what an opportunity to forget the stadium debacle, the injury list and the below par performances and test your Tottenham knowledge with a fun-filled Spurs quiz!

Now you guys need to work with me a bit here, as much as I’ve tried to give the questions a reasonable level of difficulty, it’s blatantly obvs that we can all be Mastermind genius’s with the help of our pal, Google. So cheat if you want to, but you’re only cheating yourself. And your fellow Oeufers. And me. And god.

And no shouting from the back of the classroom (yes, McG, I’m talking to you), I’m more than happy for you all to discuss and debate the questions, but I’ll only be selecting the winner from a post that includes the correct answers to ALL questions.

And what does the extremely bloody clever winner of this quiz receive? There is a prize, and you’ll all be pleased to know that it’s football related. Yes, I am pleased to confirm that the prize for the lucky winner is the F.A, or more accurately, the sweet F.A.

Now put your phones away, spit out that gum, stop chatting, sharpen your pencils and get ready…..

  1. Brexit, eh? Please feel free to applaud, hiss and boo, or just shrug your shoulders. Whatever your position, it’s quite clear that over our history, Tottenham have benefited from players who originated from countries within the European Union. But what official and current membership countries within the EU have never had one of their nationals play for the mighty Spurs?
  2. We’ve had some bloody great goalscorers in our history. Names roll easily off the tongue, Greaves, Chivers, Smith, and more recently the likes of Defoe, Sheringham and Kane. But of all the players that have scored more than 100 goals for the Lillywhites, which player took the highest amount of appearances to get to their centennial milestone?
  3. In my formative Tottenham supporting years, my matchday itinerary included a pre-match and post-match visit to what for me was a very special place, a members only club on the Paxton Road. We weren’t members, but me and Dad would enter through the kitchens at the back. For a Spurs-mad youngster, this was a place of dreams where I met most of the Tottenham players of the time, as well as historical legends, and my dad knew everyone, which made me feel a part of it all. The jumbo sausage, chips and beans were also memorable. What was the name of this club? Warning…you will be spellchecked.
  4. Toby, Toby Toby, Toby Toby, Toby Alderweireld! Jan Jan, Jan Jan Jan Jan, Jan Jan Jan Jan, Jan Jan Jan Vertonghen! We are currently blessed with some of Belgium’s greatest players in Tobes, Jan and Mousa, but we’ve had three other Belgians grace our hallowed turf. Name ’em.
  5. In recent history, we’ve had more managers than I can count on all 11 fingers. In fact, in the 120 years since Tottenham football managers became a thang, there were only 13 managers in the first 60 years, but then 25 in the last 60 years. Which manager has had the longest total tenancy?


Good luck on your Spursquest.

And Now For Something Completely Different

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Oeufers, I’ve got a confession. Hartley’s not going to like it one bit.

I can be a rather emotional guy, with a tendency to blubber at moments of extreme joy.

This has proved quite embarrassing over the years, it’s something I struggle to control even in public (my kids school plays are impossible to get through), and it isn’t even limited to my own joy. Movies, music, books or articles, bloody TV adverts, sometimes I cannot physically hold it back.

Why the hell am I telling you this? A football blog, frequented exclusively by blokes (+ Spursy), with a tendency towards blokish humour and medium/medium rare banter?

It’s because I’m having one of those moments right now, a moment of pure pride, knowing that I’m just about to tell you chaps about my son, Jay.

The first 18 months of Jay’s life passed as any parent would expect. Milestones such as playing with toys, crawling, walking, all passed in what would be considered “normal” timescales. We then gradually developed areas of concern, no direct eye contact, no inclination to play with other children or socialise, and no speech development. In fact, many of the sounds that he would make in his first year or so were disappearing, and he became virtually mute.

It took over two years of tests, hospital and specialists visits, and a hell of a lot of chasing and pushing before it was finally confirmed what we already knew, Jay was on the range of neurodevelopmental disorders known as the autistic spectrum, and was at that time considered to be towards the upper end of that range in terms of complexity. There were no answers to our questions on development from that point, it really was unknown as to whether Jay would ever speak or even interact in anything other than a very basic way.

At that time there was a big push towards inclusion across the public sector for those in minorities, including the mentally and physically disabled. It was suggested to us that the best education for Jay would be a mainstream primary school, and it seemed the right thing to do. We felt like maybe being in a setting where other children communicate, it would encourage Jay to do the same.

Over the next five years, there were modest but precious improvements in his communication and social awareness. He slowly started to speak, mostly because of the TV. It worked for him, he was captivated and attentive, especially cartoons, and he started to repeat words, even developing a slight American twang which he still has to this day.

But school wasn’t easy for him. He had a one-on-one helper in the classroom at all times, and the school made great efforts to include and integrate him, but he showed little inclination to engage the curriculum, or the attention of other children. He also developed issues such as instances of hitting or biting, sensory overloads, and physical habits such as high pitched noises and flapping arms.

When it came to secondary school we had serious concerns about him continuing in mainstream schooling, and after a battle, managed to get him a place at a highly rated specialist school called Thriftwood.

We knew immediately that it was the right place for Jay. There were children with a wide variety of disorders, some much more complex than Jay’s, but it was evident that every child and every member of staff were engaging.

He flourished.

He became engaged in subject matter in the classroom, realised the need to learn to read and write, and very quickly used his voice to question and express to such an extent that he’d get in trouble for talking too much. By the time he left, he had a GSCE in both English and Maths, had developed a keen interest in computers, and even sung a solo for his school choir at Chelmsford Cathedral in front of two hundred people, passionately, at the top of his voice (uncontrollable blubbering, obvs).

Jay is now nineteen, a man. He is just about to start his BTEC Level 3 in creative digital media production, having passed level 2 with a distinction. He gets himself up and ready in the morning, walks 20 minutes to the train station, gets a 45 minute train to Liverpool Street, then has a 10 minute bus journey to his college. At one point, I never imagined he’d be able to cross the road without a responsible adult.

He works hard at everything he does, whether that is college work, the videos he makes for YouTube, or especially in the last two years, a passion for writing stories.

Around eighteen months ago, Jay wanted me to read a story he had written. He was quite certain that at 98 pages it wasn’t a novel, more a novella. Quite quickly, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

It wasn’t so much the quality of grammar, Jay writes as he talks, in sometimes broken English that struggles with tense and participle, it was the detail and the descriptive manner in which he wrote that was so unrecognisable.

Jay’s disorder means that his brain works quite differently to ours. He has learnt ways to communicate, but in all honesty, it is in most cases to discuss only subject matters that are of interest to him. We generally talk about movies, tv shows, his college work, but he would never engage in a meaningful conversation about, say, how my day was at work, or what I did on holiday. A relationship with Jay, although no less fulfilling than any other, can be mostly a one way thing in terms of content choice! Most of the empathy he has is learned behaviour rather than natural. In some ways I consider him very lucky, he suffers far less emotionally than any of us. He knows jubilation, happiness, sadness, and sometimes anger, but he doesn’t share our ability to feel guilt, to be deeply hurt by words or actions of others, or any notion of inadequacy or pressure to conform. He will most likely never have a wife or children, or what we would consider to be close friends, but will also never understand our need to have a partner, or children, or close friends, to have the affection of others, so it is no loss to him.

But I was reading a book that described the feelings and emotions of it’s characters in quite poetic detail, that developed relationships between those characters, that asked questions of morality and values, and contained writing that in some instances tackled theoretical scientific subjects.

It was hard work editing it to a point that is was easily readable, we took great care in trying not to change much of the content so it was still Jay’s words, but as grammatically correct as my capabilities allowed. Six months of long, tough sessions later, it was done.

I didn’t do much else after that, I didn’t get a chance. Jay sent copies of his manuscript to several publishers, and started writing both a sequel and a spin-off (Star Wars inspired).

Around three months later, he calls and says he has received a contract offer from a publisher. Crikey.

Jay came to mine the following day and eagerly watched me as I read the contract. I was immediately sceptical. It was a hybrid publishing contract, meaning it required a contribution from the author towards the cost of publishing. On further reading there were areas I was uncomfortable with. Although it committed to a programme from editing to marketing to publication, it gave little in the way of actual financial commitment in those stages. The royalties seemed unfairly weighed in the publishers favour to my untrained eye, and the ability for the author to block editorial or content changes once the contract was signed wasn’t entirely clear. Further due diligence of both the publisher and the contract type threw up mixed results, with some bad news stories and some good.

I explained my concerns to Jay and he understood, but was unperturbed. He wrote the publishers an email detailing all areas that he/I was unhappy with in the contract, asking them to clarify. A series of emails between them then ensued, and reassurances were verbally given, but I didn’t expect it to go anywhere. Then a revised contract arrived, and it was much more promising. The author contribution to costs was reduced, royalties changed favourably for Jay, and most importantly for me, a commitment in terms of minimal number of copies printed and advertising/marketing investment within the contract from the publishers which proved that it was very much a joint financial commitment.

I discussed this in detail with Jay, as you can imagine he was excited, but we decided at that point to bide our time, send the manuscript to more traditional publishers and literary agents, and see what happens.

Just a few weeks ago, the publishers called Jay and I spoke to them too. I was very impressed with what they had to say, their views on the content of the book, and their plans to take it forward if Jay were to come on board. We did, however, make it clear that Jay was considering his options at that point, and had sent the manuscript to other publishers. Within 2 days, Jay received another revised contract, this time with a further reduced author contribution, higher royalties, and a commitment to investment by the publishers that dwarfed the requested author contribution.

And now Jay has decided that he would like to take up their offer, and I fully support him.

And that’s the reason why I’ve opened up to you all, poured my girly heart out and shared my story.

Yesterday, my other son created a “gofundme” page for Jay, to help raise the £1,600.00 contribution to publishing required, as per below link:

Please know that there is no expectation from me for you guys to help. This isn’t going to a charity, and if you don’t feel comfortable or are unable to spare anything I completely understand. There is no obligation based purely on your friendship with me.

But if you want to, and can help, even with a small amount, both myself and Jay would be eternally grateful.

Crikey, that’s a long read. Thanks for your time. Have a bloody lovely day.







Sweating Yet?

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Yeah, a bit.

I’m an Oeufer of the highest Oeufness. I believe in the project, in the long term strategy that is in place at our club. We haven’t been able to compete financially, in terms of transfer fees and wages for the very best players, in years. Everything that we are doing with regards to the infrastructure at the club points towards this being a thing of the past…at some point in the future.

But, being a devoted supporter, like all of you, I’d like it now. Maybe not all of it at once, but just a sign, a pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel. The new contract for Kane did this, as did keeping Poch from the jaws of the biggest fish in our ocean.

But I’d like a bit more.

I understand that we are at a point where a lot of the players we have don’t necessarily reflect our financial position. According to well researched reports, in Kane and Dele, we have two of the worlds most valuable footballing assets. Eriksen, Verts and Tobes could probably walk into any team in the world. Son, Trippier and Hugo would be coveted by many of the top footballing teams in Europe. To IMPROVE on what we have, at least our best 11, would mean trying to buy players that are probably in the top 5 in the world, in their respective positions.

I also understand that it is currently a sellers market. With all the money in the PL, clubs are under no pressure to sell, unless via player and agent power. All the top European clubs have CL money, so it’s a similar scenario here. Just like we don’t have to sell Tobes, Rose or Dembele unless the price is acceptable (and hugely inflated), most clubs that own players that I would suggest we are after, won’t sell unless it is also a hugely inflated price.

But going on our improved finances, on promises both previous and current that there is a transfer budget that is not affected by the stadium build, on the fact that we are a regular CL team with world class players and a world class manager, I think there must be a possibility of at least one top, top player.

I’m not talking about Grealish, or the Cook lad. Relatively low transfer fees, cheap wages, no big deal if it doesn’t work out, fantastic if they reach Dier or Dele heights.

I’d like a sign of intent.

That’s not to say that I’ll be calling for Levy’s head, should it not happen.

That’s not to say that I’m concerned about our competitiveness for the coming season. There’s a slim chance that we could win something. There’s a good chance we can compete to win something, and a very good chance of sustaining top four.

But we could be just one player away, one game changer, from changing that slim chance to a good, or very good chance.

The whole delay over Grealish tells me that he wasn’t anywhere near our first choice for the summer. Probably didn’t even make the top 5 on our wish list. I’d very much like him to come, he fits the mould of young, hungry, talented players that work well with our manager and our transfer budgets and wage caps, as does the Cook lad. We should be buying at least a few of these every summer window to enhance our squad.

But I want some pwopa, proven talent too.

Just one would do.


I’ve got a feeling that Levy has something under his hat, he’s ready to unleash proof of his powers for the whole world to see, presented live by the repulsive Jim White. But I’m a Flat Oeufer, so I think that every window.



Squeeze Another Squad Out, Poch

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At last, back to important matters.

Let’s buy Bale, Kovacic, Modric, Martial, De Ligt, Maguire, Grealish, Rabiot, Barrios, Ndombele, Zaha!

Let’s sell Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen, Llorente!

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Apart from the well publicised and obvious issues concerning transfer fees, wages, and the ability to convince top players to come to us rather than other big clubs, combined with finding clubs silly enough to buy our rejects for reasonable money, there are other issues that Poch, Dan and the Net Spend Band need to consider carefully.

Squad size.

The Premier League rules concerning squad size and make-up are as follows:

Premier League clubs are allowed a maximum of 25 players in their first-team squad.

8 of these players must be “homegrown”.

The maximum squad size of 25 excludes under 21 players, of which there is no limit.

This means that Premier League clubs can have a maximum of 17 non-homegrown, over 21 players.

Premier League teams can register less than 8 homegrown players, but only on the basis that this would reduce the amount of non-homegrown, over 21 players by the same amount. So if we register 7 homegrown players, we can only register 16 non-homegrown, over 21 players.


Are you with me so far? Good.

Looking at our current squad, we have 18 non-homegrown, over 21 players:

Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga, Aurier, Tobes, Verts, Sanchez (just turned 22), Dembele, Son, Eriksen, Dier*, Moura, Lamela, Wanyama, Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen, Llorente.

*Though he was born in England and plays for England, Dier is not considered homegrown as he was brought through a foreign academy. Mental, innit.

We only just scrape through on our 8 homegrown players, the list of 9 below includes 2 players that were out on loan last season:

Trippier, KWP, Davies*, Rose, CCV, Dele, Winks, Kane, Onomah.

*Although according to PL Davies is a homegrown player, according to UEFA he is not due to him being brought through the Swansea academy. This means that we have 19 non-homegrown, over 21 players for the CL, and the CL has the same ruling re the 17/8 split.

So what? We only need to sell/loan one non-homegrown player and we’re within the limits. Most Spurs fans would agree to sell Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen and Llorente in a heartbeat, and it looks like Tobes and Dembele are off anyway, so it’s not a problem.

Or is it?

Just because we are happy to cash out on Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen and Llorente, doesn’t mean that clubs are falling over each other trying to buy them. And even if there was some interest, do you expect any of the above players to be top of other clubs wishlists? I’d suggest, if at all, they are more likely to be sold or loaned towards the end of the transfer window when clubs get desperate. And would the likes of Sissoko and Llorente agree to a move at all, or stay on their bumper contracts at a CL club and try to fight for their places? This leaves us in a position where we could buy non-homegrown, over 21 players now and risk having players on the books that won’t be able to take part this season, or leaves us open to low-ball bids from clubs knowing we need to get rid.

And as far as Tobes and Dembele are concerned, are there many suggestions for replacements that are homegrown, or under 21 players?

De Ligt and Maguire could fit the bill for Tobes replacements, but I would be sceptical as to whether we could prize either player from their current club, or outbid other interested parties.

None of the speculated Dembele replacements fit the bill either, apart from Grealish, though I don’t see him as a direct replacement for Dembele at all, more a back up to Eriksen.


The conclusion I take from all of this is that, ideally, we need to sell to buy. But not for the reasons that some quarters of the Spurs-lovin blog world like to make out. It appears quite clear to me that it is as much about balancing the squad size and make-up as balancing the books.

I expect good signings this summer, but with consideration, I would suggest that a reasonable percentage of those signings would need to be homegrown or under 21, and any that are not could only be accommodated by selling existing non-homegrown, over 21 players.

I also think that this means it is highly unlikely that we will sell Rose.

Just get on with it, Levy!!

Or maybe this transfer lark isn’t quite as easy as some like to make out?


11.56am edit!!!

Some adjustments need to me made to the above info (Unk put me straight!)

We can have up to 17 non-homegrown, over 21 players in our squad no matter what, it does not depend on how many homegrown players we have.

U21 players do not count towards our homegrown allocation, meaning we currently only have 6 homegrown players.

This changes little in the main point made, we can’t go bringing in non-homegrown players without selling/loaning those we already have.


It’s Just Simple Maffs, Love

It’s amazing how news of Harry Kane’s bumper new contract wiped previous rumblings from memory.

“There’s loadsamoney” quickly turned into “Where is all this money going to come from?”

Did Levy rob a bank?

Have we already agreed to sell half the squad to pay for Kane’s rise?

Has Uncle Joe finally realised how completely unfair it is of him to deny us fans his hard earned wealth?

I’m sorry to disappoint, but the truth is rather dull, simple maffs.

Well run football clubs try to maintain a wages to turnover ratio of around 50%. If a clubs revenue increases, this means the the wage bill can increase too.

That’s it. Rather simple, rather boring.

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s results for the financial year ending June 16 were as follows:

Total revenue £209.8mil

Total wages £100mil

This gave wages to revenue ratio of around 48%


The end of financial year June 17, and the most recent record shows the following results:

Total revenue £306.3mil

Total wages £126.9mil

This gave wages to revenue ratio of around 41.5%

As you can see, a massive increase in revenue, and a year on year increase in wages of £27 million, yet a DECREASE in wages to revenue ratio from 48% to 41.5%.

What this means in essence is that, if we were to maintain a wages to revenue ratio of 48%, as per the previous year, there is a surplus of available wages totalling around £20million.

Harry Kane’s new contract is worth an extra 5.2mil per year, so around a quarter of the surplus as explained above. Comfortably affordable, and plenty spare for other player/staff contract increases (such as the new contracts for Poch, Jesus and the gang).

But it doesn’t stop there……

The above results and calculations are based on financial year ending June 2017, and it’s now June 2018. Since then, we have played every home game at Wembley which will no doubt show a huge increase in matchday revenue, especially as the last year at WHL was with a reduced capacity. Then there’s the extra money earned for our exploits in the CL, compared to the previous year. Plus the new Nike deal, and no doubt other increases in commercial deals.

Our revenue increase from year ending June 16 to year ending June 17 was a whopping 46%. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a similar increase when the next results are published, but lets be pessimistic (for a change) and suggest that our revenue only increased by 20%. This would mean the following:

Suggested revenue year ending June 18 £367.6mil

If we maintain a healthy 48% wages to revenue ratio, our wage bill would be around £176.4mil

That means an increase of £49.5mil in available wages.


Kane’s new contract £5.2mil.

It looks tight, but I reckon we can just about get away with it.




Square Poch, Round Real

Let me start by clearly stating that I have no ITK, no idea about buy-out clauses, no inside info on whether Real Madrid’s interest in our Poch is…er….real.

I do, however, have a good idea about what Poch brings to a team under his management, as do all of you. It’s a philosophy based on bloody hard work, ultimate fitness and technique, and bringing a feeling of togetherness and a real team ethic amongst what in essence is a bunch of overpaid kids.

What I don’t get, is how that translates to being a manager of Real Madrid, the ultimate in overpaid, narcissistic prima-dona’s, where managers have to gain the ultimate success or are shown the exit door.

We know that Poch operates a “my way, or the highway” management style. The exits of Ade, Kaboul and Lennon early in his tenure prove that he doesn’t care about experience or ego’s, he cares about his philosophy, and if players don’t toe the line, they are out.

I can just imagine the first day at the training ground.

“Cristiano, we defend as a team.”

“Benzema, I expect you to chase down defenders at every opportunity.”

“Ramos, Marcelo, you will hold your shape, defensive duties come first. Especially you Sergio, no more runs into attacking positions that leave massive holes in our defence”.

We’ve all heard the stories, existing and ex-players talking of running until they are sick, the most intense training sessions they’ve ever experienced.

Rickie Lambert sums it up pretty well.

“It wasn’t the [training on] Fridays that was a shock, it was the Mondays when I’d played 90 minutes [at the weekend],” Lambert told BBC Radio Solent.

“We would come in and to everyone else it was just a three-quarter kind of pace, like a jog to three-quarter pace, we used to do 12 horseshoes.

“But to me it was three-quarters and above, I was like ‘what on earth is going in here’ I just could not cope.”

Shocked by the intensity at which Pochettino had his players working after a matchday, Lambert and former Saints defender Jos Hooiveld looked to persuade their manager to change his ways.

“I thought, it was me and Jos Hooiveld who actually had the bottle to go into his [Pochettino’s] room and pull him to one side, very respectfully.

“I said ‘Mauricio listen, I understand what you’re trying to do but I just think you’re pushing us too much on a Monday and you need to calm it down, we’re not used to it so maybe build it up a bit later.’

“Mauricio was dead polite he said ‘yes, that’s fine I understand’ – we shook hands, I went out and we went back to the lads made up thinking ‘yep, just done it for you boys, next Monday gonna be sorted.

“So, played the game [the next weekend], 90 minutes again, come in Monday, not only did we do 12, we did 24 runs – 24 runs and I just knew, I was running around laughing and almost crying and I knew what he was doing, he was breaking me and he did, he broke me.”

How on earth will the Galactico’s of Real Madrid react to that kind of treatment?

Then there’s new signings. You only have to spend 5 mins on Google to see the kind of players RM are interested in.

“Welcome to Real Madrid, Neymar. We are very pleased to have you here, but remember, you sign for this club to train, I decide if you play or not based on your efforts.”

And why the hell has Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid? One of the original Galactico’s, he holds the club dear to his heart, and has just won 3 CL’s on the bounce. We all know that RM managers don’t choose the players they sign, have hardly anything to do with contracts of existing stars, and most of the time have less power than players like Ronaldo and Ramos.

Does any of this sound like a club that is a perfect fit for our Poch?

I’m guessing not. I’m hoping not. We’ll soon find out.