Are we selling ourselves short here?

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Erik Lamela

In the modern age of football it as much about commercial sponsorship and revenue as it is about on field success. At Tottenham this is especially the case with ENIC and Daniel Levy always keen to negotiate the hardest of bargains.

Premier League success is totally underpinned by financial muscle power, it is no surprise that Manchester City are now contenders for the league on a regular basis given their backing. So for a club like Spurs off field revenue is everything and something that Levy should strive to achieve, but with next season’s kit sponsorship up for renewal are we on the verge of a rare financial blunder from the Chairman?

Spurs are relative pioneers in regard to shirt sponsors, with their recent decision to adopt a split league/ cup  deal. Hewlett Packard and their subsidiaries have tackled the league, with Investec and now AIA taking over cup responsibilities. However, with just this season to run on the HP deal it is believed that Levy will now look to agree a new £20m deal with potential sponsors.

Such a deal would put Spurs on a par with Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool who all have comparable deals for this current season. Reports though have emerged today that Levy has found it increasingly difficult to tie down such a lucrative deal, with both the Metro and Mail reporting that the club will have to settle for a £12m a year deal with current sponsors AIA.

This deal would still put them ahead of the majority of the league, but well off the pace of the biggest clubs and the ones that they aspire to compete with. It would be a kick in the teeth for Levy who has made great efforts in the last few years to expand the brand in both Asia and America with the hope of bolstering the clubs financial standing.

To compound things for the fans, the full time emblazoning of AIA onto the famous lilywhite shirt would mean red as a permanent part of the playing kit, something that has already sparked criticisms even this season. The popular Never Red campaign found its feet under previous sponsors Thomson and could soon be sparked back into life again should this new deal be completed.

The general feeling is that Spurs’ financial future is very much dependent on their involvement in the Champions League. Previously sponsors have speculated that the club may make it into the Promised Land and have been willing to invest heavily, but after 3 seasons in the second tier of European football companies appear to be showing caution.

I wouldn’t expect this deal to be concluded as quickly as some seem to think. Levy will let this run in the hope that more lucrative backers can be found nearer the time of renewal.

The deal being mooted wouldn’t be selling Spurs short; the club have been living off the Champions League hysteria at least financially for a few years now, and should this deal happen it would just earmark Spurs as a second tier side in English football once again.

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