Mauricio Pochettino appears hell bent of continuing with his Jose Mourinho ‘pity me’ impressions.
‘It is a new era,’ he told The Daily Mail, ‘We are moving to a different venue and you have to know the expectations because it won’t change everything and rain millions of pounds. I am never going to ask to improve my salary or extend my contract. I decide only the starting XI, I am not Wenger or Ferguson who decide their own future.’
‘In my first meeting with (chairman) Daniel Levy, the target was to arrive in the new stadium and create a team to fight for the top four and play Champions League. The easy thing to do is to give up and say we need to change everything but, no, we must keep going, pushing hard and try again.”
For those of you still in denial, what we have here is some pretty extraordinary framing going on here.
Let’s get a few preliminary issues agreed, before proceeding.
Most of the fanbase understand that the whole point of flattening The Lane and building a 61,000 arena was to put Spurs on the same revenue plane as the established top tier clubs.
Match day revenues have somewhat become ‘yesterday’s bananas’.
This was proved in the starkest manner during our last season at White Hart Lane, when ticket sales were severely hampered by impinging building works, yet operating profits soared.
So if the turnstiles are playing a decreasing role in the club’s finances, the aim is clearly to amplify margins elsewhere, such as hospitality, catering etc.
Managing the fans expectations is one thing, but this is beyond vague.
The man in row 33 doesn’t care about the uplift in Craft Beer sales, his primary concern is that his seat now costs him £200 more than it did last season, and can he get a good view of us parading a cup from it?
In fact, I get the distinct impression from this and previous comments from Poch that he wants everyone to keep their eye firmly on the ‘building’ birdie and for nobody to get distracted and start asking awkward questions about where they money is going.
Lord Sugar (he of the phonetic Tweeting fame) didn’t invent the phrase, but is fond of slamming competitors in his grippingly awful TV show The Apprentice by saying ‘You took your eye off the money’.
I submit that Tottenham fans aren’t going to suffer from that particular sight defect, and no matter how plumped and beautifully appointed the seats are in the New Destination™, supporters are going to expect significantly more than watching the Lilywhites ‘compete’.
Poch has frequently let his guard slip to a point whereby he is quite fond of telling fans ‘don’t compare’.
We now have this new aspect in his quotes where he is distancing himself from impatience.
Last week it was ‘or with another manager’ and this it is ‘I am never going to ask for more money or an extension’.
Not me guv, I just work here.
Whilst THFC is a private business, and there is understandably a limit to what say or influence can be brought to bare by the public, unfortunately for the current owners of the marketing rights, it is also a football club.
Football fans are simple creatures.
We expect simple things.
- The team to do its very best.
- The owners to do their very best to facilitate 1.
Competing under an unambitious rule of austerity is as dull as it reads, and it is to the gaffer’s eternal credit that despite the restraints he has done this well.
Fans are emotional investors and they can see that we really aren’t that far from doing more than being ‘nearly men’.
This is especially in light of the fact that their eye wateringly prices seats are making less and less of an impact on the business overall.
THFC can’t tax the fans and not improve the product.
The product by the way, is the football.
Does Pochettino sense an almost inevitable fall out?
The Argentinian didn’t enjoy the FA cup at all.
Mauricio was incredibly frustrated at having to play extra games against Rochdale and Newport, and ultimately it was all for nought as his character and his integrity were questioned after the loss to Manchester United.
How will this season be any better?
Will Spurs spend? No.
Will Spurs retain? No.
If the manager isn’t convinced, why on earth would anyone else be?