Home » Brace Yourself: Swiss Ramble Reveals Full Extent of Spurs’ Extraordinary Debts
Brace Yourself: Swiss Ramble Reveals Full Extent of Spurs’ Extraordinary Debts
By Harry Hotspur -

The Swiss Ramble has begun publishing summaries of where European clubs are in respect of their debts; it’s important to note that not everyone has their published accounts for the 2019/20 season out, so it is not a ranking table as such. Arsenal and Liverpool aren’t on the list for example because we are still waiting for their numbers.

The operation of football clubs is wholly dependant upon broadcast monies – or the big salaries couldn’t happen – but the ENIC model is also dependent upon getting additional returns on the stadium, from concerts, blue-chip Bar Mitzvahs, and NFL games. With no match-day earnings, let alone none of the envisaged additional stadium revenue coming in, Tottenham’s future is not uncertain, more in an expensive state of suspended animation.

From exchanges that I’ve had with fans over the years, some get it, and some do not. Just because the debt is scheduled over a long period, only makes it preferable debt and against a background of an endlessly mutating Coronavirus, it begs the question, when the UK government will recalibrate its approach to lockdowns?

ENIC is sitting on a lot of cash, but that only equates to having more sandbags than your neighbour when the local river floods. The fans need to return in order that the ENIC model can work, that’s a basic fact and the longer the fans are locked out, the faster that cash reserve gets eaten away.

This graph will be of interest to some, as it reflects Spurs’ recent switch from selling ‘best players at a premium’ strategy (think Carrick, Berbatov, Bale) to past their sell-by date players limping out the door for relatively small change (think Dembélé, Trippier, Eriksen). Tottenham’s current net transfer debt is £114million, which for context is a little over £20million more than Manchester United’s.

Here’s the killer. We owe £1.177billion, of which £823million is long-term debt.

As Swiss Ramble puts it, total liabilities is a somewhat academic definition of debt, but for the purposes of completeness, this metric shows that Tottenham has the highest liabilities with £1.5 billion.

The reason I highlight this is to hopefully provide some guidance to those fans (who sadly still exist) who mistakenly believe ENIC have built something that could be sold in the short to medium term.

My conclusions are predictable enough. We’re stuck in a well of sorrow. As debt management goes, this is probably the gold standard. As far as being a football club is concerned, one trophy and no titles in 20-years isn’t competing, it is simply taking part and creaming the money off into a direction that isn’t towards transfers.

Finally, for a stadium build that we had endlessly described to us a meticulous, and world-beating, I see a tonne of money having been sloshed about here. Why in the 21st century wasn’t SARS insurance taken out?

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CzechSpur
CzechSpur
4 months ago

Makes it even worse that we’re not getting our money’s worth out of many players (I’m looking at you, Gareth, Danny, and Dele).

Speaking of Dele, Jose’s been talking more about him in press conferences and more positively – is there really a change happening? Can’t see it myself…

David
David
4 months ago

To be fair, Harry, THFC are not alone among Premiership clubs to fail to take out SARS insurance. Indeed, I may well be wrong, but I’m not sure any did…

Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
4 months ago

Those figures are horrendous… I wouldn’t care if we had a world class squad that repeatedly wins titles… That debt hole is only going to get bigger now.

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

Hancock now busy threatening the public with up to 10 years in prison for breaking travel rules….prison?? HA!! What’s prison? This nation is a prison now. When will it be enough.?

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

This is the new Soviet. Karl Marx said England will be the first western European communist state. Looks like he knew summin?

Last edited 4 months ago by Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

So you have to quarantine for 14 days after holiday. So how much time to take off work then. 2 week hol….2 week quarantine….that’s a month??! Who can get that off? Holidays and travel abroad will be for the rich only now in this brave new world.

Last edited 4 months ago by Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
James McKevitt.
James McKevitt.
4 months ago

It’s a day out in Blackpool then.

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

With no pubs or hospitality cos they’ve all gone bust.😟

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

Likely the idea of relaxing the “measures” will be back to the Tier system…..ahhhh the illusion of change….problem is, that will be summer and the season will be finished. Come autumn into winter there will be a variant for every postcode I expect ffs. It’s all about tv money now anyway.😶

Tappaspur
Tappaspur
4 months ago

Listen to this mug. Always predicting the worst and hoping to be right.

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago
Reply to  Tappaspur

That’s actually the best case scenario and what will likely happen. A summer ‘relaxing’ back in tiers then they can play the variant card whenever they fancy. Hopefully the more they mess about the less it’ll stand up to scientific scrutiny(as if it does now?!) and they’ll get rumbled propa….
There’s a bit of positive then🤞

LIMERICK AL
LIMERICK AL
4 months ago

The Super Bowl had a reprieve, regarding Social Distancing, it appears. 🤔🐑🤔🐑

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago
Reply to  LIMERICK AL

Florida and other states have allowed certain number of fans for a while. Is convenient the Superbowl happened to be in one of em??🤔

CM*
CM*
4 months ago
Reply to  LIMERICK AL

All the spectators in the stadium at the superbowl were first responders (firemen, emergency services personnel, nurses, etc…) who were vaccinated in Phase 1 of the vaccine roll out in the United States. They were all given free tickets to attend in person and even though everyone was vaccinated, they still had distanced seating in the stadium, with attendees sitting in clusters of 4-6 and then empty seats around them. Just FYI.

DannyG
DannyG
4 months ago

The debt is eye watering and the pandemic has screwed us over big time. There’s no getting around it. The sooner we get the events on and the fans back the better, but it looks like an entire season without them.

I always thought of the club debt like a mortgage. If i think about the amount I owe, I would give myself anxiety problems. But the debt translates into what I owe every month and that is easier to understand. So for the £600m or so long term debt, we have a yearly cost of £35-40m associated with it. That for me is acceptable, given how much the stadium was set to boost rev each year.

The worrying debts are outside of this £600m.
The £175m back to the govt
The £140m transfer debt
The £96m tax debt
The £102m debt to creditors

It’s true we don’t know the nature of the repayment plans for a lot of these and it stands to reason clubs will allow a period of grace for each other when paying back transfer debts during the pandemic affected times. Even so it’s impossible to imagine a scenario where we can service this debt in “a sustainable way”. The only real way out here is for Joe to put his hand in his pocket to cover the shortfall. He hasn’t done it before but he may be forced to now.

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

Done up like a kipper. Lockdowns aren’t ending and the kind of commercial gathering the spaceship requires to ply a bustling trade ain’t happening again. Ever. (Sorry they’ve already stated vax isn’t going to mean normality so anyone entering into the life held hostage for vax exchange is going to be annoyed)
ENIC, Lewis and Levy won’t suffer….just THFC. Whatever Lewis got into this for does not involve a thriving football team.

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

Again, anyone who believes Levy has brought on the pitch progress do the simple ENIC 20 years vs previous 20 years test for trophy’s and top 4 finishes.

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

What that monstrosity on the High Rd will end up as I don’t know. The world is being changed, I talked about the superbowl, it was so obviously fixed that it looks like they don’t care anymore, it seems they want people to know and hate what they loved previously. Same in football, no fans, VAR, it’s being ruined. That Superbowl was an exercise in demoralization…this whole year has been. Brady representing the elite wins again and there’s nothing you can do about it. They are making us hate what we loved so we give it up easier.

Tappaspur
Tappaspur
4 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

I’ve been called in for mine. I’m 56. I think they think the “nut nuts” are going around snogging people 😂

Tappaspur
Tappaspur
4 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

Please don’t tell my lady🌚

CM*
CM*
4 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

yes but the new mRNA technology delivery mechanism being used by Pfizer and Moderna means, you can can recode the vaccines each year based on the dominant variant of COVID at the time, which is easily identified and genomically decoded. My guess is you will have an annual COVID vaccine (much like the flu vaccine) which will be different from year-to-year.

CM*
CM*
4 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

It’s how the new messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine platforms work. You can read up on it. I am just stating the facts. Anyhoo, this is not about COVID, it’s about Spurs’ mountain of debt that Levy/ENIC have drowned the club in.

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago
Reply to  CM*

A nice little earner they’ve all got shares in….probably twice a year. All for the anomoly that is ‘Covid’

Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
4 months ago

Isn’t it odd? Everything questioning vax or lockdowns and the down votes appear?? Do people think these things are all good?? Not the ones in real life. Funny that…

Last edited 4 months ago by Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack?
Rix
Rix
4 months ago

Does that cash also include the £175m gov backed loan? A short term debt that needs to be repaid shortly!

eddie
eddie
4 months ago

It will be interesting to see where the ar*esit in the final table.Although they won a couple of pots Wenger’s mantra was always to qulify for the CL because that’s where the owners saw the most financial reward.
ENIC have taken that route and by limiting the squad investment we can measure our success by the empty trphy cabinet.As stated below ENIC are going nowhere soon,although one solution is to sack Levy and get in a CEO who knows something about football.

Spursnutd
Spursnutd
4 months ago

The thing is if the fans return sorry when the fans return enic has half of what they need. The other half comes in the form of top four finish and good runs in the CL. At no point does enic require the team to win anything. Truth be told to win the league and the CL takes investment and the difference between investment and the final winnings as opposed to top four finish is a lot. So as long as we keep finishing top four enic will be happy they don’t really want to win anything if they have to invest 200 million to win 100 million does not make sense. Sadly for us fans.

Spursnutd
Spursnutd
4 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

The reason Jose was brought in a man who is focused on winning. Enic will not be worried about a domestic cup as long as you say it does not happen at the expense of CL place. Jose job above all like all before him top four. That along with the fans pays the bills and allows for minimal investment in players. Ever wonder why we are always three or four players away from being a city or Liverpool there is the reason the cost does not justify it. Jose will be given time because they know with Harry and sonny fit we can and should get either top four or god help us win the europa Thursday cup which Jose has already done. The fog clears.

Sandro
Sandro
4 months ago

Is there a balance sheet available? If so, what does it say?

Rix
Rix
4 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

Check companies house

Pablito
Pablito
4 months ago

Yep. That level of debt means we’ll be saddled with ENIC for the foreseeable future. Unlikely to be any buyers out there willing to pay the numbers ENIC will want to ride off into the distance when there is that much debt to service and deal with. The conundrum is that more on-pitch success (titles, CL qualification etc.) will help reduce the debt faster but it takes investment and costs money to really challenge and win things. The past 20 years show where ENIC’s priorities lie.