Home » Chelsea’s sale will only further seal our fate, at ENIC’s hands [opinion]
Chelsea’s sale will only further seal our fate, at ENIC’s hands [opinion]
By Jack Adams -

Being an English football fan in Tokyo is difficult. Take yesterday for example. That is yesterday for where you are as I write, but today, Sunday 5 am when I woke to listen on internet radio as Spurs flushed the toilet at Old Trafford.

I slipped off of the futon and sneaked into my office and switched on my computer and sat, alone in the dark, and listened to the gurgling down the pan. Like a true fan, I didn’t leave until the final whistle.

What did I learn? Absolutely nothing. Was I surprised? Well, no, Spurs fans have a dark cloud of dread at the heart of their being.

Just what can we say after we meet the utterly predictable outcome and feel deja-vu so strongly that we don’t know if it is day or night? 7 am Sunday or 10 pm Saturday, all we know for certain is that we are one win away from someone at Spurs or in the media stating that “Tottenham are back in the race for the top four!”

Then it all begins again.

We all know the answer. We all know the cure. This is not rocket science.
Pochetino is not backed but sacked. Mourinho was sacked 7 days before a Cup Final. Espírito Santo was appointed, not backed and sacked. Now Conte is stuck in the mire which is the club management history of Spurs over the last 20 years.

When a manager of Antonio’s standard is struggling to change the energy at Spurs it just says everything you need to know about how the fabric of our club has been stained with the brown stuff.

We have said it all before. Harry has been banging the drum since he left the womb! (rumour has it that the midwife dragged him out by his beard). Until ENIC sells the club this is our destiny and it will not change. Do we see any hope that the family will sell up, stash the cash and disappear from English football forever?

Actually, talking from the bottom of the pan, this Chelsea thing, the Roman Abramovitch censuring and the potential sale of the club, does not actually help us that much. Todd Boehly is in there trying to acquire the blues and he was a potential owner for us. Allegedly, he did approach Daniel about 6 years ago over the possibility of buying Spurs but got blanked. Blanked in such a way that he lost all interest in us.

The American with his Swiss consortium partner is not the only one in the Chelsea washroom. There are others. Top-flight English Premier League clubs do not come to market that often and remain an attractive purchase for the right people. Todd Boehly is precisely the right person, just as the Candy brothers are property speculators. Enough said.

Our interest is whether, once the fight is over, once Chelsea is sold, will there be an appetite to look at Spurs in order to satisfy the losers’ desires to own a club?

The other big question will be about the pricing of the Chelsea sale. There is some speculation about the sale price being forced low because of circumstances. Others point out that as the monies from the sale are supposedly going to help the people suffering in the Ukraine war, there is a brand interest in not forcing the price down too much.

All that we can say for certain is that as the government is involved in the sale, together with the Premier League, it will inevitably be a pig’s ear of a process.

Yet the price matters to us because it will matter to Uncle Joe and Danny. If Chelsea goes for £3 billion, then ENIC will be upping their valuation of Spurs. No, don’t talk economic theory here, put away your Financial Times thinking, the family will re-value Spurs based on any good deal for Chelsea.

The problem with a price hike will be that potential buyers who are of interest to us, the fans, will be put off making a bid. These potential owners, people of the calibre of Boehly are primarily after a football club rather than a media/property company portfolio. The possible new owners that will be interested will be those who can see the value of a media/property company portfolio in which a football club is submerged. In this scenario, we end up with another ENIC.

As the match at Old Trafford swirled its way into the sewer of ENIC history, it was not just our top four hopes that were flushed away. In proving that we are not serious title contenders, in demonstrating our lack of a killer touch when in sight of the prize, in anchoring ourselves into Europa Conference status, the attractiveness of our football club is diminished in comparison to our property and media value. Thus we find the compass of our market appeal shifting towards owners less interested in football.

What slipped down the pan at Old Trafford was much more than a football match. In our hearts, we all know it. We have been living this nightmare for countless seasons. We can’t stop it because those in control aren’t interested in anything other than the sale value. And when they do sell out, they will sell to the highest bidder, regardless of any other consideration. They will sell us out as certainly as they have been selling us out all along.

After a Ronaldo hat-trick this is what it feels like to be a Spurs fan in Tokyo. Maybe by the time you all wake up, I will have recovered my spirit. At least I don’t have a night of bad dreams in front of me.

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James McKevitt.
James McKevitt.
2 months ago

I take your point Jack coming from the very much glass half empty view of most disallusioned Spurs fans.

There is a counter argument that what has happened to Chelsea is actually good news for the Premier League clubs that do not have foreign financial backing.

There is an article in this weeks Spectator magazine that suggests that the sale of Chelsea is the beginning of the end for foreign ownership in the Premier League.

The writer makes the point that all investors want to know that their money and assets are safe and protected by law. If a government can step in seize your football club force the sale all without any compensation for the owner then investors will no longer see the Premier League as a safe place for their funds.

In case you were thinking he was only talking about Russian and Middle Eastern oil and gas investors he included United States investors as taking fright and exiting The Premier League.

I could post the link to the article but the Spectator has a paywall but sometimes they will let you read an article for free if you give your email address. Worth a try anyway.

Jack
Jack
2 months ago

Good points made James and quoting from The Spectator, the oldest weekly magazine in the world, is a good call. No matter the credentials of this venerable organ, I disagree with their assessment that this marks the end of foreign ownership of football clubs in the UK.

Obviously we need opinions to be varied and contention drives the diversity of ideas we need to keep thinking vibrant but saying that the stamping on Russian Oligarchs will dissuade U.S. investors in particular seems to me to be poorly thought out. Billion dollar business ventures do not become less attractive because the UK government responds to the situation in the Ukraine.

As we know at Spurs, the bottom line is what really focuses the mind of investors. And in the UK, with off-shore tax havens and a laxity of independent examination or enforcement by the League, the fat geese of the Premier league still remain juicy.

Personally, I do not see Liverpool losing John Henry or man Utd losing the Glaziers or even Aston Villa being put up for sale any time soon. What we have to remember is that the UK is a client state of the United States and that protection alone makes U.S. investors feel safe.

Jack
Jack
2 months ago

Just to back up my point James, The Guardian are today reporting that up to 200 groups are interested in bidding for Chelsea

Lilywhite without the II
Lilywhite without the II
2 months ago

I can’t see ENIC ever selling Spurs as they will never get enough money in one hit unless there’s conditions of sale…and then what’s the point having Levy still in charge, or renting back the stadium for example if that’s excluded from the deal….Spurs are getting such a bad reputation now of losers, bottlers, it can’t do our hopes of sponsorship much good..

We are clearly not a globe community – maybe its time to realise this and have an economic separation system in place….

at large
at large
2 months ago

We are entering or have already entered a new world of de-globalisation that ultimately will have profound effects on all assets snd transactions. If Levy had any brains he’d sell now but…

Jack
Jack
2 months ago
Reply to  at large

Not sure I can agree with the de-globalisation model. The era we are entering is that of China supplanting the U.S. as the single dominant super power. The main issue with that scenario is that there has never been a moment in human history when a overwhelmingly dominant power has been supplanted without wide scale warfare and gross human suffering.

I think, with all due respect, your comment fails more crucially with the idea that Danny will at any time have brains!

Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
2 months ago

The time will come. Mr Lewis and Levy can’t go on forever.. Worst case scenario is Levy hands over control to his son, who’s hair suddenly all falls out Dr Evil style and we suffer another 25 plus years in similar hands..

Jack
Jack
2 months ago

It is a family wealth fund and keeping it in the family is what it is all about.

England Mike
England Mike
2 months ago

Should a Saudi based offer come in for the chavs I wonder how the FA and government will view that considering news of a mass execution carried out there.
Fit and proper persons, that boat was sunk a long time ago.

Eddie
Eddie
2 months ago
Reply to  England Mike

Not only that but yesterday set a new record for the number of people executed in one day,81I believe.Why aren’t the Saudi owners of Newcastle being sanctioned?

England Mike
England Mike
2 months ago
Reply to  Eddie

Football clubs, major utilities companies and even governments surviving through foreign ownerships and investments.

Jack
Jack
2 months ago
Reply to  England Mike

Spot on. It’s not just our football that has been sold out. We have absolutely no board control over a range of strategic assets and social necessities. The UK is being farmed and citizens are not considered as anything more than human capital stock. Try phoning a customer help line for a bank, utility, phone company etc and see how you are treated.

Tony Borg
Tony Borg
2 months ago

Can’t agree with you more, it’s been happening for years but there is a hard core of fickle Spurs fans that believe Levy is doing a fantastic job for the club, when in fact he’s doing a fantastic job for his and Joe Lewis’ pockets. The fans need to wake up and start calling for both of them to sell now and do us all a massive favour. We will never win anything while those two parasites run the club.
Levy, Lewis and ENIC OUT!!

Jack
Jack
2 months ago
Reply to  Tony Borg

Levy is doing and has done a fantastic job, nobody can doubt that. This is the core of the problem. People get confused. They think that because he has been a genius at filling the chests of the family wealth fund that somehow that makes his work at Spurs ‘fantastic’. They believe that being a successful pirate is somehow, god knows how, a laudable quality when you are running a football club. He has been hopeless at running Spurs as a football club but that was never the job he was doing.

Marbella Spur
Marbella Spur
2 months ago

It’s continuous Groundhog Day at Spurs. I cannot see anybody paying £3 billion for Chelsea. They owe Abramovich £1.5 billion and need to expand their stadium although there is a rumour that a Saudi group are circling. There was an air of inevitability about yesterday’s result for me. It seems we are stuck with Levy until he achieves the price he wants and he is impossible to negotiate with as we have seen in the transfer market. I watch all the games with a very detached and cynical air these days as I feel the club has been hijacked by carpetbaggers with little or no interest in football. Sadly, I feel the chances of this changing are extremely remote.

Urbane Sturgeon
Urbane Sturgeon
2 months ago
Reply to  Marbella Spur

Chelsea owe Roman nothing, he wrote the debt off years ago, they’ve essentially been a charity all along. What financial fair play?

Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
Steve 'Killer Cushion' Williams
2 months ago

Chelsea did actually owe Roman a staggering 1.5 billion.. Which he wrote off only days ago as a gesture of goodwill.. He probably owned half of LondonGrad too.

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