I have long noted that Daniel Levy’s performance as a businessman is pretty top-notch and as a businessman, he is indeed doing a good job. However, as a Football Club chairman, I don’t think so.
He might be able to barbecue a decent burger or paint his bathroom to a seriously good standard, but that is not what we are looking at when we say the Chairman/Board are doing a good job – what we are concerned about is that he is doing a good job as a football club chairman.
To illustrate with a metaphor, he’s like a restaurant owner whose bought into a premise at the top end of town, the furniture, décor, menus, wait staff are all great – you can even buy merchandise to show you are a patron of this uptown establishment. However, the more of a patron you are the more you see what goes on in the kitchen and the less satisfied with the dining experience you become.
This restaurant, let call it THFC, has turned over so many chefs its embarrassing and a major part of the problem is that the chef is asked to meet cordon bleu standards but the meat and fish and vegetables are always bought on the cheap. Supplies are quick sale items or just about to pass their use-by date, fruit with blemishes, fish with cloudy eyes, and meat with too much of a sheen.
Add to this that on occasions no new fresh food is bought and the chef has to labour on with yesterdays or last week’s leftovers, which have to be used first.
Luckily the Restaurateur has a very loyal clientele: not to him but to the THFC brand. The eating experience deteriorates and eventually, the regulars grumble loudly so the restaurateur sacks the chef as if it was the chef to blame – not his skinflint penny-pinching attitude.
Is he a good businessman? He minimizes outgoing and keeps the prices on the menu high and is profitable, cleverly managing the overheads including the cost of the premises….so Yes.
Is he a good restaurateur? He has all the trimmings, but a restaurant is about the food and chefs can only do so much to present poor food as gourmet…. So No.
The fact that his benefactor is a lesser multi-billionaire means what? Lewis can’t be that far from a trip to the celestial plane and he can’t take it with him. However, there are seldom calls for Lewis to dip into his own trousers, just be prepared to underwrite what should be/should have been, predominantly good pieces of business providing our current and last manager with the people (fresh produce) they need to meet their objectives.
Levy has been serially at fault – what other common denominator can you suggest for so much failure. We change the managers, we (too infrequently) change the players, we change the scouts, we change the ground, we change the training facilities – but we don’t change the chairman –anyone else seeing a pattern emerge here?
As noted at the start, Levy has set the business side of the club up very well – I am not worried about the debt; it is a structured debt on a capital overhead, well within our reach to service and tax-deductible methinks. But he has not extended that business verve to the pitch.
No matter how close we get, we end up having failed and many think myself included, that this is due to Levy’s parsimony and inability to prioritise the ends over the means – haggling for better prices over 2 months trumps getting what we want and need to succeed.
Levy is doing a good job? Yes in some spheres but NO not in a football club.