Why Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is football's biggest winnerby Andy Dillon / 29 March 2019, 12:30Tweet
Daniel Levy is grudgingly respected by his peers and feared around the boardroom table for his ruthless business sense.
But Tottenham’s sharp-minded chairman did not pull any strokes to clinch the best deal possible for his club and to emerge as the biggest winner from football’s recent shake up.
Confirmation of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as Manchester United manager on a three-year contract on Thursday must have come as a blessed relief.
Just as the return of Zinedine Zidane to the helm of Real Madrid some weeks back now.
For it means that both European giants now have new bosses in place which in turn ensures that Spurs’ head coach Mauricio Pochettino is going nowhere for the time being.
Throw in the long-awaited grand opening of Tottenham’s brand spanking new 62,000 seater stadium this coming week and Levy really should be on a high.
But it is the secure status now of Pochettino which can help relaunch Spurs back into the big money game of modern soccer.
The colourful Argentine had been seriously placed on the Madrid radar to head to Spain and start reviving the greatest club side in the world.
Had Los Blancos not succeeded in persuading old boy Zidane to head back to the Bernabeu Stadium and give it another go, there is no doubt they would have started trailing hooks to lure Pochettino to their warm, sunny homeland where he is fluent in the native language.
And only a few can resist the temptation to be given command of world football’s ultimate superpower. It’s unlikely Pochettino would have stood firm and said no to Madrid had the call came.
On a domestic level it’s the same with Manchester United. They remain the biggest club in the land and the biggest enigma at the moment.
A lot of work needs to be done restoring their once indefatigable team spirit and ethos. Solskjaer has done a lot in a short space of time but he is captain of a big ship that will take time to be turned around and made seaworthy for an assault on the Premier League title and winning the Champions League.
But Levy down in North London gets to keep his man and what will please him most is that he hasn’t had to shell out an extra penny on a new contract to keep Pochettino at his heel.
The business for Tottenham now is to start investing where they didn’t last summer in order to get the hugely inflated bill for their £1 billion, late arriving stadium finally fit for purpose.
Pochettino says all the right things about transfers and constructing a team to contest major honours.
That is taking even longer than it did to fix the dodgy electrical wiring at the new ground and replacing the plastic seats that changed colour in the sun.
Now that a safety certificate has at last been issued by Haringey Council and Tottenham can move in, Levy must start ploughing money into building more layers upon the foundations of a great team.
As well know, football’s merry-go-round spins ever faster these days and Solskjaer and Zidane filling the vacancies that could have gone to Pochettino, will only buy Levy some time to keep his manager and the fans paying £98 a ticket happy.