Since the end of the 2009-2010 season Tottenham Hotspur have spent £18.5 million pounds (plus clauses) on transfers. That accounts for the additions of Sandro, Rafael Van der Vaart, Steven Pienaar, Bongani Khumalo, William Gallas, and Brad Friedel. Four clubs in the English Premier League spent more than that in the January Window of 2011.
According to the BBC, English clubs spent £350 million during last year's summer window, which was down from £450 million the prior year. Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City have all made huge purchases in recent windows and yet the largest transfer fee Spurs have paid remains the £16.5 million the club paid for Darren Bent back in 2007.
Tottenham Hotspur and chairman Daniel Levy seem to be known for their tight control of wages, something which doesn't bother me in the least, but with the influx of money from the recent Champions League campaign combined with our low wages, shouldn't the coffers be full for some big money moves? Many will say that Spurs lack money because they don't play in a big stadium (10th largest in the league for the 2011-2012 season) and while that may be a hindrance it certainly doesn't tell the whole story.
Certainly there are a combination of factors that are contributing to Tottenham's inability to acquire the type of player the team needs. First there is the lack of Champions League Football. Not much can be done about this, save for lament the fact we failed to capitalize by signing the players we need last year. Man City overcame their lack of Champions League football by offering absolutely stupid wages. I certainly don't want Spurs to do that because it would run the club into financial ruin.
The second thing that's preventing Spurs from getting the players they need is that the Club refuses to embrace the idea that you have to pay a premium price to acquire premium talent. Even though Harry denies that he is a "wheeler-dealer" his, and by extension the Club's, search for bargains isn't getting the club anywhere closer to achieving its goals. If the price for Guiseppe Rossi, Fernando Llorente, or any other quality player is £30 million or more then pay it and get that player in a Spurs shirt!
The third and final thing holding Tottenham back in the transfer market seems to be the conflict of interests between Daniel Levy and Harry Redknapp. Let's remove any personal feelings we might have about either of them and just say, that when it comes to the transfer market it seems that the two fundamentally disagree on who to buy. Look at the players that Harry has bought or said he wants: William Gallas, Phil Neville, David Beckham, Diego Forlan, and Sylvain Distin. Now look at the Daniel Levy has bought or wants: Sandro, Van der Vaart, Rossi, Leandro, and Mirko Vucinic, Does there seem like a difference between those two lists? The two most important people at the Club have completely different visions for the club and these seems to be preventing Spurs from doing anything.
Fans are clamoring for a big signing. One that, it seems, will never come. Why is that? Tottenham Hotspur and its fans believe that Spurs is a big club. We've played in the Champions League now, so we must be. Blackburn Rovers once played in the Champions League, are they a big club? We all have delusions of grandeur, which may never be realized. The league used to be dominated by the big four, now it's the big six (or whatever stupid moniker the TV pundits are using now), which Tottenham are, if only nominally, a part of. In truth the league is probably only a big two. In any given year only two clubs are really capable of challenging for the title. Liverpool haven't won the league since 1990, Manchester City are still relative babes and Arsenal just don't win trophies. Spurs aren't and should be mentioned with those clubs, they're on another level.
Perhaps that's really the problem. Our big club delusions are distracting us from the fact that we're shouldn't be attracting player of the quality we want. Don't get me wrong, I want very badly for Tottenham to be a big club and to consistently feature in the Champions League, but I doubt we'll be seeing that anytime soon. Because we're only a few big purchases away and the club either cannot or will not pull the trigger. I hope I'm wrong. I hope by the end of this window we've signed Rossi, Llorente, Marek Hamsik, Juan Mata, and Hugo Lloris. But we all know, that in all likelihood, I'm not wrong and we won't sign any of those players or anyone even close to their quality.
When it comes down to it Tottenham Hotspur just don't have any idea what they're doing. We're like that drunk guy at the bar when last call comes around, walking up to every marginally attractive woman in the place in hopes that they will go home with us. Sure some of them look attractive and maybe you even have fun for a night, but in the end you wake up, roll over, and are staring straight into the face of Hossam Ghaly.