Tottenham is already going to be sharing a stadium with an NFL team. Now the club has suggested that they’d be willing to share a training ground, too.
In an interview with ESPN, Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has said that the club would be open to sharing its Hotspur Way training facility in Enfield with a future London-based NFL franchise, should the league decided to expand with a franchise in the UK.
"The NFL, a number of times when they've come to the UK, has used our training facility and, when a foreign organization goes to another territory, I think being in partnership with a local operator brings enormous benefits.
"I think the NFL has understood that one thing we've got is we're a well-run organization and we really believe in the word 'partnership.'
"So we've encouraged them to engage with us in a wider way, not just in relation to using our stadium once or twice or three times a season, which at the moment is the current arrangement with the NFL -- a 10-year deal with a minimum of two games per season."
Because this is Daniel Levy, you’d also expect that this expanded partnership and use of training facilities would also carry with it a sizable increase in revenue as well. After all, the club has to pay to repair the training turf torn up by professional American football players, and that new stadium isn’t going to pay for itself.
In the same interview, Levy stated that while Tottenham is likely going to be a hot target for new ownership once the new stadium opens and Spurs will consider all options, he wants to remain at Spurs for a long time.
"I've been chairman of the club for nearly 16 years, and we have maybe 30,000 small shareholders -- we used to be a public company -- and my response to that question is always the same: We have a duty when we've got 30,000 shareholders to consider any proposals that anyone wants to make the club. There's a board of transfer.
"But I've been here 16 years, and I'd very much hope to be here very much for the long term."
Only the most cynical of fans would think that the Daniel Levy and ENIC era at Tottenham Hotspur has been anything but good for the club. Since Joe Lewis and ENIC took over as primary owners from Alan Sugar in 2001, Spurs have catapulted from mid-table mediocrity to in recent years challenging for Champions League positions every season. While Levy’s hard-nosed negotiation tactics and reputation for being stingy in the transfer market has earned him his share of detractors, it’s hard to argue with the results, and the forthcoming new stadium is the cherry on the sundae.
It’s that very success that will make the club attractive to new investors, and if owner Joe Lewis (who previously valued the club at a billion pounds) can make a healthy profit then there’s a real possibility that the club will be sold. Frankly, though, I’m okay with our stone-cold vampiric Jedi master chairman sticks around for as long as (in)humanly possible.