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Friday Hoddle of Coffee, This Is Fine Dot Jpg, August 11, 2017

It turns out that having four former Player of the Year nominees making less than Marko Arnautovic is bad.

Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

My (brief) take on Danny Rose Saga Day 2: Without knowing firm details about Tottenham’s financial picture, it’s hard not to sympathize with the players on this. Oliver Kay explains it well here:

Harry Kane, Tottenham’s highest earner, is on £100,000 a week — mind-boggling to most of us, but the type of sum that the elite performers in the Premier League were commanding more than a decade ago, when, for example, Manchester United’s annual turnover was £143 million rather than £560 million. Tottenham’s turnover, in the financial year ending June 30, 2016, was £209.8 million and is only going upwards. Nobody, not even the players or their agents, expects Tottenham to match the wages on offer at United, Chelsea or Manchester City, but it comes to something when Kane and Dele Alli are earning less than fringe players at Liverpool and Arsenal, and when Rose can look with envy at some of the sums paid at a club such as Watford.


The stadium move is likely to bring tighter constraints, in the short term, than is often recognised, but Tottenham’s finances are booming like never before. Between 2012-13 and 2015-16 the club’s annual turnover rose from £147 million to £210 million, but their wage bill only from £96 million to £100 million. Even before they get to the new stadium, with its vastly increased revenue streams, they are preparing for a second successive season of Champions League football and their commercial income is booming. Their latest shirt sponsorship deal with AIA, the Chinese life insurance group, is worth £35 million a season.

The article goes on to show wage bill data from the 2015-16 season which really says it all:

  • Manchester United £241m
  • Chelsea £232m
  • Liverpool £209m
  • Manchester City £198m
  • Arsenal £195m
  • Tottenham £105m
  • Everton £95m
  • Aston Villa £93m
  • Southampton £85m
  • West Ham £85m
  • League average £114m

Granted, that league average figure is getting blown up by five huge spenders. Even so: it’s striking that Tottenham’s wage bill is far, far closer to that of clubs like West Ham and Southampton than Arsenal’s.

To be sure, we’re operating under significant financial constraints: No one is claiming we should pay what City or Chelsea pay. We can’t. But between the club’s growth in recent years, larger TV deals, and Champions League football... you would think the club would have the funds to bump a handful of players up onto wages that are at least closer to what they would earn at England’s largest clubs. Again, I don’t have specific knowledge of our finances so maybe that is wrong, but the picture Kay paints is pretty damning in my opinion.