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ENIC reportedly considering investment in Standard Liege

Tottenham’s owners are looking into a strategic partnership with the Belgian club.

Royal Standard de Liege v Sint-Truidense V.V. - Jupiler Pro League Photo by Perry of de Leuvert/BSR Agency/Getty Images

There’s some interesting Spurs-adjacent news that emerged in recent days that links Tottenham Hotspur owners ENIC with an investment in broader European continental football. According to Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad in an article released last week, ENIC are in negotiations to potentially purchase a significant share of Belgian club Standard Liege.

Standard’s current owner Bruno Venanzi is looking to sell about 50% of his shares, and ENIC (which owns 80% of Tottenham Hotspur) are looking like the most serious of the various options. It was stated that the owners of Arsenal and Leeds are also interested, as well as “an Italian option.”

A partnership here might actually be a really smart move for ENIC (and by extension, Tottenham). Standard Liege is a big name in Belgian football, but in practice it’s almost a perfect club for Spurs to send promising young players on loan to get first team experience. You might recall that Chelsea has historically had a similar partnership with Vitesse that paid a lot of dividends for their army of youth players. Standard Liege could fill a similar role for Spurs — a partner club that plays in a pretty decent league that would be ready to accept promising Spurs players and help them improve.

At present, Tottenham is the only football-related investment for ENIC, but in the past the company has owned part or controlling shares of Rangers, Slavia Prague, AEK Athens, Vincenzia, and Basel.

Other more spurious publications which I won’t link to here have included the name of superagent Pini Zahavi as a major part of the negotiations between ENIC and Standard. Het Nieuwsblad makes it clear that this is nowhere near complete, but there are reasons to think this might be a pretty good opportunity should it go through.