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REPORT: Kane transfer fee €95m + two Spurs-Bayern friendlies

New details have emerged on the some of the creative accounting present in the Kane to Bayern deal.

RB Leipzig v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Maja Hitij/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Hey remember that Harry Kane fella who used to play for us? I wonder whatever happened to him? He scored a bunch of goals for us for a while and is now kicking around somewhere in Bavaria last told, IDK, whatever.

Anyway, some new details have emerged on the deal that sent Kane from Tottenham Hotspur to Bayern Munich, which at the time was reported as €100m. It turns out, in typical Daniel Levy fashion, there was some “creative accounting” happening behind the scenes such that €100m is not actually €100m... and it could even be a bit more.

As reported by Maxmilian Koch in Abendzeitung, the purchase price was actually €95m, but it also includes two future preseason friendlies between Spurs and Bayern, with 100% of the proceeds from both going straight to Spurs.

Here’s the relevant passage, run through the Google Translate machine.

As Abendzeitung has learned, various additional agreements are said to have been made in the negotiations between Kane’s ex-club Tottenham Hotspur, so that the fixed transfer fee for the English was ultimately less than 100 million euros.

“We only spent €95 million,” said Honorary President and Supervisory Board Uli Hoeneß (71). In return, however, two friendly games were agreed with Tottenham - as additional transfer games for Kane. The income should go completely to the Spurs. How and when the games should take place is still open.

So that’s potentially a pretty good deal for Spurs. Tottenham reportedly make an average of just under £3m per home match, which as of 2022 was the fourth highest in the league. Those are league ticket prices, and you’d think that a preseason friendly would likely have slightly smaller gate revenue due to reduced ticket prices, and that’s assuming that the matches would take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and not in Munich. But even taking the medium gate revenue numbers, Spurs would actually come out slightly north of €100m with the two friendlies included.

Also it kind of amuses me that these financial leaks are coming straight from the mouth of Eli Hoeneß, who got into a fair amount of trouble for saying some, uh, impolitic things while the two teams were negotiating for Kane’s sale. I swear, the more I learn about him the more Hoeneß sounds like German Harry Redknapp with no filter.

These kinds of details are pretty much just how the sausage gets made, especially when you’re talking about player sales at that financial level. But I do find it interesting, as it gives the briefest of windows into the level of detail involved in the Kane transfer. Levy basically deferred a small amount of income in the short term to make the deal more palatable to Bayern’s immediate bottom line, and inserted a structure in which Spurs are likely to come out slightly ahead in the long run. Sounds pretty Levy to me.