Daniel Levy is on a media tour. Two days after his appearance answering questions at a moderated fan forum, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman conducted an interview with Bloomberg where he touched on many of the hot button business-related issues currently connected to the club. Notably, he expressed a willingness to consider selling part of ENIC’s 87% stake in the club to outside investors, and suggested that Spurs might not get a naming rights deal for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after all.
Levy confirmed that ENIC has had offers to purchase the club — or a stake in it — from several parts of the world over the past number of years. He also stated that he would consider all serious offers even as he reiterated his desire to stay as chairman of the football club he’s run for the past 20 years.
“I’ve got no real interest to leave Tottenham, but I have a duty to consider anything that anyone may want to propose. It’s not about me, it’s about what’s right for the club.
“[That said] nothing has been put on our table that we felt has been in the interests of shareholders.
“We run this club as if it’s a public company. If anyone wants to make a serious proposition to the board of Tottenham we would consider it, along with our advisers, and if we felt it was in the interests of the club we would be open to anything.”
This mirrors the sentiment that he expressed in Tuesday night’s fan forum in front of Tottenham supporters where he told the crowd that every decision he makes is made because he thinks it’s in the best interest of the club. His response on Tuesday was specifically about Tottenham’s agreement to join the cohort of clubs that attempted to break away to form the now-aborted European Super League a few years ago, but there’s an analogous sentiment here as well — nobody is above the club’s best interests, not even Daniel Levy.
The comments come shortly after news broke that Tottenham’s owner, Joe Lewis, was indicted on insider trading charges by the United States Southern District of New York. Before the charges were filed, Lewis had transferred controlling interest in ENIC, the company that owns majority shares in Tottenham Hotspur, to a trust in his family’s name and divested himself from all control in that trust, effectively shielding the club from any financial ramifications should he be fined or convicted. Tottenham are not expected to be affected by Lewis’ legal troubles, though the club has distanced itself from him.
In addition, Levy noted that the Tottenham had had offers in recent years from, according to Bloomberg, “the Far East, Middle East and the US” and the article specifically noted the interest from Qatar Sports Investment earlier in 2023, though reported talks eventually came to nothing.
Levy also hinted that Spurs are no longer feeling inordinate pressure to find a naming rights partner for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Levy was asked about the stadium in both the Bloomberg interview and the fan forum, and the answers were consistent — any deal has to be the right one, it won’t be a betting company, and not naming the stadium would have the effect of increasing the visibility of Spurs’ brand globally.
“If we get the right naming rights partner — and when I say that, I mean somebody who pays the right money in the right sector — then we are willing to consider doing it. But we’re not as tied to doing it now as perhaps we would’ve been when we first looked at building the stadium.”
This being Bloomberg, the interview has a lot more to do with the business side of operations and less with the football. However, Levy was (again) asked about Harry Kane and whether there’s any possibility that he could return to the club after Kane’s high profile sale to Bayern Munich this summer. Levy reiterated that the club would have an option to purchase Kane should he opt to return to the Premier League, but stopped short of saying they would actually attempt to do so.
“If Harry, one day, wants to come back to the Premier League and he wants to come to Tottenham, we would have the ability to repurchase him. Harry was a great servant to the club, an amazing player, someone that came from our academy, but you can’t look into the future. Who knows.”