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When Arsenal built the Ems they stayed in the top 4 to pay off the debt. How will Tottenham do?

By Tony Attwood

There has over the years been a very obvious difference of opinion about Arsenal and its stadium.   I don’t recall too much discussion about the stadium and its finances while it was being built – indeed I think most fans welcomed its arrival – especially those on the season ticket waiting list who were able to get a ticket as a result of the growth in capacity.

And certainly some of us think that building such a stadium, and retaining a place in the Champions League throughout was little short of a miracle.  Now the major part of the repayment is over, Arsenal is able to spend a lot more on players and salaries, and we have (for example) a fair number of sites saying that Arsenal are close to signing a new Ozilian arrangement.

The contrary argument is that fourth is not a trophy and the failure of the manager to win anything up to the two FA Cup triumphs is unforgivable and he should have been dismissed.  Mr Gazidis also should go because his salary is too high and he doesn’t bring in top players.

Of course one can never go back over old ground and compare things, because there never is a like for like comparison.   But it will be interesting to see how Tottenham fares in terms of its progress up the league as the heavy work starts on its stadium, and because they have a particularly prominent chief exec at the head of affairs.

The current cost estimate for the new stadium in the Tottenham High Road is around £500m for the stadium, and another £200m for the rest (Swiss Ramble is quoting up to £250m for the rest, and that may be true.  As he says, this is “double the original estimate”).

Back in April this year the Ramble reckoned Tottenham had spent £100 million and arranged £350 million of loans from three banks.  That (as even the more financially illiterate of us can see) leaves a bit of a gap.  £300m in fact.   Quite a bit really.  So that too will have to be financed from somewhere.

Off and on over the years of the debate about Tottenham’s new ground I’ve suggested that as matters progress they could suffer from Arsenal’s problem of simply not having enough money to keep up with the transfer market.   Mr Levy has said there will be money for transfers – so we shall see if his prediction comes to pass.

But the starting point looks a little difficult.  Certainly in the latest figures Tottenham only had £11m cash, compared to Man U’s £156m and Arsenal’s £228m.   Of course they could find someone to buy the whole package of club, players and stadium project, but that has to mean that the whole package is for sale.  No one has come along yet to test if that is the case.

If we look at the last set of annual returns we can see the difference between Arsenal and Tottenham.

Arsenal (£m) Tottenham (£m)
Turnover total 345 196
Income – gate 100 41
Income – broadcasting 125 91
Income – commercial etc 120 60
Wages 192 101
Profit 25 12
Debt 6 21
Interest payable 14 9

Tottenham are famous for making good money as they sell players on, but they also occasionally get caught out, as with the payment of £4.7 to a Mr Villas Boas of Portugal and the coaching team, followed by a huge payment to a Mr Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo, who had a rather long and rather useless contract that needed paying out.

Recent figures for Tottenham have been aided however by profits on the sale of unwanted property around the site including an £8.6 million profit from the sale of Brook House Primary School at 881 High Road.  I never knew primary schools were worth so much.

Of course one problem is that Tottenham’s match day income is way below Arsenal’s because Arsenal have regularly played in the Champions League while sometimes Tottenham have made appearances in the Europa, and also because the stadium is much, much smaller.

The resultant image of the club is that of one not quite in the Euro elite has meant a much lower income from broadcasting, commercial and other activities, although Tottenham’s PR operation has been extremely successful in raising their profile into that of a top four club.

According to media handouts Tottenham is estimating an additional £28 million match day income a year from the new stadium.  Some commentators have expressed surprise that this is a bit low, but much of the explanation probably comes from the loss of corporate facilities across 25% of the ground, following the forced move to a single tiered stand at one quadrant of the ground.   The club has talked up the fact that the ground is going to be 1000 capacity bigger than Arsenal, but it comes at a considerable cost.

Certainly Mr Levy is realistic about the scale of the task in front of the club.  “We know that our North London neighbours experienced delays and setbacks during the delivery of their stadium and their challenges were far less than ours with no site constraints and with significant enabling development.”

Mr Pochettino followed the party line saying, “I have read a lot about Arsène Wenger saying the toughest period for Arsenal was in the period that they built their stadium and I think the people need to know that this is a very tough period for us.”

Part of the toughness comes from the fact that Tottenham’s commercial income has been growing very slowly compared with other clubs near the top.  For example in the three years up to 2015 they grew their commercial income by £18m while Arsenal grew by £51m.   Tottenham will grow its income faster when the stadium is built of course, but even so, the momentum that Arsenal and others have got, is going to be hard to reach – not least when much of the income from the stadium sponsorship deals will be front loaded (as Arsenal’s was) and ear marked for immediate debt payments.

Likewise Tottenham have a history of securing lower amounts of income on sponsorship deals than other clubs near the top, and their current deal which runs until 2020 brings in just over half per season of Arsenal’s current deal (£16m to £30m).  The higher profile of the new stadium will help, as all eyes will be on the new ground as they have been at the Tax Payers’ Stadium over to the east.

Management of the move is far more important than saving a few thousand quid, (as State Aid United have learned far too late in the day), and certainly the bad publicity surrounding the Tax Payers’ Stadium has not endeared some top sponsors to venture too close.  The failure of State Aid to get a stadium sponsor has not gone unnoticed.  Nor have the comments by Ms Brady that “The move has been a complete success on every level … Be in no doubt, we are part of the most successful stadium migration in history,”  I suspect Tottenham will have a much greater grip on the notion of PR than Ms Brady and her chums.

As for the kit suppliers – Tottenham’s arrangements bring in a third of the money Arsenal make.  Again it will go up with a higher profile, but it will only go up significantly, in my estimation, if Tottenham can achieve the much derided “non-trophy” fourth place or above on a very regular basis.  Which means making sure that at least two of Man C., Man U., Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea don’t.

Of course Tottenham do believe that in Mr Levy they have the best man for the job in all this, and to mark that, they pay him £2.61m a year (compared to the £2.29m a year Mr Gazidis gets at Arsenal).  He will certainly need to deliver to show that he is worth it.

And there is the pressure of players wanting more salaries.  As I noted at the start the word around is that Arsenal have reached an agreement with Mesut Ozil over a new contract.  But the cost is huge.  That issue again could raise problems for Tottenham, and I’ll return to this anon.

Tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Ten transfer stories that are making the news as the new window approaches

It’s not just the transfers that transform a team, it’s the tactics too.

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #10 complete with video evidence

Why Linekar and Collymore should be applauded for their stands against the media

Arsenal Ladies – Reflections on the season

Stadium reforms: away fan positioning to change and safe standing proposed

Referees – First quarter Report. This isn’t healthy.

10 reasons why England fail and will always fail in international football

23 comments to When Arsenal built the Ems they stayed in the top 4 to pay off the debt. How will Tottenham do?

  • Chris

    Tony,

    with all due respect, something is not clear with your figures.

    Even if interest rates are sky high in a day and age where negative interest is the new normal, I can’t figure out how Arsenal can pay 14 millions on a debt of 6 millions and Tottenham 9 millions on a debt of 21 millions ? Some decimal point or zero seems to be missing there ?

    Which gets me to another point that is not mentionned. I’d expect Arsenal to have had to pay much much more in terms on interests on its debit than all other clubs rebuilding now, while receiving much much less in terms of TV revenue. Which makes that AW did even more ‘incroyable’ as we say in french.

  • deejay1952

    I think we should buy up the spuds and close them down once and for all. Convert White hart lane to a series of high rise low cost 21st century slums that suit the area

  • James

    Our stadium is already paid off over the last 8 years we haven’t spent a penny on players, our net spend from selling/buying players is literally 0 plus levy has already said we don’t need champions league money to pay for the stadium. Do your homework over the last 8 years we have spent (due to receiving) nothing. Levy is a very astute businessman plus with the naming rights and NFL will generate extra money

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    New Stadia are being built, acquired, while some of the ones in-used are being reshape, modified, refurbished and increased in sitting capacity by the PL clubs from time to time.

    In the light of this order, it will be pertinent if in the near foreseeable future Arsenal embarked on increasing their Emirates Stadium sitting capacity to say, 65k-68k. So that some of the thousands of Arsenal fans who have been on the qeeu of the awaiting season ticket can have their tickets.

    It won’t be good to see if as a result of the Totts become successful at building their new Stadium, then Arsenal will fall behind in London in Stadium capacity and modernity.

    Arsenal SHOULD not allow Tottenham Hotspur to surpassed us in any aspect of the game and Stadium upgrade. Arsenal SHOULD as a matter of expediency put a comprehensive plan in place in near foreseeable future to expand the sitting capacity of the Ems to accommodate more Arsenal fans and also upgrade the roofing of the Ems to become a re-tractable roofing one.

    It will be good news for us if Ozil have agreed to extend his contract at Arsenal by another 5 years so that he can retire from top flight football at Arsenal, but if @Gordon will permit me to use the word ‘us’.

    But what about our workaholic Sanchez? Has he followed the exemplary action taken by Ozil to extend his staying at Arsenal too by another 5 years which will keep him and Ozil with us for the next 7 years. Wow!

    Talking of world class, all the Gunners in our current 25 man squad are world class players as they can all play in any of the top 6 traditional PL clubsides including Arsenal. Otherwise Le Prof wouldn’t have listed them in his 25 man squad which he submitted to the FA. But @Gord, some world class are more world class than other. Thus, Ozil & Sanchez are in the category of this more world class. No disrespect to the rest of the Gunners especially Cech, Koscielny, walcott, Giroud and Santi Cazorla in this regard.

  • Robert

    Chris, I suspect that figure of 6m represents net debt (gross debt less cash) – so gross debt is 234m and will be paid off mortgage-style in around 20 years.

  • Ed

    You can see Tottenham’s plans if you are interested! They are incredible and the stadium will knock the spots of any stadium in the world as you would expect as it’s brand new and costing so much. There is room for up to 9000 corporates – not sure what to make of this – and plans for safe standing. Tottenham committed to building the best training ground and stadium and are delivering. They are fairly close on the pitch and it will be interesting to see whether the stadium affects that as the funding is being underwritten by the owner. I suspect that this is eventually going to lead to the sale so that ENIC can make their profit. Tottenham are/were 20 years behind Arsenal but you only need to see the 2 training grounds and 2 stadiums to know that they will be ahead on facilities. What will be harder will be to grow the club to produce the level of income Arsenal command. This could be done ‘overnight’ if they sell (just look at how much income Man City now produce). Many younger/newer Arsenal fans believe that Arsenal have always been ‘bigger’ than Tottenham. Many of us remember when that wasn’t the case. I think they will slowly catch up unless Arsenal sell to an Abramovich. Now who might buy Arsenal?

  • insideright

    Robert/Chris
    The net debt is indeed £6m and the net interest payable is £14m on £234m. However that gross debt repayment period is now down to 12 years (it completes in 2028) and, by putting aside one pound in reserve for every one pound paid on the mortgage, the Club have now reached the point of being able to meet all future debt repayments from existing reserves.
    This, in theory at least, frees up all future revenues from whatever source to strengthen the Club both on and off the pitch. Hence we’ve started to pay much bigger transfer fees much more regularly; much higher salaries much more readily and, at the same time, invested significant sums in upgrading the academy, ladies team facilities and first team training ground.
    The freezing of ticket prices for two more years and the subsidies given to away supporters just show what Arsenal can now do which Spurs can’t and will be even less able to do for a significant period of time.
    Spurs have said through their manager that they are entering the riskiest period in their history. It could go either way for them but history tells us that it’s more likely to end in tears – and not joyous ones!

  • Ed – certainly the Swiss Ramble site does contain quite a bit about the possibility of selling Tottenham and the notion that an aspirational price has been set. So it could happen. As indeed it could happen for Arsenal, although the owner at Arsenal has said he is in the for long haul, and doesn’t have a history of selling his assets.

  • Well James I did do my homework and by and large got to the same conclusions as the Swiss Ramble website. Perhaps you would let us know where you got your figures from.

  • JimB

    Tony – a few counters to your argument:

    – When Arsenal embarked on construction of the Emirates, their turnover was £135m per annum. Spurs’ income for the 2016-17 season is likely to be not far short of £300m.
    – The base rate of interest at the time that Arsenal secured their loans was in the region of 6%. Now, it is nigh on 0%.
    – The reason why the current estimate is “double” that of the original shouldn’t be hard to figure out – the scheme is now very different to that originally planned. Bigger, better much more versatile stadium with a retractable pitch and full facilities for two NFL teams; double the amount of housing; hotel; extreme sports centre etc.
    – It is quite likely that Spurs won’t take on the full cost of the non stadium elements of scheme but rather sell the land with planning permission or, at least, partner with a developer.
    – The loan to which Swiss Ramble refers was merely a bridging loan. Spurs will not have proceeded with the project before securing long term loan agreements.
    – The £100 million that you claim Spurs have already spent (more like £150m, actually) was principally for property acquisition, architects fees, planning and site preparation. And it is all already accounted for, with the club carrying zero debt up to that point – despite having also recently completed the new £65m training centre.
    – There was no “forced move” to incorporate a single tier end. It was something that the club absolutely wanted and it was also a key feature of the previous design. Spurs’ corporate facilities will merely be configured differently to Arsenal’s. Instead of there being an entire two tiers (including box tier) of corporate seating around the entire perimeter of the bowl, as at the Emirates, Spurs’ corporate facilities will be concentrated along the two sides. There will be a tad over 8,000 corporate seats – an increase of about 1,500 over the previous design and about a 1,000 less than at the Emirates. There is also provision for further corporate seats at the northern end, should they be required. All boxes have apparently already been sold, up to two years in advance of the stadium’s inauguration – as have some price bands for other corporate areas.
    – Unlike Arsenal, Spurs’ stadium sponsorship will not be front loaded. It is well documented that Arsenal made a bad initial deal with the Emirates, hugely underestimating their value to potential sponsors. £96m (if memory serves) for 15 years stadium sponsorship and 8 years shirt sponsorship was a snip. In particular, tying in shirt sponsorship for 8 years meant that Spurs – who back in 2006 had floundered in mid table mediocrity (or worse) for more than a decade – were earning considerably more from that source than your recent team of “invincibles”.
    – Because of the NFL tie in, Spurs can expect to secure a very large naming rights deal.
    – There are very strong and reliable rumours within Spurs circles that the club has secured a £25m per annum kit deal with Nike from next season – a £15m hike on the current deal with Under Armour.
    – Levy is paid more than Gazidis because he fulfils two roles – Chairman and Chief Executive. Gazidis is only the latter at Arsenal. In addition, Levy is effectively a 25% shareholder of THFC but takes no dividend. So the greater salary is more than justified.
    – Despite all the above, this will nevertheless be a challenging period for the club. But the thing is, Spurs are very well used to belt tightening. They have operated on zero net spend in the transfer market over the past six years yet have maintained a position as a top 4/5 club. The academy is in a very good place, with plenty more to come. The team, and squad, is the youngest in the Premier League. The manager has a proven track record of working with young players.
    – Despite the costs associated with the stadium construction, including interest payments, Spurs will still have considerably more disposable income than they do at present. So at the very least, they will maintain their position in the current financial pecking order within English football. And maybe better than that, if they can secure regular CL football.

  • JimB

    @ Samuel – you say that Spurs shouldn’t be allowed to surpass Arsenal in any aspect of the game and cite the added 500-1000 seats at the new WHL as something to which Arsenal must respond.

    But I have to say that those extra seats aren’t what will be better about the new WHL. Rather it will be the greater proximity of the stands to the pitch; the greater steepness; the greater character and the provision of a focal point, in the form of the single tier end; the greater versatility, in the form of the retractable pitch; the greater all encompassing visibility because there is no sloping roof to obstruct views of other stands for those in the upper reaches; the greater facilities within on account of the stadium being fully sprinklered; and so on etc.

    No doubt the Emirates has been a great stadium for Arsenal, if a trifle bland, but Spurs have the advantage of having learned from Arsenal’s mistakes. And doubtless the next club to build a major stadium in England will learn from whatever mistakes Spurs make.

  • Andy Mack

    Ed, when the stadium is built we’ll be able to see how good it is and until then it would be wise not to believe every word the PR team comes up with.
    That’s not to say it won’t be, but wait and see.
    As for our London Colney training facility which are undoubtedly amongst the best in the world, I wouldn’t expect you to be aware that they are due to be upgraded even further next summer…

  • Andy Mack

    As for our neighbours new stadium and how they’ll be effected, My few sensible spuddie mates are fully aware that if things go badly then they could be looking at championship football for a few years…
    However on the basis that ‘Joe’ does guarantee the additional funding and it comes at a competitive market price, that Poch doesn’t decide being the Argentinian National team manager (or Real Madrid or Juventus etc) would be a better match for his ambitions, that they at least have a reasonable run in a few cups whilst staying above mid-table PL-wise (despite the problems not having a ‘home ground’ for a season will cause) and that the players greed doesn’t ‘tear their wage structure a new one’, then there’s a fair chance they will pay the main part of their debt off quicker than we have. The vastly increased TV income really should be a benefit, but they’ll need lots of luck for it not to get swallowed up by ‘non-stadium’ costs.
    And no matter how much planning they do, it will come down to luck as well..

    Also, no matter how much bitching Levy does about Haringey local council, they’re going out of their way to help the build (much more than Islington did for us), as they know it’s the only way they’ll get any money invested in the area which is in desperate need.
    Some outside authorities like heritage etc aren’t being helpful but the club plan isn’t the most ‘conservation’ aware plan 😀

  • JimB

    @ Andy – why would things go “badly wrong” at Spurs?

    Like Arsenal, Spurs is a fantastically well run club financially. Sure, there will be a large amount of debt and interest to pay off. But you couldn’t wish for a better chairman than Daniel Levy to guide a club through such a period. Besides which, there will be more than enough added income to see Spurs still considerably better able to operate in the transfer market, and pay competitive wages, than they are now. Not to mention that interest rates are historically low.

    The club has an excellent academy and has operated on a zero net spend on transfers for the past six years or more. In all that time, they have maintained a place among the top 4/5. Why would all of that suddenly change to the extent that, not only would Spurs be relegated but that they would remain outside the top flight “for a few years”?

    Seems like mere wishful thinking on your part.

  • Ed

    Andy Mack – anyone still saying ‘Spuds’ should be treated with a certain amount of contempt but having pretend friends is another thing. As you have clearly made this up, what is it that you think will go wrong for Tottenham to have championship football for a few years? As for the stadium you can see it or have a virtual tour so you don’t need the PR. Take a trip to London Colney and Hotspur Way. The latter is considerably better hence why England now train there. Arsenal have a better team; Tottenham have/will have better facilities. Arsenal’s are absolutely fine and I don’t think the better facilities will make much/any difference but the new WHL is/will be incredible however much you hope it won’t be. At the end of the day it’s what happens on the pitch that counts and when a clubs turnover is so much less than their rivals it’s amazing that Tottenham have remained competitive when Villa, Newcastle, Leeds, Everton etc have failed to remain so.

  • Notoverthehill

    Tony, it would seem that Spurs spotted an opportunity?

    Brook House Primary School has been bought by Legal & General Property, as an investment!

    At present it is leased for 25 years, with a very good return on capital for the owners.

    As for the Stadium and surrounding area regeneration plans, Stadium (Class D2), Hotel (Class C1), Sports Centre (Class D2), Community (Class D1)and/or offices (class B1), Housing (Class C3), Health Centre (Class D1) plus the roads etc., infrastructure.

    IMHO, much more complex that the Arsenal Experience, with the likes of David Conn siding with a local Labour councillor.

    The stadium naming rights, as the sponsor said a few years ago, £500,000 a year is too much! When the sponsorship ends, does the name of the stadium change?

    As for the Swiss Ramble, he does a lot of work, to compare oranges, clementines, satsumas and tangerines!

  • Andy Mack

    JimB/Ed, things do go wrong. If you can’t grasp that then you shouldn’t be allowed out on your own. The clubs can’t plan for everything (if they could then your move wouldn’t have taken so long already).
    JimB, read what I wrote and you can see just a few of the things that could go wrong.
    Ed, I appreciate you need to support club like a maniac or you’d have no friends either…. and you really must be a salesman’s dream if you fall for the PR…

    It’s amazing how gullible some people are…

  • JimB

    Andy – yes, of course things CAN go wrong. That’s merely stating the glaringly obvious. They CAN go wrong for Arsenal too, you know. But you don’t see me hopefully speculating as to what those permutations might be.

    I’d rather look at likely outcomes than pointlessly fantasise about what might happen at the extreme ends of the possibility spectrum. It’s not likely that Spurs will suddenly metamorphose into perennial Premier League and Champions League winners. But nor is it likely that they will plummet down the table and then down the divisions.

    As I said, you were merely indulging in wishful thinking.

  • Andy Mack

    JimB, It’s not fantasising. As Poch said, It’ll be one of the most difficult times in the clubs history. During difficult time ‘shit happens’. I have little doubt that some of the things I mentioned (or variations of them) will happen to some degree, but if it’s only one or two and the club reacts both quickly enough in the right way (which will require luck as they won’t have the time or all the info to deliberate for long) then you’ll get through it.
    Personally I don’t think you’ll do anything worse than have a couple of seasons in the lower half of the table, but my Spurts friends use the phrase ‘if anyone can drop the ball at the last moment, then we can’…
    But make no mistake, this is such a big undertaking that things will go wrong.
    The hope for you should be that you never hear about it ever.

  • JimB

    Andy – we will have to agree to disagree about this. You appear to be trying to give the impression that a doomsday scenario is nigh on probable and that, at best, Spurs can expect a decline to mid / lower table for a few years.

    I’m saying that your idea of probable simply doesn’t stack up against the evidence. Which is:

    – By the time that the stadium is fully operational, Spurs’ turnover will be somewhere between £350-400m.
    – That will allow them a wage bill in the region of £200m (while satisfying the 50-60% ratio to turnover benchmark), which will surpass that of all but five other English clubs.
    – Interest rates are historically low.
    – Quite apart from increases in commercial and broadcasting income, the new stadium alone will increase revenues to the tune of some £50-60m per annum – more than enough, in isolation, to cover interest and repayments and still have plenty left over to spend more on players than they do now, should that be required.
    – But since Spurs have long adopted a zero net spend policy regardless, and still maintained a position in the top 4/5, there’s no reason to believe that that should become such an issue that they would suddenly plummet down the table even if there wasn’t extra money to spend.
    – Tottenham has the youngest team and squad in the Premier League – the vast majority of whom are signed to long term contracts.
    – They have an excellent and productive academy – which greatly reduces reliance on the transfer market (while also generating transfer funds).
    – In Daniel Levy, Spurs has an incredibly shrewd and tough financial operator at the helm. He’s made some mistakes in football, certainly, but he’s learnt from them and, overall, no one can argue with the fact that Spurs have been transformed both on and off the pitch during his tenure. Certainly, he has more experience of the role than Ivan Gazidis. So if Pochettino was to move on to pastures new and your manager was to leave at the same time (assuming Arsenal fans finally make up their minds that it’s Wenger Out rather than Wenger In), then there’s nothing to suggest that Arsenal would necessarily make a better choice of new manager than Spurs.

    So I have to repeat, you are indulging in wishful thinking. You are ignoring the fundamentals of Spurs’ business plan (short, medium and long term) while repeatedly conjuring hypothetical scenarios to suit your argument and uttering banal platitudes to the effect that ‘well, you never know what’s around the corner’.

    To which I can only reply, neither do you. So, with respect, perhaps you might better fill your time hypothesising about whatever pitfalls may lie in wait for your club rather than mine.

  • Andy Mack

    JimB, Wow, thanks for opening my eyes. Clearly in such a predictable business as construction, together with an uneventful games as football, during a time of global financial uncertainty, there’s no doubt the your management guys have all the bases covered… Really impressive.

    On a different subject, I’ve got some magic beans to sell. They’re only £100 per tin, and here’s the clincher, They even come in a bag with your clubs logo on it!!!!!
    No one that supports any other team will buy them as they all think they may not be exactly as described but you know that if they’re anything to do with THFC then it must be true!
    Just send me your contact details and I’ll send you the info on where to send the money.
    You know it makes sense…….

  • JimB

    Bless you for your attempt at creativity and sarcasm. But once again, you miss the point. You are completely ignoring the fundamentals and merely regurgitating tired platitudes.

    Yes, of course things can go wrong in an unpredictable world. They went wrong for Arsenal when the bottom fell out of the property market and the Highbury development wasn’t consequently anything like as lucrative as the club had expected it to be. It was a time of far greater global financial uncertainty – nay, chaos – than we are experiencing now. But did Arsenal collapse? Did they sink to the lower reaches of the Premier League? Were they relegated? Did they spend years outside the top flight?

    The answer is, of course, no to all of the above. Arsenal rode out the storm with ease because both the fundamentals at the club and the stadium business plan were very solid. True, they ceased to be serial trophy winners. But that is almost entirely attributable to the emergence of two clubs that won the oil lottery coupled with the fact that Wenger, who had previously been such a pioneer, fell victim to his own pride and failed to adapt to changing demands and developments within football.

    Yet despite the fact that Tottenham’s fundamentals and stadium business plan are also very solid, you are determined that it is inevitable that when things go wrong – as they will – Tottenham will crumble and fall where Arsenal continued serenely on. It is in this respect that you repeatedly succumb to wishful thinking.

    So what it really comes down to is that you are already in possession of a tin of magic beans of your own that make you believe that, regardless of the facts, Tottenham will always inevitably fail. Which is why, what with my magic beans and yours, I said in my previous post that we will have to agree to disagree.

  • Andy Mack

    2 points.
    1) you seem to think I said ‘it’ll probably happen’. I didn’t.
    2) I still need your details so you can pay for the beans.

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