By Harry Sykes
The root cause of a 12-year feud between Tottenham and Chelsea is the troubled move between the clubs of Frank Arnesen, according to a report.
The Times claim Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich “have not seen eye-to-eye” since Arnesen made the controversial switch to Stamford Bridge in 2005.
Dane Arnesen was the director of football at Tottenham when he was pictured on Abramovich’s super-yacht that summer as he negotiated a move that prompted a formal Premier League complaint from the north Londoners and an extraordinarily expensive settlement cost.
It cost Chelsea £6million in compensation to prise the recruitment specialist to Stamford Bridge, instigating a period of sustained distrust between the bitter London rivals.
“Spurs view their rivals as predators, while Chelsea’s conviction is that the north London club are consumed by paranoia,” the Times report.
The hostilities between the two clubs has subsequently continued, exemplified by transfer dealings such as the west Londoners winning the race to sign Willian in 2013 after he had undergone a Spurs medical and Michy Batshuayi in 2016.
Tottenham boardroom chiefs were also infuriated when Chelsea went to great lengths to sign Luka Modric in the summer of 2011.
Former Denmark midfielder Arnesen went on to spend five years at Chelsea following his 12-month spell at Tottenham, and has subsequently held the sporting director post at Hamburg, Ukraine club Metalist Kharkiv and Greek outfit PAOK.
On the pitch, Spurs gained a measure of revenge on Wednesday night with a landmark 2-0 win that brought Chelsea’s remarkable winning sequence to a halt.
A brace of headers from Dele Alli secured the three points for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who climbed to third in the table, seven points and two places adrift of Antonio Conte’s leaders.