A Tottenham takeover or partial buyout was on the cards even before the European Super League catastrophe – and owner Joe Lewis will now come under huge pressure from supporters to sell up.
Football Insider revealed last week how the Bahamas-based owner Joe Lewis is actively trying to sell the club and a 50 per cent buyer was found at the end of last year.
But the partial takeover collapsed when the investors pulled the plug on talks as chairman “Daniel Levy did not want to lose control”.
Levy is now facing a huge fight to keep his job after throwing his weight and the club’s name and history behind the ESL disaster.
The longstanding chairman’s reputation is in tatters after Tottenham joined the other five Premier League teams in withdrawing from the league on Tuesday night just two days after joining following an unprecedented backlash.
There will be intense pressure from fans for Lewis-owned investment group ENIC to sell up, as well as for Levy to go.
The failed Newcastle United takeovers demonstrate that supporter anger towards a deeply unpopular owner does not necessarily translate into a completed sale.
But Tottenham, with their London postcode, top-tier playing squad and impressive profit returns for most of the last decade as well as the magnificent new stadium that will stand as a proud ENIC legacy regardless of the ESL calamity, are a far more saleable asset.
A deal was on the table at the end 2020 for a 50 per cent sale of the Tottenham in a deal worth £800million.
It would have seen Lewis-owned investment group ENIC maintain a 50 per cent stake in Tottenham and valued the club at £1.6billion.
However, Levy, who runs the London giants on Lewis’ behalf, did not want to lose his final say in decision-making and strategy.
That led to the potential investors calling a halt and walking away from the negotiating table.
There is a sense that Levy refuses to give up full control of the club he has run for 20 years, and like a personal fiefdom in recent times.
But Lewis could make the decision for his former protege if investors can be brought back to the table.
The 84-year-old is actively looking for a buyer for the club he has owned through ENIC since a 2001 acquisition from Alan Sugar.
There have been rumours of potential takeovers at Tottenham for many years, but the possibility is considered more likely than at previous times.
Throw in the remarkable events of the last 48 hours, and that has increased even further.
The Londoners have been badly hit during the pandemic and Levy revealed in the last annual report that the club will lose an “irrecoverable” £150million this season from having no fans.
Spurs announced a whopping £63.9m loss in their most recent set of financial results.
That was Tottenham’s first loss since 2012 but profits have surged in the last decade, although debts have mounted as a result of paying for the club’s 62,000-capacity new stadium.
ENIC is part of the Bahamas-based private investment organisation Tavistock Group run by Lewis.
Lewis is ranked by Forbes as the 574th richest individual in the world with a fortune of £3.6bn.
In other news, Tottenham open preliminary new manager talks.