In other words, checkmate. This is the new force in world football. After years of trying to box smartly, Levy may think that a strategic alliance is the least of all the evils that could befall a famous club that can’t even sell the naming rights to a stadium that most would agree is one of the best in the world.
That could go into any deal to invest in the club because, as for other bidders, it looks like Google is struggling without the benefit of a brand association with the Premier League’s current fifth-placed team.
With Spurs facing a definitive North London derby this season, the problems are piling up. Can the restless Antonio Conte be persuaded to stay? Is he the right man then? And will Harry Kane, whose contract expires next summer, sign another contract or have to be sold?
All in all, 2023 looks as challenging for Spurs as 2022. In the meantime, there’s the discomfort of Arsenal rising from their mediocrity at mid-field to for the first time since they finished above Spurs in what was presumed seriously fighting for the title. to be his two-horse race in 2016 with Leicester City. The Arsenal rebirth has not been cheap with around £330m spent rebuilding Mikel Arteta’s team and paying off those he no longer wanted. Still, it feels like the kind of bold investment the ESL breakaway heritage clubs need to make to maintain their status.
The decisions Spurs have to make against Conte and Kane are the ones every major club has to make over time as the renewal process progresses. Kane is still the best player on the team and the most reliable match winner, especially with the decline of Son Heung-min’s form. There are sensible questions to ask about trading a player who turns 30 in July and becomes a free agent 12 months later. These are challenges, but also opportunities.
It is the shadow of the wealth of the nation-state that tilts the field. Newcastle United soon get going and their transformation under Eddie Howe, driven by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund-led consortium, tells the clubs trying to compete with them that the clowning is over. There is now a way for a billionaire to quickly make the impact of his wealth count. It took Abu Dhabi Manchester City just four years to win their first Premier League title, but at the same stage as PIF and Newcastle now, 15 months on, City were still outside the top four.