Friday, March 17, 2006

Speculation and Rumour at Tottenham (2)

Vagit Alekperov

It's always good to have Tottenham Hotspur as part of a rumour as the name alone sells papers and raises interest levels considerably. This is true in every transfer window and when there are rumours of foreign interest in taking over English football clubs. Now there is mounting speculation that the club may be the subject of a takeover by a Russian billionaire.
Daniel Levy may be looking to sell his share in the club and having reportedly passed up on Roman Abramovich's interest in the club before he went to Chelsea, a claim that Levy has always denied, he may be tempted this time.
The possible buyer is a 52 year old Oil Magnate, Vagit Alelperov, born in Aberbaijan who has made his money from oil. He is Chairman of LUKoil and his personal fortune is reportedly worth $1.3 billion.
Since the Russian revolution at Chelsea, money has become the prime motivator in football. Money has bought success - players have gone there for exceptional contracts and every year they are able to strengthen the team with whatever world class player they want. Only when cash meets cash will there be equality at the top of the Premiership. The other teams haven't been able to compete with the strength of the squad Chelsea have available to them, so Chelsea could win the title for the foreseeable future.
Spurs can't compete on the size of their ground, although it is a sell-out for every game, it doesn't generate enough income to sustain a challenge to Chelsea Talk of an expansion of their ground or a possible move to develop a new ground have come to nothing and would be a long way off by which time Tottenham Hotspur could be left far behind by the teams at the top who have already been in the Champions League for a number of years and have massive grounds available to them. With their tight financial structure in place Spurs can't attract the top class player who could lift the team into a regular Champions League place. So it would be surprising if Spurs weren't looking at other options and avenues to create additional financial strength to enable them to compete at the very top. A take over by a rich Russian billionaire may be a possibility.


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