When looking beyond league tables and cup wins, it’s not always easy to measure how well a club is progressing. Indeed, from a business perspective, we know that there are other considerations outside what happens on the pitch: Is the club running a sustainable business model (see Leeds United, Portsmouth)? Is the club loaded with debt? Is the stadium fit for purpose for an ambitious club?
Tottenham Hotspur seems to have a positive ‘yes’ to all of these questions. The club, ably led by Chairman Daniel Levy, has become a byword for shrewdness, especially in the transfer market. At board level, football clubs are a bit more pragmatic than the media-friendly quotes that come from players and coaches, so you could that the Spurs board has been fairly happy with the progress made while making the move to a new stadium. That sort of move can set a club’s ambitions back a couple of years, just like what happened to Arsenal with its move to the Emirates.
Stadium moves can be tricky
Yet, Spurs’ board will feel that they are ahead of schedule. A new stadium has been opened, while at the same time they have kept their place among the Premier League’s elite, even threatening to get into the title race at one point this season.
However, while getting into the Champions League each season is every board member’s dream, winning the thing could have a transformative impact on the club. Spurs have that chance on 1st June when they face fellow English side Liverpool in the Champions League Final in Madrid. The team has already won plaudits around Europe after upsetting Manchester City and Ajax, but a win in the Final could really put them on the map.
It’s hard to quantify the marking opportunities for winning the Champions League Final, but the very act of being there – the match surpasses the Super Bowl in viewers – can be lucrative for a club. Spurs have already earned an estimated £88 million from the competition so far (figures compiled by Swiss Ramble).
Liverpool favourites to triumph
But Daniel Levy will want the opportunity to market his team globally as Champions League winners. How likely is it, if we take into consideration that Spurs finished 26 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League? 888sport has cited Spurs as a 6/4 chance to win the Champions League, with Liverpool at 11/20. However, the stirring comebacks from both sides this season means that nothing is a given. Indeed, you’d expect plenty of live betting on the game should either side go a goal down, such has been the crazy nature of the Champions League this season.
If Spurs can win in Madrid, then other doors of opportunity might open for them. For example, there is FIFA’s revamped Club World Cup. The tournament will now be held in 2021, featuring 24 teams from the six continental confederations. It’s not quite clear how FIFA will be organising the competition and there is talk of a boycott, but Spurs will likely be an invitee should they triumph over Liverpool. If they lose, there is a danger of missing out.
In the end, win or lose, this has been an excellent Champions League season for Spurs. It should not be underestimated how much of a feat it was to do this while in the process of moving stadium. Should they cap it off with a victory at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, the future could be even brighter for one of the best-run clubs in world football.