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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 4, 2008

Ambitious Levy not looking to sell Spurs stake

Daniel Levy insists his ambitious plans for Tottenham does not mean he wants to sell the club.

The Spurs chairman has revealed he would consider an offer if the deal was right for shareholders and fans - but nothing of that nature has yet been tabled.

Levy is continually looking at ways for his club to progress - on and off the pitch - which has led to speculation of a takeover as their value rises.

In a rare interview, with FC Business magazine, Levy discussed aspirations of Spurs reaching the Champions League and how he wants them playing in front of bigger audiences at home.

Achieving that would see the club's value soar, but Levy would entertain selling only if it was right for everyone associated with Spurs.

'From the moment we came into this club, there has been constant takeover speculation,' he said.

'People know we run the club well and that it is not some private fiefdom, but the reality is no one has made us an offer that would even tempt us.

'We have more than 20,000 shareholders - and if it was in the interests of everyone, including the fans, we'd have to think about it.

'We live in a free enterprise world. What is wrong with individuals building up a value that one day - whether in six months or 60 years - can be realised?'

Spurs are hoping to make an announcement on their stadium plans in June, with Levy reiterating he would prefer to increase their capacity at White Hart Lane rather than relocate.

Sorting that out is one of the things highlighted when Levy was asked what he hopes to remembered for.

'That's a difficult one,' he said.

'I guess I would like to have solved the stadium issue and have us in the Champions League.

'There is no time scale for the latter, because you've got four spots and a lot of potential contenders. I don't accept that we will have failed if we don't make it next season.'

Expectations for next season, however, have increased following the impact of new manager Juande Ramos since his arrival at White Hart Lane in October.

The manner of recruiting the Spaniard was criticised at the time, but there has been no arguing with the results as Spurs ended their nine-year trophy drought with the Carling Cup.

Levy describes Ramos as 'obsessed with winning'.

'If you believe you can be successful, you've got more chance than if you don't,' he said.

'It's very important to have a leader who really believes he can deliver success - because that filters through.

'We did not anticipate winning a cup so early. But Juande is highly intelligent, a real motivator - and it's all about the team, not him. I didn't realise the extent to which he's obsessed with winning.'

Levy also discussed transfer policy and looked towards Arsenal as an example of shrewd investment.

'It's not about how much you spend on players - it's how you spend it,' he added.

'Arsenal are the best example of being incredibly skilful in acquiring younger players or doing certain transfers that have not cost a lot of money.

'Over the years, they've spent considerably less money than us on a net basis - but look at the success they've had.'

Spurs bought Darren Bent in a £16.5million deal from Charlton last summer, but the striker has struggled to make an impact - with Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane hitting the 40-goal mark as a partnership.

'Sometimes in transfers you have to take opportunities when they present themselves. It was never a case, as some people are suggesting, of spending the money on a striker without being able to bring in anyone else,' Levy pointed out.

'One of the reasons we decided to bring him (Bent) in was that we believed one of our other strikers (Jermain Defoe) may be going.

'Okay, it didn't happen at the time. But we took the view we wanted a target man - and there are not that many.

'We knew were paying a full price but we were competing with a lot of other clubs and took a long-term view.'