Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy admits he feels 'sick' over Arsenal success
| Last updated
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy admitted Arsenal’s success this season has made him feel “sick”.
Levy has been Tottenham chairman for the past 22 years, and while he has overseen enormous growth at the club both on and off the pitch, his stewardship has only delivered one trophy - the League Cup back in 2008.
Yet, the 61-year-old’s tenure in north London has also seen Tottenham upset the balance in north London, with the club having not finished below fierce rivals Arsenal since the 2015-16 season.
This season has been a different story, however. While Tottenham are languishing in fifth, three points adrift of the top four, having largely underwhelmed this term, Arsenal are on the cusp of claiming their first title in 19 years.
The Gunners have led the pack for a large portion of the season, and are four points clear of nearest challengers Manchester City at the summit, albeit having played and game more than Pep Guardiola’s side.
Arsenal’s success makes Levy “sick”
Levy insisted that winning silverware at Tottenham was his ultimate aim, while he claimed he has not enjoyed seeing Arsenal’s success this term.
In an interview at the Cambridge Union that was recorded on March 14, the Tottenham chairman said: “We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with all our staff – we have about 750 staff in Tottenham – we brought everyone together and put up a big picture with lots of trophies in it.
“And it is about winning, but winning depending on the moment in time you ask that question to various people means different things.
“So when we first came into Tottenham, winning was making sure we stayed in the Premier League. And then as time goes on and we got more successful it was about getting into the Europa League, getting into the Champions League.
“And obviously the ultimate [goal] is to win the trophies. That is clearly what we are trying to do. It’s easier said than done.
“Am I happy that we haven’t won more than one trophy in the last 15 years? Absolutely not. But I also think that we’ve had some fantastic times, we’ve been in the Champions League a number of times.
“And despite the fact that I feel sick that there’s a club in north London that’s a bit higher than us at this moment in time, if I look back over the last five years we’ve also been above them. So that’s what happens.”
Levy also sent out a warning to clubs like Chelsea, insisting that new financial fair play rules will hamstring their spending power. Under their new ownership, the Blues have spent around £600million on transfers in the past year.
The club had amortised massive fees over the duration of longer contracts to get around financial rules.
However, UEFA are now set to remove that loophole ahead of the summer window by limiting the length of contracts.
Levy said: “Well firstly there are new rules coming into effect this season, UEFA rules, where sustainability is going to become much more paramount in people’s minds.
“So you’ll be limited in the amount you can spend on wages and transfer fees, effectively the amortisation element, as a percentage of your total turnover.
“So starting off at 90% and over three years it is going down to 70%. The impact of that is effectively some form of wage control.
“So I think even though clubs have been spending very heavily – and you talk about someone like Chelsea – now the new rules come into effect this summer, I think you’ll find that, regardless of who is the owner, it’s going to have quite an impact on the financing of football.”