With Tottenham Hotspur mounting a title challenge again this season, Mauricio Pochettino is receiving all the praise. It is the man above him, Daniel Levy, who should be basking in the applause.
The Spurs chairman is something of a divisive figure in football; some dislike him and the manner in which he goes about his business. But others think he is a master of his trade.
It is the latter that is the truth, the transformation of Tottenham is proof of that fact. Everything that Levy does is in the best interests of the club and moving it forward.
Not seeing much Daniel Levy abuse these days ??
— Spurred On (@spurredontv) 30 April 2017
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Look at how he has dispatched – and dealt with – managers in recent years, starting with Harry Redknapp.
At the time of his sacking, Redknapp had guided Spurs to the top four the previous season with them only missing out on the Champions League by virtue of Chelsea’s Champions League success. He was largely a popular figure at the club; his side a talented one that played entertaining football.
Yet Levy dispatched him with little regard in the summer of 2012 in favour of Andre Villas-Boas. It didn’t work out long-term but the idea was there, Levy was trying to push the club forward with a young, highly-rated manager.
History states that the Portuguese boss was a failure at White Hart Lane but he still has the third best win percentage in the history of the club.
Then came Pochettino in the summer of 2014. In the Argentine, Levy saw a bright future for his club and was ruthless in securing him. The decision has proven to be a masterstroke, in three years Spurs have transformed into genuine title contenders.
Levy’s record in the transfer market is also further evidence of his abilities. The elite sides will always look to take players from Tottenham, despite the fact they are a big club themselves.
Yet, these so-called bigger sides are never able to bully Tottenham and that is because of Levy – the deal for Gareth Bale, in particular, is evidence of this.
Gareth Bale has had 18 injuries since moving to Real Madrid pic.twitter.com/TkfroPSVYD
— CR7 Fans | Ronaldo (@Cr7Prince4ever) 26 April 2017
The Welshman’s move to Madrid was a protracted one and that was because Levy was intent on securing an agreement for Spurs that was excellent to the extreme.
Bale has been a success in La Liga but there is no denying his value is now far below the price Spurs secured for his services, especially after five injuries in the last year alone. Levy sold Bale at a premium price in a perfectly timed deal that was superb for Tottenham.
His moves to further develop the club outside of the playing squad also demonstrate what an excellent chairman he is.
Moving stadium is a difficult process for any team, just look at West Ham United, but Spurs’ ‘move’ has been handled with the utmost proficiency.
The design for their new ground is nothing but spectacular and the manner in which they are doing so without actually moving from the White Hart Lane location is sheer genius. With the biggest ground in London, Tottenham could become the biggest club in London.
“Daniel is the first who is creating a massive club for us and the fans because he is thinking to move, in the next few years, the club into the last level.”
Every move Levy makes is one that progresses Tottenham a little bit further up the pecking order. In a world of chairmen that seem intent on ruining football clubs like there are few shining lights.
Daniel Levy, opinion-splitting personality he may be, is one of the actual good guys. His work at Tottenham in recent years has been nothing short of exceptional.
Pochettino and his work on the pitch has taken the team forward but it is the chairman that is truly progressing the club. Say what you like, Daniel Levy may be the best chairman in football.