Tottenham stadium costs didn't affect summer transfer policy - Daniel Levy
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said the increased cost of the club's new stadium will not affect transfer policy, in a meeting with the club's supporters trust, and that the project was unrelated to the lack of summer signings.
Spurs were targeting a September opening for their new home, which was expected to cost £850 million, and some reports suggested that those costs led to a summer window in which Tottenham made no new signings.
Since then there have been costly delays to the construction scheme, and the current target to begin play is Christmas. But Levy has insisted that transfers are budgeted separately and stated that the difficulty in selling players was the bigger issue during the close-season.
The chairman met with representatives of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust (THST) in a board-to-board meeting. The minutes say: "[Levy] explained that the club had based the summer window on certain assumptions that some players might be leaving and certain targets would be available."
The minutes add that "[Mauricio Pochettino] didn't want to sign someone for the sake of it. He felt there were sufficient players in the squad, and that those coming back from injury would be like new signings.
"[Levy] said that, concerning budgets, the stadium won't directly impact on the transfer policy. There is a certain amount earmarked for transfers and the club can only spend what is available. [Levy] also said that transfers were complicated with several variables so it was not possible to work out in advance how much you could spend in a given window.
"[Levy] felt a bit of luck was needed in the transfer window. Spending big did not guarantee success. [Levy] said the club could not do more than it was doing, that they had come a long way and that they needed to be mindful not to stretch themselves too far sometimes."
Asked about the current costs of the stadium project, the minutes state: "[Levy] confirmed the costs had definitely risen and [executive director Donna-Maria Cullen] added that the club was cutting internal costs where possible [campaigns, marketing etc.]."
Spurs representatives at the meeting assured supporters that that they had contingency in the budget, while Levy added that the banks "were being very supportive."
The club plans to provide an update on the stadium project in the next two to three weeks.
During the meeting, "[Levy] clarified that [a naming rights deal] was still under discussion," while he also "explained that any sleeve sponsorship may compromise the value of the naming rights deal, so the naming rights would come first."
Tottenham's new stadium, which features a retractable pitch, has been constructed with the NFL in mind and a 10-year partnership has been agreed whereby Spurs' ground will host at least two games a year.
The north Londoners could offer an attractive and purpose-built base if a franchise was ever established in England's capital city.
There has been concern that any such plans could be undermined if Shahid Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars as well as Fulham FC, buys Wembley Stadium, which already hosts NFL games.
But the minutes of the board-to-board meeting state: "[Levy] said it wouldn't [impact on Spurs' plans for the NFL] but he is against the sale of Wembley regardless.
"[Levy] felt any London franchise was a long way off but the NFL still had the International Series so there was ample opportunity for Spurs.
"[Levy] wanted to point out that the second pitch wasn't solely an NFL pitch. It was a multi-purpose pitch that was suitable for NFL."