Daniel Levy confirms Tottenham in talks over selling stake in club

Daniel Levy confirms Tottenham in talks over selling stake in club

Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, this morning revealed he is in talks with "prospective investors" about selling a stake in the club.

In a statement accompanying the club's financial results for the year ending June 30, 2023, Levy said Spurs needed new investment to reach their "long-term potential".

In September, the chairman told Bloomberg he had a duty to "consider anything anyone may want to propose", although the current talks with mystery bidders are understood to be over a minority stake in the club rather than a full sale and a change of ownership.

Levy's statement read: "To capitalise on our long-term potential, to continue to invest in the teams and undertake future capital projects, the Club requires a significant increase in its equity base.

"The Board and its advisors, Rothschild & Co, are in discussions with prospective investors. Any recommended investment proposal would require the support of the Club’s shareholders."

Spurs have long been rumored to be on the market and Levy has held talks with a number of potential investors, including Paris Saint-Germain president and Qatar Sports Investments chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi - although the Qataris have since cooled their interest in buying a stake in the north London club.

Levy also said in September he had "no real interest" in leaving Spurs and selling a minority stake would allow the chairman to remain in control, while potentially increasing spending power.

Levy has always run the club within its means since becoming chairman in 2001, leaving fans frustrated at Spurs' seeming inability to compete with their wealthier rivals in the transfer market.

Investment company ENIC currently owns 86.58 per cent of Tottenham, with Levy controlling a 29.88 per cent stake in ENIC, along with members of his family.

Spurs' former owner, 87-year-old Joe Lewis, ceased to be "a person with significant control" of ENIC and Spurs in late 2022, and the news Levy is discussing a sale comes in the same week the billionaire is due to be sentenced in the US after pleading guilty to insider trading last month.

In their latest set of financial results, Spurs announced increased revenue of £549.6million, up 24 per cent from the previous year's figures of £444m, as the club broke the half-a-billion barrier for the first time. However, losses for the year came in at £86.8m, up from £50.1m in 2022, which the club said reflected "the significant and continued investment in the playing squad".

An increase in commercial revenues, from £183.5m in 2022 to £227.7m last year was a driver of the encouraging figures, while UEFA prize money (£56.2m, up from £10.2m) and TV and media revenues (£148.1m, up from £144.2m) were also improved.

"Our turnover has exceeded half a billion pounds for the first time," read Levy's statement. "Whilst UEFA monies contributed, this has also been driven by increased stadium revenues from both football and non-football events and additional revenue streams.

"This is the impact of our multi-use stadium and what our Board has been focussed on delivering in order to invest in our football in a financially sustainable manner. The absolute priority for our Club is to deliver on-pitch success."

The figures took Spurs' losses for a three-year period to £232m but they remain comfortably in line with Premier League the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules (PSR), as many of their top-flight rivals sweat on potential charges.

“The club remains fully compliant with Profit and Sustainability Rules”

Daniel Levy

Top-flight clubs are due to review PSR rules at the end of the season, a move which Levy said the club supported.

"The club remains fully compliant with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules and is supportive of the enhancement of PSR to ensure the PL remains competitive and sustainable," his statement continued.

"We have operated on a financially sustainable basis and can now optimise the true value of key assets, the unrivalled facilities at our multi-use stadium and our training campus which now includes our recently opened ‘Club House’ media centre. Hosting XR stage technology, this is already enhancing the level and quality of our content for fans and will provide additional revenue opportunities.

"We expect commercial revenues to rise from third-party events, although this will not compensate for the lack of European football this season. Additionally, as reflected in these results, we expect the impact of rising costs, caused by geo-political events, to continue to impact all areas of our operations."

The club announced that operating expenses before football trading rose by 21 per cent to £487.9million from £403.4million in 2022 due to "increased first team costs, the hosting of multiple non-football events and cost rises outside of our control such as utilities, rates, consumables and increases in the London Living Wage."