Daniel Levy 'has isolated himself' at Spurs as Fabio Paratici ban adds to chaos

Daniel Levy - ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images
Daniel Levy - ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Daniel Levy’s Tottenham Hotspur crisis has deepened after managing director of football Fabio Paratici's ban from football was extended across the world by Fifa – less than 24 hours after Spurs had released a video of him talking about the departure of Antonio Conte.

Paratici’s 30-month ban from Italian football, for alleged malpractice by his former club Juventus, now covers all football-related activities — administrative, sports or any other — at national and international level, which rules him out of playing any part in Tottenham’s search for a new manager, player transfers or contract negotiations with Harry Kane.

The decision threw Spurs into chaos on Wednesday, with Paratici’s future now in serious doubt and the club admitting they had been blindsided by Fifa as they attempt to find out the full impact of the worldwide ban.

In a statement on Wednesday night, Tottenham said: “This committee deliberation has been taken with no advance notice to any of the parties involved. We are urgently seeking further clarification from Fifa as to the details of the extension and its variance from the FIGC [Italian Football Federation] sanction.

“We should like to make clear that when Fabio conducted the interview on club channels yesterday neither he nor the club had any indication of this decision being made by Fifa, based on the fact the FIGC sanction was taken on 20 January 2023 and remains subject to an Appeal on 19 April 2023.”

Fabio Paratici - Daniel Levy faces deepest crisis of Tottenham tenure as Fabio Paratici ban adds to chaos - Getty Images
Fabio Paratici - Daniel Levy faces deepest crisis of Tottenham tenure as Fabio Paratici ban adds to chaos - Getty Images

Sources rate this as the worst crisis Levy has faced in his time as chairman of Tottenham. Both the men’s and women’s teams do not have a permanent manager, Paratici is banned worldwide, Harry Kane’s future remains in doubt, the stadium still has no name and a season ticket price hike has been considered.

Telegraph Sport also reported on the fact that Tottenham had booked Beyoncé in for an extra concert date at the club’s stadium without a licence and a source said: “This is by far the worst it has ever been for Levy.”

All of this comes after Tottenham’s accounts last month revealed that Levy had banked a pay rise of more than £500,000 and the club’s directors, among whom Paratici is named, earned almost £3 million more than the previous year.

A source added: “On top of all the problems that are obvious for everyone to see, staff morale levels are at an all-time low and Levy has isolated himself. It’s a mess.”

Tottenham have identified Julian Nagelsmann as the club’s No1 target to replace Conte, but candidates will not be encouraged to make any sort of commitment to Spurs during the current chaos.

It is understood that Paratici has 10 days to request the grounds of the Fifa decision, during which time the Italian could be allowed to work and has the opportunity to appeal before Fifa's Appeals Committee.

But after that Paratici will have to wait for the outcome of that appeal and the Juventus appeal against the initial punishment the club and Paratici faced for alleged malpractice, which is due to be heard on April 19.

Confirming that Paratici’s ban had been extended across the globe, a Fifa statement said: “Fifa can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA, the Chairperson of Fifa Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust released a statement in which they reiterated the need for the club to address fans over the direction and strategy of the club.

“This news [on Paratici] adds further to the extremely concerning situation at the club,” said the Trust. “No manager, no director of football and uncertainty around our star player and our end of season finish. Fans deserve to hear a clear statement of strategy from THFC so they can be reassured by the board on their plan to bring success and stability to the club.”

Paratici’s situation could be worsened by an Italian court case that has been postponed until May 10. The preliminary hearing of a criminal investigation into the capital gains and salary manoeuvres of Juventus and individuals who worked at the club, in which Paratici has been named among the defendants, started on Monday but was almost immediately put back by just over six weeks.

That means he could still face punishment even if the Juventus appeal on April 19 is successful and sources believe it is increasingly likely Paratici will leave his Tottenham role at the end of the season or sooner.

On Tuesday, less than 24 hours before Fifa confirmed his worldwide ban, Tottenham released a video in which Paratici supported the decision to part company with Conte and replace him until the end of the season with his assistant Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason.

Paratici also said that Tottenham need the club’s fans, many of whom are furious with the current situation, for the final 10-game run-in as Spurs try to cling on to a top-four place and prepare for next Monday night’s trip to Everton.

Other than facing anger from fans over the managerial situation and Paratici’s future, Levy will face a huge backlash if he goes ahead with proposals to increase the price of season tickets.

Telegraph Sport has been told that consideration has been given to announcing a sizable price increase for season tickets, which are already among the most expensive in the Premier League. Such a move would provoke anger from fans who have not seen the club lift a trophy for 15 years.

Spurs have insisted that there has been no confirmation of a price rise and it now remains to be seen if the club are forced into a re-think given the crisis that has hit all levels of the club.

Earlier this month, Tottenham Women sacked head coach Rehanne Skinner, with assistant coach Vicky Jepson taking interim charge.