Ordinarily, I’m extremely critical of any owner or chairman who is too vocal, and I dislike anyone from the non-playing side of a football club trying to develop too much of a public profile – but in Daniel Levy’s case, his lack of visibility is creating all kinds of other issues.
Three days have passed since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and, beyond the white noise of the standard issue press-releases, the silence from Levy has been deafening.
Ever since the dismissal of Harry Redknapp at the end of the 2011/12 season, a palpable division has existed within the Spurs supporters and, while disagreements of managers’ job-performances are common, that’s principally because – to this day – Levy never attempted to give any kind of clarity to that situation. While the media and the fans can all guess as to why Redknapp was removed, nobody really knows for sure – and hence that situation remains, absurdly, relevant a year-and-a-half after the fact.
…and now the same scenario is repeating itself with Villas-Boas.
Was the Portuguese relieved of his duties because of poor performance? Because of the two humiliating results to Manchester City and Liverpool? Because of inner-conflict with out members of staff? Nobody knows, and the only people who are really benefiting from this vacuum of information are the ambulance-chasing element of the media, the Neil Ashtons and Martin Samuels of the world who are making great trade from passing speculation off as fact – and, in so doing, making Tottenham more of a Premier League laughing-stock by the day.
If Daniel Levy was to issue a statement, providing a glimpse into his ambitions and the reasoning behind his movement over the past couple of seasons, the supporters might not unanimously agree with him, but they would at least feel as if they were being respected – as things stand, to be a Tottenham fan feels akin to being a child who is being treated as though he can’t possibly understand his parents’ methodology.
“Accept it and shut-up, you’re just a supporter, you’re not entitled to see anything beyond the pitch”.
It’s in Levy’s own interest to start some sort of dialogue, because nothing looks particularly healthy from the outside; for a second straight Summer, the team’s best player has been sold despite promises to the contrary, and for the second straight Summer, the club’s net investment in its playing staff has been zero. Not only does he demand progress over a short timescale, but he provides obstacles to that development without making any kind of adjustment to his expectations – he’s the archetypal unreasonable employer: he’s the boss who gets rid of your most talented co-worker, but who then gets angry when your company’s performance suffers.
Today, Tottenham fans woke up with their side out of the league cup, with an interim manager in possession of no coaching experience at first-team level, and with another humbling defeat due in three days’ time. On top of which, nobody is really that sure of why this situation exists, nor what is actually being done to remedy it.
Spurs are very hard to love at the moment, and for the sake of the fans’ affection for the team, Levy has to start giving some kind of justification for his actions and providing at least some insight into what he expects to realistically achieve in the future.