Spurs Aren’t Big Enough To Sell Bale

By: Robert Reed | July 27th, 2013
   

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Not big enough to sell Bale? I know, I know, I’ve done it myself. This is one of those articles you only clicked on so you could leave a deliciously patronising message at the end; possibly implying that I live in my mum’s basement, don’t have a job, am eleven years old and so on and so forth, but hear me out (then abuse me).

If the increasingly believable looking reports in the newspapers are anything to go by (they usually aren’t) things have started to go ever so slightly Pete Tong on planet Bale. The latest idiotic tripe to originate in the unimpeachable Spanish press is that our trusted ‘partners’ Real Madrid are set to offer €120m for our Welsh wonder Gareth Bale (get well soon Gareth, arse injuries can be a bummer).

It is perhaps unsurprising that what appears to be the majority of Spurs fans are of the same opinion; that being firstly that the story is bullsh…poppycock, and secondly that if it were true then we should take the money and run. Now, while I agree with the first sentiment, I cannot bring myself to agree with the second. I would like to explain why, so that even if you disagree you may at least acknowledge that there is some method to my madness.

I think the best way to do so is give a response to some of the most popular reasons for selling.

Gareth Bale is a fantastic player, but he is one player. If we rely on him again this season and he sustains a bad injury we will be sunk.

True, but the reason we relied so heavily on Bale’s influence last season was because we had strikers who didn’t score goals, which is rarely considered a good thing. I expect that to be remedied shortly and as we have a very good manager, goalkeeper, defence and midfield already in place I see no reason why we won’t be able to at least hold our own against most teams this season without Gareth.

Gareth Bale has just had an amazing season, and his worth could be at it’s maximum. If he does not perform as well this season he could be worth half what we could get for him now.

Now this is undoubtedly true, but then of course the opposite could be true also. Bale has improved year on year and last season he turned into, frankly, twice the player he was before. The fact is that as much as I rate Bale I don’t think he is as good as Messi or Ronaldo, so further improvement is certainly feasible. It’s a long old season, and while improbable it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that by the end of it we could be in possession of a player considered to be the best in the world. In addition, by that time a team like PSG may decide they want to get involved and I’d like nothing more than to see them put Real Madrid in their place with an offer they couldn’t match.

No player is worth €120m, so we should sell if they are such fools.

Well, in the loony oil rich playground world football is becoming (with PSG threatening to meet Lionel Messi’s extortionate buy out fee in a tit for tat argument with Barcelona), I’m not so sure that is true anymore. The worth of anything in the world I believe is defined by how much you can sell it for. If I had a meat pie and somebody offered me £50 for it, I’d be so eager to hand it over I may well drop it. ‘Darn’ I would then say, or four letter words to that effect, ‘that pie was worth £50′, and I’d have right on my side. A lousy analogy, so what. If you want creative writing go read Marca.

Ten very good players are better than one brilliant player.

Very, very true. Put ten very good players against Gareth Bale and they would run rings round him.

OK I am being deliberately obtuse but the point I am making is that until they change the archaic rules of football (sign my petition below) we are only aloud to field eleven players. With a terrific first eleven and a thin squad you will struggle to win things in the modern game, but with a big squad full of good but not great players you will have no chance of winning anything either. Quality, not quantity does not quite apply here but you need quantity with the right amount of quality. A response to my last article read ‘ten Dembeles are better than one Bale’. How is that exactly? How many of those Dembeles would you play at one time? I’m guessing one. Then you’d have a couple of Dembeles on the bench and a load of Dembeles who are getting the needle because they never get a game.

We already have a very good squad which needs tweaking in certain positions, and we have a lot of depth in some areas already. Does anyone think Holtby will be a regular starter this season? Or Lennon after the arrival of Chadli? We have strength in depth and some players in our first team (Lloris, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Sandro) whom I would not wish to change for anyone anyway. Soldado is probably the best forward available at the moment and we can afford him, so it seems some people want us to offload Bale to finance the signing of a couple of full backs.

We could buy four world class players with that money.

No we couldn’t. Next.

OK you won’t let me get away with that, and nor should you. I will explain.

For starters, Levy is Levy, and that leopard ain’t gonna change it’s spots. Do you think he would suddenly be happy to pay over the odds for a player just because there is more cash in the pot? He would just end up haggling for ages over, and eventually not getting, players who cost a lot more than the ones he does it with now.

So how much does a world class player cost? €50m? €60m? Yes, if they wish to play for free. A genuine world class player, the type we would have to battle the likes of United, Real, PSG and Man City for, would demand a minimum of €200,000 a week (I’m doing everything in Euros to save confusion, but that’s around £170,000). Falcao is reported to be on €14m a year! Even if Levy had a complete personality transplant and was suddenly willing to absolutely roger his own wage structure with extreme prejudice (leading to our other top players wanting some form of parity when their contract comes up for renewal) that would leave us able to realistically buy one, and he wouldn’t be as good as Bale.

In addition, signing a world class player is more than just paying the right fee; you have to convince the player you can satisfy their lofty ambitions in the game. Could we go to a player like Cavani or Falcao or even Suarez and say, ‘hey, we’ve got no Champions League football and we’ve just sold our best player (because that’s what we do), but check out this plush training ground! Don’t just look at it, go have a run around on that bad boy.’

This more than anything is the point I wish to make. We are not a big enough club to make that money work for us and give us what we have now with Bale. Aside from being the superb player he is the lad is also a magnet for investment, quality signings and not to mention publicity. Did you see the massive poster of Bale’s mug in Times Square, New York? That’s a Spurs player in a Spurs shirt catching the eye of countless Americans who, granted, mostly don’t know who he is. But they will!

Hewlett Packard must be beside themselves with their logo on a huge, free billboard advertisement in Times Square. How many other, richer companies will be looking at that kind of exposure and thinking, ‘I’d like a piece of that!’ Bale is so marketable that losing him would cost us a fortune in lost revenue, why do you think Real are willing to pay so much for him?

We’d have €120m to spend.

Even that is extremely unlikely. To anyone who thinks that, let me introduce you to Mr. Daniel Levy; you clearly haven’t met. There is no way that our chairman would give an entire transfer fee of that size to his manager to spend on players. He would quite possibly withdraw it all in notes to throw in the air and dance around in with abandon, but not to piss away on players. A sizeable chunk of it surely, but not all of it. That is profit, and it looks nice on the balance sheet. There is a nasty rumour that copper wire was invented by Levy and Joe Lewis while fighting over a penny, but I don’t believe it.

Granted, that is a little unfair, and leads me to my next point. We have already spent £24m on players this season and the spending is set to continue. We are not a poor club, and do not need a huge cash injection to compete. What we need to live with the big boys is a great squad and some absolute, best of the best quality. We have it! If we sell Bale we will not. No other team in our league be it Man City, Man United, Chelsea and certainly not Arsenal have a player of such quality in their ranks.

If Gareth Bale played for another team we would not have a snowball’s chance in hell of convincing him to join Spurs, even if we paid €120m. To entice him we would have to be one of the absolute giants of the game and offer him stratospheric wages; yet here we are, with him in our team for next season, happy on comparatively meagre wages.

We have totally lucked out! One of the very best players in the world has just popped up in our squad to everyone’s surprise. He is literally for us a player money can’t buy, so why the hell would we sell him?

If the money would propel us into the big league spenders then that would be different, but it will not. Even with a one time windfall of that size the likes of PSG and Man City would still blow us out of the water. They can spend that much in one window on transfer fees alone and do the same the very next year. Don’t speak to me about financial fair play! Do you think Michel Platini will be excluding his own countrymen from the Champions League? Gimme a break.

There will come a time when Bale will leave, be it next summer or the summer after that, and that will be the time to sell for as much as we can get. We need him to achieve Champions League qualification this season; in that eventuality having the ‘Bale money’ next summer will enable us to buy the class of player who will only sign for a CL club.

Whether young Gareth really has said he wants to leave or not, we aren’t in a position where we have to sell. While that is the case we should hang on to him at all costs; at least for one more season.

So let the abuse commence! But remember, you will be abusing an eleven year old. Do you really wanna be that guy?

COYS!

Follow me on Twitter @RobertReedUK


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    Displaying the most recent 25 comments from a total of 48 comments.
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  • longtimespur |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:29 am

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    Rob….you been a Spurs fan long????? Do you remember THFC before ENIC took over. Nearly bankrupt under Irvine Scholar stewardship. Saved by Sir Alan Sugar. Then mid-table mediocrity until ENIC. Since, in the last few seasons most times. We have a brand new top of the Art training facility and probably the best squad of players since our glorious 50/60s teams. We have a strong capitol base and have now exceeded our transfer record purchase apparently (Soldado?) twice this transfer window. You should go and support a team that likes to have russian ogaliths or oil multi-millionares financing their clubs. I for one am happy the way our team is progressing year on year under Daniel Levy’s nous. Yes he has made some mistakes but look at the overall picture!!

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  • Tonyspurs |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:34 am

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    Johnson apart from Walker not one of those players you mentioned will be in our starting eleven next season. Who out of Lloris, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Paulinho, Sandro, Dembele, Chadli and now probably Slodado would be worth selling Bale to replace? The article covered that with the ‘ten Dembeles’ argument. It seems you want us to sell or best player to sign a couple of full backs.

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  • jonson |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:35 am

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    ROB – Agree 100% ,best post i`ve read in a long time .Even the article writer has agree with you without meaning too ,proof is in the pudding .Why be the 11th richest club off the pitch if you`re the 50th best club off it ?

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  • jonson |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:39 am

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    Tonyspurs And you know that because ? All were pretty regulars last season

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  • jimmy |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:39 am

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    I wonder if anyone here has been offered a 30k per week more from a rival employer.Being a loyal employee, I’m sure you will reject this offer. Let us not talk about a 150k per week raise, which would probably what Bale will be getting from RM i.e 250 to 300k per week. We should call him Saint Gareth if he were to reject this offer with a big smile on his face and pure goodness in his heart. Of course we want him to stay but does he ?

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  • Trevor |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:53 am

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    Jimmy Marca’s recent story claiming Bale had agreed terms with Real stated that the figure was £165k a week.

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  • LOL |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:54 am

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    Arsenal fan – Good read. Good luck in the upcoming season.

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  • Hotspur |  July 28th, 2013 at 5:59 am

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    What a great piece! Thanks. It is so refreshing to read an article that has been thought through and not the usual drivel that I subject myself to

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  • Spurs4Life |  July 28th, 2013 at 6:02 am

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    Brutal facts are that it is not as simple as that… As you rightly said anyone of us on this forum would likely snap the hand off someone happy to pay us a £15,000 a year rise, (much less £150K per week rise) , however, all of us are/should be subject to their employment contracts…..depending on the importance to your company, you would normally need to give 4 weeks notice period … this is primarily on behalf of the employer to enable them to get a replacement (ideally like for like)….

    As the initial premise of this whole topic stated at the beginning, ( and because of the astronomical figures at stake either way for (being selfish Spurs FC)

    Spurs are not currently in a position to get a like for like replacement, so i think a (NOTICE PERIOD) if you like of one more season, is a reasonable amount of time to allow us to do this…

    In the footballing world, the principle of employment law is the same, except for 2 major differences,… each player is one tackle away from retirement and 2, their value is completely subject to performance on the pitch. However to offset this, is their deserved multi million pound salaries and lifestyles !!!

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  • liam |  July 28th, 2013 at 6:18 am

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    some of these comments on here are ridiculous if we sell bale say bye bye to champions league football and that is fact. we are financially well off and don’t need to sell bale, also we have enough money to strengthen in the areas we are weak in so there is no need to sell bale. oh and great article by the way.

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  • john |  July 28th, 2013 at 6:25 am

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    Classic facts and common sense….well written my friend…..COYS

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  • colin1 |  July 28th, 2013 at 6:43 am

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    From a business point of view you cannot refuse that type of money, from a football stance we must keep Bale, if he goes it sends out all the wrong signals to any player who may be thinking of joining Spurs. We must knock Arsenal out of the top 4 and we must start competing in the Champions League every season. With the new ground, the support we enjoy Champions league is the priority.
    You can understand Bale, I don’t believe its money with him, Wales are never going to a World Cup or European Championship so he needs Champions League.
    We need to put together a side that ensures that, I believe we are close.

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  • Anon |  July 28th, 2013 at 6:51 am

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    Bale can be the catalyst that takes Tottenham to the next level… Without him the fear is we won’t make that step up… Even for him it is better to stay, he will be a legend if we have success this year.. Meanwhile if he goes to real he will be one of many others past and present….
    They would build statues praise him for years for his success at tottenham compare that to real it is just a well paid day job..

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  • Randy Geeza |  July 29th, 2013 at 5:13 pm

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    an excellent article. but you’ve only tempted me to sit on the fence and observe both sides of the sell-Bale keep-Bale argument. I was, through my own self-induced deductions sat in the middle of an increasingly louder mob of sell-Bale spurs fans (and probably plenty of imposters from the other prem-league supporters who’d rather we didn’t have a superhero in our team). I was voicing within, my own thoughts and aspirations of who we could be buying with the Bale-windfall. I was envisaging in my daydreams the depth of talent in a squad destined not only for the CL, but a trophy-winning cup side, and a top-3 finish. such was my excitement at the thought of selling our wonder-kid and bringing in 4 other top-notch players (especially if we followed through on the swap deal and got a couple of ex-Real benchwarmers).
    but your article, succinctly answered several previously un-thought of questions. indeed, so well stated were the answers to these newly-occurring questions, I have since found myself doubting myself (not for the first time, but it has been a while since the last time!).
    yep. you’ve got me confused. sell Bale, or keep Bale.
    either way..i think its a WIN/WIN situation for Spurs.

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  • Spur fan in NY |  July 29th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

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    In the history of sports there have been major transactions that changed the fortunes of a franchise. Being an American that loves football but follows American football as well, the Bale situation is similar to the Hershal Walker trade that paved the way for the Dallas Cowboys to be the best team in American Football for a decade.
    The short of the story is the Dallas Cowboys had the best player in the league with a fellow named Hershal Walker, but the Cowboys were a terrible team even with Mr. Walker (sound familier). The head coach at the time figured the only way to get better was to trade Hershal Walker to the highest bidder. Fortunately for the Cowboys they found a team that gave them five players plus six drat picks. It would be like Real giving us two players and enough cash to buy five young potential superstars. Hershal went to his new team and was misused by the coaches who let him go after two years of failure. Hershal would bounce around from team to team for a few more years as a journeymen player before finally retiring as a so so player. The Cowboys meanwhile brought in three players that would become Superstars and several solid support players that made the Cowboys the best team for a decade.
    The Spurs have an opportunity to cash in now on Bale and change the makeup of their team from a fifth and sixth place team to a team fighting for silverware. If Levy and AVB are smart enough to reinvest the Real money on good young players that will strength the overall team and add depth then this is there once in a lifetime chance to change the fortunes of the Spurs. I remember the Cowboy fans screaming about trading the best player in the league, but ten years later everybody saw the genius in the move. To this day sports reporters in America still refer to it as the “Great Train Robbery.” Will Levy have the balls to make the deal? As a Spur fan that understand the potential history, I hope so.

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  • Morten |  July 30th, 2013 at 1:58 am

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    My god, this is a great article. This is the points that Levy is considering this summer. All good business strategies need to have a long term goal, and having a world superstar in the ranks makes it so much easier. Money is just a tool and must not be mistaken as a goal. Levy already have the money, he just need the superstars to build the world wide Tottenham brand that will ensure longterm financial success.

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  • hk_yod |  July 30th, 2013 at 3:18 am

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    Thank you for putting into very succinct words what many of us I’m sure have been thinking. A one-off £100 million installment isn’t a lot in football terms. IF you can buy a player for £30 million and have to pay him £150k a week, that is closer to £40 million in the first year, and £10 million for every year after. So basically we could buy 2 players maximum, who have the potential to make up for the loss of Bale (emphasis on potential). In addition to that, quality players are looking to play in CL. It is key to gamble on keeping him for at least one more year so when the eventuality of him leaving does occur, we will hopefully be in CL. Then we will be able to meet our targets’ ambitions and make best use of the finances we have at hand. Even better, Bale may realise that his ambitions can be met with Spurs and stay.

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  • Ben |  July 30th, 2013 at 3:58 am

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    Keep him and win the league or finish in the top 3. The extra financial benefit from that would probably cover this fee. We can then sell him next year at a higher fee and build a new stadium with the proceeds….

    Or just wimp out and take the money and run now…. Finish 5th and spend the whole of next transfer window reading crap in the papers about how some rich club want spurs best player and he should go because we missed out again on the Champions league….

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  • ColinSC |  July 30th, 2013 at 6:09 am

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    Love this piece, I have been making several of these points for a while, but this nails so many more. Thank you, and well done. I hope ‘The Chairman’ reads it (although given his original comments, he feels the same way).

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  • Mark |  August 1st, 2013 at 1:56 pm

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    Great article… I hope Danny reads it. He’s a clever lad and despite his faults is a good fan. He’ll do his best here. it’s a no brainer.

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  • rolo tomassi |  August 4th, 2013 at 8:08 am

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    The arse pain. Is it the shooting pain like Keith Lemon talks of? That does hurt!! I feel for you Gareth.

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