Grateful for Levy’s parsimonious approach, no PL until 2021 and…

Date published: Wednesday 1st April 2020 2:29

Tottenham fans

Thanks for your mails. Keep them coming to…


Season is not voided, it is just set as incomplete due to circumstances
Hi F365,

I’m back with a less than optimistic view on how the football season ends!

Previously I wrote about the likelihood that there will not be any transfers this summer. The newspapers continue to increase the rumoured values – Sancho is now apparently moving for 130m in an era when teams are losing tens of millions of planned revenue for the last few months of the season! Nonsense! Transfers, (apart from maybe bosmans, and swaps) are essentially gone in the next year. They can’t happen. How can a club risk paying millions on a players transfer and contract, when they can no longer forecast revenue and plan how much they have to spend?!

OK, I went off track there, but the main thing I wanted to provide input on is voiding the current season.

The season wont be voided. As mentioned by others, this would have a likely big impact on tv contracts for the games already played and tournament revenue etc. Voided and not being able to complete are 2 different things. The only logical step is to cancel/not complete the end of the season. There is no way it can be completed with a closed chapter in terms of finalizing relegations, promotions across all countries in Europe for example.

This season is going to be set as not completed due to external circumstances.

European football next year is cancelled as a result and is sensible as all European countries and football leagues are going to recover at different times.

Football will re-commence sometime next season when feasible across Europe.

In 21/22, European football will return based on 20/21 positions.

It’s a big pain in the hoop for everybody – the financial landscape is going to change massively in football and some clubs are going to get mostly ruined by it all.

But this is happening, and it’s happening right now.
Gary B (This is one fine mess we have people. Stay safe.)


Season to season
There seems to be two schools of thought on the 2019/2020 season.

End Early (Options include: Voiding, Awarding Current Places, Awarding Victory to Liverpool but maintaining all other positions with promotions and relegations cancelled, etc)

Play On (Options include: Condensed Summer schedule, The Festival of Football, Closed Door Matches, quarantined teams, etc)

Neither seem to account for the 2021/2022 season. At present we are told that the human trials of a vaccine won’t start until October and a wide spread vaccination program won’t take place for another year or so. It is entirely likely that there will be a second wave of the Coronavirus at the end of this year and into early next year as the weather becomes more favorable for the virus. Indeed, most governments are preparing for that.

I believe the next football season could be equally disrupted so the rush to resolve this season seems unnecessary. I am proposing a 2019/2022 season. One season, dragged out over two years. I believe it would be better to have one weird, frustrating and disturbed season, than to write this one off, get half way through the next and then write that one off too.

Next Summer we should have the Euros and the Olympics. Which seams like the most realistic end point for this virus. After which we can reboot the usual annual season cycle starting 2022/2023. As it stands there are about 9 Match Days left, depending on the odd team that has a game in hand. That could easily be staggered over a number of months, with each team playing once per month but there still being football matches once per week, allowing for a good level of intra-match isolation/quarantine. This could also be applied to the European and National Cup competitions.

Even if this extended season were to end early in 2021 there would be a short break before the Euros and Olympics meaning the fans and viewers wouldn’t be without the entertainment for long and it would also give the players a valuable rest given they have a Summer schedule ahead of them before a short pre-season and then a much awaited 2022/23 season of football ahead of them.


Let’s be realistic, the season will probably start again in March 2021
Dear Editor,

I’ve been reading the letters to void and those not to void. Some creative solutions, some insane solutions, some sensible solutions.

But two things have bothered me. First we’re discussing ‘next season’ as if it will start as normal in August. Some news, it won’t. There will be a second wave of infections as lockdowns are eased. But the government will want to protect the NHS as it is now – I don’t anticipate a sporting event with ~30,000 people happening this calendar year. And that’s a rough average. Try 80,000 at the Ataturk plus the international travel for a champions league final? Never going to happen.

Play it behind closed doors is the next one, and I get this, it seems sensible. However, I don’t think this will be allowed to happen for one main reason – people. And specifically football fans – they love to gather. A match at Anfield for example – the pubs, the streets outside the ground. Guaranteed to be rammed. Especially if it’s a potentially title-winning game.

Not to mention, the ideas around skeleton staff, minimal security, player isolation camps etc. Basically a logistical nonsense, and you’re still talking about 100’s of people travelling around the country (plus europe) and interacting with each other. Players on lock down is one thing. What about the support teams, put them all in a hotel right? But what about hotel staff? Minimal security? Do we really think an overstretched police force trying to manage the entire population will redirect even one officer to a football match? They won’t and shouldn’t. What about injuries? It’s a contact sport, broken legs need ambulance teams, hospital staff, beds, surgeons, physios, medicines…

Personally I think we just need to wait and see. Likely scenario is the 19/20 season will finish in 20/21. These two seasons will be rolled in to one. Essentially, football is one month in to a year-long break.
Marc (London)


“The idea of postponing until September is even worse. Why ruin one season when you can ruin two?”
– James from Chorley.

James, why are you are making the assumption that we will be back to normal by August?

No one knows when this will be. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England has said it could be six months or longer before we can get back to normal. So it’s probably safe to say that the 2020/21 season is already ruined.
Ken Lalobo – LUFC (Yes I admit it, I don’t want the season voided)


Will we learn?
Oh how I hope Toby Sprigings is right and that when football does return, it will return a much more modest, accessible and prudent creature.  If nothing else, our enforced withdrawal from this particularly opiate, should be made so much easier by the astonishing self-serving and mendacious behaviour of Daniel Levy.   How any organisation which has quite so much cash sloshing around could even begin to consider taking handouts, just beggars belief.

However, hopeful as I am that we may all come out of this into a better world, the history of….well, history, tells us that the human race is a bit crap at learning from experience.  Remember the Great War (styled as the war to end all wars, but proved to not even be the last World War).  Remember the Holocaust and the millions who died due to antisemitism and prejudice (particularly relevant to chanting football fans).  Remember the last time you drank to excess and woke up feeling like complete and utter rubbish (and promised yourself you would never, ever do that again).

Perhaps we of F365 can make a pact.  Perhaps we can be the conscience for the wider community of football fans.  Perhaps we can ensure that no footballer is ever paid more in a week than the entire staff of a good sized UK hospital in a year, ever again.  Perhaps we can have Daniel Levy removed from his post at Sp*rs, having proven to be possibly the least fit and proper person at the top of a very long list.  Perhaps we can reset our priorities and never go back.  Perhaps….
Carolyn, South London Gooner


I’m grateful for Levy’s parsimonious approach
Thanks, Mike, LFC Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells,  for the diatribe about Spurs this morning.

If you think the players aren’t being impacted, you clearly have no idea how the club operates. Salaries are performance related. If you’re not on the pitch, scoring goals or securing a certain position in the table,  I’m guessing many of them are taking more than a 20% haircut given the performance-related aspect goes out the window. I won’t cry for too many of them, but let’s not pretend this isn’t effecting the playing staff too. I’m sure there’ll be further cuts once there’s clarity about the season’s outcome. Levy has already signalled that’s the case, when referencing cuts at Barca, Madrid and Juve, but until you know for certain, why risk pissing of staff who can upsticks and leave potentially in two months, and be the only club to do so?

Given the downturn, I’m grateful Levy’s parsimonious approach didn’t see us over extend the wage bill and put the club in a more precarious position. To give further perspective, Spurs are losing about 5M a home game. Given where we are in the season, and cancellation of various sporting events, expect Spurs total revenue to drop at least 20% once all is said and done. An organisation that currently has no matchday revenue, and is shuttered operationally,  continues to pay its staff at 80%, using the government’s scheme (shock horror – that’s what it’s there for), instead of laying them all off with no salary – but that doesn’t garner headlines, or play to pre-conceived indignation that some people seem to revel in.
Dan James “Day 23 of lockdown. All work and no play….”


Mike, LFC, London et al…

If you’ve quite finished, then might I point out that Levy’s statement yesterday clearly included the words ‘and directors’ when detailing who will be taking the pay cut? It’s basically just the players who won’t be affected. And the higher earning directors and management (Levy included) would not be eligible for the Government scheme so wouldn’t receive taxpayer’s money anyway.

Regarding the players, I believe the PFA and Gordon Taylor are doing their level best to stand in the way of a pay cut for them at the moment, and are using their considerable clout to stop to clubs acting unilaterally regarding player contracts. It would be nice if the players were willing to take the cut of their own accord, however I don’t know what kind of relationship the average premier league footballer has with his union, and what sort of power they have in this situation. Indeed, one could read Levy’s statement as a challenge to the PFA and the players to do more, with its statements of ‘people need to wake up’, ‘football cannot operate in a bubble’ ‘we hope the current discussions between the Premier League and the PFA will result in players doing their bit’.

Now, do I think that Joe Lewis should siphon off some of his vast wealth in this extraordinary time to continue to pay people their full wages? Yes, of course. But he has never shown an inclination to inject wealth into the club (the cause of the ‘sensible transfer strategy’ you praise). In the absence of that happening, the already divisive Levy was forced to take a difficult decision that he must have known would prove highly unpopular.

Distasteful? Perhaps – I think it says more about the sordid nature of finance in English football in general. But a disgrace? The most vile club in English football? Do grow up.


Yes, Mike (LFC, from the popular Merseyside  suburb London) we are the most vile club in the world.

I’m sure Juventus must have had the warmest of feelings about your club post Heysel.

Notwithstanding all that what else does anyone expect from Tottenham’s very own Mr Spock?

A £3m bonus for completing a late and over budget stadium – imagine what he’d have got paid if it was completed on time?
David (Sydney, suburb just up from Tottenham Hale)


Taxes and football
I don’t often read the mailbox anymore, but since I don’t have much else to do these days, I thought I would give it a go this morning. I’m glad I did – I quite enjoyed it again. I just wanted to make one comment though, to Steve in Los Angeles. He mentioned something which a lot of people often say, in error, and it’s probably worth correcting.

He mentioned something about “government money being your money”, and that your “taxes are being pissed away”. That’s just not how money works in this country, or in the States, as a matter of fact.

The government is a sovereign curerncy issuer – meaning they can pop along to the Royal Mint and just print as much money as they like, whenever they like (or probably in this day and age, just stick a few extra zeros in a spreadsheet somewhere). That’s how they can suddenly afford to pay bajillions of pounds on people’s wages and medical equipment etc. Do you think they had all this money hidden away somewhere but only decided to spend it last week?

Taxes aren’t collected to give the government a yearly budget which they can spend. It’s actually the other way round. Sovereign governments can spend what they like to pump money into the economy, and they use taxes to take that money out again, to make sure it maintains its value and to avoid inflation. And I say “sovereign governments” because the UK creates its own pounds, whereas people in Europe who subscribe to the Euro can’t do this (due to centralisation).

Anyway, it always bugs me when politicians get this wrong because if you did even the simplest of Googling you can find hundreds of articles and videos to explain how this all works. And it’s worth knowing because any time someone says “your tax dollars are being wasted” you can politely point out that that isn’t how money works.



Hope for football…
I just watched the film (Under their Skin on ITV) about Robbie Lyle (founder of AFC TV) lifelong Arsenal supporter talking about his creation and the racial abuse he has received. He also talked about the increasing multi cultural support for the game we all love.

i was deeply affected how he talked about his father and the fact he could not take him to a game because of his physical frailty and chances of being racially abused. A group of fellow Black men talked about their experience of racism at football matches to devastating, cultural effect

It was a compelling view from especially from Robbie who accepts that AFCTV and will always be criticised (some genuine and some unacceptable)

Robbie (whom I do not know) accepted as a leading Arsenal supporter also acknowledged he will be abused in writing but it was the racial abuse which touched the nerve.

His emotional explanation about the racial abuse (especially from online keyboard warriors(cowards in my view) touched my partner Selin and I as we watched the programme.

Those of us who suffer this constant barrage of racial abuse have to raise this matter constantly because there is a feeling football worldwide is not dealing effectively wiith such abuse. The punishments are not fitting the crime and until teams are suspended and grounds closed for matches will people really begin to change their behaviour

The Covid 19 virus is killing thousands of people and I hope a successful vaccine saving us all can be developed quickly

When football returns it will in my view substantially change. An appreciation of life together, remembering the lives of those lost and how being kinder to each (without losing the competitive fan spirits) is the best way to celebrate their lives

The end of angry, intolerable, violent behaviour and racial violence it not needed

Yes, I know it maybe is wishful hope….However, that is all we have at the moment and people like Robbie Lyle are needed more the ever
Tony Laforce, Hackney, London, England


Goal bonuses…
Until Kevin brought it up this morning when he spoke of Jamie Vardy’s goal bonus also becoming void if the season was voided and would he be expected to pay it back? It had not crossed my mind what so ever, however he is spot on, those goals would have been scored during a season that was declared null and void, if the TV Rights Companies feel they are entitled to their money back if the fixture list is not completed, then each club in theory would be entitled to any cash “Bonuses” paid out due to on the field performances, be it clean sheets, tackles, assists, goals etc.

I feel that if the season is declared void it is going to cause a lot of grey areas, a lot of further issues and potentially a lot of repercussions, where players or perhaps clubs will be taking one another to the courts, oh god this is never going to end is it?
Mikey, CFC


Thanks to Alex, London for putting a smile on my face this morning.

Those of a certain vintage will remember the Colemanballs series of books which collected the finest such gaffes each year. Everyone’s favourite honorary Geordie known as Keggy practically had his own section, with some of the highlights being:

“They compare Steve McManaman to Steve Highway and he’s nothing like him, but I can see why –  it’s because he’s a bit different”.

“Goalkeepers aren’t born today until they’re in their late 20s or 30s and sometimes not even then”.

“The Germans only have one player under 22, and he’s 23”!

The man is a veritable goldmine!
David (*this* close to downloading Champ Manager)


Jack Grealish
Hi MC,

Having just read Williams Douglas Foster, Stretford’s email, which basically amounts to “Leave Jack alone everybody”, something struck me as missing from the whole escapade. Why haven’t the police been more heavily involved? A man claiming to have just been foolish to accept the offer of attending a friend’s party, crashed his Range Rover into 2 parked cars and then left the scene of the accident. Last I heard, that was an offence. Minor, admittedly, but an offence none the less. Shouldn’t the police have immediately visited Grealish and taken blood or urine samples to see if he was under the influence of any intoxicants? Is this possibly because he’s famous, rich and issued a ridiculous on-screen apology? Who cares if his club have fined him. If I lived around Birmingham, I’d prefer to know that people driving nearly a tonne of steel were not doing so under the influence if anything. Why has this been swept under the carpet so easily?



Favourite football quotes
Favourite football quote has to be Peter Crouch’s response to the question “what would you be if you weren’t a footballer?”

“A Virgin!”. Genius.
Kaspar, London


2 spring to mind

Graham Taylor when asked if he was surprised by Roy Keane leaving Sunderland.

“Not totally. I do think there is a psychological thing about people who grow beards for no reason.

People may laugh at this and say it is absolutely silly, but he changed his personality when that beard was grown.

My wife will tell you the truth. When I saw the beard I told her there were problems. I do think there is a psychological problem when people grow beards for no reason. I can’t believe they do it.”

Kevin Keegan on the transfer window

“Well, that’s like asking me who is on my Christmas card list. I sit down with the wife and I say ‘Did they send us one last year or this year’, and if they haven’t we rip the name up and throw it in the bin. But then, a couple of days after Christmas the card might arrive late so we do a card for them on the 28th and date it the 22nd and send it off and hope they don’t notice…I haven’t a clue what I’m talking about”
Martin from Rayleigh


Gambling windfall?
So, if and that’s a big if, this season is declared null and void, do I get my stakes back on losing bets? As I have what can be described as the reverse Midas touch when it comes to betting, a large refund would be more than welcome in these troubling times. Anyone got Ray Winstone’s email address?
Ad Dane, Bulgaria 

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