There is a way for Tottenham to keep Harry Kane, while Harry Kane keeps Tottenham. The Mailbox also discusses Steven Gerrard’s latest move; the biggest D; and plenty more.
Get your views in to firstname.lastname@example.org…
How Spurs can keep Kane, and Kane can keep Spurs…
With the wealth and power that modern day sports men can wield, Harry Kane is in a unique position with Tottenham Hotspur. Yes he can move for the medals of being a player of Bayern Munich gets you by default or he can follow in the footsteps of Lebron James, David Beckham and Lionel Messi in leveraging their star power into an ownership stake.
Not only can his power achieve this but Tottenham are in the unique position to perhaps, fulfilling his other career goal of being a kicker in the NFL. Whilst Man City and Chelsea are going down the multi-club model I think it is becoming clearer that Spurs are going down the multi-sport model, with the deals with NFL and F1. Tottenham will be serious candidates for the new London Franchise and with the stadium agreement up around 2027 we could see the London franchise ready for the 2028 season.
Already a Tottenham legend, he could continue with Spurs, break the Premier League scoring record and have the statue outside the stadium and then go on to become a rare elite 2 sports player by signing with the London NFL club which he will already have an ownership stake in from the negotiations he had in 2023.
I think today’s footballers can learn from the way that the American sports star have become the CEO of their own brands and businesses, turning them from millionaires to billionaires due to savvy business choices. Messi has shown the way again with his MLS deal, not taking the short term cash from Saudi Arabia but planning for the long term and Kane now has the opportunity to secure a real legacy by becoming a part of Tottenham.
Moments make legends
In response to some of the responses to my mail. 50 years later, what memory of Kane would people distinctly have. Like a live video replay in their head? I can’t think of any now & I think he is one of the top 3 strikers in the world. He has a hundred great moments, but none so memorable it would be deep within my memory like the RVP title winning volley, Ole’s CL winning goal, Aguero’s goal, Haaland or Cantona’s phenomenal first season, Giggs goal against Arsenal would count for nought if they don’t win the FA cup. Same for all the above memories. Winners make legends. The rest of the greatest moments are a notch down if they did not end with a winning medal or cup. What is Kane’s?
Is there any “legend” who has never won a major trophy? Can my fellow mailbox find one? (FYI i think major honors would include World Cup, Euros, League, Champions League, FA Cup). I think there are none, because they are always forgotten. Matt Le Tissier is the closest you get.
Crack on, Kane
One of the big topics of the summer is obviously Harry Kane and where he might be playing football next season. But it strikes me as slightly odd that so much has been written about this from his perspective. Football fans generally follow a club, not a player. If a player moves on, the supporter doesn’t suddenly switch allegiance (well, the vast majority of the time anyway).
If I was a Spurs fan I would certainly have a view on wanting him to stay and what’s best for the club. And if I were a Bayern fan, United fan, or fan of any other potential suitor club, I’d also have a view (as a Brentford fan, I’ll happily sit this one out). But why all the opinion pieces trying to second guess what’s best for Kane? It’s his life, he can do what the hell he wants! Only he can decide what’s important to him. Can’t we just let him get on with it?
Gerrard has given up
This might be an overreaction, but I can’t help feel Steven Gerrard’s move to the Saudi Pro League marks a shift towards ‘not a serious manager’ territory.
A lot of caveats here, obviously, not least I am aware that European football is not the be all and end all, it’s a global game for a reason, and I’m sure the fans of other leagues show just as much passion (TM) as those who follow the Premier League. I think sportswashing has been discussed repeatedly on these very pages and I won’t add anything there as I don’t think there is much left to say. In footballing terms it’s hard to not sound patronising, but the bare facts support there are likely many other, better, career-building options out there league-wise.
However, any manager who realistically has designs on managing ‘at the highest level’ must see this as a huge risk. This is not Rafa Benitez to China, this is not Arsene Wenger trail-blazing in Japan.
The money on offer I can only imagine is astronomical, and as is his right, Gerrard is likely setting his family up for life, but let’s not pretend this is a progressive league in football terms, they are signing has-beens on the one hand and helping Chelsea balance the books on the other.
Sadly I think from here we go from promising start at Rangers via promising then underwhelming at Villa (a lot of Villa fans were quite pleased with those first few months – I certainly heard lots of praise at the time) to ‘what ever happened there’ trajectory.
We all knew it was a long shot he would ever manage Liverpool, the romantic in me would have loved to see it. But he needed to demonstrate ability before that could ever even be considered. This seems like the end of that particular road.
I might be wrong, but I don’t think I am.
Marc (LFC – excited to see what these new signings can bring!)
Sportswashing and laundering
Ok so you’ve bought a football team and you’re also insanely wealthy tyrannical authoritarian dictator and can’t wait to pump those billions into the club…but wait….some pesky leg breakers have said you’re not allowed unless you grease their already greasy and garlicky palms…
What do you do? Well you can try and pretend that all the billion you pump in is legitimate money via sponsorships like man city or misreport the number of people who attend matches like moneybags Manchester United did way back in the early 1900s. Both ways will indeed allow you to illegally pump money into your club and circumvent the rules but it will draw the attention of authorities and let’s be honest as a tyrannical authoritarian regime you bought the club to divert attention away from your extra curricular activities…
Well don’t fret because using UEFA own rules and system you can successfully launder a football player into your shiny new toy.
First your owners have to also own a team(s) outside of UEFA purview. For this example we will be using… PIF (which despite only benefitting the Saudi royal family is called the public investment fund). PIF owns Newcastle United and also 4 of the biggest teams in the Saudi league. How do they make Newcastle competitive without breaking FFP? signing mbappe for example.
Then buy Europe’s best and most talented players for your non uefa team. in this case you sign mbappe for al nassr. Wages and transfer value dont matter since your non uefa team (al Nasser) don’t need to stick to FFP anyways. And let’s be honest…you’re rich as f*ck so you don’t care about the money either.
So now you have Europe’s elite playing for <insert non uefa team> on massive wages. Now all you do…is loan them for the entire length of their contract to your uefa based team (Newcastle in this example) now the players salary and transfer fee will not affect Newcastle’s ffp at all. It is currently not against uefa rules to do this and is done to some extent via partnerships between clubs (city and Palermo, Liverpool and RBS) though they are still subject to FFP due to uefa cooperations with other football federations…which it currently does not have with middle east league or Chinese leagues
Congrats you now successfully built a team with the world greatest players and it cost your primary team a mere 5% of the player salary and nothing more.
You have laundered a football player
Welcome to the future of FFP
The biggest D
I may be taking the bait here, but I can’t help but object to Dictionary365 referring to Dundee as “not the bigger club”, as opposed to Dundee United.
Dundee were founded first, and historically were far more successful than Dundee Utd, having won the league under Bob Shankly (Bill’s brother) in 1961, and made the European Cup semis the following year, as well as currently being in a higher division than Dundee Utd, admittedly only by virtue of us being promoted and them relegated this year.
Fine, they have also made a European Cup semi much more recently, but we have an equal number of league titles (one), whilst we’ve won more cups, and count legends of the game Claudio Caniggia and Temuri Ketsbaia amongst our alumni (as well as my great uncle and Hall of Fame inductee Alfie Boyd).
As I write this, I suddenly realise that this is very much a tallest dwarf competition… never mind.
A question of transfers
On a recent episode of Question Time, Fiona Bruce asked ‘if anyone supported the Government’s Rwanda plan’. Not one person raised their hand. Ask the same question on twitter you’ll get thousands saying they do.
It’s the difference between real life and social media life.
I think John Nicholson has become confused by the two.
I believe most ‘real life’ football fans don’t care how much is spent, indeed we love, what appears to be, a bargain.
We do care how they will fit into the team, who may leave as a result of their signing or if, and we hope not, they’ll unbalance our attack/defence/midfield.
In the same way (and the less attention given to their reasons the better) some people, in real life, will support sending asylum seekers to another continent, so a minority will be obsessed with the amount spent on new signings, but its not the norm for most.
Maybe our Government should stop getting its policies from what @dave167262886252 said on twitter and maybe John should not view fans reaction to football transfers through the social media lens?
Graham (footballers are not traded like cattle, it’s their services that are paid for)
Where’s the joy, Johnny?
Is it possible for John Nicholson to write about the joys of football rather than relentlessly whinging about it? After all he’s being paid to sit around all day listening to and watching it…