SN Blog 65 – The Transfer Committee

I am one of the admins who spends a lot of time in our comments sections on Facebook and as such I am often the poor soul taking the hits for the club.  I do not know why, I guess people just need to vent and when venting do not like anyone offering a counter point of view.  I suppose that is true in life, I should maybe learn when and when not to correct people – would explain why my marriage didn’t work BUT I digress…

Something I see discussed a lot and largely due to really poor reporting in the press is who is in charge of our transfers.  This has been brought into sharp focus recently due to the manager getting really annoyed in press conferences over constant transfer questions.  His quotes in response all on the face seem to indicate he is frustrated at a lack of transfers and that he is not involved at all.

The reality is he is heavily involved and his frustration which boiled over, he now says, is at the constant questions directed at him when in fact – when it comes to completing the deals – that is not his job and he is 100% correct in that.  Although I am sure he knows there were better ways to shut the press up without getting that annoyed it can happen to the best of us.  His pre match press conference before Aston Villa this Saturday should make for interesting viewing / listening for sure.

At Spurs there are four men (five if you include Jesus Perez) who are the “transfer committee” and they are the chairman Daniel Levy, the manager Mauricio Pochettino, the head of recruitment and scouts Steve Hitchen and lastly the head of the academy John McDermott.

The scouts identify players, John will compare to what he has in the academy and comment as to if he believes we already have better or with games instead of a new signing some have the potential to be better.  Pochettino of course will have players in mind from his own knowledge and connections that he wants to bring in and work with.  Steve Hitchen will then scout and put together reports via his team on these players to make sure they tick the boxes for the club.

Once these players are agreed, normally with plan A and back up B options, it is down to the man pictured above to make them happen.  Daniel Levy, as the chairman is the man in control of transfers really.  We can scout and scout, Poch can want and John can agree but its down to money and the boss to make it happen.

In the last two windows we simply did not have the funds to buy who would have been upgrades.  We could have made signings for sure, agents offered us many players who Daniel took to the before mentioned committee however either Poch did not rate them, Steve Hitchen didn’t or John believed we have comparable in the academy.

That is how the system should and does work.

Now, this season funds are available to secure targets identified by Poch (Ndombele) and the scouting team (Clarke) and they are done but the club also had to make some changes, sell some players and therefore free up funds to replace the outgoing – however that has simply not happened how the chairman predicted and now its decision time.

Poch has players he wants out.  He has told these players, the club have allowed them to look for new clubs (Danny Rose) and yet business has not been done.  Depending on your source these players up for sale have not moved due to either (a) our asking price or (b) players wage demands.  Irony, when people in the media say we do not pay well and yet our players cannot find comparable or better wages elsewhere I hope is not lost on anyone.

I think we all know the Toby situation and are kind of done with it but the situation with Christian Eriksen is now front and centre.  Last summer he was offered a great new deal and verbally agreed it.  This has been widely reported by multiple sources now and seems to be taken as fact.  The player was in no rush to sign, happy at Spurs, manager happy with him but due to his happiness to sign etc we as a club rejected two significant £100m+ offers for him last summer.

The player then this summer told the press he wants a move for a new challenge.  He has not been able to secure one, at the time of writing this however and that in turn is causing problems with recruitment.

I believe the club need to gamble.  If Eriksen is going to run his contract down, nothing we can do, learn from it yes and not trust players again – however I believe the gamble we need to take is to spend on his replacement even if he does not leave.  Let him be in the reserves, play a squad role at best and have this season where a new player can bed into the club.

It is a gamble, a financial strain for sure but one I think we need to make.  Over to you Daniel, the clock is ticking!


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