SN Blog 81 – Another point of view

This is our second blog post in two days, I know what you are thinking… “wow you are spoiling us…” and yes you would be right.  Yesterday the blog was written by my podcast partner in crime Matt aka Admin MC from the Facebook page and I know from speaking to him how angry he feels about the situation at the club right now and how passionate he was when writing his piece.

As with football and in life we all have different opinions and views and on this I guess me and Matt are looking at it from different points of view and as such I would encourage anyone reading this who has not yet had a read of Matt’s piece to do that here:

As I eluded to above I do not fully agree with my friend on this situation but I do in part so let’s start there.  He showed his frustration and anger at the club and the owners, which for me is fully justified.  In Daniel Levy we have the highest paid chairman in England and someone who in the latest set of account earned, on top of his already large salary, a £4m bonus for delivering the stadium “on time” which I could very easily attack that on its own but for now lets leave it as it is.

Now in large corporations the size of Tottenham Hotspur Plc a chairman / CEO like Daniel would earn what he earns and more for delivering the level of profits he has, especially when you look at the capital investment in infrastructure.

HOWEVER as everyone reading this I am sure will know this chairman, who pocketed close to £7m all while delivering record profits for the club in the last financial year has placed non playing staff on the government back furlough scheme.  This means these employees are sent home and they are paid, during this public health crisis only 80% of their wages and that 80% can be reclaimed by the club from the government.

Once again I am in two minds here.  I own and run four business’ and recently I have had to make really tough choices around my staff and using this scheme myself.  Of course I am not on the scale of Tottenham but I do still think it’s important to keep in mind if you are a business with thousands in outgoing and thousands in income and that income stops then its only scale to compare to Spurs who are a business with millions going out and millions no longer coming in.

The decision I made is personal to me and my business however the decision made by Daniel Levy, it could be argued, enables all staff to retain their jobs and enables the club to not lose any money from this situation while the crisis goes on.  Could be argued that is good management no?

The question I think most people are wrestling with however in this is the moral one and this is where I am 100% with Matt as morally I think the club has really let us as a fan base down in this situation.  They had a real opportunity to lead the way and when you look at the financials involved you do have to wonder what the thinking was.

Just for round figures the press have reported some 500 staff are no on 80% of their pay.  Imagine, this wont be true, but just imagine each of these 500 people earned £2,000 a month paid by the club.  That is a grand total wage roll of £1m per month.  Accepting it is “good business” sense to use the govt scheme as these workers did all need to be sent home based on Govt advice the club are claiming they cannot afford to top it up to their full salary!  The club claim right now that they cannot afford £200,000 (again these are just round figures) per month.  For such a well run club, this seems a little far fetched no?  For a club that posted record profits…. for a club that pay’s its chairman a league high in salary…  Daniel Levy could have personally covered this out of his salary and as a major shareholder in the club himself in some ways his responsibility.

Let’s not let our billionaire owner Joe Lewis off the hook here though.  This man is quite literally choosing which of his yachts he wants to ride out the crisis on all while sitting on a personal fortune enough to pay all of these people 200% of their salary each month for the next year and it likely only account to the interest on his savings!  It wouldn’t even make a dent and that is why it stinks.

Massive business’ like banks and other soulless enterprises we all kind of expect them to be this way but Tottenham Hotspur Plc used to be a community football club before it was anything else and so to see it act like a group of corporate ass holes instead of actually making good on all of its marketing is to be kind, not good, not good at all.

Who remembers the #Together campaign?  Did you know the club won a social media award for that… almost as if it meant nothing more than a marketing gimmick and so it has proven.  We are clearly not together, clearly not all one club, one Hotspur and as my own form of protest at how these members of staff have been treated I have cancelled my membership.  I will not continue to pour money into a corporation.  I used to think I was a member of something more.  How wrong I was.

Now, we come to the but I do not agree with Matt.  Calling out the players.  I read that and was actually really surprised he elected to call out one of our own Harry Kane as an example and the whole group.  For what?  For refusing to have their salary reduced?  For refusing to pay the non playing staff from their own pockets?  Ummmm why should they?  As I have demonstrated above the club are the morally bankrupt ones here!  They should be paying those people 100% of their wages.  Yes I have argued you can see the reason the Govt furlough scheme is being used but to cut the pay is shit.

The players however are no under obligation to pay these people and to suggest they should for me is not fair.  A person who works for any company is not being harassed to pay his lower paid colleagues and nor should footballers.  The club have let us and those who work for them down and that is something I will not forget.

It was released yesterday in a statement from the Premier League, after Matt had written his piece, that the clubs and PFA are in talks about the players taking a 30% pay reduction while this is ongoing.  I have to be honest with you I am again against this.  Now, before you rush to the comment section to attack me please hear me out.  Where do you think that 30% is going to go?  Its going to go to the club.  Those same millionaire chairmen and billionaire owners I was talking about earlier.

With that pay reduction it also means that’s less tax being paid to the UK Govt.  That is less money to front line services like the NHS.  So for everyone screaming at players to take pay cuts think about that.  You are literally screaming at them to take a pay cut to benefit the clubs owners.  Now I am focusing on the Premier League here as I am a Tottenham fan writing about Tottenham so I do appreciate in the lower divisions of the football league the owners are not all yacht dwelling million/billionaires but in the Premier League they are.

Of course you have then the moral question again.  Should these players be donating their money to charity.  That is there choice no?  I do not believe people should be forced to do anything with money they have earned.  Is anyone outside banks screaming at investment bankers to give their money to NHS?  No, footballers are just an easy target.

The thing is, many of them are actually donating a lot and it was also revealed yesterday the reason so many are resisting the club pay cut is because there have been talks among players themselves to set up a fund for NHS workers so instead of the 30% being talked about staying with the billionaires the players themselves would rather have that and give it to a fund for NHS workers.  Which would you prefer happen?

Because of the abuse aimed at players in the last few days over this we are now seeing the work they have done off their own back to give during this being made public.  Danny Rose initially donated £19,000 to a North London Hospital anonymously but made it public by video message so to show footballers are not all bad.  Toby Alderweireld has donated over one thousand tablet computers to hospitals in Belgium to help families stay in touch who are separated during this and the list of things like this keeps growing and growing.

Its really sad for me that these people are being called out by so many, including the govt, when the billionaire owner of our football club sits on a yacht, one of many, and is completely blame free.



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