Levy asking government to pay Spurs staff after trousering £7m is not a good look

first_imgStill, the wages of affected non-playing staff are small fry in the grand scheme of Premier League finances. Levy’s paymaster, Bahamas-based Spurs owner Joe Lewis — said to have made a significant slice of his £4.35billion fortune by speculating on the 1992 Black Wednesday stock-market crash — could flog a daubing or two from his £1bn art collection to keep his club’s staff on full pay.A decent Picasso is worth around  half of £65m record-signing Tanguy Ndombele on the open market — and Jose Mourinho probably wouldn’t be quite so critical of old Pablo’s brushwork.There was certainly an element of self-interest in Levy’s words — including his attempt to crush all transfer speculation at a time when his talisman, England captain Harry Kane, is openly stating he wants to win trophies sooner rather than later.Levy said: “When I read or hear stories about player transfers this summer like nothing has happened, people need to wake up to the enormity of what’s happening around us.”Yeah, because most of us are carrying on with our lives obliviously, muttering ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’4The current health emergency is devastating and unprecedented.And yet there is cautious optimism among scientists, medics and  the Government that levels of normality may return in June — perhaps even in May.Thereby allowing the remainder of the Premier League season to be played out, behind closed doors, with clubs pocketing their vast TV revenues.All such prediction and speculation is precisely that during such uncertain times.But a summer resumption would suggest there was a touch of hyperbole in Levy’s claim that: “We may be the eighth largest club in the world by revenue according to the Deloitte survey but all that historical data is totally irrelevant as this virus has no boundaries.”You can imagine him using such a line in negotiations with players’ agents and rival clubs as soon as normal life resumes.Most Read In SportTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’We have all learned much from this crisis.But in the world of football we have learned that much of what we already suspected is undoubtedly true.Match-going punters will always be the lowest priority, Jack Grealish will always party when he shouldn’t, while Ashley and Levy will always look to save money.Gary Lineker admits Harry Kane is right to think about his future at Tottenham 4FOR the eighth richest football club on Earth to go cap in hand to the Government for help in paying its staff might be seen as a major PR blunder.But for Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy to make such an announcement on the very day his own £7million annual earnings were published makes for a quite staggering misreading of the national mood.⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates4 Daniel Levy has made a serious misjudgement of the public mood with his latest announcementCredit: Rex FeaturesThe arch ball-buster of White Hart Lane never went into football to win popularity contests and now, more than ever, that is just as well.On top of his £4m salary, Spurs’ newly-published accounts revealed Levy trousered a £3m bonus in the last financial year for the completion of a stadium which opened eight months late.A year ago, you might remember, Premier League clubs were squabbling over whether Spurs should be allowed to move into their new home in mid-season as it might compromise the integrity of the competition.Oh for such trivialities to worry about now, as the coronavirus  grips.Spurs were not the first Premier League club to apply for Government cash to pay non-football staff during the sport’s lockdown.With magnificent predictability, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley made the same move 24 hours earlier.Ashley has put all of Newcastle’s non-football staff on furlough and applied for the Government to pay 80 per cent of their wages, up to £2,500 a month.Yet Levy, the league’s highest-paid executive, was hot on the heels of the nation’s least-favourite sportswear salesman.4He handed a 20 per cent pay cut to all 550 of his club’s non-playing staff, using the state’s furlough scheme to pay them ‘where appropriate’.Levy will take a 20 per cent  cut himself. Although that £3m bonus might just keep the wolf from the Spurs chairman’s door.It was a typically forthright and combative statement released by Levy yesterday. And he was absolutely right to call out players and managers, who are yet to agree to an across-the-board pay cut.Levy said: “We hope the discussions between the Premier League, PFA (players’ union) and LMA (managers’ union) will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football ecosystem.”Talks are ongoing about that issue  — and it will be discussed  at Friday’s Premier League conference call.Though PFA chairman Gordon Taylor is known to be concerned that some clubs might use the health crisis as a convenient excuse to lower wage bills in the long term.But players must, and surely will, do their bit.Levy’s supporters claim yesterday’s statement was a masterstroke, shaming players and managers into accepting the inevitable and taking pay cuts or wage deferrals for the greater good of a game thrown into chaos by the lockdown.CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOWGet the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.last_img read more