Tottenham board in discussions with prospective investors about selling stake in club – The Athletic

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Tottenham Hotspur are “in discussions with prospective investors” about selling a stake in the club, chairman Daniel Levy has confirmed.

In a statement accompanying Tottenham’s financial results for the year ending June 30 2023, Levy said: “To capitalise on our long-term potential, to continue to invest in the teams and undertake future capital projects, the club requires a significant increase in its equity base. The board and its advisors, Rothschild & Co, are in discussions with prospective investors. Any recommended investment proposal would require the support of the club’s shareholders.”

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Levy’s statement led to questions about whether Tottenham’s owners ENIC were about to sell up, but the club say the talks are over selling a stake, not a full-scale change of ownership.

Either way, it is a potentially significant step for Tottenham, who in their results announced that they had made a total loss in the period of £86.8m, up from £50.1m in the year ending June 2022.

This was despite total revenue exceeding £500million ($629m) for the first time, a 24 per cent increase to £549.6m from £444.0m the previous year. This was helped by match receipts increasing to £117.6m, up from £106.1m. Profit from operations before depreciation, amortisation, player trading, interest and taxation meanwhile increased to £138.7m (up from £112.3m in 2022).

Spurs’ growing revenues led to renewed calls from the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust to reverse its decision to increase season ticket prices by six per cent and tighten the rules around senior concessions. There will undoubtedly also be frustration from some supporters at Levy’s pay being increased from £3.3m to £3.6m, in addition to a £3m bonus.

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Spurs explained last month that the ticket price hike was because of “a significant increase in matchday costs”, and in his statement on Wednesday morning, Levy spoke about rising costs more generally, saying the club expected “the impact of rising costs, caused by geo-political events, to continue to impact all areas of our operations.”

Elsewhere in his statement, Levy pointed to Tottenham’s “multi-use stadium” as being a key revenue stream. “Our turnover has exceeded half a billion pounds for the first time,” he wrote. “Whilst UEFA monies contributed, this has also been driven by increased stadium revenues from both football and non-football events and additional revenue streams. This is the impact of our multi-use stadium and what our board has been focussed on delivering in order to invest in our football in a financially sustainable manner. The absolute priority for our Club is to deliver on-pitch success.”

Levy added, in relation to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR) that Tottenham “remains fully compliant with the Premier League’s PSR and is supportive of the enhancement of PSR to ensure the Premier League remains competitive and sustainable”.

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What does this mean for Spurs?

In the age of PSR, Premier League clubs’ financial results have become increasingly appointment reading. Tottenham Hotspur’s on Wednesday morning were no exception, with a couple of standout headlines.

The first was the news of the club entering talks about selling a stake. This will not be a straightforward deal or something the owners will do lightly given how much the club is worth and how long ENIC have been in charge, but the fact it’s something Spurs are actively involved in is a significant step.

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Elsewhere in the report, news of the chairman Levy receiving a pay rise and a £3 million bonus has been very badly received by some sections of the fanbase, already furious at recent season ticket hikes.

Especially as that £3 million figure is roughly what Tottenham are expected to bring in from the six per cent increase of season tickets. Levy’s annual salary package of £6.6 million, including that bonus, means he remains the highest-paid Premier League club executive.

In general, Spurs’ finances look healthy despite the overall losses for the fourth year in a row. Football finance expert Kieran Maguire pointed out that Spurs were not in danger of breaching the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) because they had “around £70 million-a-year infrastructure costs” which are deductible from the calculations.

The new stadium is a major reason why Spurs’ revenues have shot up. On average on a matchday, Spurs generated on average £79.61 per fan per match pre VAT, or £95.53 after adding VAT.

And those revenues mean Spurs have by far the healthiest ratio of wages to turnover of any Premier League team, at a relatively lowly 46 per cent. The next lowest are Arsenal and Manchester United at 51 per cent. This was despite Spurs’ wage bill exceeding Arsenal’s for the first time, underlining Tottenham’s greater revenues compared to their north London rivals.

(Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

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