Daniel Levy on the verge of guiding Tottenham to the big time
Tottenham opinion: Spurs' chairman has done some good work so far - and he can do a lot more
Since ENIC International Ltd took over Spurs in February 2001 a lot has changed, not just at the club, but in football in general.
Back then, the club captain was a certain Sol Campbell, Russian and Arab oligarchs had nothing to do with British football, and a certain Leo Messi was a 13 year old new to the city of Barcelona.
Much like Alan Sugar before him, Daniel Levy decided to run the club on a sustainable, business-like approach. This had brought his predecessor both grudging respect and ire from the fans in equal measure, but the potential for unrest has never deterred Levy in the 12 years since then.
Since Ledley King's retirement last summer, there is not a single surviving first team player from the 2000-2001 season still at the club. However, Steffen Freund and King work currently at the club, and both Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood were coaches last season with Harry Redknapp.
Levy is much famed for playing hardball in transfer negotiations, and although it may sometimes mean that Spurs miss out on a player due to so-called brinksmanship, he never risks the club's future. The same also applies for players already at the club, where a strict wage ceiling is in place. Again, this draws criticism when players such as Berbatov, Modric and Carrick leave the club looking for better wages elsewhere, but it is playing safe with the club's future.
The club's revenue and status has grown steadily since that first season's 12th place finish, to the point where Spurs are regularly considered one of the leading 5-6 teams in the league fighting out the places in the Champions' League.
However, it has not all been positive news for Spurs fans over these last 12 years. Eight people have occupied the manager's car parking space in that time, and alongside some great purchases lie a few shockers (David Bentley, to name just one).
The biggest area of criticism aimed at Levy's management of the club is in the failure to secure a new stadium. Several options have been toyed with, including sites elsewhere in London, such as the Olympic Stadium. An expensive rebuild of White Hart Lane seems the most likely option though, with no guarantees about the financing of the project, or of improved transport links which already reduce the area around the Lane to a standstill on matchdays.
Spurs fans: What are your favourite moments/players from the 2001-today era? And the worst? Leave them in the comments below...
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