In August 2012, Tottenham Hotspur announced a partnership with Spanish giants Real Madrid. Just over a year on, Spurs are reportedly looking into ending a deal that appears to be all one-way traffic.
A petition to bring it to an end, created by Lilywhites fans has notched up over 4,000 signatures, and Spurs are putting the partnership under review.
This summer’s Gareth Bale saga saw the two clubs fall out amid accusations of tapping up, with the North Londoners even threatening to report Real to FIFA at one stage.
The partnership was announced on the same day that Luka Modric transferred to the Bernabeu, and since then Gareth Bale’s departure has only strained relations further.
Despite attempts to stall the deal, Madrid’s decision to sell German playmaker Mesut Özil to Spurs’ bitter rivals Arsenal seems to have been the final straw for a section of their supporters.
From the offset, the partnership was supposed to entail links for “players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships”. However, the benefits for Spurs appear to be limited, and the relationship has turned them into little more than a feeder club for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy may have coaxed a world record fee of £86m out of Madrid for Gareth Bale after negotiations with Zinedine Zidane, but all the partnership appears to have done is given Real first refusal on Spurs’ players.
Bale attracted interest from a number of other sides including Manchester United, with manager Andre Villas-Boas confirming several other clubs made bids for the Welshman.
Without realising it, Spurs have embarked on the most one-sided of partnerships, without even a pre-season friendly to show for it. It will be difficult to rectify that now, but while it remains, Tottenham must show some muscle.
If Madrid are Goliath, Spurs are yet to show themselves as a David and have thus far given in to the Spaniards’ demands. Real president Florentino Perez is a powerful man in the world of football, but when it comes to politics, Daniel Levy is anyone’s equal and must put his club’s interests above a so far fruitless partnership.
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