Bale's Future A Win-Win For Spurs
By Ed Langford
There is a truism within business that you keep hold of your best employees. Those that boost profits and please the shareholders are seen as invaluable to the business plan. It’s obvious, isn’t it?
Given this line of thinking, Tottenham Hotspur fans will be growing increasingly concerned by the murmurings linking Gareth Bale with Real Madrid. Florentino Perez, who was elected for his fourth term as Real Madrid President earlier this month, has made no secret of his desire to bring Bale to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Football, however, has rarely subscribed to the orthodox rules of the corporate world and Spurs arguably have good reason to feel positive whatever the outcome of the transfer saga. A story that is likely to stretch out over the summer.
Although Real are currently without a manager, this isn't necessary to bring players in as it has historically been the President who oversees the transfer policy. Perez has a strong track-record in this domain following his first spell in charge from 2000-2006, where he presided over the famous ‘Galacticos’ side, including Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo, as well bringing Cristiano Ronaldo to the club in 2009.
The situation is increasingly win-win for Tottenham and their Chairman, Daniel Levy. Should Bale stay they start the 2013-14 Premier League campaign with their best player in the starting XI, giving them an increased chance of competing with their rivals in Manchester and London for a top four spot. Plus, given the changes at United, City and Chelsea this summer, Andre Villas-Boas may be forgiven for thinking that his best chance of breaking into a Champions League spot is upon them.
Yet a move from Real for Bale couldn’t come at a better time. The Welsh star is at the peak of his powers and, crucially, value after collecting the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards back in April. He also finished as the club's top scorer wth 21 league goals to his name. Only Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez netted more. Bale is admired across the world and often cited as the best player outside of the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly of footballing talent. Madrid also boast a wealth of riches and are no strangers to sizeable tranfer budgets.
In Daniel Levy, Spurs have a man who they can trust to close the best deal for the club and maximise the fee. A sound businessman, Levy has been intent on growing the club based on player sell-on values and wider investment opportunities. With this in mind, it’s unlikely that Bale’s value is going to increase significantly in the next two years given his current age (he’ll be 24 in July) and lack of Champions League football at White Hart Lane next season. Tottenham’s Chairman must decide if now is the ideal time to cash in.
Levy’s long-term plans for Tottenham cannot and do not revolve around one player. The club need to avoid an over-reliance on one individual and, given the new FIFA Financial Fair Play regulations, Spurs fans shouldn’t feel aggrieved if Levy cashes in on Bale for the long-term benefit of the club and its aspirations to compete with the financial powerhouses of the Premier League.
As with Luka Modric 12 months ago, a player’s impact can be replaced. The signings of Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele all but eradicated any hole left by the Croatian’s departure whilst still generating a profit. It would be naïve to think that this couldn’t be the case with Bale, especially given his current market value of £40m+.
No doubt many of the White Hart Lane faithful will be hoping they’re able to fend off advances for Bale from Madrid or elsewhere. Yet with the likelihood that the Welsh forward will leave at some point in the next couple of years then this summer will most likely represent the best opportunity for Spurs to benefit.
Tottenham’s future is undoubtedly without Gareth Bale and they could well end up being better off by going against the corporate grain this summer and off-loading their prize-asset and investing in longevity elsewhere.