Well, that was money well spent. On June 4 last year it was revealed Tottenham took out a £175million Government loan at a very competitive rate to help cope with the pandemic.
Now we know what some of it has been spent on: sacking Jose Mourinho. With compensation in the region of £16m due, that is roughly 10 per cent of the Bank of England’s money going towards dismissing a manager six days before Tottenham’s first major cup final in six years.
Oh, and against the backdrop of a duplicitous betrayal of the English game, of which Tottenham are a significant part. It would have been more worthwhile to set fire to it. Maybe Rishi Sunak feels the same.
Daniel Levy received a £175million Government loan to help Spurs cope with the pandemic
Nobody is advocating for the job Mourinho has done this season. Tottenham began to lose their way shortly before Christmas and didn’t get back on track. They were too reliant on the partnership of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, and Mourinho didn’t seem to come up with an alternate strategy.
The defence is weak, the approach often conservative. Their unexpected European exit to Dinamo Zagreb was disastrous.
Tottenham are higher-placed than when Mauricio Pochettino left — that was a poor season, too — but without the same cause for optimism that marked his years. Under Pochettino, Tottenham eventually went backwards having reached the Champions League final.
Yet Mourinho hasn’t made anywhere near those advancements only to lose ground on his contemporaries once again. The way the game is heading, of course, it may barely matter. Tottenham can be useless and still serve as members of a shameless European elite.
The news of these latest developments is unlikely to make Kane’s long-term future at the club any more certain or appealing, unless he considers being a mainstay of the also-rans in a plastic competition a trophy.
Now we know some of that money has been spent on sacking former manager Jose Mourinho
Briefly, on Monday morning, a rumour circulated that Mourinho had been sacked after a row with his employers over the Super League proposals. If so, he was going out a hero. Tottenham moved swiftly to dispel that story. No, he was going out a failure.
Out because results were not good enough. Out because there was the usual schism between him and some players. Out because Tottenham’s hierarchy didn’t care for the football any more than the fans did.
And out, maybe, because if he won the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, it would be Tottenham’s first trophy since 2008 and might give Daniel Levy a problem if he wished to remove him come the end of the season.
Tottenham are still only five points outside the top four with six games remaining. It’s hard, but not insurmountable. There is a chance football may still be a meritocracy next season and not a venture capitalist’s fantasy, so the Carabao Cup plus Champions League football would represent relative success.
And then where would Levy stand? If, against the odds, Tottenham defeat Manchester City, the glory belongs to caretakers Ryan Mason and Chris Powell; and if they lose, well it was only to be expected. The decision to ditch Mourinho will still be popular with fans. If this season is a failure, it goes down as his failure.
Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak should ask for the money back
And Tottenham hope that next year it won’t matter where they finish any more. They are among the European elite, whatever. Sell Kane, don’t sell Kane. Who cares? Decisions will no longer have consequences. Mediocrity will be indulged. As for Levy, his gamble did not pay off.
He bet on the reputation that Mourinho enjoyed as a serial winner, then bailed on him before he had the first opportunity to deliver a trophy. He took a pragmatic decision but didn’t even possess the resolve to see that through. What a mess. Again. And Mourinho?
It is hard to see what is left for him here after this underwhelming spell. His recent forays have all followed the same path, ending in confrontation and disappointment. Yet all seemed a good fit at the time. The happy one, returning to Chelsea. A big man for a big club at Manchester United. The manager to make Spurs winners again.
He has nowhere left to go in the elite six. If Newcastle’s takeover happens this summer, would they even want him? He’s a marquee name but would there be any value in managing in what is now the second tier of the Premier League?
Mourinho left Tottenham’s training ground looking glum. This would have come as a shock. Maybe in the offices of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, too. Given Tottenham’s contribution to English football this weekend, can we have our money back? Like now.