Daniel Levy (businessman)
Daniel Philip Levy (born 8 February 1962) is a British businessman and the current chairman of Premier League football side Tottenham Hotspur. He has held this post since 2001, making him the longest-serving chairman in the Premier League.
Levy during a visit to Qatar's Aspire Academy in 2012
Daniel Philip Levy
8 February 1962
|Alma mater||Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge|
|Known for||ENIC International Ltd, Tottenham Hotspur|
Levy was born in Essex. His father Barry Levy was the owner of a clothing retail business Mr Byrite (later rebranded as Blue Inc). He is a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur supporter, and attended his first match at White Hart Lane against QPR in the 1960s. He studied Economics and Land Economy at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1985 with a First Class Honours Degree.
After graduating, Levy went into in his family business Mr Byrite. He was also involved in property development, as well as a number of other businesses. He then formed a business association with Joe Lewis, and became involved in an investment trust called ENIC International Ltd that specialised in sports (football in particular), entertainment and media. He was made the managing director of ENIC in 1995. Levy and his family own 29.4% of the share capital of ENIC, while Lewis owns 70.6%.
Levy became a director of the Scottish football club Rangers, in which ENIC held a significant stake until 2004. ENIC also held stakes in other European football clubs including AEK Athens, Slavia Prague, FC Basel and Vicenza (but all since sold), as well as non-football companies such as Warner Bros Restaurants and a Cambridge software company, Autonomy.
Levy made an attempt to buy Tottenham Hotspur from Alan Sugar in July 1998 but failed. Another attempt was made in July 2000 but that was again rejected, however, increasing hostility by fans towards Sugar eventually persuaded Sugar to sell. Levy was then appointed to the board of Tottenham Hotspur on 20 December 2000 after ENIC initiated the purchase of a 27% stake in the club from Sugar for £22 million bringing their total stake to 29.9%, the maximum permissible before ENIC had to bid for the entire company. He replaced Sugar as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur in February 2001 on the completion of the sale. ENIC would eventually substantially increase their shareholding and gain control of the company after buying the remaining shares of Sugar in 2007 for £25m, as well as those of other shareholders, eventually acquiring 85.55% of Tottenham. ENIC moved the club into the private ownership in 2012. Levy is the highest paid Premier League chief executive, with an annual remuneration of over £6 million in the 2016–17 season.
The first manager appointed with Levy at the helm was Glenn Hoddle in 2001. Hoddle however was sacked following a poor start to the 2003–04 season in September 2003. He was followed in quick succession by Jacques Santini and Martin Jol. Jol had some success moving Tottenham out of the mid-table, but was dismissed in 2007 after the team only won one game in the first 10 games.
Juande Ramos succeeded as head coach in 2008. He delivered the League Cup, the first trophy under Levy's stewardship and the club's first in nine years, but Levy made the decision to replace him with Harry Redknapp on 25 October 2008 after Ramos made the worst start to a league campaign in the club's history in the 2008–09 season. Redknapp guided Spurs to a top four finish in the 2009–10 season, winning their entry into the qualification round of the UEFA Champions League for the first time. In the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League, Tottenham finished top of their Champions League group, beating holders Inter Milan along the way. They also beat AC Milan in the knock-out stages, but lost to Real Madrid. Tottenham finished fifth in the Premier League in the 2010–11 season, missing out on Champions' League qualification but securing a place in the Europa League. On 13 June 2012, Redknapp was relieved of his duties.
On 3 July Levy appointed former Chelsea and Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas as the team's new head coach. The following summer saw the protracted transfer of Gareth Bale, with Levy negotiating a then world record transfer fee with Real Madrid of £86 million. Following some poor results in the first half of the 2013–14 season, including a 5–0 home defeat by Liverpool, Levy sacked Villas-Boas on 16 December 2013. Head of Football Development and former player Tim Sherwood was subsequently announced as head coach, but he also left at the end of the season.
On 27 May 2014, Levy appointed Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino as head coach (now manager). The team reached the 2015 Football League Cup Final in Pochettino's first season in charge which also saw a number of the club's academy players step up to establish themselves in the first team, including Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb and Andros Townsend. His team qualified for Europe with a fifth place finish in 2014–15 before challenging for the Premier League title in the 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons with a squad consisting of the youngest average age in the division. They also achieved their best ranking in 2016–17 since the 1962–63 season under Bill Nicholson.The team have been ranked amongst the top 4 since the 2015–16 season, allowing them to qualify and participate in the Champions League since 2016–17. They reached the final for the first time in 2018–19, but lost to Liverpool in the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.
Finance and negotiationsEdit
Levy is noted for maintaining a relatively modest wage structure at Tottenham compared to the other big 6 clubs of the Premier League; the club spent the least on wages among the top 6 clubs in the 2018–19 season, and it had the lowest wage/revenue percentage of all clubs in the Premier League. The club often bought younger players, such as Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli before they become major stars. The club had a net spend of £29 million on transfer fees in over four years since Pochettino's appointment in 2014, considerably lower than the other major clubs in the same period. Levy has described the spending by other clubs in the Premier League as unsustainable. In the 2017–18 season, Tottenham made a profit of £113 million, a world record for a football club. The club was valued at around £80 million when ENIC first bought a stake in 1998, and by 2019, valuations of the club have ranged between £1.3–1.8 billion.
The tough negotiation style of Levy is also widely noted. Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson described negotiating with Levy over the transfer of Dimitar Berbatov as "more painful than my hip replacement". He is particularly known for his last-minute dealings on the last day of the transfer window.
Levy has been instrumental in attracting corporate partners to the club in multi-million pound sponsorship deals including current partners Nike and AIA. He negotiated multiple shirt sponsorships in 2010 when he agreed a deal with software infrastructure company Autonomy as the club's shirt sponsor in the Premier League, with Investec becoming shirt sponsor for Champions League and domestic cup competitions.
Levy has also promoted governance issues related to the Premier League, most recently advocating enhanced financial controls for all owners to ensure the long-term financial stability of clubs. He lobbied successfully for a rule change regarding the number of substitutions permitted that is now been adopted across the league and serves to encourage the progress and inclusion of young players.
Club training groundEdit
In 2012, the Club moved to its new training base set in 80 acres of greenbelt land. The planning and construction of the facility took over the seven years and a player accommodation Lodge was added later. The Brazil National team stayed at the Lodge to prepare for the 2018 World Cup.
Levy oversaw the construction of a new stadium next to the White Hart Lane site, from its design to the construction. The Northumberland Development Project was announced in 2008, with the building of a new club stadium at its centerpiece. After some delay, the construction of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium started in 2015. The stadium was designed with a capacity of 62,062, making it the largest club stadium in London and the second largest in the country. The project is intended to be a catalyst for the regeneration of Tottenham to bring new jobs and homes to the area.
For the 2017–18 season, Levy negotiated the club's move to Wembley Stadium for one year in order to allow demolition of White Hart Lane and the completion of a new stadium on the same site as the White Hart Lane. During their time at Wembley, the club also broke the Premier League attendance record several times, as well as Champions League attendance record for a British club.
The construction officially opened on 3 April 2019 branded as Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It includes the world's first dividing retractable pitch in order to accommodate other leading sports, notably American football) and entertainment events. The design allows the club to agree a ten-year deal to host NFL matches at their new home from 2018.
In November 2017, Levy was named CEO of the Year at the Football Business Awards.
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