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Daniel Levy: Spurs will not loosen purse strings despite delaying repayment of stadium debt

Matt Law
Daniel Levy says Mauricio Pochettino will not feel the benefit of Spurs delaying loan repayments - Getty Images Contributor

Daniel Levy has warned Tottenham Hotspur will not be held to ransom in the transfer market or over player contracts, despite announcing a refinancing which delays the clubs repayment of stadium loans.

Tottenham’s new stadium cost upwards of £1billion and the club borrowed £637million from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC, which was due to be repaid by April 2022.

But through US investors Levy has converted roughly £525m of the debt into a bond scheme, with staggered maturities of between 15 and 30 years.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which acted as lead placement agent and sole bookrunner on the bond issue, has provided a £112m term loan and HSBC has granted a revolving credit facility. The idea is to limit Spurs’s debt-servicing costs and the average annual interest rate on the new arrangement is 2.66 per cent.

But manager Mauricio Pochettino is unlikely to benefit from the refinancing, as Levy has stressed it will not alter the way in which he runs Tottenham.

Spurs signed Giovani Lo Celso in the summer but delayed the chance to sign him permanently for £55m for a year Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Asked by the Financial Times whether the scheme would allow Pochettino to spend more in the transfer market or new contracts, with Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen in the last 12 months of their deals, Levy said: “It will have no bearing on how we run the club and no bearing on those types of short-term movements [like transfers].

“I understand as I am a fan, clearly you want to win on the pitch. But we have been trying to look at this slightly differently, in that we want to make sure we ensure an infrastructure here to stand the test of time.

“We could have easily spent more money on players. Who knows if that would have bought us more success or not. The right approach is to build from the bottom up. There is no quick fix to becoming a much more significant global club.”

Spurs posted record revenues of £380.7m over the 2017-18 season and a pre-tax profit of £138.9m – the largest annual profit recorded by a football club.

The club claim they made a net spend of £120m on transfers last summer, although that includes the option to turn Giovani Lo Celso’s loan from Real Betis into a permanent deal at the end of the season for £55m.