Tottenham now in a position to keep star players, says ex-chairman Sugar

14 May 2017 11:24

Former Tottenham chairman Lord Alan Sugar believes the club are now in a position to hold on to their top players.

Spurs finished second to Leicester in the Premier League last season and are five points clear of Manchester City in second place again this year, albeit 10 points adrift of recently crowned champions Chelsea.

Sugar relinquished control of the club in 2001 after taking over in 1991 and feels the offer of Champions League and potential title glory is enough to keep the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane at the club, who are to move into a new state-of-the-art stadium for the 2018-19 season after a brief tenure at Wembley.

Sugar told BBC 5 Live's Sportsweek program: " We are a club which are potentially Premier League champions. I mean we ended up second this year and therefore we have Champions League football and that's what most of the players want to be in. They want to be in Champions League football.

"In my day the big excuse for people like Sol Campbell leaving was 'I'm leaving because I want Champions League football'. That was their statement, now there's no excuse because we've got it at Tottenham Hotspur.

"The only other reason that they might want to leave our club is that they're only being paid x amount and someone has offered them two x. The manager is the one who needs to step in and convince the player that he's better off staying where he is now rather than going somewhere else. We're a good club now. We have the potential to win the league.

"I don't see any excuse for any of our players leaving. To go where? Where would they go? Manchester United? They're a good club of course but this year and the year before they didn't really demonstrate that they were what they were when Sir Alex was in charge.

"Chelsea, they're very up and down. They've got a new manager now but they've had periods when they haven't performed either. So much so that last year the anomaly was that Leicester were able to take advantage of the misfortune of all the top clubs that weren't really playing their top performance."

Sugar, though, is confident that if star players do move on, there is more of the same coming through the club to step into their shoes because of the emphasis on development.

He added: " I think (Mauricio) Pochettino and the back up team at Spurs are very much orientated about bringing young players through. And, let's be fair, no-one ever heard of Dele Alli two years ago and no-one ever heard of Kane two years ago.

"And I think they've got more Kanes and Allis sitting there lined up in the youth that have seen what's happened with those chaps, and I often say that no one is bigger than the club.

"It would be a horrible thing if they went but you cannot live your life worrying about one or two people holding you to ransom, if you like, for the benefit of the club."

Sugar expects to shed a tear as the curtain comes down on White Hart Lane as they play at their famous ground for the final time against Manchester United.

Tottenham first played at White Hart Lane in a friendly against Notts County 118 years.

Sugar said: "Of course there will be sadness there when they start to tear that down. I built the stadium. I built the north stand. I built the south stand.

"Not just me but the core of the existing 30,000 fans, for example, there will be a certain sadness about it. But I don't think we should be too sad because we are literally moving 150 yards to the left, so we're not exactly like Arsenal coming out of where they came and going around the corner.

"It's going to be a fantastic leading-edge technology stadium. I've seen all the plans and everything and watched it grow. I think it'll be the best stadium in England to be honest with you. Very innovative."

But Sugar has warned that a bigger income will not automatically bring success with it.

He said: "Bigger revenues doesn't mean you're going to win the Premier League. I mean it's got nothing to do with it at all.

"Bigger revenues help you, assist you, in the transfer market to buy more players but it's all really down to the manager. It's down to the type of players that you buy."

Source: PA