Mourinho hints at Spurs’ financial worries

Tottenham Hotspur could be one of the sides worse-affected by the pandemic and with £200 million of losses expected, Champions League qualification is key.

Mourinho hints at Spurs’ financial worries
Matthew Childs Action Images via Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur face Manchester United this evening in their long-anticipated return to Premier League action, but in his press conference on Thursday Jose Mourinho was not optimistic about the club’s financial outlook.

Mourinho: Spurs not “in the same world” as rivals

The Spurs boss has become known for large transfer spending and in January he brought Gedson Fernandes and Steven Bergwijn to the club to bolster his aging squad. However as he prepares to face his former club on Friday, Mourinho made clear that Tottenham would not be able to match their rivals’ spending this summer.

"You have now examples already of clubs investing and making important movements in the market and we are still nine matches away from the end of the season," he said, the day after Chelsea signed Timo Werner for a fee of around £45million.

"We know that we are not going to be in the same league, in the same world, as clubs that are going to do completely different to us.”

FILE PHOTO: Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - RB Leipzig v Tottenham HotspurFILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - RB Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur - Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany - March 10, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs/File Photo

New stadium was hoped help to bridge the gap

Under previous coach Mauricio Pochettino Spurs had become an established Champions League team and their move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2019 was supposed to allow the club to compete financially. The new ground came at a rumoured cost of nearly £1billion, which they hoped to recoup through increased matchday revenue and greater commercial activity at the stadium.

A study by football finance expert Keiran Maguire found that last season Spurs’ matchday revenue accounted for 46% of the club’s wage bill, the highest in the Premier League. Without that matchday income, their finances would take an enormous hit.

Pandemic leaves Spurs without major revenue source

In March 2020 Tottenham had just announced a league-high pre-tax profit of £87.4million, over double the figure of second-best Liverpool. With a new stadium they looked set up to become one of England’s most financially secure clubs but after football’s three month suspension and with fans unlikely to return to stadiums this year the picture is now very different.

The club anticipates that by June 2021 the pandemic will have cost the club around £200million in lost revenue. They initially announced that they would be furloughing 550 non-football staff using the government’s job-retention scheme, before reversing the decision due to public outcry. In recent weeks they have taken a £175million loan from the government to keep the club viable while social distancing measures remain.

In recent years Tottenham’s finances have benefitted from three successive seasons of Champions League qualification, particularly during last year’s run to the final. Spurs were 12th in the table when Mourinho took over in November but despite an indifferent run of form they will retain hope of making the cut for European football’s elite competition. A win over fellow Champions League-chasing Manchester United tonight would be a welcome boost to those chances.