• Premier League

Spurs vow to keep Bale after final day misery

ESPN staff
May 20, 2013
Press Pass: Should he stay or should he go?

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has released an end-of-season statement that made no reference to the calls from manager Andre Villas-Boas for a shake-up to the club's management structure, but he has vowed to hold on to his best players despite their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Villas-Boas guided Spurs to their biggest points haul in the Premier League era after they won their final game against Sunderland to take their tally to 72 for the campaign, but it was not enough to usurp local rivals Arsenal in the race for fourth spot in the final standings.

After Villas-Boas called for the club to appoint a sporting director with "dressing room experience" to replace the current setup that sees Levy take charge of the club's transfer dealings, the decision maker at Spurs responded by insisting the club are moving in the right direction.

"We should all have wanted to start [the final game of the season] with our fate in our own hands regarding Champions League qualification after what has been a great season and one which has once again seen us qualify for Europe," Levy said.

"Looking ahead to the summer, we shall continue to seek to strengthen and improve the team and to retain key players. We also look forward to the return of Sandro and Younes [Kaboul] who were missed this season but who are well on the road to full fitness.

"Our loan system continues to work well in developing our players and this season saw Andros Townsend voted Player of the Year and Danny Rose voted Young Player of the Year for their respective loan clubs, QPR and Sunderland.

"Tim Sherwood, John McDermott, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand have led the way with our youth development and we have had notable success in a variety of competitions, indicating the strength and depth we have across the different age groups.

"Our Under-21s have certainly had a fantastic season, reaching the Barclays U21 Premier League Final. We were delighted to see four of our young players selected for England U21s for this summer's European U21 Championships - Steven Caulker, Danny Rose, Andros Townsend and Adam Smith."

Levy went on to speak of his pride in having Premier League Player of the Year Gareth Bale in the club's ranks and stated his hope that the implementation of UEFA's Financial Fair Play plan will work in Tottenham's favour.

"Financial Fair Play will hopefully see all clubs follow the kind of financial discipline we have followed as we run our club on a sound financial basis without the benefit of a larger stadium," he said.

"Short term cost control measures which limit the amount of increased broadcasting revenues clubs can spend to £4 million per season and a requirement to break even will have an impact on clubs across Europe."

Levy also had a polite note of encouragement for boss Villas-Boas in what was a highly positive message to supporters after they were left frustrated by their latest brush with Champions League qualification.

"Andre and his coaching team, Steffen Freund, Jose Mario Rocha, Luis Martins, Tony Parks and Daniel Sousa have had a great first season and are now well settled at the club," he said.

It remains to be seen how Levy will respond to Villas-Boas's very public demands to alter the way Tottenham is run, with the changes being called for by the manager requiring the Spurs chairman to surrender some of the control he has enjoyed at the club in recent years.

Meanwhile, Villas-Boas again echoed Levy in his desire to keep Bale beyond this season: "This is an ongoing question but it's absolutely fine. We have to keep our ambitions high and hold onto the best players.

"The reference from the points tally is there so for us to make it better we need to keep hold of the best assets. It was another great moment of individual brilliance [for Bale's winner] but everyone was really strong in the second half.

"It is very difficult to lure a player of this dimension away. The Europa League is still a wonderful competition won by Chelsea, the European champions."

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