Daniel Levy (businessman)

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Daniel Levy
Daniel Levy.jpg
Levy during a visit to Qatar's Aspire Academy in 2012
Daniel Philip Levy[1]

(1962-02-08) 8 February 1962 (age 57)
Essex, England
Alma materSidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Known forENIC International Ltd, Tottenham Hotspur
Spouse(s)Tracy Dixon

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.[2]

Early life[edit]

Levy was born in Essex. His father Barry Levy was the owner of a clothing retail business Mr Byrite (later rebranded as Blue Inc).[3] He is a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur supporter, and attended his first match at White Hart Lane against QPR in the 1960s.[4] He studied Economics and Land Economy at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1985 with a First Class Honours Degree.[5][6]


After graduating, Levy went into in his family business Mr Byrite. He was also involved in property development,[7] as well as a number of other businesses.[8] 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.[9][10] He was made the managing director of ENIC in 1995.[6]


Levy became a director of the Scottish football club Rangers, in which ENIC held a significant stake until 2004.[11] ENIC also held stakes in other European football clubs including AEK Athens, Slavia Prague, FC Basel and Vicenza (but all since sold),[12][13] as well as non-football companies such as Warner Bros Restaurants and a Cambridge software company, Autonomy.[14]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

Levy made an attempt to buy Tottenham Hotspur from Alan Sugar in July 1998 but failed.[9] Another attempt was made in July 2000 but that was again rejected, however, increasing hostility by fans towards Sugar would eventually persuade Sugar to sell.[12] Levy was then appointed to the board of Tottenham Hotspur on 20 December 2000 after ENIC initiated the purchase of a 29.8% stake in the club from Sugar for £22 million.[15] He replaced Sugar as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur in February 2001 on the completion of the sale.[16] ENIC would eventually substantially increase their shareholding after buying the remaining shares of Sugar and other shareholders,[17][18] and moved the club into the private ownership in 2012.[19]


The first manager appointed with Levy at the helm was Glenn Hoddle in 2001. Hoddle however was sacked following a poor started to the 2003–04 season in September 2003. He was followed in quick succession by Jacques Santini and Martin Jol.[20] 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.[21]

Juande Ramos succeeded as head coach in 2008 and although he delivered the League Cup, the first trophy under Levy's stewardship and the club's first in nine years, 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.[22] 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. 2010–11 proved another excellent season for Tottenham, as they finished top of their Champions League group, beating holders Inter Milan along the way, and then dispatching AC Milan in the knock-out stages, eventually losing to Real Madrid. Tottenham finished fifth in the Premier League, missing out on Champions' League qualification but securing a place in the Europa League.[23]

On 13 June 2012, Redknapp was relieved of his duties.[24] On 3 July Levy appointed former Chelsea and Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas as the team's new head coach.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28]

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.[29]

Business and negotiations[edit]

The tough negotiation style of Levy has been 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".[30] His is particularly known for his last-minute dealings on the last day of the transfer window.[31] He has described the spending by other clubs in the Premier League as unsustainable.[32]

Levy has been instrumental in attracting corporate partners to the club in multi-million pound sponsorship deals including current partners Nike and AIA.[citation needed]

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.[33]

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.[34]

Club training ground[edit]

In 2012, the Club moved to its new training base set in 80 acres of greenbelt land.[35] Daniel directed the planning and construction of the facility over the seven years and had also added a high-end player accommodation Lodge. The Brazil National team stayed at the Lodge to prepare for the 2018 World Cup.[36]

New stadium[edit]

Levy oversaw the construction of a new stadium next to the White Hart Lane site. The Northumberland Development Project was announced in 2008, with the building of a new club stadium at its centerpiece.[37] 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.[38]

For the following 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.[39] 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.[40]

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.[41] The design allows the club to agree a ten-year deal to host NFL matches at their new home from 2018.[42]


In November 2017, Levy was named CEO of the Year at the Football Business Awards.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Levy is Jewish.[44] He is married to his former PA, Tracy Dixon, and they have four children.[45][46]


  1. ^ "Daniel Philip LEVY". Companies House.
  2. ^ "Daniel Levy's genius has given Spurs a chance to finally rein in rivals Arsenal". independent.co.uk. 1 December 2015.
  3. ^ Weir, Laura (12 July 2008). "Steven Cohen". Drapers Online.
  4. ^ Collomosse, Tom (12 May 2017). "Daniel Levy exclusive: This is our time to shine... new stadium can take Tottenham to another level".
  5. ^ The Cambridge University List of Members up to 31 December 1988
  6. ^ a b "Club Directors". Tottenham Hotspur FC.
  7. ^ Gibson, Owen (16 December 2013). "Daniel Levy's renown as ultimate wheeler dealer loses lustre at Spurs".
  8. ^ "Daniel Philip LEVY". Companies House.
  9. ^ a b Graves, David (21 December 2000). "Spurs fan has £22m shot at being boss". Daily Telegraph.
  10. ^ Cassy, John (21 December 2000). "Byrite' waits to see if he's bought right". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Murray returns as chairman". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  12. ^ a b Chaudhary, Vivek; Cassy, John (21 December 2000). "Sugar sells for £22m as Levy steps in". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Conn, David (27 September 2006). "Uefa spurred to seek new ownership rules". The Guardian.
  14. ^ George, Jemma (10 February 2000). "ENIC's Autonomy holding worth £146m". Citywire.
  15. ^ "Levy buy-out strengthens grip on Spurs". The Daily Telegraph. 10 March 2003.
  16. ^ Bond, David (28 February 2001). "New dawn at Spurs as Sugar's era ends". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  17. ^ "ENIC Agree to Buy Sugar Shares". football365.com. 7 June 2007. Archived from the original on 9 June 1007. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Sugar sells Spurs stake for £25m". BBC. 7 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur delists shares from stock exchange". BBC News online. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  20. ^ Scott, Matt (9 November 2004). "Jol gets Spurs job and aims jibe at Santini". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  21. ^ Bond, David; Wilson, Jeremy (27 October 2007). "Tottenham's bungled sacking of Martin Jol". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Harry Redknapp appointed Tottenham Hotspur manager as Juande Ramos sacked - Telegraph". 26 October 2008.
  23. ^ "BBC Sport - Football - Liverpool 0-2 Tottenham". 15 May 2011 – via BBC.
  24. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur sack manager Harry Redknapp - BBC Sport". 13 June 2012.
  25. ^ Tottenham Hotspur appoints Andre Villas Boas as new head coach from TottenhamHotspur.com, retrieved 3 June 2014
  26. ^ "Gareth Bale's £86m transfer to Real Madrid proves that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is king of the hard sell - Daily Telegraph". 1 September 2013.
  27. ^ "Tottenham sack Andre Villas-Boas after humiliating home defeat - Guardian". 16 December 2013.
  28. ^ "Tim Sherwood sacked as Tottenham manager". BBC Sport. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Liverpool and Tottenham are the youngest teams in the Premier League". 29 October 2015 – via Daily Telegraph.
  30. ^ Hytner, David (13 July 2017). "Daniel Levy's iron fist controls Tottenham's transfer balancing act". The Guardian.
  31. ^ Sherlock, Harry (25 February 2018). "Who is Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy? The feared transfer negotiator profiled". Goal.
  32. ^ "Daniel Levy: Spurs chairman says Premier League transfer spending unsustainable". BBC.
  33. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur name Investec as second shirt sponsor - BBC Business". 17 August 2010.
  34. ^ "Premier League ratifies more subs - BBC Sport". 7 February 2008.
  35. ^ "Hotspur Way - tottenhamhotspur.com".
  36. ^ "Brazil to use Tottenham's Hotspur Way training ground as part of World Cup preparations - Evening Standard". 19 March 2018.
  37. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur Confirms Northumberland Development Project". Tottenham Hotspur. 30 October 2008.
  38. ^ "A Plan Tottenham" (PDF). Haringey Council. 2012.
  39. ^ "Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy formally hands over White Hart Lane keys ahead of stadium's demolition". 15 May 2017 – via Daily Mail.
  40. ^ "Club breaks attendance records - tottenhamhotspur.com". 12 February 2018.
  41. ^ "Inside Tottenham's NFL deal: American football chiefs were stunned by Daniel Levy's bold plans... but his vision and pitch helped swing the historic deal at his new £1bn stadium - Daily Mail". 9 December 2017.
  42. ^ "Tottenham reveal retractable pitch at new stadium - Sky Sports". 8 August 2017.
  43. ^ "Actions Speak Louder Than Words - FC Business".
  44. ^ Sugarman, Daniel (1 March 2017). "Abramovich leads Jewish football rich list". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  45. ^ Richard Jolly (8 September 2013). "Daniel Levy: The toughest negotiator in football". Daily Express. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  46. ^ Hytner, David (2 April 2014). "Spurs do not intend overhauling squad again". The Irish Times.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Sir Alan Sugar
Tottenham Hotspur F.C. chairman