Daniel Levy (businessman)
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Levy during a visit to Qatar's Aspire Academy in 2012
Daniel Philip Levy
8 February 1962
|Alma mater||Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge|
|Known for||ENIC International Ltd, Tottenham Hotspur|
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.
Levy was born in Essex. His father Barry Levy was the owner of a clothing retail business Mr Byrite (later rebranded as Blue Inc). He is a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur supporter, and attended his first match at White Hart Lane against QPR in the 1960s. He studied Economics and Land Economy at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1985 with a First Class Honours Degree.
After graduating, Levy went into in his family business Mr Byrite. He was also involved in property development, as well as a number of other businesses. 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. He was made the managing director of ENIC in 1995.
Levy became a director of the Scottish football club Rangers, in which ENIC held a significant stake until 2004. ENIC also held stakes in other European football clubs including AEK Athens, Slavia Prague, FC Basel and Vicenza (but all since sold), as well as non-football companies such as Warner Bros Restaurants and a Cambridge software company, Autonomy.
Levy made an attempt to buy Tottenham Hotspur from Alan Sugar in July 1998 but failed. 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. 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. He replaced Sugar as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur in February 2001 on the completion of the sale. ENIC would eventually substantially increase their shareholding after buying the remaining shares of Sugar and other shareholders, and moved the club into the private ownership in 2012.
Juande Ramos succeeded Martin Jol 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, following a 2-1 win against Chelsea at Wembley in the 2008 Football League Cup Final on 24 February 2008, 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 2008-09.
The move proved successful as a dramatic upturn in Tottenham's form on the pitch saw them steadily climb out of the relegation zone to eventually finish in eighth position and make the final of the League Cup for a second successive year where they played Manchester United, losing on penalties.
Further progress was made in the 2009–10 season, with Spurs finishing in the top four and winning 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. Their Champions' League run ended at the hands of Real Madrid. Tottenham finished fifth in the Premier League, missing out on Champions' League qualification but securing a place in the Europa League after overtaking Liverpool with victory at Anfield in the penultimate game of the season.
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.
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. Head of Football Development and former player Tim Sherwood was subsequently announced as head coach before leaving at the end of the season.
On 27 May 2014, Levy acted swiftly to replace Sherwood by appointing 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. Such a bold move paid off with the team again qualifying 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.
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 world-class stadium on the same site as the Club's historic home. The team continued to thrive despite the change of home venue, securing third place position in the Premier League, while also making a big impression in the Champions League by winning their group ahead of holders Real Madrid, who would go on to claim the title again. 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.
Levy has been instrumental in attracting key corporate partners to the Club in multi-million pound sponsorship deals including current partners Nike and AIA.
He pioneered 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.
Levy has also been key in promoting 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 was also responsible for lobbying successfully for a rule change regarding the number of substitutions permitted and this has now been adopted across the league and serves to encourage the progress and inclusion of young players.
In 2012, the Club moved to its new state-of-the-art training base set in 80 acres of greenbelt land. Widely acclaimed as the best facility of its kind in the world, Daniel directed the planning and construction of the facility over the seven years and had recently added a high-end player accommodation Lodge. The Brazil National team stayed at the Lodge to prepare for the 2018 World Cup.
More recently, Levy has been focusing his time and energies on a new stadium for the club. The new 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 scale of the project is intended to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Tottenham, bringing new jobs, homes and prosperity, as well as be a new landmark in London.
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. The design allows the club to agree a ten-year deal to host NFL matches at their new home from 2018.
In November 2017, Levy was named CEO of the Year at the Football Business Awards.
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Sir Alan Sugar
| Tottenham Hotspur F.C. chairman