Daniel Levy (businessman)

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

(1962-02-08) 8 February 1962 (age 57)
Essex, England
NationalityBritish
Alma materSidney Sussex College, Cambridge
OccupationBusinessman
Known forENIC International Ltd, Tottenham Hotspur
Spouse(s)Tracy Dixon
Children4

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]

Career[edit]

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]

Football[edit]

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]

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.[20]

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.[21]

On 13 June 2012, Redknapp was relieved of his duties.[22] On 3 July Levy appointed former Chelsea and Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas as the team's new head coach.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

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.[27] 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,[28] 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.[29]

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

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.[30]

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.[31]

In 2012, the Club moved to its new state-of-the-art training base set in 80 acres of greenbelt land.[32] 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.[33]

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.[34] The design allows the club to agree a ten-year deal to host NFL matches at their new home from 2018.[35]

In November 2017, Levy was named CEO of the Year at the Football Business Awards.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Levy is Jewish.[37] He is married to his former PA, Tracy Dixon, and they have four children.[38][39]

References[edit]

  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. ^ "Harry Redknapp appointed Tottenham Hotspur manager as Juande Ramos sacked - Telegraph". 26 October 2008.
  21. ^ "BBC Sport - Football - Liverpool 0-2 Tottenham". 15 May 2011 – via BBC.
  22. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur sack manager Harry Redknapp - BBC Sport". 13 June 2012.
  23. ^ Tottenham Hotspur appoints Andre Villas Boas as new head coach from TottenhamHotspur.com, retrieved 3 June 2014
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "Tottenham sack Andre Villas-Boas after humiliating home defeat - Guardian". 16 December 2013.
  26. ^ "Liverpool and Tottenham are the youngest teams in the Premier League". 29 October 2015 – via Daily Telegraph.
  27. ^ "Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy formally hands over White Hart Lane keys ahead of stadium's demolition". 15 May 2017 – via Daily Mail.
  28. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Real Madrid - BBC Sport". 1 November 2017.
  29. ^ "Club breaks attendance records - tottenhamhotspur.com". 12 February 2018.
  30. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur name Investec as second shirt sponsor - BBC Business". 17 August 2010.
  31. ^ "Premier League ratifies more subs - BBC Sport". 7 February 2008.
  32. ^ "Hotspur Way - tottenhamhotspur.com".
  33. ^ "Brazil to use Tottenham's Hotspur Way training ground as part of World Cup preparations - Evening Standard". 19 March 2018.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ "Tottenham reveal retractable pitch at new stadium - Sky Sports". 8 August 2017.
  36. ^ "Actions Speak Louder Than Words - FC Business".
  37. ^ Sugarman, Daniel (1 March 2017). "Abramovich leads Jewish football rich list". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  38. ^ Richard Jolly (8 September 2013). "Daniel Levy: The toughest negotiator in football". Daily Express. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  39. ^ 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
2001–present
Incumbent