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The Owners

Dutch

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FSG have been great for us but they have never bought big without selling big and I think that’s the reason why we can’t go for Sancho, havertz or at the time Werner. None of our top players want to leave - which is great - but FSG won’t sanction a big move for someone who won’t be a guaranteed starter.
I know it is not the same but FSG has no problem with flashing the cash when it comes to the Boston Red Sox. On the other hand, it is too early to judge the window is only open for a few days, let's see what has happened when it is October.
 

Walshy07

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I know it is not the same but FSG has no problem with flashing the cash when it comes to the Boston Red Sox. On the other hand, it is too early to judge the window is only open for a few days, let's see what has happened when it is October.
Exactly. I’m not a fsg hater and one to bash them as they have done many great things for us.
Early in the window so let’s see.
I think Thiago is done but you won’t hear until after Bayern win CL.
 

redfanman

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I know it is not the same but FSG has no problem with flashing the cash when it comes to the Boston Red Sox. On the other hand, it is too early to judge the window is only open for a few days, let's see what has happened when it is October.
It is the same in that it is funded by the clubs themselves, not by handouts by the owners.
 

iftikhar

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It's true that FSG sold players, but it's not selling to buy. Torres, Suarez, Coutinho all wanted to leave.

It's true that we utilized the Coutinho money to finance VVD and Alison, but would have been bought nevertheless.

We are again expected to sell a bunch of players and that money will finance large part of the incoming players. But that doesn't mean we're selling to buy.
 

Lowton_Red

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What's your point? Would you like me to say that during your decade comparison FSG in their first 10 years of PL ownership were out done commercially by someone who owned a club for 10 years longer than them? If that's the case, sure Levy was a better business owner than FSG during that tenure. Limie's right, these sponsorship deals do lag pretty significantly, and manure can be the prime example. The timeline on this whole argument is constructed to fit a moment in your point rather than logically across a spectrum like it should.

I am not sure I understand the whole idea of poking holes in everybody's logic and not providing some insight as to why you believe we are wrong, which frankly we very well could be wrong. So I am asking you, do you think we are failing commercially or is there something you'd like the owners to do better?
First let me make it clear, I am not a member of the FSG-Out camp. I think that FSG have, for the most part, done a good job; they have been prudent stewards of our club enabling us to become pretty much self sufficient.

However, neither am I an FSG sycophant and I will criticise them where I believe it to be justified, and I believe that our commercial growth has not been as good as it might have been.

So, although commercial income has grown by 142.9% since FSG took control, every other club in the top six, bar Arsenal, has done better over the same period.

Here is the data:

Comparative Commercial Growth Table:



Comparative Commercial Growth Graph:



Finally a Commercial Growth Projection i.e. how much would Liverpool have earned in 2018/19 if our growth had kept pace with our rivals:



Various reasons can, and have been advanced as to why, comparatively, we have not done so well, why others have done better e.g. "London clubs have a natural advantage", or "it's easier to achieve relative growth from a lower starting point", but for every argument there is contradictory evidence.

I'm not saying I'm right and everyone who disagrees with me is wrong; I'm simply pointing out what I observe from the evidence. If my responses came across as aggressive or condescending, to anyone, I apologise unreservedly, it was not my intention; put it down to my poor literary style. That and the drugs.

Please feel free to draw your own conclusions, but for my part, I find myself in a position, were I to be FSG's house master, writing in their end of term report, when it came to Commercial Revenue I would feel obliged to write: "Can do better".
 
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Anfield rd Dreamer

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So only United beat us on real (not make believe City) commercial revenues? Up to a point which we had won one league cup in ten years? For me its miraculous we are higher than everyone, including regular league winners, over the last ten years or so.
 

Lowton_Red

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All of these partners will have deals with Spurs that come under commercial revenue won't they?

Yes, but being a sponsor doesn't preclude these companies entering into other deals with Tottenham that might fall into the hospitality category.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Yes, but being a sponsor doesn't preclude these companies entering into other deals with Tottenham that might fall into the hospitality category.
But they've still all bought contracts with Spurs, many in and around being suppliers to do with the new stadium right? The running profits etc will be in hospitality but the initial partnership deals, when signed, would be under commercial revenue right?
 

Lowton_Red

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But they've still all bought contracts with Spurs, many in and around being suppliers to do with the new stadium right? The running profits etc will be in hospitality but the initial partnership deals, when signed, would be under commercial revenue right?
I see where you are coming from. Sponsorship moneys are attributed to Commercial Revenue, however, I don't know which of these sponsors signed up as a direct consequence of the new stadium or the value of their respective deals with Tottenham, so I cannot comment further.
 

iftikhar

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Let's take the incremental commercial revenues from last three years and base that with that of 2015-16.

Spurs £76.5 million 130.55%
Liverpool £72.3 million 62.49%
Chelsea £63.4 million 51.97%
City £49.2 million 27.66%
United £6.9 million 2.57%
Arsenal £4.4million 4.14%

I think commercial revenues are very much dependent or at least driven by on-field success.
 

cynicaloldgit

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Let's take the incremental commercial revenues from last three years and base that with that of 2015-16.

Spurs £76.5 million 130.55%
Liverpool £72.3 million 62.49%
Chelsea £63.4 million 51.97%
City £49.2 million 27.66%
United £6.9 million 2.57%
Arsenal £4.4million 4.14%

I think commercial revenues are very much dependent or at least driven by on-field success.
Remind me... what have Spurs won?
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Let's take the incremental commercial revenues from last three years and base that with that of 2015-16.

Spurs £76.5 million 130.55%
Liverpool £72.3 million 62.49%
Chelsea £63.4 million 51.97%
City £49.2 million 27.66%
United £6.9 million 2.57%
Arsenal £4.4million 4.14%

I think commercial revenues are very much dependent or at least driven by on-field success.
And the starting point involved. Just looking at these increases doesn't actually reflect that Liverpool is the real 2nd in the league for commercial revenue anyway so I'm not understanding the kicking off going on. United will start trailing off the further they get away from their glory years we will start catching up on them with the longer ours run for.
 

iftikhar

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And the starting point involved. Just looking at these increases doesn't actually reflect that Liverpool is the real 2nd in the league for commercial revenue anyway so I'm not understanding the kicking off going on. United will start trailing off the further they get away from their glory years we will start catching up on them with the longer ours run for.
Right. Without on-field success they will struggle to maintain their revenue streams. Just as ours started to spike with on-field success generated by Klopp.
 

Lowton_Red

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And the starting point involved. Just looking at these increases doesn't actually reflect that Liverpool is the real 2nd in the league for commercial revenue anyway so I'm not understanding the kicking off going on. United will start trailing off the further they get away from their glory years we will start catching up on them with the longer ours run for.
Who's kicking off? I have simply observed that over the period of FSG's tenure, the relative growth in our commercial revenue has not been as good as some of our rivals (top six bar Arsenal, and discounting M.City), and I think we could/should do better.

If you think otherwise, no problems.
 

Iluvatar

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From my own personal perspective this is not about having a pop at FSG. Our commercial revenues weren't brilliant before they arrived either, but that's not an indication that the environment for Liverpool to grow/exploit commercial revenue streams is somehow, peculiar to the club, much harder than United, City, Chelsea for example. It's an indication that we weren't very good at maximising the income-generating appeal of the club.

Sure, you can point to the relative lack of success but that didn't stop Spurs from increasing their commercial revenues at a greater rate. It also didn't hold United back despite their slip out of contention for top four places let alone major trophies. We simply were not aggressive enough.

Of course there's a hesitation when it comes to generating revenue off the back of aspects of the club that give it its soul, but that's something that is acknowledged by the supporters. Indeed, it is directly referenced by SOS and others when it comes to their discussions with the club on ticket prices. A reluctance to exploit that aspect for commercial gain out of concern that it would somehow be seen as "selling out" ought to have been displaced long ago - the match-going supporters really won't care if the "soul" that they provide adds value to the club 'brand' particularly if it helps them in their discussions with the club on the cost to them of actually going to the game.

I'm also not saying that the commercial revenue side has been shit. I just think it's been average, at best. This is not a new theme for me. I've been critical of our commercial performance for years (just search for commercial and my username in this thread and you'll see!) and, in my opinion, our rate of improvement has been at least 10% less than optimal for at least the last 8 years.

Here's a post on AFC's lack of commercial revenue growth but it highlights the respective increases of all of our major rivals.


In 2010 when FSG came in we were second. Our Commercial revenue was £62m per year, £19m behind United who were top. (77% of United)

4 years later we were £85m behind (£189m compared with £104m) or were now at 55% of United. We had now also dropped to 4th behind City and Chelsea.

2 years later (2016) we were now a massive £152m behind United (£268m compared with £116m) or were now at 43% of United's figure.

2 years further on and we had finally begun to claw back some of our lost ground but we were still considerably (£122m) behind United (£276m compared with £154m) and were still 4th in the league.

In the 8 years whilst Hogan was at the helm of the commercial department he had increased commercial revenues, year on year, at an average rate of 13%. By contrast United had increased theirs at an average rate of just under 17% (from a higher starting figure). This may seem small but you can see the gap that quickly grows when that is expanded over the course of 8 years.

My own view is that the club ought to have been more than capable of matching United's growth rate over this period but did not pursue the sort of global multi-partnership deals that United did and also did not push quickly enough into emerging markets and digital media. However, even if the club had grown revenues at 15% (ie, only half way to matching United's rate of growth) our commercial revenues would have been £190m in 2018 which would have represented £36m more than where we actually were.

It's possible that some of the poor performance in our commercial revenues may be explained by FSM taking a 10% cut (hypothetically speaking) but even so I still consider that the performance of our commercial department has been underwhelming over the time. Now more recently the club's commercial revenue has increased in 2019 by £34m to take us to £188m but this still puts us £1m behind where I think we ought to have been the previous year. I am still of the view that we have underperformed relative to our comparable rivals in this area for some time and we remain at least £30m behind where I believe we ought to be (note, I am not saying that we ought to be ahead of United but the gap that was -£19m in 2010 ought to be much closer than what it was last year (-£87m) - ie In that time we've gone from being 77% of United's commercial revenue to 68%. Had we simply remained at 77% we'd have commercial revenues of £212m (£24m more than where we currently are).
There is zero evidence of this.

You also fail to take into account the fact Utd signed some ridiculous deals during that time which caused people to be criticised for signing them off. Chevrolet for example. They also dropped significantly due to no champions league football, so I think the gap in the next accounts reduces further.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Who's kicking off? I have simply observed that over the period of FSG's tenure, the relative growth in our commercial revenue has not been as good as some of our rivals (top six bar Arsenal, and discounting M.City), and I think we could/should do better.

If you think otherwise, no problems.
There's plenty of people saying its bad but the context isn't being considered. Ignoring the dubious City accounts then up till 2018 (when, importantly, we'd still had no on pitch success or new stadium, which opens up a host of opportunities for new deals) we were still 2nd in the league. Thats good. Just focusing on commercial revenue increase rates and saying its not good enough is like saying we had a poor season as we only increased by 2 points when and Leicester had a better one as they increased by 10 points. A team that won one league cup during an 8 year period still earned more real commercial revenue than all but one team during that period even though some of those teams beat us on trophy count during that 8 year period. Only Chelsea came close (and I'm not convinced their accounts are 100% legit either) and they won a quarter of the league titles over the last 20 years along with 8 domestic cups and 3 european honours (all 3 within the 8 year period in question).
 

Lowton_Red

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There's plenty of people saying its bad but the context isn't being considered. Ignoring the dubious City accounts then up till 2018 (when, importantly, we'd still had no on pitch success or new stadium, which opens up a host of opportunities for new deals) we were still 2nd in the league. Thats good. Just focusing on commercial revenue increase rates and saying its not good enough is like saying we had a poor season as we only increased by 2 points when and Leicester had a better one as they increased by 10 points. A team that won one league cup during an 8 year period still earned more real commercial revenue than all but one team during that period even though some of those teams beat us on trophy count during that 8 year period. Only Chelsea came close (and I'm not convinced their accounts are 100% legit either) and they won a quarter of the league titles over the last 20 years along with 8 domestic cups and 3 european honours (all 3 within the 8 year period in question).
I hear what you say.

You are of the opinion, that the growth in our commercial revenue is fine given our lack of on-field success; that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion.

I disagree; I think we should have done better. That's my opinion, that's all.

I hope our commercial revenues rise significantly, in proportion to our on-field success, thereby invalidating my opinion.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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I hear what you say.

You are of the opinion, that the growth in our commercial revenue is fine given our lack of on-field success; that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion.

I disagree; I think we should have done better. That's my opinion, that's all.

I hope our commercial revenues rise significantly, in proportion to our on-field success, thereby invalidating my opinion.
But revenue increases are finite. You can only increase so far. Say we were on a level playing field with united would you be complaining if Arsenal had a growth that was better than ours? Or would you look at the context of nobody doing better than us? In reality many of these clubs can have growth better than our growth but still not catch us. United are special from a financial point. Whilst everyone was making thousands they were making millions. Anyone wanting to deal with them has to match or better existing deals. They are still one of the most high profile "brands" in the footballing world and it'll take many more years before that decreases to drastic levels yet. Their commercial strength is still built on 20/25 years of dominance on the pitch and in the corporate sector. If people are expecting FSG to catch up to that rolling juggernaut whilst Liverpool weren't successful on the pitch and United were (despite tailing off a bit) still being successful then maybe their expectations were out of line. Whats good is looking at what they've achieved off the pitch and having something to aim for as we get more successful on it.
 

gasband

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Actually sponsorship and commercial deals are sort of limitless in a limited world. In the sense, many years ago, you would not imagine a official marketing partnership with Dunkin Group etc. So who knows, we may have an official sanitary sponsor with a big FMCG group, official men grooming sponsor, official this, official that, there of course has a limit but barring the impact of Covid-19, there are probably still alot that the commercial department has not squeezed.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Actually sponsorship and commercial deals are sort of limitless in a limited world. In the sense, many years ago, you would not imagine a official marketing partnership with Dunkin Group etc. So who knows, we may have an official sanitary sponsor with a big FMCG group, official men grooming sponsor, official this, official that, there of course has a limit but barring the impact of Covid-19, there are probably still alot that the commercial department has not squeezed.
Arsenal have been awful commercially for a long time, its not outside the realms of possibility for the revenue to grow by 100% doubling how much they make. It would however be near on impossible to look at United and realistically expect them to be able to match Arsenal "growth" by matching Arsenals percentage increase. What matters is who is making the most money and what is reasonable to expect to achieve. For us to have been the real second place in commercial revenues is fantastic when you look at the period before or the sporting success of the period in question. All we could have hoped to achieve by 2018 is to be second only to United. We have achieved that. Others that have improved "more" by having a better growth percentage than us have actually still not performed as well as us because we are still ahead of them.
 

Kopstar

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There is zero evidence of this.

You also fail to take into account the fact Utd signed some ridiculous deals during that time which caused people to be criticised for signing them off. Chevrolet for example. They also dropped significantly due to no champions league football, so I think the gap in the next accounts reduces further.
Which is why I said it was hypothetical. However, if FSM aren't doing this then our commercial performance is even worse.

As to your second paragraph you're effectively acknowledging that United outperformed us. I agree, that's the point. It's irrelevant if Chevrolet regret the deal they made.

But revenue increases are finite. You can only increase so far. Say we were on a level playing field with united would you be complaining if Arsenal had a growth that was better than ours? Or would you look at the context of nobody doing better than us? In reality many of these clubs can have growth better than our growth but still not catch us. United are special from a financial point. Whilst everyone was making thousands they were making millions. Anyone wanting to deal with them has to match or better existing deals. They are still one of the most high profile "brands" in the footballing world and it'll take many more years before that decreases to drastic levels yet. Their commercial strength is still built on 20/25 years of dominance on the pitch and in the corporate sector. If people are expecting FSG to catch up to that rolling juggernaut whilst Liverpool weren't successful on the pitch and United were (despite tailing off a bit) still being successful then maybe their expectations were out of line. Whats good is looking at what they've achieved off the pitch and having something to aim for as we get more successful on it.
If revenue increases are finite, as you say, maybe that's why United's growth has stalled and not due to a drop in their on-field performance?
 

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Arsenal have been awful commercially for a long time, its not outside the realms of possibility for the revenue to grow by 100% doubling how much they make. It would however be near on impossible to look at United and realistically expect them to be able to match Arsenal "growth" by matching Arsenals percentage increase. What matters is who is making the most money and what is reasonable to expect to achieve. For us to have been the real second place in commercial revenues is fantastic when you look at the period before or the sporting success of the period in question. All we could have hoped to achieve by 2018 is to be second only to United. We have achieved that. Others that have improved "more" by having a better growth percentage than us have actually still not performed as well as us because we are still ahead of them.
Arsenal commercial growth since 2010/11 141.65%.

Liverpool commercial growth since 2010/11 142.88%. (@Lowton_Red figures above)

If Arsenal's is "awful", why not ours?
 

Iluvatar

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Which is why I said it was hypothetical. However, if FSM aren't doing this then our commercial performance is even worse.

As to your second paragraph you're effectively acknowledging that United outperformed us. I agree, that's the point. It's irrelevant if Chevrolet regret the deal they made.
My view is we are a) Looking at old data i.e. 1 year out of date, b) We are only now starting to realise our new position in football, it's not something you can change overnight.. Deals need to expire (especially the big ones).

Yes Utd have outperformed us, but they've had 20 years of building themselves into a global juggernaught.. I'm sure there is a lot of work that needs to go into to reaching that level and it simply can't be calculated using a single tangible item i.e. Sponsorship.

However I do think we could have done better, and I expect us to do better.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Arsenal commercial growth since 2010/11 141.65%.

Liverpool commercial growth since 2010/11 142.88%. (@Lowton_Red figures above)

If Arsenal's is "awful", why not ours?
It was other people claiming Arsenal was awful you're right their figures up to 2018 posted above aren't as terrible as made out. To much focus on growth percentage increases all this for me. Starting at a lower point means your growth percentage increase can be amazing but you can still be way behind someone whose growth percentage was a lot lower. Bssic maths the lower the number the higher a percentage that can be achieved. £10m is 50% growth if yiu were only making £20 million but for someone who was making £100 million its only 10% growth. We are second, now we've started winning major honours I'd expect us to start catching up to United, especially if they continue to fail to win major honours. I wouldn't have realistically expected better till now.
 

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It was other people claiming Arsenal was awful you're right their figures up to 2018 posted above aren't as terrible as made out. To much focus on growth percentage increases all this for me. Starting at a lower point means your growth percentage increase can be amazing but you can still be way behind someone whose growth percentage was a lot lower. Bssic maths the lower the number the higher a percentage that can be achieved. £10m is 50% growth if yiu were only making £20 million but for someone who was making £100 million its only 10% growth. We are second, now we've started winning major honours I'd expect us to start catching up to United, especially if they continue to fail to win major honours. I wouldn't have realistically expected better till now.
Pretty sure I was quoting you.

Hold on...

...checking...

VAR: Yep, definitely quoted you.

Arsenal's performance in generating commercial revenues in this period has been awful. Ours has been much the same. All under Hogan.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Pretty sure I was quoting you.

Hold on...

...checking...

VAR: Yep, definitely quoted you.

Arsenal's performance in generating commercial revenues in this period has been awful. Ours has been much the same. All under Hogan.
Yes I admit I went off looking at what other people had said in the thread and then repeated it without checking the figures myself. Its worth pointing iut though that the 1% difference in performance means shit. We were 32 million better than them at the start in 2018 we were 78 million better than them. But only 1.33% difference in performance. I'll take the actual cash increase as a measure that we are doing better than them not the similar growth percentage. Likewise a lot of compliments on Spurs growth of 172.24% but they were on £49.6m and in 2018 they were on £135.1m a growth of £85.5m our growth was £110.6m! Who cares if their growth percentage was 30% more than ours? Our increase in cash was bigger than their increase in cash!
 

CymruRed

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Thing with commercial deals is you are tied to them for normally 3-5 years,so if you go back to 2010/11 up untill today,we'd have probably been in the middle of contracts,made new ones around 2015 and now in a position to negotiate new ones.In comparisson to our rivals,considering we won almost nothing and didn't have CL football during that time period,then i'd say we were being paid accordingly.

United are our main competitors in this field as you can't really trust Cities books,they were/are starting contract negotiations from a place of power as a global brand,off the back of over 20 years of wining titles,they led the way in partnering up with loads of companies, all wanting to be part of their success.You look at the shirt deals for Adidas and Chevrolet,these were massive deals lasting for 10 and 7 years,with the latter coming to an end at the end of this season,it was also a deal that seen the Chevrolet agent get fired by the company for overpaying.

It's only now we are starting to see the benefits from our success on the pitch,we are now seeing a shirt deal with Nike that could be potentially bigger than Uniteds,we are now able to do deals as THE team to back,whats gone on in the past on who got paid what,seems like par for course to me,it's the deals we do next for the future as title winners,is what we should be looking at more,as far as i'm concerned.If we don't push on past the chasing pack then i'd say FSG should be doing better.
 

Limiescouse

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I know it is not the same but FSG has no problem with flashing the cash when it comes to the Boston Red Sox. On the other hand, it is too early to judge the window is only open for a few days, let's see what has happened when it is October.
Their running of the sox is not that much different than they way they run us. They try to find value where they can, but if they need to spend big for the right player they do.
 

Limiescouse

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First let me make it clear, I am not a member of the FSG-Out camp. I think that FSG have, for the most part, done a good job; they have been prudent stewards of our club enabling us to become pretty much self sufficient.

...

Various reasons can, and have been advanced as to why, comparatively, we have not done so well, why others have done better e.g. "London clubs have a natural advantage", or "it's easier to achieve relative growth from a lower starting point", but for every argument there is contradictory evidence.
I appreciate the effort youve put forward in supporting your position. I actually have no position on whether we could or should have done better. However, I do take issue with the weight put behind some of the evidence used to support the argument we should have. To that point, your comparative growth table demonstrates the point I tried to make RE Spurs. In the period in question we increased revenue by more in absolute pounds than Spurs did. And this during a period where they performed better than we did on the pitch for long periods. The fact their % increase was greater than ours in that period is purely an artifact of the fact that our starting point was nearly double theirs.

Commercial growth does not happen in a vaccum. For a lot of FSG's tenure we have not been an attractive partner. The last 2 years have hopefully changed that and the Nke deal is hopefully the first evidence of that. If we dont take advantage of this now while we have a team the world (except city) seems to like and one of the most marketable managers possible then it will be worthy of criticism. I'm just not willing to accept yet that our performance up to now is worthy of that same criticism given the environment in which theyve been working.