Harry Kane Takes Drastic Action To Escape Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur fans haven’t had much to be happy about during the past year, but right now, they’re furious. Harry Kane, their star striker, has effectively gone on strike. Their top scorer – a man of whom fans sing “he’s one of our own” – is so desperate to leave the club this summer that he’s refusing to come to training. This is a spectacular breakdown of the relationship between the player and the club he’s spent his entire professional career with. Kane has always been described as a model professional by every coach and player who’s ever worked with him. For him to take this step was unthinkable until it happened and is symbolic of the team’s general state of disarray.
Although he’s yet to comment on the matter publicly (a fact that will change soon, and perhaps even by the time you read this), plenty of people have spoken on the player’s behalf this summer. It’s said that Kane already feels that he’s given Spurs too many of the best years of his career. He’s remained loyal to the club as they’ve promised him improvements and opportunities to compete for trophies, but his patience is exhausted. More importantly, from a personal point of view, he feels betrayed. Kane believes that he and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy entered into a “gentleman’s agreement” last year that should have allowed him to leave the club this summer if certain targets weren’t met. Spurs had a bad season, and now he wants Levy to honour that agreement. When Levy turned down a bid in the region of £100m from Manchester City, Kane saw red. He feels forced into a corner, and now he’s lashing out.
It’s already been reported that Kane intends to return to training with Spurs by the end of the week but also expects to meet with Levy to discuss his future. As there will be a short delay between the writing and publication of this article, those talks might already have happened. It’s extremely unlikely they’ll have resulted in Kane changing his mind about wanting to go. He’s 28, and if he doesn’t make a big move this summer, he might never do so. He’s a world-class talent and should be competing for the highest honours in the game, but he no longer feels he can do that while playing for Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs can’t even offer him Champions League football this season and aren’t expected to be title contenders. He doesn’t want to look back on his career with regrets when he reaches his thirties, and so he wanted to part amicably from the club at the end of last season.
Whether Levy ever made a gentleman’s agreement with Kane or not, it now seems impossible for that amicable parting to happen. Spurs officials are said to be furious with Kane for going AWOL and intend to fine him. Kane has no reason to care about fines. The team’s fans, who were already unhappy with the decision to appoint Nuno Esperito Santo as manager and the lack of significant transfer activity so far this summer, are at boiling point. Some of them are angry with Kane, feeling his behaviour is disrespectful towards them and the club. Most, though, are far angrier with Levy.
Spurs fans have endured these scenarios before with their star players. Christian Eriksen wasn’t allowed to leave the club without a fight. Gareth Bale had to force his move to Real Madrid through. When Dimitar Berbatov left Spurs for Manchester United, Levy had to be dragged to the negotiating table kicking and screaming. There are other examples. Levy has a reputation as a tough negotiator, but his approach clearly doesn’t work for everybody. Players who have been heroes to fans during their tenure with Spurs have been painted as enemies on the way out, and it’s usually because they fell out with Levy during their final weeks as Spurs players. As a businessman, Levy should know that a gentleman’s agreement is considered to be a measure of the honour of the people who make the agreement. To renege on one is seen as exceptionally poor form.
Levy came across as an interesting character during the Amazon Prime documentary “Tottenham Hotspur: All or Nothing” documentary. It wouldn’t be unkind to suggest that he sees himself as an expert poker player. In terms of the results he achieves, though, it might be more accurate to call him an online slots player. A good poker player wins more often than they lose and constantly maintains an awareness of their position within the game they’re playing. An online slots player spends their money and then waits for the whims of fate to determine whether they’ve been successful or not. You can win just as much money at the Online Slots UK website as you can at a poker table, but you do so through luck more than judgment. Levy seems happy to play high-stakes games with his players, but experience tells us that he ends up as a loser more often than he comes out a winner.
Nobody knows how this saga will end. It’s understood that Manchester City officials would still love to sign Kane, but in the meantime, they’re trying to negotiate a £100m deal for Aston Villa’s England international Jack Grealish. Even a club with City’s resources can’t afford to spend £200m on two players, so if the Grealish deal goes through, Kane might find himself short of options. It’s possible that his former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino would throw him a lifeline at Paris Saint Germain if a deal could be done. At the more unlikely edge of outside guesses is the idea that Manchester United might be prepared to spend money to bring him in, but they too have already spent a lot of cash in this window. If Levy’s secret ambition was to delay a deal for Kane until it became non-viable to do one, it’s still possible that he might have succeeded.
Kane’s situation is close to being untenable. The fee that Levy wants for him might make it impossible for him to move, but the bridges he’s burned by going on strike might make it impossible for him to stay. This is a dire situation for everyone involved – and the last thing that the player or the club needs looming over them on the eve of a new season.