Friday 20 July 2018

Spurs face fight to control wage bill as stars eye pay rises after super season

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy

Matt Law

Daniel Levy is facing a difficult summer of trying to control Tottenham's wage bill, even though the club's players will not get automatic pay rises for qualifying for the Champions League.

Unlike Manchester United and other top-four rivals, chairman Levy has not put Champions League pay clauses into the contracts of his players.

United players, for example, earn around 25pc more for playing in the Champions League, but their Spurs counterparts can count on only a share of a one-off bonus for finishing in the top four.

While he has slashed the Spurs wage bill over the past two years, Levy now faces a tricky task to keep players and agents happy after superb season.

Hugo Lloris, Erik Lamela and Moussa Dembélé are Spurs' highest earners on £70-£80,000 a week, while striker Harry Kane has been in talks over an increase to his £50,000-a-week deal.

In comparison, Chelsea's highest earner, Eden Hazard, is paid £200,000 a week, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney pockets £260,000 a week, Sergio Agüero and Yaya Touré earn £220,000-a-week at Manchester City and Arsenal pay Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez £140,000 a week.

West Ham this season handed Dimitri Payet a £125,000-a-week contract to keep the midfielder at Upton Park, while Andros Townsend earned a big pay rise by moving from Spurs to Newcastle United on £55,000 a week.

Levy tied Dele Alli down to a new five-year £25,000-a-week contract in January, while talks are ongoing with Kane, Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen.

But it is unrealistic for Levy to expect to keep Tottenham's wage bill so low following such a successful season and with the promised riches of the Champions League and a new television deal.

Levy is likely to find that a number of the club's players want pay rises, while the demands of Spurs' transfer targets will go up. Tottenham are in talks with Marseille over £30m-rated striker Michy Batshuayi, but face competition from Juventus, West Ham and Liverpool, and may have to break their £80,000-a-week wage ceiling to get the Belgian.

Levy is also trying to tie Mauricio Pochettino and his staff.

The immediate concern is how to close the gap on league leaders Leicester City, but their loss of Jamie Vardy to suspension could hand Tottenham a huge boost, Pochettino believes.

"Leicester have very good players and different players that can play the same way (as Vardy) but he's one of the best strikers in the league," he said.

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