Tottenham’s multi-billionaire owner Joe Lewis has injected an extra £150 million (€175m) into the club to guarantee Antonio Conte major backing in the summer transfer market.
Enic, the Bahamas-based subsidiary, will now increase its majority control of the club by about two percentage points as a result of the capital share increase, Tottenham announced. “The equity injection provides the Premier League club with greater financial flexibility and the ability to further invest on and off the pitch,” a statement from the club said.
The spending pledge is a clear statement of intent to Conte, with Tottenham’s managing director of football Fabio Paratici due to hold talks with the head coach in Italy. Paratici is ready to promise Conte that the club will try to make at least six new signings in a bid to convince him to stay.
The extra funds, in combination with revenue from a first full season at their new stadium at full capacity, comes after Conte spoke about the desire to improve his squad with “important players” after he secured Champions League qualification.
Tottenham said the capital increase of up to £150m will be received “via the issue of convertible A Shares and accompanying warrants”. Chairman Daniel Levy said: “The delivery of a world-class home was always a key building block in driving diversified revenues to enable us to invest in the teams and support our ambitions to be consistently competing at the highest levels of European football. Additional capital from Enic will now enable further investment in the club at an important time.”
Conte, who is taking a break in his home country to consider his future, had kept Tottenham sweating after the victory over Norwich that clinched fourth. He repeated the need for the squad to be significantly strengthened this summer.
Paratici will speak with his compatriot in Italy during the next week after allowing him time and space to unwind.
Of the new funds available, Tottenham said: “The investment represents permanent capital, with no ongoing interest cost to the club, and which may be drawn in tranches until the end of the year.”
Since replacing Nuno Espirito Santo in November, Conte has lived in a central London hotel while his wife Elisabetta and daughter Vittoria have remained in Italy. With only a year remaining on his Tottenham contract, it is unlikely Elisabetta and Vittoria would move to London next season which means Conte and his family must decide whether or not he can spend another nine months living away from them.
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