New Dawn at Spurs as Sugar's Era Ends

By Bond, David | The Evening Standard (London, England), February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

New Dawn at Spurs as Sugar's Era Ends


Bond, David, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: DAVID BOND

SIR ALAN SUGAR'S unhappy reign as Tottenham chairman finally came to an end today as ENIC completed their [pound]22mil-lion acquisition of 27 per cent of the club.

Although his successor is unlikely to be appointed for some time, David Buchler, the corporate troubleshooter who helped save Spurs from liquidation by arranging Sugar's takeover with Terry Venables in 1991, has been appointed executive vice-chairman of the club.

It will be his job to carry out a six-month review at White Hart Lane before prominent City figures are found to fill the vacant roles of chairman and chief executive.

In the meantime, the north London side will be run by Buchler and ENIC managing director Daniel Levy, the lifelong Spurs fan behind ENIC's acquisition, who was today confirmed as acting chairman.

For Buchler, himself a Tottenham supporter, today's events complete an extraordinary turnaround. It is now 10 years since the accountant was asked by City banks to rescue the club from crippling debts picked up during the Irving Scholar regime.

On that occasion salvation came in the form of Sugar and Venables, whose bid for Spurs he supported. Since then Buch-ler Phillips, the company he helped found and then sold to American company Kroll last year, have been involved in rescuing Millwall, Barnet, Swindon, Oxford and Luton.

And although the club's fans are angry at the way Sugar ran the club and are divided on the position of manager George Graham, he will return to a Tottenham in much better

financial health. "The club is profitable," said Buchler today. "It generates good money and there is money there to be spent."

But before Tottenham fans get carried away at the prospect of a spending spree on new players, he added: "It has to be spent wisely, in a way that's going to make sense for the club. George Graham said recently that he needed [pound]40m to make Spurs a great club.

Well, Spurs have spent that sort of money over the last five years but it has not brought success. …

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