Euro millions offer timely reminder to Tottenham

TOTTENHAM have received a huge incentive as they prepare to resume their chase for a top four finish after it emerged their Champions League participation in the first half of the season swelled their income by almost 50 per cent.

Spurs, who lie fifth ahead of their trip to Wigan tomorrow, saw revenue for the last six months of 2010 increase by 49 per cent on the same period the previous year, from £53.5m to £79.8m. This was largely attributable to their debut season in Europe’s most prestigious and lucrative club competition, with matchday takings from cup games rocketing from £1.9m to £20.3m.

It is a timely reminder of how valuable Champions League participation is, as they strive to qualify for the tournament again. To do so they will have to overhaul Manchester City, who lie four points clear but have played one match more.

Tottenham’s interim results did highlight the need to “streamline”, as chairman Daniel Levy put it, one of the largest squads in the Premier League during the summer, with operating expenses soaring from £38.6m to £61.5m and swallowing up much of the increased income. Nonetheless, profits before player trading and amortisation grew handsomely from £4.9m to £18.3m.

Merchandise sales also benefited from the club’s Champions League status and elevated profile, with revenue rising 22 per cent, while sponsorship and corporate hospitality takings were up 27 per cent, from £12.7m to £16m. Tottenham this season began a dual shirt sponsorship, with Investec paying to feature on their shirts in cup and European competitions, and Autonomy in the Premier League. Investec told City A.M. last month that talks had begun about extending their two-year deal.

The promising figures do not include money from the club’s last 16 tie against Italian giants AC Milan, whom they beat to set up next week’s quarter-final against more Continental aristocrats, Real Madrid. Both will add considerable further value to Tottenham’s European run.

Tottenham this week took the first steps towards seeking a judicial review of the decision to choose West Ham, not them, as long-term post-2012 tenants of the Olympic Stadium, but Levy Spurs had not given up on the possibility of building a new ground next to White Hart Lane, despite rising costs.