The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
I know their circumstances have changed. And I’d be the first to admit that normal rules of judgement don’t apply within 100 feet of Harry Redknapp. But does it seem at all strange to anyone else that Tottenham aren’t facing more criticism over their reacquisition of Jermain Defoe? They sold him for £7.5 million in 2008, watched him play brilliantly for Portsmouth, then bought him back for £15 million in 2009. That’s not advantageous math.
Granted, they lost Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov, the strikers who kept Defoe from having a starting role at Tottenham, in the interim. But given how well Defoe has played at Portsmouth and how poor Keane especially has looked at his new club, isn’t it kind of apparent that they never should have sold him in the first place? Obviously he improves their squad, so in that sense this is a good move for them today. But as the Daily Bung points out, it doesn’t display what you’d call a really ruthless acumen for business:
How To Run a Football Club, by D Levy. Chapter 5: Transfers.
January 2008: Tottenham sell Jermain Defoe to Portsmouth for £7.5 million.
March 2008: Defoe scores eight goals in seven games for Portsmouth.
May 2008: Portsmouth finish eighth in Premier League, three places above Tottenham
August 2008: Tottenham sell Robbie Keane.
September 2008: Tottenham sell Dimitar Berbatov
January 2009: Tottenham, now five places behind Portsmouth, buy Jermain Defoe back for £15 million.
I guess Spurs fans, most of whom never wanted to lose Defoe in the first place, are seeing this as a wrong finally mended, and thus aren’t inclined to feel outrage over a calculator. But the fact that the club have overtly bungled yet another episode like this isn’t reassuring, magic of Harry or no. We’ll see what happens when they sell him to Sunderland in August for £200k and the rights to Teemu Tainio.
by Brian Phillips · January 6, 2009