Dubai linked with $500m bid for England’s most Jewish football club
English football fans are used to foreign owners - eight clubs in the Premier League are owned by foreigners - but few would have linked Tottenham, a club identified with strong Jewish links, with a possible takeover from Dubai.
Tottenham’s board is in talks with a Dubai syndicate, and values the club at $500m.
It says Joe Lewis, head of the ENIC investment group which owns 82 per cent of the north London club, wants to sell. Lewis lost $800m from his personal fortune following the collapse of American investment bank Bear Stearns earlier this year.
With no confirmation from the seller, and the identity of the Dubai syndicate unknown, it is unclear whether the story is much more than ‘Dubai investors have money + Dubai likes football + Tottenham owner needs money = sale’.
Tottenham, on the periphery of England’s top four clubs, have a strong Jewish connection. The clubs fans refer to themselves as the ‘Yid Army’. The board includes several Jewish members.
Two years ago, Emirates, which sponsors Arsenal, Tottenham’s North London rivals, was dismayed when Arsenal signed a deal to promote Israel as a tourist destination.
“This is unfortunate and we are obviously not happy,” Mike Simon, Emirates’ senior vice-president for Corporate Communications, told Gulf News. “We were informed about it. We are only sponsors for the stadium and their shirts. But we have an agreement that bars Arsenal from signing other airlines. Beyond that we do not have any say on their deals.”