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Tottenham Hotspur in talks to raise ‘significant capital’

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Tottenham Hotspur is in talks to secure a “significant increase” in equity as the football club seeks to compete with deep-pocketed rivals in the English Premier League.

Rothschild & Co, which has long-standing ties to the club, was advising on the talks, according to Spurs chair Daniel Levy, who noted that Spurs has invested more than £600mn in its men’s and women’s first-team squads since opening its new stadium in April 2019.

“To capitalise on our long-term potential, to continue to invest in the teams and undertake future capital projects, the club requires a significant increase in its equity base,” said Levy.

Spurs would be just the latest Premier League club to raise cash to fund the need to compete in a division of rivals owned by billionaires, private equity and sovereign wealth.

The north London side was ahead of many rivals in building a modern arena that helps to diversify its revenues, bringing in star music performers such as Beyoncé as part of a wider events business. The stadium has transformed the club’s fortunes, increasing match day revenues and helping to draw in new partners such as global car racing series Formula One.

The duo opened an F1-themed electric karting attraction at Spurs’ stadium in February, in another sign of how the club was trying to diversify its revenues and become an entertainment hub.

The club has planning permission for a 180-room hotel and about 50 apartments to the south of its stadium campus.

Other Premier League clubs are playing catch-up with Spurs. Petrochemicals tycoon Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who completed the acquisition of a 27.7 per cent stake in Manchester United in February, has set up a task force to build a “world class” stadium and regenerate its Old Trafford home.

Levy confirmed talks with investors as Spurs reported that its annual revenues jumped to £550mn in the year to June 2023, from £444mn a year earlier.

The increase was driven by match day revenue, prize money from participating in the elite Uefa Champions League, and commercial income that includes sponsorship and third-party events.

Tottenham said its highest-paid director — assumed to be Levy — was paid £6.6mn in the year, including £3.6mn in pay and £3mn in bonuses. The club declined to confirm the director’s identity.

Operating profit increased to £139mn from £112mn. However, the club reported that its annual net loss widened to £86mn in the financial year from £50mn, citing “significant and continued investment in the playing squad”.

The efforts to secure new investment come after Joe Lewis, whose family is connected to a trust that has a majority stake in the club, in January pleaded guilty to insider trading in a US federal court.

The Bahamas-based British billionaire had owned Spurs for about two decades until giving up control in October 2022.

The Premier League side has previously described the charges against Lewis as a “legal matter unconnected with the club”.

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