“You won’t find an on/off button attached to a strategy” – authors of strategy book confused as to whether Tottenham changed their whole strategy when hiring Mourinho

31 March 2021

Daniel Levy
Photo: Alamy Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino and chairman Daniel Levy before the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Test Event - Under 18 Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton game on March 24, 2019.

The authors are unclear whether Tottenham Hotspur are in the middle of a significant change of direction in terms of their playing philosophy. The transfer strategy may have changed as well.

“The complexity in football doesn’t allow you to suddenly make a strategic U-turn in order to win a short-term title,” the authors say, if the hiring of Mourinho was solely a matter of winning something within a short period of time.

Daniel Levy has a reputation as a very successful and focused chairman with a long-term mindset, so the book’s authors are surprised if he is deliberately changing the playing fundamentals at the club.

According to the authors, clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur need to realise that they cannot continue to outperform competitors who are spending significantly more money on transfers and wages.

Their book “How Hard Can it Be” is about strategy work – and the lack of – in the football industry. They argue that Tottenham over-performed for a number of years and should have accepted the decline in results in the last phase of Pochettino’s reign.

Kasper Kronenberg kk@offthepitch.com

Few would disagree that if you change the strategy of a company, you would be well advised to inform your stakeholders so they understand what to expect from you.

When Netflix was founded in 1997, it was purely a movie-rental service. Users ordered movies on the Netflix website, and received DVDs in the post. When they had finished with them, they would simply post them back to Netflix in the envelopes provided.

That business model changed quite a bit, and in 2007 Netflix also offered their customers a streaming service.

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