NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 436
Submitted by Norman Giller
The appointment of Scott Munn as No 2 in the Spurs boardroom – second only to He Who Must Be Obeyed, Daniel Levy – sent all we snooping journalists on a chase to find out anything we could about the 'unknown' man from Down Under.
I would wager that as few as one in a hundred of us in the Northern Hemisphere had heard of the Aussie, who will soon take over his new duties in what appears to be a huge shift on the Tottenham power dial.
Director of Football Fabio Paratici is on 'leave of absence' while he appeals his world-wide ban following an investigation into financial irregularities at his old Juventus club. If and when he returns he will be answerable to Mr Munn on all club matters.
I got in touch with a well-connected contact in Sydney for any information he could give me on this man Munn, and I am delighted to report he thinks Spurs have got themselves a real gem.
'You've got yourselves a whirlwind, mate,' I was told by an Aussie friend surprised I had not heard of him. 'He made his name down here with his behind-the-scenes organisational work at the brilliantly staged Sydney Olympics in 2000. He was head hunted by the National Rugby League, then came over to the round ball game with great success. After a successful spell as CEO at Melbourne City he switched to the same influential role with the huge City Football Group in China. There are few bigger jobs in the world of sports administration than that one, and I'm surprised Tottenham have managed to prise him away. But he's a guy who loves a challenge.'
If I were to meet Scott, I'd tell him: 'G'day mate. D'you realise the nest of vipers you're taking on? This is a split club, with a small but very vocal minority promoting their hatred of anything ENIC. They have Daniel Levy in particular in their sights. If I were you, I'd show a deaf ear to them and just get on with the main job of putting things right on the football pitch. Many of the loudest critics, Cobber, speak a load of cobblers.'
I'm hoping Levy will be taking a back seat to Munn. The hands-on chairman can concentrate on his massive business expansion plans, leaving football matters to the Aussie, as it says in his brief. They must not waste time with debates as to which of them is the most follicly challenged.
While Saturday's three points were as welcome as water to a dehydrated marathon man, you have to be a very one-eyed Spurs supporter not to accept that lively Brighton were unlucky not to leave as victors. As our guru Paul H. Smith reports HERE, the Seagulls continually exposed the Tottenham defence to the perils of panic. VAR, so unkind to Tottenham in the past, twice bit Brighton where it hurts, and a stone-wall penalty for the seasiders was missed by both human officials and the robotic VAR. Brighton have had an official apology for the cock-up, which is hardly any sort of consolation.
Just how angry would Tottenham have been had they been on the wrong end of this incompetence?
Let's hope the football gods continue to smile down on Spurs throughout this closing Premier League programme:
v. Bournemouth (h) Saturday 3pm
v. Newcastle (a) Sunday April 23 2pm
v. Man United (h) Thursday April 27 8.15pm
v. Liverpool (a) Sunday April 30 4.30pm
v. Crystal Palace (h) Saturday May 6 3pm
v. Aston Villa (a) Saturday May 13 3pm
v. Brentford (h) Saturday May 20 3pm
v. Leeds United (a) Sunday May 28 4.30pm
My gut feeling is that we will be looking at Thursday night European football next season. Then we will have the wind from a whirlwind from Down Under at our backs. And I won-der who will be managing? There remains something magic about Poch!
Week 30 of our ninth year of Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenges:
Which player has won 24 caps for Spain, includes Juventus and Napoli among his clubs, and against which team did he score a hat-trick for Tottenham in a fifth round FA Cup tie, a feat he repeated against Tranmere the following season?
Please email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Quiz Week 30 as the subject heading. Deadline midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who participate, taking time off from writing my next book: The G-Men, an intimate close-up of Greavsie and Gilzean.
The rules are the same as in previous seasons. I ask a two-pronged question with three points at stake – two for identifying the player and one for the supplementary question. In the closing weeks of the competition I break the logjam of all-knowing Spurs-history experts with a tie-breaking poser that is based on opinion rather than fact. That’s when I lose the few friends that I have. But, hey, it's fun. Please join in.
This year’s prizes for the champion will be signed copies of my biographies on Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Smith plus – I promise this is a treat – my hilarious boxing book, The Man Who Put A Curse on Muhammad Ali, including a photo card signed for me by Ali on the night of his world title defence against Yorkshire lionheart Richard Dunn.
But most important of all, the prizes will include a framed certificate announcing the winner as 2023 SOQL champion. A word of warning, previous champions David Guthrie (going for a hat-trick of titles), Peter Lawton in Israel, Graham Eyre from Down Under and our only female champion Emily Hadjinicolaou are among an army of you jostling for the lead.
Week 29: Who won 74 caps for his country, joined Spurs in 2005, scored his only Tottenham goal against Wigan and which manager signed him?
Answer: The Bespectacled Pitbull Edgar Davids, who was signed by affable Martin Jol when Spurs were going Dutch.
See you back here next Monday. COYS!
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