With the transfer window wide open in this trip down to the archive we look back at some of Tottenham’s transfer business over the years. With transfer fees differing in each newspaper and with the buying club always claiming they paid less than the selling club say they received fees can be a mystery. This is partly to how the deal is structured and interest on payments as well as various add on, targets met, appearances made etc. Where I have quoted a fee it is one that seems to be commonly held or the middle of the range. Add in players going the other way. Every transfer carries a risk. Some players more than repaid their fee whilst others did not meet expectations.
Tottenham have spent high over the years despite what some armchair chairman may think. It would be impossible to include every transfer. I have omitted the most recent as they are still fresh in the memory. Here not in any particular order are some of the more memorable deals over the years. One of the first transfers where I could find a fee quoted for dates back to Fanny Walden in 1913 when we paid £1,700 to Northampton Town. Our first £5,000 player was Ted Harper’s arrive from Sheffield Wednesday in 1929. Andy Duncan (who scored 26 times in 103 games) then cost £6,000 from Hull in 1935. Which stayed our top spending until 1949. Few figures are available until that time when we paid a record fee for a full back when we spend £21,000 to bring Alf Ramsey from Southampton.
More money well spend followed was when we broke the record for a wing half and laid out £30,000 to Aston Villa for Danny Blanchflower in 1955. Within a year two more members of the double side arrived Maurice Norman, £28,000, from Norwich and Bobby Smith £18,000 from Chelsea. Terry Medwin from Swansea arrived the following month for the same fee. But it was two years later when Cliff Jones came from the same club for £35,000 we broke our record again.
Left Cliff signs for Spurs.
That stood for three years until Jimmy Greaves came from AC Milan for £100,000. We could debate Jimmy’s fee for hours but as he said with the taxes etc the fee was well into three figures and it never worried him. Jimmy wasn’t the first player to join us from an Italian club, that was Tony Marchi in June 1959 for £20,000. Tony a local lad had come through the academy and we sold him for £42,000 two years earlier to the Lanerossi club.
The next players to join from outside the United Kingdom was Ricki Villa and Ossie Ardilles in 1978 (below). The deal that saw us spent £ 700,000 for both with Ricki being slightly higher in value.
The next overseas signing was Nico Classen from Belgium’s Standard Liege,
£600,000 in 1986.
1974 saw us pay £72,500 twice. First for Alan Mullery and then Alan Gilzean. After Greaves’s arrival we paid £95,000 for Mike England from Blackburn but we didn’t break the club record until Martin Chivers in January 1968 when we paid £125,000. Although Frank Saul going the other way was valued at £40,000.
In Feb 1964 we paid £40,000 for Laurie Brown and in 1968 £55,000 for David Jenkins, both from Arsenal. Bill Nicholson later wrote that Jenkins was 'perhaps my worst signing, although Laurie Brown would come into the reckoning.'
1969 saw another three figure deal bringing Roger Morgan for QPR for £110,000. The following year we spent £ 200,000 this time for Martin Peters from West Ham, with Greaves going the opposite direction.
Dave Mackay had been Bill Nicholson’s first (and he claimed best) purchase as manager costing us just £30,000 in March 1959 from Hearts. His last buy was not so impressive. Alfie Conn another Scot in July 1974 from Rangers for £150,000.
Bill later said that “with good players unavailable, I had to aim lower down the scale and that explained why I brought Conn, who was not really my type of player.”
September1976 saw Peter Taylor join from Crystal Palace for £400,000. May 1980 Steve Archibald came from Aberdeen for £800,000 and a few weeks later his strike partner Garth Crooks arrived from Stoke, £650,000.
May ‘63 Pat Jennings came from Watford for £27,000. Another goalie Ray Clemence moved from Liverpool in the summer of 1981. Gary Mabbutt from Bristol Rovers cost £120,000 in 1982.
August 1984 and Clive Allen who would score a record 49 goals in a season cost £ 700,000 from QPR. June 1988 and we hit the million mark when we pay Manchester City £1.7 million for Paul Stewart. The following month and 2m brings Paul Gascoigne from Newcastle.
A year later and 1.2million and Gary Lineker moves from Barcelona.
Our next 2 million man is Gordon Durie from Chelsea, August 1991. The following month and the record falls when 2.1 million is enough for Teddy Sheringham to join from Nottingham Forest.
July 1994 and 2 Million brings Jurgen Klinsman from Monaco. A deal that seem destined to go through. Alan Sugar our Chairman at the time said he received a call from an agent asking if we would be interested and asked where Alan was. Alan said he was on his yacht in Monaco harbour, where are you. To which he was told in a hotel overlooking the harbour. Alan walked up onto deck and the two waved to each other.
Below - Jurgen meets Alan.
The following month its Ilie Dumitescu (2.6 mill) from Steaua Bucharest. Another month and fellow Rumanian Gheorge Popescu (2.9mill.) from PSV. June 1995. Chris Armstrong from Crystal Palace costs 4.5 million. 1996 and League Cup Final goal scorer Allan Nielsen arrives from Brondby (1.65) Stefan Iversen is the next big overseas arrival a few months later (2.7)
August 1997 Les Ferdinand costs 7 million to bring him from Newcastle. December 1998 Stefan Freund arrives from Borussia Dortmund for only £750,000.
Two months later we pay 4 million for Tim Sherwood (Blackburn). Two big money moves are Sergi Rebrov 11m in May 2000 and Darren Bent £16.5 million in 2007.
Right - Trainer George Hardy welcomes Ralph Ward to White Hart Lane in 1936. Ward so impressed Spurs in a FA Cup tie with Bradford City we signed him. He played 378 first team games at Right Back and scored 28 goals. He was also a professional golfer at Bush Hill Golf Club and late managed Crewe.
July 2000 and the first ‘Bosman’ arrives in the shape of Neil Sullivan from Wimbledon.
£ 2002 Robbie Keane comes to us from Leeds United for 7 million. (when he signs again in 2009 the fee was 15M) 2003 and 1.5 lets us sign Bobby Zamora from Brighton. Bobby scored one goal in twenty games for us. February 2004 and 7 million brings Jermaine Defoe from West Ham (He will cost 16m when we resign him in 2009). A few months later Michael Carrick follows him from Upton Park for 2.5 million. January 2005 sees us sign Andy Reid from Nottingham Forest for 4.5 million. The deal that went to the last few minutes of the window when we also pay 3.5m for Michael Dawson. In that summer 2.5m brings Tom Huddlestone from Derby and Arron Lennon from Leeds in a deal reported to be 1 million.
One strange deal was Walter Bull who signed for us in May 1904 but could not play until the October as we could not agree a fee with Notts County. It finally went to the FA. We wanted to pay _ £175. Notts wouldn't take less than 200. The FA ruled that the fee should be 300 !
It seems clear the price tag does not always reflect the value they bring to the club. It is worth remembering for every Lloris there is a Bentley for every Van Der Varrt there is a Grzegorz Rasiak. Rasiak, who joined us from Derby for 2.2 million on deadline day was a last minute buy when other deals did not work out. At the time Martin Jol described him as "a tall target man, a hard-working, honest player with a good goal scoring record." He did not score in his nine games for the club.
What ever happens this summer we have come along way from when we signed Bert Bliss. Who would go to 14th in our all-time goal scorers list with goals for the club, a key member of that great team of the 1920’s and become an England international. We paid non-league Willenhall Pickwick just fifty pounds for him in 1912.
Top picture David Ginola signs for Tottenham.
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