Daniel Levy - Bale refused to play (in code)

As everyone knows, whether they care to admit it or not and plenty were in denial at the time, Spurs had no choice but to sell Gareth Bale, they were forced to do so.

The 'he is under contract' brigade who mistakenly believe a contract means something would disagree. The inevitable happened but not in a nice way. In todays world of football a player moves whenever he wants to, but in Gareth Bale's case frankly he had no reason to stay.

Daniel Levy had promised him that if Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League he would listen to a reasonable offer if one came in. To Bale that meant no Champions League and I'm off, to Levy that meant I'll listen but I won't hear and still won't sell you.

Gareth Bale was carrying Tottenham and papering over the cracks. He could have run his own goal of the season competition such were the brilliance and importance of some of them. Bale is the same as any other player, he wants Champions League football and if a club can't provide it players will not wait around, that's the real world. They will simply do what Dimitar Berbatov, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale all did, simply refuse to play.

The one thing that made Bale different was his childhood dream of playing for Real Madrid. You can't knock a guy for wanting to realise a childhood dream.

Bale refused to play for Spurs
Bale forced Spurs to sell
You will remember the rubbish the club spun about an injury to cover up the fact he had refused to train and refused to play. That didn't fool the majority of supporters though and was confirmed in Hong Kong when he refused to even be seen or photographed in a Spurs shirt. During games he stayed hid in the dressing room, not providing a single photo opportunity for eager and expectant fans in an emerging market.

Spurs got an extra season out of Bale when we were unfortunate not to get Champions League football but a failure to achieve fourth the following season meant he would be off. Fortunately in that time we more than doubled his valuation and received a world record fee for him.

In a candid interview with The Times, a snip of which you'll find below,  Daniel Levy lifted the lid on the Bale transfer saga and admitted that although he wanted to keep him it was impossible.

"It wasn’t a money decision that forced us to sell him.

"I easily would have turned down £125 million if we believed that Gareth would have been a committed Tottenham player. I would much rather be sitting here with Gareth Bale in the team, but we are dealing with people.

"Tottenham is not a club that can consistently pay £50 million for a player. We have to make our players.”

At the time of the Gareth Bale transfer to Real Madrid Daniel Levy said:

Daniel Levy forced to sell Gareth Bale
Daniel Levy was forced to sell Gareth Bale
“Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future. He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four-year contract.

“Such has been the attention from Real and so great is Gareth’s desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign.”

In business you word things to convey a message without actually saying it, hence the term reading between the lines. Applying that to Daniel Levy's comments and it's clear he had no intention of selling Bale but had no choice, Bale simply refused to train and refused to play or was not 'sufficiently committed' as he puts it.

The fact that he has used the term 'committed' in both interviews shows Bale didn't want to be here any longer. In the end we did well to get €101 million for him, which with improved exchange rates was worth over £6m more than it was a year before.

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Now I don't blame Bale, he had a dream as a kid and this was he chance so he took it. If a player wants to force a move he will, if the club are unwilling to sell then a player will do whatever he has to to secure a move. By refusing to even be photographed in a Spurs shirt he was refusing to market the club, on top of refusing to play. That was the length he had to go to to force Levy to give him his move.

We live in a world of player power. A player can simply run down his contract and leave for free, collecting himself a nice fat signing on fee and large salary. That is useless for his current club who have to keep him tied into at least 3 year deals to guarantee a market value transfer fee. Effectively that's all a contract is, a bit of paper that ensures the club can get a transfer fee, from a players point of view it has little or no value at all.

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