Soccer-Kane sale leaves Tottenham fans ‘angry and hurt’

LONDON (Reuters) – The sale of Tottenham Hotspur’s talisman and record goalscorer Harry Kane to Bayern Munich has left fans “angry and hurt” and has called into question the club’s ownership, according to the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST).

Kane, 30, was confirmed as a Bayern Munich player on Saturday after weeks of wrangling between the clubs.

The England captain has signed a four-year deal, with media reports suggesting the fee was around 100 million euros ($109 million) which would be a Bundesliga record.

While Kane sets off for a new adventure, fans of the club he leaves behind have quickly vented their frustration at club chairman Daniel Levy, who has come under increasing fire because of the club’s decline on the pitch in recent seasons.

“It should never have come to this. This is a watershed moment and a clear and painful indictment of the on-field development of the club over the last four years,” a THST statement said. “We have lost a generational talent who, by his own words, only wanted to see the club progress.

“The lack of a coherent and consistent football strategy from the Board has seen significant on-field regression since 2019, leading to ‘One of Our Own’ feeling he had no viable option but to leave.”

Home-grown talent Kane passed the club’s all-time scoring record held by Jimmy Greaves last season and leaves with a record of 280 goals in 435 appearances.

He is also the second-highest Premier League scorer of all time with 213 goals — 47 behind Alan Shearer — and, with 58 goals for his country in 84 games, Kane is also England’s all-time leading marksman.

Despite his individual accolades including three Premier League Golden Boots he has no club silverware in his collection.

Two League Cup runners-up medals and a Champions League runners-up medal in 2019 are a poor return for a player of his calibre and Tottenham’s direction of travel in the last few seasons has been downward. Last season they finished eighth in the Premier League, not even good enough for a place in Europe.

Chants against the Board have become regular occurrences at home games, although many point to the fact that Levy has provided the club with one of the best stadiums in the world and a training ground that is the envy of most clubs.

“The Board are merely temporary custodians of this Club. If this Board doesn’t share the ambition of one of our greatest players, then how can fans feel reassured in the direction of this football club?” THST said.

“Fans are angry and hurt; our loyalty is being tested to breaking point. We must question the Club’s strategy and ambition. And we are owed an explanation on exactly who sanctioned the sale and why it happened a matter of hours before the season kicks off.

“The Club Board must make a public statement, respond to questions on their stewardship and show that it knows what putting football first means.”

In a statement on Tottenham’s website, Levy said they had tried everything to keep Kane.

“We sought over a long period of time to engage Harry and his representatives in several forms of contract extension, both short and long term,” he said.

“Harry was clear, however, that he wanted a fresh challenge and would not be signing a new contract this summer.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)