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Gareth Bale: Tottenham to Madrid and a lesson in prudent accounting

The hotly anticipated return of Gareth Bale provides an unexpected lesson in accounting
Gareth Bale: Tottenham to Madrid and a lesson in prudent accounting

Word on the lane (White Hart Lane) is that Gareth Bale is coming home. Seven years after Tottenham Hotspur sold their star player to Real Madrid for a then-record £85m, Spurs are bringing him back.

Depending on the final re-purchase price, the North London club have done rather well from Bale (whether his absence cost the club riches of another kind is a matter to be debated elsewhere – Bale has won four Champions League titles at Real Madrid, Spurs remain trophy-less). And while Bale was off winning trophies, Spurs have created something with far greater long-term value: a stadium which – coronavirus aside – has capacity for 62,000 fans.

When Spurs vacated the Lane in 2017, scurried off to Wembley and took out a £500m loan to finance the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, fans balked. But the stadium has added huge opportunity to the club’s revenue-generating capacity – match day and commercial revenue contribute about half of most football clubs’ total sales.

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