Another mystery man from the Bahamas

HE is a self-made billionaire who operates out of Bahamas although he is an Englishman and shuns publicity. Sound familiar?Not our very own Marcus Evans but Joe Lewis.

By Derek Davis

HE is a self-made billionaire who operates out of Bahamas although he is an Englishman and shuns publicity. Sound familiar?

Not our very own Marcus Evans but Joe Lewis.

Who, you may ask? Unless you are an avid Spurs fan you will probably not know that he is technically the owner of the White Hart Lane club whose company ENIC have 66.8% of the shares of Tottenham Hotspur Plc.

Like Evans, he leaves the running of the football business to other people - in Tottenham's case it is Daniel Levy who is chairman of the club and a 29.8% shareholder of ENIC International Ltd that also owns Slavia Prague.

So how does it work for Spurs?

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Very well, on the face of it. The ordinary shares, when originally launched in 1983, were valued at 20p and are now selling for £130.50p and the 70-year-old Lewis splashed out £25m in April to boost his stake.

Lewis is not on the board at Spurs. That is made up of four people. Levy and Matthew Collecott are directors, Mervyn Davies and Sir Keith Mills are non-executive directors so decisions are arrived at quickly and simply, while Lewis enjoys playing golf in the Bahamas with his pals Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.

Spurs fans will have seen how little they have in the way of say in running the football side of things.

Many were clearly opposed to losing Martin Jol yet the board wanted Ramos and rode roughshod over the opinions of the customers.

Levy is very much the public face of Spurs and is readily available for interviews and to meet with supporters' groups.

After the initial interest in Lewis, who has given a couple of rare newspaper interviews - and there are at least a couple of pictures of him - attention is very much deflected to Levy and Spurs are spending big and are considered among the middle group of Premier League clubs that could crack the top four and succeed in Europe.

The money invested has seen them able to pay big sums for the likes of Darren Bent and ensure they don't have to sell Dimitar Berbatov.

Town fans will hope the reclusive Mr Evan follows in the lead of Mr Lewis and pumps the cash in but leave the decision-making to someone else to achieve success, although Town supporters may not like being left on the outside.

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