If Nuno Espirito Santo fails to lead Tottenham to a top-six finish in the Premier League, the club can reportedly sack him in the summer without having to pay any compensation. Spurs, on the other hand, claim that a story that chairman Daniel Levy fixed a departure clause is false.
Spurs’ 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday relieved the pressure on the Portuguese after a run of three straight Premier League defeats, including a humiliating north London derby setback at Arsenal eight days ago.
Spurs are now in eighth place, just four points behind leaders Chelsea, but according to The Athletic, the club has a provision in their manager’s agreement that favors them even if the campaign does not go as planned.
According to the article, if Nuno fails to assist Spurs to secure European football next season, they may fire him midway through his two-year deal without having to pay him.
It’s uncertain whether another season in the Europa Conference League would be enough to preserve Nuno’s job, considering that it doesn’t require a top-six finish in the Premier League but still allows Spurs to compete in Europe next season.
The arrangement is thought to have been arranged in the summer by chairman Daniel Levy, although a Tottenham representative denied the existence of the clause in Nuno’s contract. Following Ryan Mason’s interim tenure at the end of last season, Nuno, 47, was not the club’s first option to be chosen as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor.
Spurs, on the other hand, appeared to be ticking under the Portuguese, as they won against Manchester City, Wolves, and Watford to go top of the league before the first international break of the season. However, things swiftly deteriorated when they lost three consecutive London derbies against Crystal Palace, Chelsea, and Arsenal, allowing nine goals in all.
However, victories over Mura of Slovenia in the Conference League and Villa of Dean Smith at the weekend alleviated some of the burdens on the under-fire manager and his players.
Nuno was asked if he was pleased that his team had regained their advantage four minutes after being pegged back by Villa: “Definitely. Yes, it’s [reacting to conceding] something we’ve improved from previous games. The reaction was good.”
Nuno, on the other hand, will be hoping to build on that victory to avoid having to activate the clause this summer, having been eager to take on the challenge in the first place.