Tottenham's Daniel Levy hoping to stay at club for the 'long term'

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has told ESPN's Ashley Fox that he plans to stay at the club "very much for the long term," but admits he must consider any takeover bids once the new stadium is completed.

Joe Lewis -- the chairman of ENIC International Ltd., the investment vehicle that owns a majority 85.5 percent of Tottenham -- reportedly values the club at over £1 billion, and in September 2014 a potential takeover bid from Cain Hoy Enterprises was abandoned by the U.S. investment company.

Spurs hope to open their new £400 million stadium for the start of the 2018-19 season, while they are building a £5m player lodge next to their state-of-the-art training facility in Enfield, with ENIC, which bought a majority stake of 29.9 percent in the club for £22m in 2001, standing to make a huge profit if it sells once the projects are complete.

Asked if this was likely to happen, Levy -- in an interview with ESPN.com -- said: "I've been chairman of the club for nearly 16 years, and we have maybe 30,000 small shareholders -- we used to be a public company -- and my response to that question is always the same: We have a duty when we've got 30,000 shareholders to consider any proposals that anyone wants to make the club. There's a board of transfer.

"But I've been here 16 years, and I'd very much hope to be here very much for the long term."

ENIC has made a concerted effort to increase its shareholding since 2001 and only 14.5 percent of the club's shares are outside the company's control.

Lewis, who was at Wembley to watch last week's Champions League match against Monaco, owns 70 percent of ENIC, with the Levy family owning the remaining 30 percent, while few of Tottenham's remaining shareholders own more than one percent of the club.

Meanwhile, a report last week in The Times said Spurs have opened talks with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) about a naming-rights deal for their new stadium, claiming it was one of more than 300 companies, institutions and investment vehicles approached by the club about sponsorship.

Levy admitted that talks are under way with potential sponsors but said a naming-rights deal remained some way off.

"We've started engaging in various markets with a number of potential candidates," he said. "I would say at a very early stage, it is our intention to sell naming rights but we have to go through a process and I think it will be some time before we pick the right brand for our stadium."