You are welcome to have a go at me after
I write this but before you do remember I have been there ! I was
a North London Boy; Mark Falco's sister was in my class; I was there
when Ricky Villa scored the goal in the í81 replay;
when Tony Parks saved that penalty: 18 games (even to Blackpool)
when they were relegated; Iíve stood up alone in the corporate section
of St James Park and yelled at the top of my voice "Yiddos"
(brave Ė trust me!); I saw Ardiles' and Villaís debut; Jurgen's,
Lineker's, Defoeís; Jimmy Greaves signed for me ďBe Lucky PaulĒ,
my daughterís a JSM member; I stood in the Coventry end in my Spurs
shirt when we lost at Wembley - on the day the girl I really loved
married the wrong bloke ! You get the picture.
I left London 30 years ago and whilst I
canít justify a season ticket now Iíve pumped thousands of pounds in
to Spurs (£2800 in one corporate package alone last year) from Sussex
where I still live, and despite all the massive mountain of frustration
we have had to climb in the last few years Iíve put up with it all.
But there comes a point (like a battered wife I suppose) when you have
to say stop ! Iíve
reached that point.
It started a year ago when a mate invited
me on a freezing cold day to see my local non league team
. It was bloody freezing, it was a crappish game and I took the rise out
of the club for the whole 90 minutes. But the next day I woke up
and realised Iíd enjoyed it. It was stress free - it was honest and it
was FUN ! (remember when you could use that word about going to Spurs ?)
have been promoted - are 6th in the Nationwide Conference South
and have won 9 out of ten games. Amazingly just as their star has
risen Spurs has fallen.
Every week that has gone by this season I
have been comparing the two clubs and you know what ? Spurs come
off worse. At
you get commitment, clean play (hell we even had a woman ref against
Weston Super Mare) and the players turn up in cars that are not as good
as mine ! The manager Gary Wilson is honest, shrewd and modest.
The club are run by a committee and they get stuck in and they enjoy
every minute of it. It costs just £8 to get in, you can buy Becks
at half time and watch Sky in the Sports Club !
Keith Burkinshaw famously said that there
used to be a Football Club at Spurs. He was correct. Itís
never been right since Irving Scholar turned it into a PLC. Today,
as it has been since then, the twin engines that drive Spurs are the
Chairmanís desire to protect his investment and his personal need for
glory Ė NOT any culture of good football.
No one at Tottenham ever just gets on
with the job quietly ! Every manager thinks he is the new Messiah,
every player thinks he is something special, we are wrapped around with
a constant stream of corporate plc glossy corporate brochure speak.
This week I got a very nice colour mail-shot offering me a discounted
Executive Box on the grounds that there is so much more to come this
season from Spurs. Well there certainly isnít in the Carling Cup
is there ? THFC is the
ďCourts Furniture StoreĒ of Modern Football. We are still under-funded,
over ambitious, have an old fashioned idea of product and despite all
the changes are bogged down with top heavy and massively inconsistent
Iím no longer interested in hearing
about the Spurs way ! - about what Martin Jol wants to be remembered
for; about Santini's
personal problems; about Daniel Levyís vision. Play the bloody
game lads !!! Shut up and get on with it ! Pass the ball;
put the ball in the back of the net; tackle hard ! But it wonít
happen. THFC is not a football club Ė itís a glossy brochure
Ė it looks nice and says all the right words but it delivers Ö
absolutely nothing ! - not
even a scrappy 1-0 against a
So when Eastbourne play Spurs at Priory
Lane in a few years youíll see me down near the touchline in the
sponsors seats and youíll know why Iím there and why in my heart
Iím praying Spurs win the game !