my other team is spurs

 

01.12.2004

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 Eastbourne Borough play Cambridge City . 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 ?)  Since then Eastbourne 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 Eastbourne 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 management !  

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 Liverpool reserve side.  

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 !

 

Paul Robinson

 

02.12.2004

Last night, Spurs v Liverpool, Carling cup - fantastic I thought,  a great chance to take my son (he's only 6) to his first game at WHL, I managed to get online and scrape a couple of tickets (£37 quid each!) before they all sold out and told my boy that we'd be going.

I wanted to make it extra special as it was his first game, so I said we would go up early and get his name put on his shirt, he'd been looking forward to it for the last fort-night asking what name he could have put on etc anyway we decided against Jermain Defoe in case he got sold and opted for his own name - Nathan and number 1 (he's the first born), nothing wrong with that you would think...

...so before we leave to get the train, I said to him (and bear in mind he can hardly wait through all of this, like a little boy waiting to open his Xmas pressies he was) I said 'don't speak about going to the game while we're on the train' (I didn't fancy him letting everyone know that I've got a load of tickets and cash in my pocket!) - ok he said.

Little angel was marvelous, he didn't say a word ! So we get to the ground in plenty of time, but have to wait for some family who are meeting us during which time he gets a bit fidgety and wants to have his name put on his shirt - well time's getting on and they are obviously stuck in the traffic, so I take him into the shop 'not here mate - they're doing it down the other end I think' so we go to the Paxton shop - 'sorry, four doors up in the name and numbers shop' !  So, we go to the flaming names and numbers shop, wait to be served (during which time I take his coat and Spurs shirt off that he's wearing) - so we get to the front, 'can I have his name and number put on his shirt please - showing the assistant the light blue away shirt that he holds so dear, 'sorry I can't put numbers and letters on that shirt'

WHAT !? Why ?

And here's the sting boys - 'BECAUSE ITS LAST YEAR'S !"

'We're not allowed to, I do apologise.'

And that's that ! So, in the shop where every other kid is getting his chosen players name put on, mine can't and I've got explain to him that yet again Spurs have managed to invent some little way to screw everyone who dares to support them to the wall (how do you explain that to a six year old ?) , well I'll be f**ked if I'm gonna pay another 30 odd quid to buy a 'new'  shirt when the one he's got is barely 11 months old.

To be fair to the boy he took it really well, I however am not so even tempered...THIS IS A DISGRACE ! How can they make rules that penalise children in such a way ?  It's positively evil, who makes these rules ? I don't give a shit about copyright or sponsorship deals, I promised my son he could have his name put on his shirt and by Jove, I'm gonna make sure he gets it.  Fulham FC is only 20 mins. away and I'm sure they could do with the 11 quid it's gonna cost me.

The club will be receiving a very well thought out and articulate letter from me, I hope it makes them think about what they are doing to people, I shouldn't really bother I know nothing'll happen.  After all there used to be a football club over there...
...now it's just big business  (McDonalds have more respect for customers)

All this before the game starts and I'm already wound up !

This morning I feel guilty, really guilty like in the bottom of me guts, like I've let my son down and all because they want a few pennies more...

Alan & Nathan O'Brien
Ex - Spurs fans

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