Are we being served?

7

It’s turning into what could be a seminal season in terms of identity for Spurs both on and off the field. Our spectacular efforts in the CL have made sure that our name is known once more throughout Europe, even though our domestic form remains something of an enigma as we portray goal scoring as a task as difficult as trying to get Harry to keep quiet for five minutes. Off the field there’s currently also more than a touch of mystery as it’s now six weeks or so since the Olympic stadium was awarded to West Ham and we’re no nearer to finding out where the future of the club lies.

If you believe the papers then Levy is still struggling with the injustice of it all and has the club’s lawyers poring over the detail of the OPLC decision into the night every night. Should he find some evidence of bias or political influence then he apparently is prepared to throw dignity to the wind and do what he can to get the outcome reversed. Stratford has so many appealing aspects to him that he’s not prepared to let it go easily. The urban yet green field site, (once you’ve brought in the demolition men), the existing transport infrastructure plus the cost and elegance of the solution compared to the NPD jigsaw puzzle rebuilding of WHL, solve every problem that he & presumably Joe Lewis see with the current set up.

His original pursuit of Stratford starkly revealed where the fans lay in his priorities. We may have been loudly proclaiming that ‘North London is ours’ but in Levy’s view E15 is only a short train ride from a huge catchment area and that’s more than enough for him whether North London is included or not. Two months ago the publicity surrounding the potential move focused on what would happen to the identity of the club if we left our ‘spiritual home’ and upped sticks, but the issues of heart versus head, of sentiment against practicality and of history against ‘progress’ were never issues. ENIC had already decided that head, practicality and progress were jumping up and down gleefully behind an advertising hoarding whilst spraying champagne and being showered with glitter.

The lack of an apology to the supporters locked out of the Paxton End due to a fire alert before the start of the home game against FC Twente was significant in my view. Online, Spurs made statements giving an explanation as to why the turnstiles were closed and thanking people for ‘their patience’ but there was no ‘sorry’ as I say, and obviously no attempt was made to delay the kick off to allow thousands of people in who, through no fault of their own, had been excluded from the start of our first European Cup home game proper for nearly fifty years despite paying record ticket prices.

We have been reduced to customers, and not very well treated ones at that.  The emotion involved in supporting the club for a long time makes it hard to fully accept but once you do, the move for Stratford veers from the unthinkable to the entirely logical.

If the original Joe Louis was the Brown Bomber then our sound-a-like version is just going brown in the Bahamas. Daniel Levy is the public face of ENIC. Throughout the lead up to the OPLC decision he was unnecessarily belligerent in his statements and also in his dealings with those trying to argue against the move.  His assertion that some of the Spurs press releases surrounding the ‘viability’ of the Northumberland Park Development project ‘suited their purposes’ left a bad taste in the mouth despite the subsequent follow-up statement that the original quote had been ‘misconstrued’. He has been dismissive and cautious, not in the least transparent and has done little to fill fans with confidence that he’ll do the best for them. (Also, a personal bugbear, he uses the word ‘soccer’ in interviews.)

We may think, “Bill Nicholson’s ashes. How can we leave them?” Levy can only see the Return on Investment of redeveloping Bill Nicholson Way.

The club has literally been rebranded since ENIC took control as the cockerel, the crest and ‘Audere est Facere’ have all had makeovers or been quietly forgotten about. Perhaps the beating heart of N17 went with them? Spurs have turned into an organisation that is not afraid to chuck its weight around in the direction of parties who don’t deserve it whether it be We Are N17, season ticket holders trying to get in to CL games on time or even West Ham and Orient, both of whom had their future threatened by our move on to their patch.

None of the above is news particularly. Maybe it’s just symptomatic of the growing pains suffered by every club in the current climate that decides it’s got a chance of playing at the very top and chooses to give it a shot. Supporters become customers but no matter what they’re called, UEFA’s dignitaries are still more important. Perhaps I’m just naïve & being too sentimental to think that it might be otherwise.

Like most Spurs fans I don’t live in Tottenham. I did, but moved away years ago. Also like most Spurs fans I don’t know of a green field site with great transport links ready to move to, I couldn’t give a toss about an Olympic ‘legacy’, am only interested in creating a successful Tottenham and perfectly understand the need for more revenue and a new/bigger ground. But again like most fans, I wish the people making the decisions were capable of showing more empathy with & sympathy for the supporters. Until they show these qualities a crucial level of trust in their activities will be missing and we’ll await the club’s next move with more trepidation than excitement.

Whilst Harry’s in charge at least the identity of the club on the playing side seems in good hands. Elsewhere, I’m not so sure.

By MF

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Silly, argumentative, childish, immature, factually inaccurate and hypocritical – that’s about as good as this ‘story’ gets.

    The author should grow up and look at where he’s come from and why he left there, once that little bit of intellectual honesty is done, the premise of this article simply turns into the demented rants of another nimby who can’t grasp the concept of ‘progress’.

  2. Totally agree but, they are a company after all, not a charity. We are well run financially and having a fantastic run in the CL and can thank long term investment for that.

    I thought Levy was putting on his poker face with Haringey, mayor, etc. We’ll regenerate a deprived area or we won’t. Give us some cash.

    We may be back to that now but I do think the business side o THFC would have realised the Olympic site would not only be cheaper but would also bring significant exposure

  3. There is one way Levey can Keep our fans Happy by playing our Champions league games there next season its the only time apart from the Olympics it will be full.

  4. Good piece and I know where you are coming from, but the reality is that even if you have supported the club since before WWII, you are still only a customer, as are we all.

    Regarding the OS, I know I am in the minority and I now live in Dublin, so don't get to see many games, but once the NDP became a non runner, I was very disappointed at our failing to get the OS. Having tasted the joys of the CL, I think it's difficult to see how we can keep playing there every year when we have the limited resources of WHL to fund it.

    One thing I will say about the OS, is that I believe that the decision to give it to Wet Sham will come back to haunt everybody involved in it, and the Porn Boys will walk away from some colossal debts. I still can't understand how Newham, one of Britain's poorest boroughs, can come up with the idea to lend £40 mill to a limited company that has debts estimated at £100 mill which is owned by men who are ranked and 150 and 178 on the Sunday Times rich list with a combined wealth of £800 mill.

  5. Westy Ham will find that it will be their White City as the White City was to QPR in the 50's and 60's, thyey preffered third div ground Loftus Road in the end, the reasons are clear as regards structure, look at the scum theyve never recovered from leaving Highbury a real football ground. San siro sucks as a Footballing event but thye Lane is where football was born. We need the old style directors not people like Levy. Football has tried to become a business but it never was a business. Its always been a club, lose that and you lose the lot.Levy wont understand that as alan Sugar(I like sugar as well) didnt or that prick Scholar when he sold the jewel in the crown of the supporters club warmington House. Remember you dont have support a team you can do other things, theres plenty of things to do if you dont like Levy and his ideas. I was a Spurs fanatic in the days when the Lane got half filled, I was there in the piss and shit, but Im a lot more understanding about how much value I have to people like Levy=Zero

  6. Spurs stop 4 is really Levy. Julian Clary told me at trhe lane that he loves a chin wag with the troops or wankers as he calls us. Good article.
    If you move to East Levy Im out, fuck spurs and their game of soldiers.
    The thing about bigger and better stadiums is ridiculous, look at most clubs who did that, what changed? Nothing. Look at even a crap team like Hendon FC , I used to go see them sometimes and they couldn't get over 300 in the ground even when they were the only North London action going on a Saturday afternoon but they were talking all the time of a bigger better stadium. Why? They are now morally defunct as their Claremont Road ground is derelict. If Levy had any sense he should buy that and use it as a perm Spurs reserve ground

  7. I would love for my club to leave Tottenham, I know there is alot of history there but it is more likely you will be stabbed and killed than getting to the ground safely. Tottenham is a complete and utter shithole. Not just because it is a rundown area but because the people who live there are absolute scum.

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