Deadline Day Catharsis

Holtby car window interview
Another January transfer deadline day has past. Another apocalyptic meltdown among the Spurs supporters. This isn’t about transfers anymore, this is about those who control their club.

Yesterday’s inactivity sparked the usual reactions about Spurs being tight, having no ambition and claims that both coach and chairman don’t have a clue. This has become a common theme during pretty much every transfer window since Spurs had the pleasure of stumbling into the Champions League qualification spots in 2009/10. Yet, this time something felt different.

The source of the anger seems to have shifted from failing to strengthen the squad adequately to a complete lack of belief in the direction the club is taking. For years Spurs have prided themselves for being financially prudent, whilst trying to compete with the traditional top clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool, the bankrolled billionaire toys Chelsea and Manchester City, and of course arch rivals Arsenal. But at the end of the day, there’s a glaring lack of any real philosophy or strategy in terms of sporting matters.

For all the financial prudence this club has shown, the results on the pitch don’t match the results in the financial year reports. Tottenham, together with the shambles that is Liverpool FC, are the only two teams in the top 15 of Deloitte’s Football Money League who haven’t been Champions League regulars in the past 5 seasons.

Spurs might have a billionaire owner by proxy, healthy accountancy reports, yet a club like Everton has been able to remain within touching distance of us on a shoestring budget. If that’s not a certificate of incompetence, I don’t know what is.

Everton might have missed out on some thrilling Europa League trips through former Soviet controlled Europe, but no one seems to care about that second grade trophy anyway. And even if Spurs did, they managed to hide it well over the last couple of years, because all we kept hearing about is qualifying for the Champions League. Europa League was nothing but a distraction, the least it was mentioned the better.

In a way I envy Everton fans. They appear to be reasonably at peace with their location in no man’s land, stuck between the holy grail of elite European football and mid-table. Why that is? Probably because they don’t have the lofty expectations Spurs fans often have, after being beaten to death with promises of qualifying for the Champions League or claims we are striving to be title contenders in the club’s propaganda in order to justify constant ticket price increases

The only thing Spurs have managed to excel in in the last couple of years is being dishonest to its supporters. Selling pipe dreams has become the club’s most sophisticated ability by now.

Spurs operate like the old Roman empire. Give the people bread and games and you will prevent an uprising. In this case, give the people a new signing and some member discount in the club shop, and hope they ignore the other massive issues and injustices surrounding their club.

At this point, supporters seem to have had enough. Enough empty words about Champions League ambitions. Enough false promises about a stadium that’s been nothing but a mirage for the past 10 years.

The supporters of this club have put up with being taken for granted too long. Their loyalty has been taken advantage of. They are expected to cough up some of the highest ticket prices in the league, yet their team is being run by a band of complete frauds. Owned by a tax-avoiding multi billionaire, run by a chairman who wields the axe like his name is King Joffrey, employing a director of football who would rather be enjoying La Dolce Vita back in his homeland, and being managed by a (interim) head coach who has never managed at professional level in his life. Laughing stock, now available in cockerel flavour.

Loyalty points reductions, legal ticket touting via StubHub, Thomas Cook package deals eating into away day allocations, stewards picking arguments with supporters, the social media onslaught about overseas supporters clubs, encouraging snitching on fellow supporters after the whole Y-word debate was dragged up from the gutter again. The endless stream of bullshit seems to go on and on.There’s been so much bullshit going on lately, Charlie Brooker could do a 2-hour Screen Wipe special just on Spurs. It’s completely and utterly embarrassing.

The happy clappers will probably deny there is anything wrong at Spurs. Their motto is “sit down, shut up and all hail Kim-Jong Hotspur’, whoever that may refer to in their minds.

“Who are we to moan, it’s not like we are in mid-table, right?”
No, we are not, we are just above it. What an accomplishment for one of the richest clubs in world football, which charges one of the highest ticket prices in Europe, with one of the most talented squads in the Premier League.

“You need to get behind the team!”
Am I not? Am I wrong to question the status quo which has seen us turn into a complete laughing stock time after time when stability and progress is sacrificed for a quick profit by disbanding the team which I am supposed to get behind?

“You are just bitter cause [insert name of latest passer-by head coach/manager] was sacked!”
It’s hard to keep track of who was sacked last at the rate we are going through head coaches. It doesn’t matter who we put at the helm as long as there’s no stability at the club. We’ve gone through a host of managers and none of them have lived up to expectations of their employer. Were they all shit or are there deeper-lying problems at the root of their demise? Regardless of your answer to that question, the same people are at the root of the problem.

This clubs needs change. This club needs to be honest again with its supporters.

This club needs to stop showing nothing but contempt for its supporters, or to talk in terms the club prefers, needs to better cater to its clients.

This club needs to return to its core business, which is football. Not megalomanic international brand expansion solely to aid the club’s bottom line.

This club needs to put a halt to the constant political infighting which is so glaringly obvious that even neutrals regard Spurs as a club whose internal divide-and-conquer culture is destroying its potential for success on the pitch.

This club needs to become a unified force again, whose ground is a hostile bastion, where supporters generate a deafening roar which intimidates any visiting opponent.

This club needs to reclaim its identity. Be Tottenham Hotspur Football Club again. Not merely an ENIC International Limited subsidiary.

“There used to be a football club over there….”


Dutch Spurs fan, football connoisseur and ambassador of free-flowing attacking football.

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