Oh When the Spurs Go Marching In … to Stratford? We say ‘No to Stratford Hotspur’

Once upon a time (before United were good) people tended to choose their team of choice by locality. Father and son (or daughter – girls can like football too you know!) would wake up Saturday morning (preferably in separate beds), full of anticipation and excitement about making the short trek to the ground of their beloved team. Forget Church, these four stands were your Mecca and you’d have your rituals along the way. You’d sit or stand in the same place, see the same faces and sing the same songs.

Nowadays things are, shall we say, a little bit different. United fans in China, Liverpool fans lacking the characteristic scouse whine and Chelsea fans (yes, they exist now amazingly). People follow teams for loads of different reasons Globalisation has made this acceptable and I’m not knocking that. If I could have my time again, there’s every chance I might not be following who I do now. Unfortunately, it was a straight choice between my team or eating … I chose wisely.

For some fans where the stadium is located means diddly squat. If it’s not in the area where they were formed or had played for centuries, who cares. But for those of us out there who chose their local team, because, and this is the key point here, they were local, it means everything.

The area formed part of their childhood, it’s in their blood, in their roots – it’s their family. But what happens if those in charge of your beloved club decided to move? What if they decided to stick two fingers up to history and leave?

Well for one team this is happening now. And it’s not a small team who need to move for a bigger fanbase to roll in the cash. It’s Spurs and this is what could be happening …

Despite having planning permission for their new stadium at White Hart Lane, the powers that be have decided that they’ll also go for the Olympic Stadium in East London.

Spurs are in North London.

I was never great at geography but even I know that doesn’t quite work. And it seems I’m not alone – enter ‘No to Stratford Hotspur.’

Spurs fans have clubbed together to petition about this proposed move and I’m backing them 100%.

Does the world of football need another MK Dons? Why on earth do Spurs want to move to another part of London when they’ve got planning permission already where they are? And for quite a large upgrade at that.

The petition states:
“I am one who would prefer to remain at White Hart Lane in Tottenham, as it stands today, rather than move to Stratford chasing the revenue from a larger stadium. Such a move would, for me, destroy Tottenham and all it has stood for the day we leave our home.”

They need a larger stadium, sure they do, and I understand the economic constraints of playing in a small stadium. However, give me the organic way over the opportunistic jump to a part of town I’d rather not associate my club with.

Imagine the resigned acceptance of the Spurs fans when Gooners sing about there only being one team in North London?

How will Spurs spin this one?
Well a man called Mike Lee is now involved.
Who is he you may ask?

Well remember that ridiculous decision about Qatar getting the world cup? He was the PR machine behind it. And that’s not all. Having run the Premier League’s communications from its inception in 1992, he joined Uefa as director of communications. When he left there in September 2003 it was to the position that would seal his reputation: the London 2012 bid. Joining the same day that Sir Keith Mills became its chief executive, Lee was an influential figure as Barbara Cassani was replaced by Lord Coe as bid chair the following May.

He recognised what buttons needed pushing in the often remote International Olympic Committee and Lee helped deliver the campaign that saw London rise from third-placed candidate, behind Paris and Madrid, to Olympic host city. Having picked up an OBE for his efforts and set up his own communications agency, Vero, Lee was then recruited by the Rio 2016 Olympic bid – which he won.

Spurs fans should be quaking in their Reebok Classics. Seriously this guy’s track record is good. Whether you my fellow football lovers are Spurs fans or not, we need to make sure that this does not happen. Even Arsenal fans must agree with me. I know football clubs are businesses. I know they need to make money. But decisions like this just go too far.

Do we want football to go the way of American Football? Franchises that just up and leave when they’ve had enough?  For more cash and supposedly more fans? We don’t. And Spurs fans don’t.

If enough Spurs fans decide to boycott the team, the songs and the atmosphere in the new stadium, then surely this is detrimental to how the team will perform on the pitch? Which could then have a knock on effect; Spurs play badly, those who are in the stands stop singing (although then they could stop that ridiculous ‘yido’ chant), Spurs play worse, more people decide not to go to the game, and before you know it they’ve been relegated to League 2 and the real East End team, West Ham, are peeing themselves laughing and nicking Spurs’ best players rather than the other way round.

So do the right thing. Don’t let greed and quite frankly a complete disregard for fan opinion win out. If you, like me, put football first (even higher than your partner but we obviously don’t tell them that), then sign the petition. Now.

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Oh When the Spurs Go Marching In … to Stratford? Rascal says ‘No to Stratford Hotspur’ « News « Football Rascal | For the fans -- Topsy.com

  2. John B Yiddo for life says:

    If you haven’t signed the petition then do it. I am a massive yid and no way do we want to go East sounds as though the club want to make it happen. I don’t understand we are Spurs and we are proud to be North London. Money men ruingin footbal’ again! COYS

  3. Baz says:

    The primary aim of the Stratford bid is to ensure that we have harringay council by the short and curlies. If we win the bid (or even just by showing interest) we will have Harringay at our Mercy to develop WHL the way the club/chairman/fans want to. The club has very little intention of moving to stratford, despite evidence suggesting the opposite.

  4. Terry Hammer says:

    Youz lot aint gunna get it anyway LOL

  5. Nicko says:

    I do agree with Baz to a certain extent, but the interesting bit is why pay this matey through the nose to head up our bid if it more of a PR stunt? maybe Levy knows him or maybe he can be involved with the council as well – either way it is a worry as they are probably blowing big bucks on this geezer as I am sure since Qatar bid his stock has risen. The bid is getting a bit of a slating elsewhere which is a good thing.

    This can’t happen, it would rip the heart out of club and community.

    COYS say no to stratford!

  6. El Tel says:

    If what Baz says is correct then Spurs are even more bonkers than i thought. It’s not just Mike Lee that will be getting paid for the fake bid, but the architects, their lackies, everyone involved in the plans to demolish the 2012 stadium…..
    With shareholder dividends to pay out i can’t see them spanking cash unless they were serious. Especially since they’ve spent LOADS on getting planning permission for WHL. They leave the throwing the money away to rubbish players instead.
    For gods sake Boris, do the right thing for once and tell the Spurs board where to go. I’ll even get on one of your bikes.

  7. ILoveSpurs says:

    No Spurs fans actually live in Tottenham these days anyway. I’m more worried about the atmosphere than the location – we don’t want it to be like the Emirates Library!

  8. Kyle Harrington says:

    Forget the £££££ b#ll#cks Spurs means more than some fat individuals getting richer, WHL is home full stop. No move, no compromise, Spurs have a home
    and it WHL.
    Kyle Harrington – Welsh Yid

  9. Domhuaille MacMathghamhna says:

    I am an avid Gunners fan and live thousands of miles from WHL BUT I do agree with Spuds staying at an upgraded WHL for the following reasons:

    1) WHL is history…Stratford Spuds wouldn’t have any ring to it nor would they provide the same excitement for a North London derby!
    2) The Olympic stadium is not designed to be a Football venue, is rather poorly designed in fact AND would cost a fortune to refit/renovate…it is far better to spend this on a complete WHL upgrade!
    3) Will Spuds fans trek to East London to support their beloved Stratford Spuds or will they be so pissed off by their Board’s ignoring them and their wishes that they’ll stay away in droves? I fear it will be the latter!
    4) My favourite ice hockey team Les Canadiens de Montreal (Montreal Canadians) are the Real Madrid and Man.United rolled into one team (they have won the equivalent of the CL Cup more than any other professional hockey team in the world and they have been in downtown Montreal since 1902 but they recently moved to a new arena within walking distance of the old Forum as it was known. However almost every other franchise has moved to another city (mostly in the US) and have paid the price. Stay in WHL and stay part of football history- move to Stratford and become another failed club!

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