Hello. And what an adventure that turned out to be, eh? And they call this a second string competition. We weren’t alone in being targeted by people wanting to duff other people up. The Bar Codes got it both before and after their game. I made the point yesterday and I’ll make it again. UEFA have a duty of care to those people who purchase their tickets.
This business of them assessing the hate, the violence, the conduct of clubs and their supporters after the event then emerging from a six course banquet to pass out library fines has got to go. And replaced by a comprehensive strategy to keep safe those who keep football the greatest sport on the planet. Without argument and without deliberation.
As it stands, when you buy a ticket for a UEFA game, legally, you’re as comprehensively covered as you are by those signs in nightclub cloakrooms. Whilst they will charge you £1 to mind your coat, they accept no responsibility for loss or damage to it while it’s in their ‘care’. This must not be allowed to go on.
And you know, the thing is, it’s not as if this some sort of a conundrum. I’m sure it was David Bowie who said, you know when you’ve got a problem when money can’t solve it. In this instance then, all UEFA have are solutions. There is so much filthy lucre swilling around in their enterprises that this could be addressed overnight. In the click of a finger.
The attacks on Spurs fans both in Lazio and in Lyon were completely avoidable. Had there been a significant police presence in the respective city centres then it is close to unbelievable that anything like this would have transpired. These raids were organised based upon they would have no oppostion. On a practical note, there are so few away fans at these events, it requires little planning to announce designated ‘safe zones’ for supporters. You could for example, have a market square and a route to and from the stadium patrolled the night before and the night of the game.
So there’s you answer, but what about the question? Why did these attacks happen? Well, for those of you joining us late on this evening’s episode of ‘Planet Earth & Its Undesirable Inhabitants’… David Baddiel and Peter Herbert would tell you a tale that doesn’t make any sense. One of Spurs fans cavorting, shouting ‘Yid Army’ at people, naively believing that they were just celebrating all being of the Tottenham tribe, yet not realising they were offending everyone of the Jewish persuasion as well as inciting hatred from any neo Nazi who happened to be casually, innocently within earshot.
But that’s simply not the case. Call them neo Nazis, call them football hooligans. Call them what you will, but in the words of Michael Caine as Alfred the butler:
Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
These people might be committed racists, they might ‘just’ be disenfranchised kids wanting to throw a brick at someone, anyone, but you can’t point the finger at Spurs fans on this one. These people are purely out to cause chaos. There was one report from The Smoking Dog pub of a middle aged couple sat having a G&T when a table top or whatever came through the bar window. This wasn’t an assault on a Zionist splinter cell meeting. This was ‘some people’ having a drink or seventeen the night before a game.
So what of the whole ‘Yid’ word debate? It’s been done to death. So in a nutshell, those that protest against it, such as Baddiel and Herbert, don’t grasp the meritorious side of football’s tribalism. A word that once was so frequently prefixed with something horrible, such as ‘dirty’ (and worse of course) has not so much been reclaimed, as embraced and melded into a vibrant subculture.
What percentage of Spurs fans are Jewish? If you ask that question, you are missing the point. The point is, this tribe is declaring itself impervious to all-comers. The non Jew sings proudly, shoulder to shoulder with the Jew, together they are Tottenham. Together, they are the boys from White Hart Lane.
But hasn’t hasn’t this ‘embracing’ of the word actually caused damage though? Isn’t that surely what fuelled these attacks, that Spurs fans have been blatant about about their tolerance towards the Red Sea pedestrians? Wow! What a counter argument! So the little Jew and his little Jew sympathisers should keep their heads down, then? Pffffffffft. Okay. You do realise the Allies were officially declared winners of WW2, don’t you?
You remove the word Yid and then what? You think that makes the bad people suddenly go away? Of course not. They will simply look for another opportunity to feel provoked. The thing you need to remove are the bad people.
I’m not laying the blame fully at the door of Baddiel and Herbert, but they are guilty here, of having effectively sewn a gold star on the coat of every Spurs supporter and then immediately challenged that supporters’ right to wear that star. The solution is obvious. UEFA need to do something more than hand out library fines, and media luvvy loudmouths need to give a lot more thought to who are the real villains of this piece. Maybe then we can have a modest drink, a modest sing song, and a night in Europe without all hell breaking loose.