Steven Barnett's open letter to Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy sparked largely negative responses across the Internet today, he was accused, amongst other things, of being a glory hunter. Fair's fair. Harry offered him the right of reply. Here it is.
"Let me set the record straight about my letter to Daniel Levy, because I gather it has generated a certain amount of comment – not all of it positive.I have never, over the last 45 years, stopped supporting Spurs – including the relegation year, the periods of incompetent management, boring play and daft transfer decisions.
I stopped going to the Lane in the early seventies, at about the point that we were winning European and domestic cups, because I went to uni and discovered politics and women. I haven’t been since for all manner of reasons – money, geography, kids (both girls, hate football), impossibility of getting tickets at short notice.I entirely accept that, for the die-hard season-ticket holders and the regular attenders, loyalty starts and finishes with going to the Lane.
And it’s certainly true that those fans have put a lot more into the club over the years than I ever did and that therefore perhaps I have less claim to be taken seriously. But these days, certainly for the big Premier League clubs whose fan-base extends well beyond the stadium, support means more than attendance: following the team’s scores, the player movements, the managerial decisions, watching MoD, going down the pub to watch a game.
You may not be at the ground but you still kick the wall when the inevitable last minute equaliser is conceded.For me there is a limit to that support – not because of the players, however badly they perform, or the manager, however many mistakes he makes. But because of the behaviour of a Board which in this case has been unforgiveable.
I have no problem with the Spurs management challenging Jol to do better or casting around for alternatives in case of failure – it would be irresponsible not to look one step ahead. But a properly run club does not have talks like that in a public place, does not string together pathetic, implausible excuses when caught red-handed, does not publicly humiliate its manager – a patently decent man – and put him in a completely untenable position, and does not then ban a newspaper because some hack dared to call the chairman what many others were calling him in the pub – an imbecile.
I do not claim to speak for anyone but myself, though I know there are many who felt like me that Jol's public humiliation was appalling. To then follow such crass handling of your own club's affairs with a ban on a newspaper because their columnist has insulted you is just ludicrous and I’m afraid has alienated me in a way that last minute equalisers never could.I’ve had one or two emails saying that the best way to stick it to the Board is to spend more money, sing harder and shout louder.
Maybe, though I don’t quite see how that sends a message to Levy about his abominable behaviour. I admire those of you who can shrug it off, and I sincerely wish I could. For me, it’s like having a train set which you’ve loved and cherished and admired for years, even when the trains have broken down or keep falling off the track. Then some great brute comes along and kicks it.
But it’s their train set, so there’s bugger all you can do except get angry and walk away.Maybe it’s an age thing – I should be laughing at the idiots instead of shaking my fist at them. But that’s what happens when you become a grumpy old man with a dodgy train set. And the worst thing is, despite everything I’ve written, I’ll still kick the wall when Van Persie scores a last minute equaliser in 2 weeks time. "
...with thanks also to Tom The Yid.