Monday, September 03, 2007

Tottenham Hotspur's Letter To Levy - The Post Script

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.


jolsgonemental said...

i really dont see how it is any different to publicly chasing a new forward when we had Mido already in that position, or a LB when we have YPL there. On a human level it must be pretty heartbreaking to watch it happen. player/manager or whatever

It was a bit shitty. but lets be honest football lost its soul a long time ago.

if petr cech was on the market and know to be interested in spurs would the fact that our current keeper is a thoroughly nice bloke stop Jol himself meeting him? no. and would we want it to. no

as an employee of a football club why should jol be exempt from the harsh realities of business, even if he is a likable bloke.

I am not angry at the board, they probably, in all honesty were actign in our best interests.

what i am is embarrassed for them. and even for Jol.

But who goes to the football for the board of directors anyway? you go to football to share some banter, sing some songs and share the experience with 30,000 people who understand just how much every success/failure means.

players. managers. boards. all come and go. only the fans stay the same

Anonymous said...

Carry on Being Spurs.

You're a laugh a minute.

Summerspur said...

This guy feels he is highly intelligent so aims his critisisms at the highest level, for now im just happy to blame the stewards.

Jolsgonemental is slowly brainwashing us all with his highly entertaining and increasingly barbed opinions on mental martin.

As im yet to hear of a better replacement for mmj, i feel jolsgonemental could take over the reigns until Ramos has improved his english beyond "much dizzyness"

If things dont go to plan after maybe lets say 3 weeks im gonna start blogging under jolsgonementalsgonementaler.

i love jolsgonemental
jolsgonemental loves me ....

Arn said...

its a piss poor argument that its the same for Mido or YPL, its not like Ramos and Jol would be competing on equal terms to manage the team, Jol would be fired, Mido would be benched, but would still be able to fight for his place in the team. hope you see how poor your argument is.
second, because football and a lot of other teams behave poorly, does not mean it is ok for tottenham to do so.
i agrre with you on the fact that the board was probably acting in our best interest, but they conducted them self very unprofessional.
not going to the Lane to punish them is just stupid, after all its the team we support, we could always wish for a better board or a better goalie, but right now, i support the team we got and i hope Levy has learned from is mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Hi all.I am a Spurs fan for well over 30 years, I think the point of all this is that Mr Levy wants to increase the value of the club for his boss, Mr Lewis, and positively shat himself when we made our customary crap start. He then over-reacted, went to see Mr Ramos, who said No way Jose, and then the poo hit the fan. Typical Spurs. Shoot themselves in the tootsie over and over again. I still think we will beat Arse and our season will be ok. But Ive been wrong before!

EL said...

Surely there's not a Spurs fan anywhere who thinks it was wrong for the board to be searching out the best replacement possible incase the big man can't steady the ship and get us on track fairly pronto? The idiocy if it all was that the dickheads got caught with their trousers down!(Seriously, how hard is it to set up a secret meeting?) They then compounded the issue with the pair of them engaging in an almost Monty Pythonesque tissue of lies which had even the most gullible pissing with laughter AND Ramos said no!

Allegedly Jol was one bad result away from being sacked during the back end of last season so I'm not holding my breath for him inspite of what Levy's said.

The issue for me isn't what they did but how they did it. I believe the board's intentions we're right.
Stupidity is a mild and sometimes amusing affliction, not a sign of impending death and disaster. Steve's letter was just a case of a newspaper which should have know better, giving space to a yet another armchair fan who threw his dummy out of the pram. Why? because hyperbole sells papers and keeps the football circus rolling.

Nice one Steve.

Anonymous said...

Harry Hotspur: is right and by being so he has hit the nerve! the truth always hurts.
Daniel Levy and his rich uncle Joe Lewis along with the recruitment consultant - our vice chair - (you know the one who ate all the pies and appeared on the apprentice) have destroyed the joy and hope that comes with the new season. Frankly Levy and his merry men are totally mis-guided. The top four was in our realms of possibility - that has long been destroyed by these twits. Let me explain why- we do not have a Hargreaves, Scholes or Carrick (another levy deal) or gerrard, fabregas, or alonso, the top four have got balance in the middle - we have zokora. To break this monopoly of top four we must at least have a squad capable of competing. We dont as much as i'd like to think we do = we dont. That said with a Jol was building quite a team, he has requested a left sided midfielder and left back - we got bale and fair enough looks a brilliant prospect - but he's 18 - so again do we really believe he can perform 50 games without injury or rest? Levy - screwed up the negotiations with Curtis, Petrov, Riquellme and taylor - all of whom would really have provided Jol with the quality to "really" compete. I am a CEO of a media business and an avid spurs fan. I too am a season ticket holder and have beem anoyed with the subs and other key decisions jol has made. it has cost us fouth spot two years ago and again knock us out both cups. That said he got us there in the first place - which is the point i am making, he too is learning the hard way- and instead of giving him support when he most needed it - they put the knife in his back and by doing so did the same to the fans and the players. I have given my ticket away (ok, to a mate for now) but I agree 100% with Harry -
Levy - should go along with his merry men and transfer commoli to the arse where he came from and i suspect where his loyalties really lie. I have built businesses around the globe and you dont do this by destroying the confidence or momentum which Jol created, While I appreciate the money being spent - It is also the fans money which is being spent and therefore they should be held accoutable for his actions. If he worked for me and carried on like he is bigger than the club (and believe me their actions confirm their insecurities and naivety) He would be fired!!! and escorted out the building along with the idiots whom have ruined this season - five games into it, There are hundred of thousands of spurs lovers in the uk alone - and levy has undone whatever good we had built over the past two seasons, And for all of you whom want to shoot harry- remember he is only the messenger - the truth hurts and so does being a spurs fan while Levy and his yes men are in the directors box - Go to hell Levy.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but although he has his right to a voice as a Spurs fan, the reason there was so much criticism towards his first article was because he clearly doesn't know enough about football or our football club to write such an article. He, if anything, has just been ever so slightly embarrassing.

Harry Hotspur said...

Some great responses there chaps and thanks to Steve for facing the hoo ha of his initial letter and coming on HH to do so.