The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Wrong time, wrong place for Spurs players.

£5000 minimum spend but they take
 Luncheon Vouchers.
The JimmyG2 Column

I was surprised how sharp my reaction was to the Mirror story about four of our players and friends enjoying a night out at the 'Funky Buddha club in Mayfair this week. I usually manage to ignore such nonsense and write it off as gossip, hearsay and rumour. Or even pure invention and speculation

But somehow the details got to me: The confrontation with a One Direction member; £5000 pound minimum spend; Jeroboams of vodka; upsetting waitresses and so on. All this in the week before a crucial game at the climax of the season involving not young fringe members of the squad but experienced players who would all be starting or at least on the bench.

In an sudden flash of anger I thought, 'These people just don't give a toss; professional athletes my arse'. I said as much on a fansite, then irritably confronted another poster and felt obliged to apologise. Is it just me? Have I lost it completely. Have age and senility finally pushed me over the edge?

I some how felt betrayed that they didn't seem to care as much as the fans. Couldn't they have waited until next week. Or perhaps this is a regular event. After all they have money to burn earning more in a week than most earn in a year. Good luck to them I should be saying.

But then it feeds into another agenda; the gross inequality of the modern world. They are ridiculously overpaid for the talent they have and the efforts they put in. £5000 would be an essential lifeline to many people some of whom ironically may well be Tottenham supporters.

Johnny Haynes, a London boy, played at Fulham. He was the first £100/week player when the maximum wage of £20/week was abolished in 1961. As was quite common then he was a one club man. Haynes wages rocketed from the £1000 per year ( the average national wage in 1961) to £5000 at a stroke.

His Chairman, the comedian Tommy Trinder had joked in 1960 that he would have paid Haynes five times the maximum wage if he could. He didn't know that the following year the wage limit would be axed. He kept his pledge. Those were the days.

The average national yearly wage today is roughly what a Premiership player earns in a week. (around £25000). Some of our quartet will be on considerably more than than that of course. With the best will in the world I find it hard to say 'good luck' to them.

Many players lived in the local community, drank and socialised with their fans and travelled on the bus with them to the games. Tom Finney 'the Preston Plumber'  was another one club man. Like Haynes it wasn't for want of offers. He was born in the street next to the Preston ground. His father insisted he complete his apprenticeship as a plumber after signing professional forms with Preston in 1946.

If you will excuse the diversion this all feeds into my reaction about the Tottenham Four. If I start talking about loyalty and commitment in this age of mercenaries then I realise that I will be put in a box labelled
 ' Harmless but hopelessly out of touch. Best ignored'. But the recent Modric Melodrama which feeds into the current Bale Babble is all mixed up in this cocktail in a night club.

Don't we all like to imagine that our club is different despite all the evidence to the contrary? That there is a kind of family there? That winning the fair play league is an important marker? That it's not just about the money? Somehow having a night out in the week before a key game seemed disloyal. Even if training had been cancelled or it was Lennon's birthday, which it wasn't, or whatever.

Tottenham on the verge of Champions' League again; mercenaries and one club players; inflated wages and alienation from their fan base; expensive nightclubs and rising unemployment. It was a heady mix that just seemed to stick in my throat even if most of it was exaggerated or plain untrue as I must have realised even as I read it.

Times change clearly but not necessarily for the better. The standard of football has improved as have tactics and training. Foreign players have limited the opportunities for home grown players but have had a positive effect on skill levels. 

But for me some valuable aspects of the game have been lost and many of them seemed to be encapsulated in the report of the lads night out. I plaintively asked if any Spurs Community members witnessed the event. Not many obviously at £5000 a pop.

Footballers are part of the celebrity culture now, separated from those who ultimately pay their wages and hang on their every move. There's no going back whatever the Fair Play rules intend but shouldn't a few of the old values survive?

 OK I'm getting back in my box now. An occasional pat on the head, the odd Jeroboam and a packet of crisps will suffice.

'You lucky people' (Tommy Trinder's catch phrase).

 Storm in a cocktail glass? 

Mirror story.

Liam Payne's bust up with four Tottenham Hotspur players in nightclub sees him squaring up to Aaron Lennon
The One Direction heart-throb, and West Brom fan, was involved in a nightclub bust-up with four Spurs players after he felt they were teasing a waitress a little too much.

The girl had been serving Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore with jeroboams of vodka on a VIP table - where the minimum spend is £5,000 a night - at Mayfair's Funky Buddha club.
The boisterous group were laughing and joking with her but 19-year-old Liam, sitting nearby, felt she looked increasingly uncomfortable.

Eventually, the chivalrous, newly single singer couldn't take any more and marched over to their table, shouting: "What the **** is going on!?"

As Liam, an avid boxing fan, squared up to them, Aaron Lennon led a spirited defence and questioned why he had a problem with them. Friends tried to calm things down until Liam returned to his table.

The bizarre exchange happened at around 2am yesterday morning and just five days before Spurs' biggest game of the season.

A friend of Liam's says: "The footballers were with four other guys and two girls, and had vodka and various mixers on their table. Liam was with friends a few tables away.

"Out of nowhere were there was a commotion, Liam looked over and thought the players were giving the waitress a hard time. He went straight over to sort it out.
"You've got to admire him for wanting to help the lady."

The players told revellers they were out after manager Andre Villas-Boas gave them yesterday morning off training.
Jimmy's Video Spot:
Open training session with Steffan and Andre. Just to give the other side of the story. It's not all Jeroboams and cocktail waitresses. Feel the love boys. 5000 spectators just for a training session. Hmmm.... 5000 that rings a bell.

Originally written as a column for Spurs Community in response
 to the Mirror article


TMWNN said...

They make me sick.

No wonder the atmosphere is suffering when half the side is made up of overpaid 'inked up' wankers.

I've just about had enough of this charade.

Cheshuntboy said...

If I could stop being a football supporter in general, and a Spurs supporter in particular, I wouldn't hesitate, but the habit of more than fifty years is too deeply ingrained - the players typify everything that's wrong with the modern world (greedy, self-absorbed, basically stupid), and many of the supporters demonstrate the inability to cope with reality that is another feature of life today; they see what they want to see, hence the unwarranted praise for AVB and this season in general - dull football only rescued by Bale's brilliance - but with AVB's luck, perhaps we will make the Top Four, and the unending cycle of hope and disappointment can continue for another year.

Anonymous said...

AVBs luck? To get us to equal or beat our best ever Prem points total with ineffective strikers, crucial injuries, the loss of King Modric and VdV and a chairman who hasnt backed him with the signings he needed? At times the football has been more workmanlike than thrilling........but lets see what AVB can do when really has the team he wants......oh, and the 4 party boys may all be out of WHL this summer anyway as not being quite good enough. Not rubbish but not quite the standard we need. How many of that 4 would get in the chelsea team for example?

Cheshuntboy said...

How much evidence of AVB's luck do you need? Wins over United (45 good minutes), City (seven good minutes), Arsenal (three good minutes), Southampton (five seconds of Bale brilliance), and all in games we deserved to lose on the balance of play. Too many last gasp goals to list - with that luck we should be out of sight in third (or even second), but points stupidly thrown away against the likes of Norwich, plus AVB's mad obsession with the Europa League, have really cost us - as you can probably tell, I'm still far from convinced that AVB is the answer (especially when Levy is the question, whoever's the manager).

JimmyG2 said...

As you can see there are two sides to every story.
I'm with Cheshuntboy I'm afraid.
50+ years and counting. It's too late for us now to quit, its harder than smoking.
We've been lucky; the football has not been great but overall progress is being made under a manager who can take us places.
He might even get luckier yet, with CL. qualification.
With a poorer side we are better organised and more 'gritty'.

My money's on you sticking it out for another year.
This could be the year!

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

The harder AVB works the luckier he gets ...

It would be quite something if more players had AVB's intelligence, integrity, work ethic, discipline and quality.

The timing's lousy and the actions stupid in the extreme, however much any bust up has been exaggerated. Newcastle are a busted flush anyhow, so I've not much hope of 4th anymore, but still a good season, all things considered, for me.

Cheshuntboy said...

I didn't see Jimmy G's previous blog, and now realise that the points I made about late goals and 'luck' were all made far more eloquently in that piece - sorry! By the way, having ploughed through so many ungrammatical, poorly-written blogs, taking five hundred words to say what could be said in twenty (are you out there, Spooky?), may I say what a pleasure it is to read common sense, clearly articulated? Thanks, Jimmy.

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