Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Some perspective regarding Everton postponement
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Some perspective regarding Everton postponement


The announcement this morning (11th August) that the Spurs v Everton game had been postponed has caused plenty of anger, and frustration from the average Spurs fan ( not forgetting Everton of course ) who has spent a long summer waiting for a competitive football match to watch, featuring their beloved team.

The decision cannot have caused surprise though, as it has been under review ever since the riots which began in Tottenham last Saturday night, after Spurs had played a friendly match against Athletic Club Bilbao. The riots, which were not at all football related, started in earnest after most football fans had thankfully, and safely left the area. Many of those fans had walked up the High Road to Seven Sisters Station, passing the peaceful protest outside the police station, and walking past many buildings which at the time were intact and un-damaged. Some of those buildings have since been either destroyed by fire, or so damaged that it has taken all week to clear the rubble, collect all evidence, vital for a crime scene, and to try and make the street safe for all traffic – vehicular and pedestrian.

The police of course have had their resources stretched to the limit by the rioting which took place, not just on the Saturday night, and not just in Tottenham either. Hopefully, the police have plenty of people yet to arrest. That process too is manpower intensive.

As I understand it, there was a meeting which took place about our fixture against Everton, which involved THFC, the local council and the police. The word that seems to have been passed out is that the police will not be handing over the High Road to the local authority before Friday night, and that it was felt that left too little time for the council to make the area safe for the passage of the number that would have been attending Saturday’s game.

So, it is frustrating that the decision does not appear to have been that of the police, whose commitment to the game would not have been as high as it is for some games, but the council. Those magic words, health and safety, seem to have come to the fore, yet again.

Plenty of people are frustrated about the decision and angry towards the rioters, who have ultimately caused the loss of our traditional Saturday fare. I personally have lost financially, as I had pre-paid travel, and my fare cannot be refunded. I know lots of people up and down the country in a similar situation. Some Spurs fans travel from across Europe for home games, as a matter of course. I even know one ex-pat who is at this moment, travelling home from Australia for the first time in several years, who will now miss a rare chance to see the team he has loved for so long, and for too long from afar.

There is frustration too at the subsequent announcement that all other games in the Premier League will go ahead, including two other London games at QPR and Fulham, despite the fact that those areas too have endured some problems over the last week. The damage at Tottenham was on another level though.

From a football perspective, Spurs will now play their first Premier League game of the season on Monday night 22nd August at Old Trafford, and will possibly be 6 points behind one or more teams. That number may well increase after we face a team we have yet to beat on their turf in the Premier League. With Man City to follow on 28th August at The Lane, Spurs really could be facing a big catch-up situation by the end of the month. The apparent lack of transfer activity, and ongoing Modric saga does nothing to boost the morale of the average Spurs fan.

However, my final word is PERSPECTIVE. One of the enduring images I have of this week’s news coverage was of a lady whose home was above that carpet shop which became a burnt-out shell. The lady had lived above that shop, along with others. This lady had only been able to escape her home, with fire raging around her, with only the clothes she wore and her handbag. I am sure she is not the only person to have lost her home, her possessions, her treasured keep-sakes, and security. Other people have lost their livelihoods.

We’ve lost a fixture that will be re-arranged. In comparison with some of the residents and businesses of Tottenham, we’ve lost nothing.

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