The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) has told fans who chanted “sign on” at Anfield that using joblessness and poverty to wind up opposing supporters is not acceptable.
“Singing about the opposition has long been a feature of English football, and we are reluctant to tell fans how they should support the team. Nevertheless, we were disappointed to hear the ‘sign on’ chant at Saturday’s away match at Anfield,” read a THST statement.
“Poverty and joblessness are not fair game for banter. There is a cost of living crisis throughout England, including in London. Our club represents an area and community with the fastest growing rate of unemployment in the country.”
The chant, sung to the tune of You’ll Never Walk Alone, has been directed at Liverpool and Everton fans since the 1980s, when Merseyside suffered a severe economic recession with Margaret Thatcher as prime minister. It could be heard again during Saturday’s 1-1 draw between Tottenham and Liverpool.
“We are rightly proud of our away support, and we want it to be noticed for positive reasons. For most of the game at Anfield our fans gave superb backing to a great team performance.
“Spurs fans have provided financial backing to Marine FC on Merseyside, and regularly contribute to foodbanks and community initiatives in London. This is what we are about. The ‘Sign on’ chant is not what we are about. We’re Tottenham Hotspur. We’re better than that.”
The Liverpool supporters’ Union, Spirit of Shankly, welcomed the statement, tweeting: “Well said! #RightToFood #HungerDoesntWearClubColours.” – Guardian