From fanfare to acrimony: Where did it go so wrong for Spurs?


he high-water mark of Tottenham fans’ relationship with the club under their ENIC ownership will always be the farewell to White Hart Lane.

On May 14, 2017, fans, the team and club literally came together on the pitch after a win over Manchester United had ensured Spurs went the entire season unbeaten at the famous old ground.

When supporters eventually returned to their seats, a procession of clubc legends walked out under a rainbow to the accompaniment of a brass band. It was a pitch-perfect send-off for the stadium and, mingled with the nostalgia, was an enormous sense of pride and optimism for the club going forward.

A large part of that feeling was down to manager Mauricio Pochettino and his brilliant, relatable team, but there was also warmth towards the ownership, stemming from a sense that everyone at the club was building towards success in the right way, without the backing of a foreign state or billionaire.

The players were booed off by the 10,000 returning supporters and a number of fans remained in their seats long after the final whistle, as the atmosphere turned increasingly fractious.

The supporters seemed to be expecting a lap of appreciation from the entire squad, after only a handful of players — Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Heung-min Son, Gareth Bale and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg — had stayed out to applaud them at full-time.

The full squad eventually re-emerged some 40 minutes later, but in the meantime supporters vented their frustrations at chairman Daniel Levy and the price of match tickets — £60.

What was supposed to be an evening of unity and celebration — and had started off that way — turned into a night of recriminations, underlining how broken the relationship between fans and club, and fans and the team, has become.

POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Levy and the rest of the board now face an enormous challenge to restore the constituent parts of the club to a state of harmony.

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