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Not even Kane can match these finishes

OPINION: As their futuristic new stadium gets closer to completion – with its ‘unrivalled standard of finish’ – do Spurs fans still think money is ruining football?

29 March, 2018 — By Richard Osley

HASN’T money ruined football, eh? All that money, we’re talking crazy money these days, aren’t we? Stratospheric!

This basic premise is essentially the underlying current of every conversation about football which has taken place in the past 20 years, that is as long as the conversation involves fans of teams who do not win much.

If your team are winners, of course, it’s a different story: the sport is not tainted by anything, not even money, it is the purest endeavour in the world, loved by the masses, a level playing field which your team has conquered. Feel proud.

As only one team can win the league each year, however, most of us support losers, and so we are on locked onto a rigid “money has ruined it” riff. Football’s soul has been lost, all that matters is the bank balance, the profits, and the replica shirt sales. The players don’t care anymore. I, for one, have simply come up with a different combination of words that essentially says this in this slot for the past 10 years. Football was fine when Arsenal were winning championships but now, oh, money has ruined this game we used to love.

Understandably, Spurs fans, those great traditionalists whose rich history we often hear about, had always been of the same mind. The reason for their underperformance was that money had, you got it, ruined football, and that it wasn’t like this in the days of Ossie Ardiles, or Waddle and Hoddle. Their soulful club maintained purity against Chelsea and Manchester City’s billion-pound injections, heroic underdogs who revelled in their class over success. This was the case until… well, round about now. With their futuristic new stadium getting closer – it’s going to have windows which light up at night, folks! – all of a sudden you can detect a change in view. There is excitement about what money means for their new environs.

Take the brochure, which reads like something you’d see in a Hampstead estate agents: “Open concourses will be bathed in natural light”, while there will be an “unrivalled standard of finish using materials such as brushed steel, copper, European oak and quartz”. Hear that, it doesn’t matter if Spurs finish second to City for 20 years, they will be “unrivalled” in the brushed steel league.

Yes, all of a sudden, money is good, as it can bring the good life to Spurs fans who have lived a life of restricted-view pillars.

There is, of course, the sting we all knew was coming. Some season ticket prices are to shoot up by 70 per cent. When you can no longer afford to see the European oak finish, do join us on the “money has ruined football” tip.

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