Is 1882 causing segregation at the Lane?
Any potential segregation that 1882 is being accused of is not the fault of those Spurs fans (season ticket holders included) coming together in a single block to sing. It's also (the segregation) not intentional (in terms of how others react to it) and the last thing anyone wants is fragmented pockets of supporters at odds with each other.
The segregation is down to the way football has changed. Some fans are attempting to change that, which is why it stands out and why there are pointed fingers at what some see as polarisation.
This is not just about upsetting those that don't wish to be vocal but also taking into account the fans that do want to get involved but feel on the outside looking in due to the cliquey nature of some of those that get tickets in 1882 blocks.
They do not feel as part of this 'exclusive group' of all singing and all dancing Tottenham fans. Except its not exclusive. The fact that some think it is means there are issues that need fixing so the growth of 1882 is infectious with emotion (rather than contiguous like a disease).
That clique is something that was birthed thanks to the flash-mobbing of youth games that kicked started all this. I still find it amazing that we felt there was a necessity to share this with first team games. Amazing in that the lack of energy inside the ground is so low we have to organise a sing-a-long.
A supporter (in his 40s/50s) told me that he no longer goes to games to stand/sing/scream like a youth because "I've done that, it's no longer for me" and takes his son to games to watch it in a far more reserved manner. Still passionate and emotional for the football, just not as animated. That animation is needed otherwise the entire ground will sit there in silence. The fact that some are complaining or disliking 1882 would suggest there are quirks (non-traditional songs) and irony that is perceived as arrogance which is perhaps lost in amongst all the enthusiasm for the relentlessness singing.
Support is not just about singing. It's also about positivity, channelled through encouragement. The singing is almost like the soundtrack accompanying the desire to push the team on. Obviously, there are pockets of singing and encouragement around the stadium. 1882 are just one, but they stand out (when present) because everyone (more or less) in that block want to be noisy constantly.
We (as a collective) have become so comfortable with the way football is being watched within the stands, if one or two want to sing, it can sometimes be frowned upon if you happen to sit in parts of the ground that prefer to...just sit. Why?
There's a suggestion that 1882 is not organic and too organised. It creates an 'us and them' culture. If you want it to be organic then you should be able to stand and sing wherever you are in the ground without being made to look and feel like a mug. Hence that necessity for organisation - until vocal support is so widespread, there's no need to allocate blocks for it.
Let's not pretend there isn't an issue with atmosphere. Let's also not ignore that some wish to experience a level of escapism that resonates back to the past. Fact is, football - in the stands (terrace anyone?) is no long this mass tribal dance that we all fell in love with in the 70s 80s etc. So we can never capture the past as it was but we can at least give it a go. Soon enough all of this - following, belonging, supporting - will be the next generations blessing. I'm hoping they don't get their kicks from having to watch archived footage of what a proper WHL atmosphere was like. Much like some of us are having to do now.
Thanks to the bureaucracy involved within the modern game, the only way forward is to meet the club (who continue to be very supportive within the boundaries of government legislation and policing) half way and also fans that do prefer to have their quiet time in the stands. We're all one set of supporters right? None of this would be a problem if the entire end of the Park Lane was rocking like it was not that long ago (and thus aided with orchestrating the rest of the stadium).
So, if season ticket holders that don't partake in 1882 and believe there has been a birth of an 'us and them' culture - talk to us and talk to the club. Not to complain or further push both sides apart, but rather find that middle ground to share where we can all respect each other and just get on with supporting the club - each in our own way but together.
It's worth mentioning again that there are supporters that do want to sing that are not present at the game as part of 1882 but are long time season ticket holders that might believe 1882 have migrated into their patch and are taking over, singing over their attempts. That has never been our intention. Fact is, unless it's a Europa League game or a non-category A cup game, it's highly unlikely 1882 will be present. Many that attend 1882 will be back in their own seasoned seats scattered around WHL (although the younger fans tend to latch onto 1882 as its their only means of attending a match and getting the full experience of Spurs and songs).
At the end of it all, 1882 or not, there is still not enough naturally sang encouragement that remains so difficult for a sizeable majority to muster up on most given days. Rest in peace Saturday 3pm kick offs.
Take a look at our away support. If there is anything that personifies what 1882 has attempted to do - it's them. Supporters from every stand in the Lane, together, loving the shirt, belonging to this insanely great club we follow and letting everyone know about.
Any season ticket holders that have views on this and feel like toes have been stepped on - please get in touch.
In order to accommodate criticism and aim to have complete transparency a season ticket holder with concerns about 1882 will be appearing on The Fighting Cock podcast next week to air his opinions which will also allow us to clear up one or two generalisations being aimed at 1882 that others might share.