Losing our religion
Dear Mr Levy,
Perchance you seek to escape the maddening crowd? I wish I could. I find myself further detached from this football club with each passing season, the very same one you manage from your lofty harem of gold coins and champagne.
What is Tottenham Hotspur? What does Tottenham Hotspur do exactly? What of the tribal army of loyal followers?
A cult is one way to describe it all, no different to any given religion that seeks to profit from the spiritual connection its followers have with it. No matter what, we the great unwashed, don't stop believing, always expecting a miracle. Forever waiting for the messiah to deliver us to the promised land. Yet here I am questioning the very thing (the essence of belonging to a football club) that defines a fair percentage of my existence. Football is my escapism and Tottenham is the fuel that drives it forward.
I'm not sure my belief is as strong as it once was.
Or rather; I'm not sure what I believe in is reflective in the bricks, seats and floodlights where I occasionally frequent as my chosen place of worship.
I don't think there's a God, at least not one that is willing to shine the sun in our direction. Not that it's possible when you, Mr Levy, appear to endeavour to block out the rays from above. You've always preferred the darker, thundery elements to preside over us. Eternally leaving us in a catatonic state, occasionally asking...is it going to rain down on us? Are we going to drown or swim?
I'm not religious - football aside. I think the wonderment of the universe and life itself is far more spectacular than any given book containing mistranslated, edited and misunderstood content to the point of fundamentalist obsessiveness. Many entrapped in the world of organised religion seem to think that contradictions and hypocrisy can not be questioned. Faith is drenched in the all encompassing 'God's word' and is perceived as the blueprint for worship whilst God's actual lack of factual evidence is ignored.
Interestingly, at the time of Darwin and the theory of evolution many accepted the fact that this was unquestionably the truth (thanks to the concept of evidence and logic) yet still continued to believe in their God, accepting that his (her, it, whatever) plan and design was a little more complex than having Adam and Eve go at it behind the bushes. A case of acceptance and careful deflection as to retain their faith without allowing science to completely ruin it. Much like all the rationalising we do with you and ENIC's ownership.
That (evolution v creationism) changed over time and we live in a world where it's quite alright to take at complete face value stories that are simply parables that have been re-told throughout ancient times from countless scriptures from different civilisations and cultures - the same morals with different names and locations. Stories that might have happened but have been greatly exaggerated over the countless centuries. The oldest versions written down on animal skins and pottery for prosperity until eventually they were made more accessible for a new generation a thousand or so years later. Collected into a single volume for most, making it easier to read or use as a door-stop.
From ancient Hebrew to Latin to ancient Greek to English. The structure of each language influencing context, leading to a literal evolution of words, resulting with many of them being lost in translation. The translators themselves imposing their own ideology with its meaning, within the constraints of their own society and time period.
So many of the modern versions of these texts are highly edited artefacts. The astute might prefer to look beyond the literal and towards the hidden gnostic texts. Take the story of Adam and Eve, shared by so many ancient religions. I prefer the version about how the tree of knowledge and the serpent refers not to an apple (or red fruit) but rather a Amanita Muscaria mushroom (or any other type with magic qualities). The much maligned evil here simply wishing to aid the enlightenment of mankind. An awakening. Shame about the colour of the mushroom, but then we are prone to a splash of red on our shirt.
It's not always what it seems, right? Get enough people believing a single perceived translation and nobody will dare question it. Take America and its preaching of fundamentalist Christianity as an example of hype and propaganda. Keep sending your dollar bills to the evangelist on your tv screen because the man upstairs needs it for a cash in hand job to build an extension. Probably thinking about a new solar system, start afresh.
Those finer forgotten details seem to be ignored or ridiculed when suggested as alternatives to what the masses believe, mainly thanks to the corruption of man. You try telling a preacher it's a shroom and not a fruit plucked from a tree. Many scriptures and sects were destroyed in the aftermath of Christianity becoming the state religion of Rome. Thanks to their militaristic empire and their wish to control everything they fuelled the basis for modern prayer with their brutal template. Those that questioned that single belief a thousand or so years ago or even more recently in history, fell victim to a crusade.
It's a desire for the masses to have something, anything to immerse faith into. It's the human disease. A quest for answers with no regard to the practicality of the questions. You believe in something simply because you do and nobody can take that away from you. Thankfully some dare to question their faith.
The principles of religion - politics and money aside - are good law abiding principles. Nothing wrong with love and family. Having faith gives you strength. Believing makes this existence, sitting on a rock flying through space, mean something worthwhile to those that don't wish to entertain the subconscious mind being the gateway to another state of existence, especially as the only key to unlock this door is to mix the chemicals in your brain with Psilocybin or Dimenthyltryptamine. Neither are East European players, so best make sure Franco hasn't booked a flight.
I'm not religious but I'm spiritual. There is a difference. I find solace in football and music and drugs. The latter of those indulgences is possibly the original human renaissance that saw monkey turn to man and made cavemen consider the cosmos; a giant leap from simply worshipping the rise of the Sun and fearing the darkened nights. Imagine the first time man ate a magic mushroom or drank a DMT brew in the Amazon jungle. That enlightenment truly opening up the senses and pushing the boundaries of thought into a new place of cosmic relevance. Football isn't a bad alternative although you're more likely to suffer from far more comedowns and bad trips following Spurs.
Being spiritual doesn't have to be associated with the belief that a man with a beard living in the clouds has to be eternally worshipped. Neither a man sat in a directors box.
Away from the heavens and the stars - back on grounded feet - football has been my religion. I am Tottenham Hotspur. My church is White Hart Lane. My God is Bill Nicholson. I believe because Spurs chose me and I accepted. A destiny. A disciple. A follower.
I don't question what I am. I don't doubt it. I won't stray or look away.
It is a cult just as much as it's a religion and you, you bald headed son of a b*tch, have drowned me in so much kool aid I'm choking on broken promises and night terrors masquerading as whimsical dreams.
I'm now questioning what my religion has become. I'm doubting everything that surrounds it.
This cycle of repetitiveness that you have anchored us to has masked our modern day harsh soulless reality simply because we are a financial stable. Well whoop-de-f**king-do.
We are debt free, for the most part, compared to other clubs. Lovely.
We have a nice little turn-over of profit and seem to be constantly in the presence of positive net spend. Splendid.
Can't wait for the revised version of Cloake and Powley's 'The Glory Glory Nights', replacing images of victories European nights with Joe Lewis sat in a jacuzzi inside a helicopter landing on a yacht.
Where in the **** in all that is there any daring to be glorious? That Champions League adventure aside, I'm constantly replaying Betamax videos of the early 1980s. Beating Arsenal and then Chelsea was epic for sure but don't go pointing at the single League Cup victory as validation of your tenure.
There is something fundamentally wrong with finding myself in this constant loop, this eternal reboot, rationalising what this club is meant to be about by allowing myself to be misguided by the ills and pollution of what the modern game has become. There is only a handful of truly competitive football clubs across Europe and financial clout - not philosophy or ethos - is the only way to win and achieve. Is that what we want? Is there no other way? If so, why are we constantly driving on the wrong side of the road?
Sure, I want us to be successful, yet to do so we have to be equals to the teams above us and yet doing so appears nigh impossible if we always lose our best players. If we equal the ones above us, we become one of them and it simply comes down to which team can afford to purchase and pay the very best players to wear their colours.
We might not be able to catch up but we could have on so many occasions endeavoured to do so, with style and swagger. Echo of glory needs to be more than a merchandise tag-line.
I'm not suggesting we could have walked on water. We could have at the very least tried, then swam across rather than sink to the bottom. If THFC was geared towards financing the football part of the club to then be able to add further value to itself, it would then be able to continue to further finance the squad and therefore make money because of the football. Instead the players as assets, commodities, used to make the investment company behind the football club more profitable as the single priority. There's an imbalance, and we can all see it. Can you differentiate?
You're doing it all wrong. This journey is a safe, calculated one that has a single conclusion; ENIC smiling. I'm not demanding Leeds United extravagance and I also remember Irving Scholar and his misplaced ideology that almost killed us. It's admirable what you've achieved but a club of our stature shouldn't resemble a statue.
You, Daniel Levy chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, have climbed up to the roof of White Hart Lane and brought crashing down the golden cockerel. You have burnt it so that no one can dance around it. What you gonna do next? Drop copies of The Opus on any one that attempts to idolise this false God whilst you preach from accountancy spreadsheets?
You know how a cult leader always has other intentions, praying on the weak minded? That's our relationship with you. Except not everyone is brainwashed. Some of us have had our own enlightenment much like the serpent enriching Adam and Eve with the mushroom. Except the serpent here is representative of history and heritage, reminding us that you can't place a value on memories and moments.
We are truly the club. The lifeblood of THFC is pumping through our veins and once we are gone you'll have nothing but pseudo supporters, plastic replacing flesh and blood. We see beyond the club announcements and easy on the eye sound-bites. Loyalty to our club doesn't mean we have to be loyal to the ones that have been blessed with momentarily owning those bricks and floodlights. Blessed you are, cursed we are. You've never had it so good.
We are the constant. You are a passing custodian. Another Constantine. This is a far cry from the 60s and the Tottenham Angels, the hallelujahs.
Spurs are perfectly suited to attract new owners. Yet the planned evacuation of ENIC has been delayed because the stadium remains in stasis. It seems the most vital part of your master-plan has come unstuck and there is uncertainty as to whether you will accept the first offer or wait until a future time when the value will increase further (if you manage to start the development). Some of our fans will probably turn up to help with the scaffolding soon, naming rights given to 'Babel'.
Even if the foundations of our new home and its super structure are about to be implemented, this doesn't mean we should forgive and forget. Even if a step closer means a step nearer to you leaving. This transcends apology. The new ground is just the end game, the pay off. The club will change forever and whether that's for good or bad, it's down to the next investment company that hides behind the name of THFC as it looks to profit for its own gains. Cain Hoy, ENIC. Does it really matter? If not them it's billionaire oligarchs finding ways around Financial Fair Play.
We are sat her paying four times as much as the Germans for arguably a dilated package whilst they're sat drinking their beer watching the game. Football has become a beast and the bubble is unlikely to burst and return us to its original beauty. It's no longer this romanised notion of escapism. It's emotional extortion with hefty financial penalties with enjoyment measured by a 4th spot in the league. Those that complain about it are the very same that feed into it and demand mega-bucks signings.
We give our money up in vein. Even the Sunday sermons can be a bore these-days. Religions, cults, sects, football. It's all the same. It's all about business whilst the escapism and connection remain an afterthought that only the blinded and gullible take to their grave.
Ten years a season ticket holder. A regular since 1986/87. Exiled. Who cares when my customer client id can be replaced with a new one. I was only ever a walking talking bundle of £800.
Yet there's hypocrisy within my musings. I want the best but not at a cost that betrays my out-dated ethics.
Why am I losing my faith? Why am I disconnected?
Tottenham Hotspur are the supporters but that doesn't mean the bricks and the roads and the memories that accompany N17 are not as vital to our identity. The memories belong to us. If that physical identity becomes nothing more than a vessel, a cocoon for a fiscal metamorphosis, then what this club once was will become something almost unrecognisable. A means to an end for the likes of you or others like you, whilst the colour and the crest keeps us delusional in the hope of something truly biblical that doesn't involve a flood or pestilence.
Maybe this is the point where losing my religion is in fact the natural progress of my life as a supporter. Someone that isn't a cynical or tired can replace me with rejuvenated spirit looking to make new memories from the present day into the future. Whilst the dinosaurs become extinct. Then you can pretend they never existed.
If the church walls where you go to pray have been vandalised then you might seek to find another meaning and achieve fulfilment elsewhere.
There used to be football at this football club. Now it's all balance sheets, prospective takeovers, stadium development politics, the lack of clarity and support from the club over the yid controversy, flags, fragmented support, the fact that 1882 has to exist, third party profit for ticket sales via StubHub, lack of atmosphere, Archway, Spurs fans constantly seeking to mug each other off, ground sharing with MK Dons and so on. The team affairs are engulfed by board mismanagement and the non-existent ideology that we keep hearing the club mention but never see it with our own eyes. Let's not forget Stratford. Let's never forget how history and tradition was almost sacrificed for this ill-fated obsession for the pursuit of success at any cost. Let's not forget how some considered this to be a viable option. That is how distorted some of the followers of THFC have become. To entertain such blasphemy.
There is so much blind faith I can take. Miracles are fantasy and the necessity for hard evidence the only way to retain objectivity.
I've had enough. I don't believe in these false idols of marketing and branding you've had us worshipping in place of the real one. 'The Game is about Glory'. No it isn't. Not any more. You could have sacrificed a little more. You could have allowed the football to lead the business and not the other way round.
I don't question what I am. I don't doubt it. I won't stray or look away. I'm staying true to myself and to that club that chose me a long time ago. I recognise that Tottenham Hotspur and not the one you reign over.
This journey, from N17 and beyond, is fruitless and misguided. You have us walking around in circles in a barren desert. You can't even part the red sea that presides next to us. I have a commandment for you Mr Levy. Come down from the mountain. It's over.