The use of the Y word has made the headlines in the last few weeks.
It all begun when the Football Association issued a statement warning all supporters that the use of the Y words could result in a banning order or criminal charges.
David Cameron entered the debate when he told the Jewish Chronicle there was a difference between Spurs fans “describing themselves as Y**” and the word being used as an insult. Even David Gold was quoted by Hugh Southon saying David is unfazed by use of the Y word by Spurs fans.
As we approach the Spurs away game on Saturday 5th Oct what is clear is that West Ham and the police have zero Torrance with West Ham fans using the Y word or singing any Tottenham songs which could be considered anti Semitic.
In a piece in the Sunday telegraph quoting a piece from Saturday’s West Ham v Everton programme it said “Any fan found to be acting inappropriately – including racist, anti-semitic and homophobic behaviour – will be punished to the full extent of the law and banned from attending matches. “The club, along with the Metropolitan Police, will continue to operate a zero tolerance policy towards any form of discriminatory behaviour.”
The trouble last season at Tottenham away was widely publicised with two fans receiving a police caution and another receiving a life ban. West Ham said in a statement at the time “West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday’s match at White Hart Lane”
What is less well publicised is what happened at Stoke home game last year.A group of West Ham supporters started singing the Tottenham song which starts ’We’ll be running about Tottenham with our…’ Although the game was televised on Sky this passed off without a mention as the ‘Tottenham song’ has been regularly sung at non Tottenham games over the years.
During the Chelsea home game uniformed Met police officers stormed the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower stand and arrested several fans pointed out by a plains cloths cop.
None of us understood what was going on at the time but it later transpired that a police undercover operation had videoed fans singing songs which the police and the club regard as anti Semitic. These fans were later charged, pleaded guilty at court and received 3 year banning orders.
I guess the point I am trying to make is singing a song can get you arrested, a criminal record and a banning order from the club you love and support. It’s just not worth it! I know we have all probably sung something in the past we shouldn’t but hopefully that was because we were too young to know better or they were different times. The club & police have been it clear that the defence it’s only football banter no longer holds any water with them.
Last year a Jewish West Ham supporter who is a journalist wrote this in The Guardian which I still think makes interesting reading on the subject one year later.
It can be found HERE