Tottenham Hotspur fans’ group calls for end to poverty-mocking chants against Liverpool at Anfield

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Tottenham Hotspur fans had an opening goal from Son Heung-min to celebrate, but spent plenty of time singing about poverty instead. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust has condemned the behaviour of the club’s own supporters and called for an end to chants mocking poverty which were sung once again against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening.

Antonio Conte’s side played out a 1-1 draw with Jurgen Klopp’s men which has put a dent in the Reds’ hopes of catching Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, but a number of fans in the away end spent a significant amount of time signing about poverty in the city of Liverpool rather than their own team.

With the Conservative Party’s 12-year rule in the United Kingdom leading to soaring foodbank usage across the country, significantly increased rates of child poverty, and a cost-of-living crisis which has decimated the finances of millions, terrace behaviour which mocks the poor has come in for strong criticism in the past few months.

Liverpool have long be a target for poverty-based mocking from rival football supporters with songs dating back to the 1980s, when former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government plotted a ‘managed decline’ of the city designed to send it and its people into financial ruin because of its political opposition to the Conservatives’ ideology.

Now, the Spurs’ Supporters’ Trust is calling for an end to chants including ‘Sign On’, a riff on Liverpool anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone which attempts to mock unemployment rates in Liverpool.

‘Singing about the opposition has long been a feature of English football, and we are reluctant to tell fans how they should support the team,’ a statement released by the group reads. ‘Nevertheless, we were disappointed to hear the “Sign on” chant at Saturday’s away match at Anfield.​

‘Poverty and joblessness are not fair game for banter. There is a cost of living crisis throughout England, including in London. Our club represents an area and community with the fastest growing rate of unemployment in the country.’

‘We are rightly proud of our away support, and we want it to be noticed for positive reasons. For most of the game at Anfield our fans gave superb backing to a great team performance. Spurs fans have provided financial backing to Marine FC on Merseyside, and regularly contribute to foodbanks and community initiatives in London. This is what we are about.

‘The “Sign on” chant is not what we are about. We’re Tottenham Hotspur. We’re better than that.’

Earlier this month Liverpool released a statement acknowledging an ‘abhorrent’ increase in songs from opposition fans mocking the deceased of the Hillsborough disaster, after Manchester United bellowed offensive chants fans during their humiliating 4-0 defeat to the Reds.

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