I had some sympathy for my brother (and fellow blog contributor) David when we met at the gym this morning. I asked him had he watched his team (Tottenham) in the Europa League last night. He turned to me and said “No – market forces”.
Last Autumn, following Liverpool’s return to the Champions League I joked with him about Spurs’ European adventures compared to the bright lights of Madrid (where Liverpool were heading). We even spoke about whether Spurs would have been better off (in football terms) if they had finished below Manchester United last season and been absent from European competition. Each Thursday I would joke and ask questions such as “Who are you playing in the Thursday Cup tonight?” of “What part of the USSR are you visiting this week?”
The joke was on me come November. Liverpool’s draw with Basle in Match Day 6 sent the Merseyside club into the Europa League by virtue of finishing 3rd in their Champions’ League group. While I had enjoyed Tuesday and Wednesday night football, David and every other Spurs fan, had soldiered on Thursday nights watching Spurs play Partizan, Beşiktaş and Asteras Tripolid on 3e no less!
February arrives. Spurs played Fiorentina at White Hart Lane last night. 3e broadcasts from Anfield.. Even Setanta Ireland couldn’t save him. Celtic versus Inter Milan was shown live.
Why? The answer is simply market forces. Until Spurs fans outnumber Liverpool fans in Ireland it’s hard to see the day when the former will get precedence over the latter, ceteris paribus. Good news for me but you do have to feel sorry for all those Tottenham supporters who have followed their team this autumn and winter through lesser-known-Europe. Don’t worry though – we’ll make sure you’ll never walk alone.