It is THST’s sincere belief that no Spurs fan uses the term ‘Yid’ in an offensive or insulting way yet, sadly, the distinction between the use of the term as a badge of honour and a call to arms by Tottenham Hotspur supporters and the anti-Semitic abuse levelled at our fans by supporters of opposing teams appears to have been dismissed by both the FA and the Metropolitan Police.
THST believes there is no place for racism at White Hart Lane or, indeed, within football in general, but to label the songs our fans have been singing and the chants our fans have been chanting for decades as ‘racist’ overnight, with no legal precedent, is incomprehensible to us.
Since our last statement of 11th September 2013, we have not waited, complacently, for this issue to disappear. We have
sought the opinion of legal counsel and, subsequently, understand the position now adopted by the Metropolitan Police could be in breach of Human Rights and/or freedom of expression. Certainly, those actively campaigning to repeal Section 5 subscribe to that view.
THST has a responsibility not to willfully encourage any Spurs fan to continue chanting and singing the word ‘Yid’ this weekend with no regard for the consequences.
First, the Police will not only be monitoring West Ham fans for any racist/ anti-Semitic abuse during the match. The Met have made it clear they also consider the term ‘Yid’ to be racist and offensive, so Spurs fans singing or chanting ‘Yid Army’, or ‘Yids’ will fall into this category.
The fact that thousands of Spurs fans will, probably, be chanting or singing 'Yid/ Yiddo' does not mean an individual fan will be protected. As was witnessed at the Chelsea match, any one fan can be singled out and issued with a warning: it doesn’t have to be an entire block.
THST understands that the Police will initially approach a fan seen to be using the word 'Yid' and ask them to refrain from using the term. If they persist, a warning will be issued. If use of the word continues, an ejection or arrest may follow.
THST urges all supporters to be aware of the Police stance on this subject and to make their decision as to whether or not to use the term on Sunday equipped with all the information available.
The Football Supporters’ Federation has provided practical advice for any supporter arrested on Sunday. We urge all fans to read this, linked here:
THST also asks that all fans attending the West Ham United match on Sunday note the number of our recommended solicitor should they encounter any problems:
Bailey Nicholson Grayson - T: 07818 575 793 (24 hour line)
We strongly advise fans not to accept a caution and not to accept a duty solicitor. Ask for Bailey Nicholson Grayson and wait for one of their team to arrive.
THST will also be in attendance at the game on Sunday and will offer help to any fan needing assistance.
The Trust Board cares passionately about our Club and our fans and will work tirelessly towards gaining a conclusion on this matter, either way. We will not abandon our fan base in its’ greatest hour of need and, once again, we ask you all to work with us towards a positive outcome.