Sympathy? You must be joking

I must admit, I never thought there would come the day when I felt sorry for Sheffield United or Tottenham.

And I was right! That day has not arrived, although for just one or two seconds I did feel a touch of sympathy for two clubs we have had more problems with off the pitch than on it over recent years.

I am not the sort of fan who spends any time abusing rival supporters, I'd rather spend all my energies concentrating on my own players, and I do hate the chants and songs which are just aimed at goading opponents.

The " your support is f......s...", or the one that tells rivals how much we hate being in their town. And then there is the anti-Semitic stuff - racism in effect - that gets aimed at Spurs fans. Surely we can be above all this.

But there's still a section of our support who sing the 'running round Tottenham' rubbish and believe it is acceptable. I sat on the tube to Wembley with a lovely family from Blackpool, with three wide-eyed kids on their first trip to London, feeling utterly embarrassed as our fans belted out the anti-Spurs stuff.

For heavens sake, sing about us, not our rivals. Enough said, you know who you are!

However, the ill-fortune that has fallen on Sheffield United and Spurs at the end of the season did make me feel that "what goes around comes around" is an apt view.

Actually, I don't have issue with rank and file fans at either club. They are just like us, they love their club, they believe the party line stuff that gets pushed out on club websites and they want what we want. Success on the pitch.

I have a couple of Spurs fans as mates, they are quite human really, and one even texted me on the way to Wembley wishing us luck in the play-off Final.

And I managed to reply a few hours later after the dust had settled on Wembley and Munich, that it is very wrong that the sixth-placed Premier League club, Chelsea, should be in the Champions League ahead of fourth placed Spurs.

And I felt sorry for Steve Simonsen, the Sheffield United 'keeper who missed the decisive play-off penalty shoot-out spot kick that saw Huddersfield promoted and not the Blades. I've met the lad a few times, and you couldn't wish for a nicer young man.

But that is where the sympathy ends. I have real issues with the hierarchy and senior management of both clubs, who have done their utmost to damage us as a club and business.

Sheffield United first. We are still paying them ?5million a year (how much longer?) following the Tevez arbitration of 2008, and I am tempted to ask just what we have got for our money, so badly have the Blades fared since!

|I would have liked the TV cameras to have dwelt just a little longer on the face of their chairman Kevin McCabe after that shoot-out disaster at Wembley that condemned the Yorkshire club to another season in the third tier of English football.

They are ?32million in debt despite the ?20million they have already had from us, have spent ?15million in the last two seasons and are now facing severe cuts, including sacking Simonsen this week.

McCabe and his mates - including various past sports ministers, senior MPs and third rate actors - manipulated the Tevez situation and wanted to put us out of business. The Premier League voted that we had been punished enough with the ?5.5million fine, the High Court would not back the Blades and only the FA's independent arbitration hearing under that geriatric Lord Griffiths agreed with McCabe's lot.

We were severely punished for what most in football thought was a technical offence, the Premier League were more bothered about us deceiving them rather than the debatable detail of a contract that never actually came into operation.

We deserved to be punished. But not almost put out of business by McCabe and his chancers. In the end we were the victims of an FA who was at war with the Premier League and wanted to make a stand against the all-powerful top flight.

So I have had no sympathy with Sheffield United's plight, and hope they enjoy their trips to Crawley, Shrewsbury and Swindon next season.

Now Spurs. The north London club reckon they will lose ?40million by being excluded from the Champions League. They could also lose top players not overjoyed with the prospect of playing in the Europa League.

Van der Vaart, Modric,Bale and even our beloved 'arry could go. Redknapp was even linked with Chelsea last week.

I won't be crying over any misfortune that is suffered at White Hart Lane. Their management have gone to extraordinary lengths to ruin our business plan and the possible move to the Olympic Stadium, pushing legality to the limits.

They have employed people who have sunk to the depths of the dark arts of surveillance, stealing phone records and running personal checks on everyone of the committee that was considering the Olympic Stadium legacy.

Spurs did not want Stratford, they were just desperate to sabotage any attempts by us to progress and grow and find a ground that could accommodate our 50,000 plus fans who went to Wembley.

Whether you like the idea of moving to the Olympic Stadium or not isn't the point, but Spurs were trying to damage us as a club, which was inexcusable. So any misfortune that falls their way should be a deluge in my view.

I had a bet with one of my Spurs mates before last season that they would never play in the Champions League again. Could be I will be right. As for the Blades, they might just have cut their own throats.

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