A Spanish sports newspaper has suggested Tottenham Hotspur is disliked by supporters of rival clubs because of its ‘Jewish origins’.
However, in reply to the Jewish News reporting the article, Enrique Ortego, who wrote the piece, tweeted: “I regret the confusion created around Tottenham.”
Marca published the article ahead of the sides’ Champions League match in Madrid on Tuesday evening, with the subhead to the article reading: “Their Jewish origins have made them into a club disliked by rival fans.”
Describing how the club were formed in the late 19th century, the article reads: “Formed by young people and businessmen from the area of Jewish origins, they have always had to carry the weight of being the club “par excellence” of the Hebrew community.
— MARCA (@marca) October 16, 2017
“Throughout their history, they have been frowned upon by the followers of other London clubs, mainly by their big enemy Arsenal but also by the followers of West Ham and Chelsea and other capital clubs of a lesser pedigree, spreading the animosity to the rest of the country, where it is normal to hear the deafening chant “stand up if you hate Tottenham” when they take to the field.
‘Since its beginnings the club has had an undeniable connection with the Jewish community represented in directors, coaches and players. And the current owner and president, Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy, are Jewish. But those who know the club up close say that 90 per cent of Spurs fans have never set foot inside a synagogue in their lives.
‘Despite the feeling of being hated they have assimilated Jewish symbols into the stands, especially at their old White Hart Lane stadium where the flags of the Star of David fluttered. They have even defined themselves, in their songs, as “yids”, the word that their rivals use in derogatory way to describe them.”
Replying to the article, a Tottenham Hotspur statement read: “We are astonished that a publication such as Marca, which presents itself as an alleged source of professional journalism, has seen fit to publish such an article which is blatantly wrong and wholly distasteful.”