Postecoglou: Blaming ‘plastic fans’ for Spurs’ price hike is ‘cruel’

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Postecoglou: Blaming ‘plastic fans’ for Spurs’ price hike is ‘cruel’

Tottenham coach Ange Postecoglou has criticised the term “plastic fans” for supporters outside the UK, calling it “rude” and “disrespectful”.

Last Wednesday, the Spurs announced a 6% increase in season ticket prices starting next season and the elimination of concessions for new season ticket holders age 65 and older, sparking backlash from fan groups such as Tottenham Hotspur Cheap Soccer Jersey Supporters’ Trust, who said they were “appalled” by the move.

Asked whether Premier League clubs prefer to attract “tourists” or “plastic fans” who are willing to pay the most to attend a match, the Australian coach told a press conference, “You see, it’s really cruel.

“I’ll tell you why: because I’m probably plastic and touristy because I came from the other side of the world really passionate about football, and if I could get access to watch a Premier League game, it was the world to me.

“So to label people as plastic or touristy, I don’t think that’s fair just because people live on the other side of the world. This football club has supporters all over the world, it has supporters all over the UK who don’t always
have access to the games of people who live here.

“And I think we should always be able to accommodate them and give them that feeling. It doesn’t make them less passionate fans.

“I think it’s really disrespectful to call fans who are willing to go to the expense of travelling halfway around the world [plastic fans]. You don’t know how passionate they are about their football club.

“Maybe they only started supporting it in the last two years, who knows? I don’t know. But I don’t think that diminishes who they are.”

Asked if he felt clubs had to “balance on the edge” of whether to prioritise UK fans or those living abroad, Postecoglou replied: “Well, it’s a balancing act for me, it’s only a balancing act if your ultimate means is not to grow your football club, and I’m talking about all aspects.

“That’s why we’re doing the world tour, is to take this team to places in the world where I know people are passionate.

“I know there are passionate Spurs fans in Australia, just as passionate as there are here.

“They don’t live here, they can’t go to games, they can’t buy season tickets. In fact, I have friends in Australia who buy season tickets and they can only get here a couple of times a year because that’s how passionate they are.

“If your overall goal is to grow the football club, then I think you will find the balance you need.”

Spurs can leapfrog fourth in the Premier League on Saturday Aston Villa Kids Soccer Set, if they prevail over Fulham Women’s Football Jersey, but will have to do without defenseman Mickey van de Ven, who suffered a thigh muscle injury last weekend.

The Dutch international has become one of Spurs’ most important players this season after his arrival from Wolfsburg last summer.

Postecoglou revealed that January signing Radu Dragusin will make his first start for Spurs on Saturday, replacing Van de Ven.

“It’s a good opportunity for him [Dragusin],” Postecoglou said. Of course we brought him in knowing that it was very obvious that we were very lacking in that area and he had a very good half-season in Italy [at Genoa].

“He had to be patient to get the opportunity, which is not surprising because Mickey and [Cristian] Romero were outstanding for us, and with virtually only a game a week, sometimes not even a game, he had to be patient but he worked hard in training.

Postecoglou confirmed Richarlison’s return to the squad after recovering from injury, having missed the last two games. However, Manor Salomon has remained sidelined since October with a serious knee injury and shows no signs of improvement.

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