Advertisement

Ange Postecoglou defends ‘plastic’ Tottenham fans as anger grows about ticket price hikes

Fans take photos of Son Heung-min before Tottenham's home match against Wolves last month - Postecoglou defends 'plastic' Spurs fans amid ticket price hikes

Ange Postecoglou has launched a passionate defence of ‘plastic’ Tottenham fans amid controversy over the club’s plans to hike up ticket prices.

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust has written to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters asking for help in halting plans for season ticket prices to rise by six per cent next season, with concessions for over-65s set to be scrapped altogether.

“The fact that a fan of 30, 40 or 50 years loyal support will now never be able to buy a season ticket at a senior concession rate is disgraceful and unacceptable,” the letter said.

Those affected fear they will be priced out in favour of more affluent fans with less of a historical affiliation to the club – ‘plastics’ in supporter slang – or those with little or no connection to north London. ‘Tourists’ in other words.

And while manager Postecoglou was adamant he wanted “Spurs supporters in the stand, I don’t just want anybody” the Australian also insisted that overseas supporters had as much right to tickets as locals.

“I’m probably ‘plastic’ and ‘tourist’ because I was coming from the other side of the world really passionate about football and if I could get access to see a Premier League game that was the world to me,” he said.

“So to label people ‘plastic’ or ‘tourists’ 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 and I think we should always be able to accommodate them.

“It doesn’t make them any less passionate and it’s really disrespectful to call fans who are willing to go to the expense of coming halfway round the world. You don’t know how passionate they are about their football club. Maybe they have only started supporting it in the last two years – but that doesn’t diminish who they are.”

Ange Postecoglou
Ange Postecoglou has defended overseas supporters who buy tickets at Tottenham - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

Tottenham travel to Fulham to take on London rivals who are also protesting against proposed season ticket hikes. A single adult ticket for the game costs between £120 and £125 in the new Riverside Stand, where season tickets are set to retail at £3,000 next season.

January signing Radu Dragusin is set to make his first Premier League start in central defence in place of Mickey van de Ven, who is expected to have recovered from a hamstring problem by the end of the international break.

It is also nearly a year since Antonio Conte took aim at his players in a rant that followed a 3-3 draw with Southampton that saw the Italian removed as manager eight days later.

That paved the way for Postecoglou’s summer arrival from Celtic and the overhaul of a turgid playing style with a more attacking focus that supporters quickly warmed to.

Conte had declared that “I see selfish players” who only “play for themselves” and while Postecoglou did not think it “fair” to comment on another manager’s conclusions he outlined how he had began to bring about change.

“I didn’t need to look into the past or what happened last year, or the year before or what happened the last 10-or 15 years,” he said. “All I needed to see from the day I started was how people evolved in the environment I set.

“For me it’s usually the first month where I keep my mouth shut, look and listen and breath in what information I can. Then I make my assessments.

“Real change means people, habits, behaviours and making strong decisions around those things – and not just a new manager comes in and everything’s going to be all right. It doesn’t work that way.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.