Tag Archives: lawyers

Des Kelly: Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

All you need for the festive season… my Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

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UPDATED:

00:44 GMT, 22 December 2012

Christmas is a time for giving. It’s a time for giving your work colleague a seasonal dose of the Noro-virus. Giving the pungent postman a wide berth. And giving children chocolates you secretly suspect may have been hanging in that old sock since last year.

Giving is what the season is all about. However, if you haven’t bought anything by now, it may be too late already. Nobody goes shopping in actual shops these days. Shops are merely places where you inspect the things you intend to buy online for less money when you get home.

If my experience last year is anything to go by, these are delivered sometime around January 4, long after family members gather around a tree to sing carols, notice there are no presents and cry ‘Santa is dead!’ or ‘You obviously don’t love me!’

So which gifts are perfect for the sports fan Here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set
The Ramires-izer Translation Machine
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More from Des here: @DesKellyDM

We live in the age of the iPhone and the App. But this magnificent device takes us to another level of sophistication. New voice recognition software doesn’t just interpret what any ‘foreign’ individual says; it takes a perfectly ordinary remark and transforms it into a damaging racial slur.

Allow me to demonstrate the power of the Ramires-izer:
Speaker A: What a lovely evening we’re having.
Ramires-izer translation: Shut up you monkey.

This brilliant gadget can generate endless hours of misinformation, huge FA inquiry costs, massive lawyers’ fees and career-threatening hostility for those who have been Ramires-ized.

Use it NOW — and issue a mealy-mouthed statement of ‘regret’ a few weeks later.

Price: a considerable amount of lost credit.

On sale at the Chelsea Megastore.

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

The Inflatable Anfield Striker

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Take the concept of playing a ‘false No 9’ to a whole new level with this revolutionary invention, one that is certain to shake the world of football to its foundations.

Are you tired of seeing your team run out without a recognised centre forward like Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers Do you worry other clubs might spot the owners are trying to bluff their way through a Premier League campaign on the cheap

Fear no more. Just ask the board to pump some of their hot air into the Inflatable Anfield Striker.
It will fool opposition defenders and confound Arsenal’s zonal marking tactics.

And our Inflatable No 9 is GUARANTEED to be faster than Per Mertesacker; CERTAIN to seize on a careless error by David Luiz and HIGHLY LIKELY to drink less than Andy Carroll.

Available for a bargain price of 50million. Order now to avoid disappointment in the January sales.

Mario’s Man-Maps

Are
you lost Are you too dim to operate a satellite navigation device Are
you male and, therefore, genetically prevented from asking for
directions Scientific studies prove men are biologically incapable of
admitting they are unable to find their way.

This
is why, during reproduction, millions of male sperm cells are released
in a desperate attempt to find a female egg placed directly ahead of
them that, in relative terms, is also the size of Wales (it’s always
‘the size of Wales’).

Even then, only one completes the journey.

We have the solution men have been
looking for, but refused to admit they couldn’t find. You will never be
lost again with Mario’s Man-Maps, officially endorsed by the
hard-of-thinking Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.

Like
Mario, simply turn off the SatNav in your vehicle, reach for your
detailed map, open it carefully — and then wave it around out the window
of the car until it attracts the attention of a passing taxi driver.

Now
pass the cabbie the address of the destination and follow him. This
gives you the dual comfort of never having to leave your Bentley AND
never having to use your brain.

Price: 500, cash only, from Manchester to London.

Flammable. Keep away from fireworks. Can also be used when you take your employer to a tribunal and they tell you to ‘get lost’.


Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set

Create cocktails of drugs in the comfort of your own home with Lance Armstrong’s amazing chemistry set. If, like Lance, you have spent years living a lie and covering up a career built on the illegal use of blood-boosters, steroids, human growth hormones and masking agents, there is only one way to forget the humiliation. More drugs! Spend your retirement years mixing mind-bending substances that completely erase the concept of guilt from your memory.

This allows you to spout blanket denials, pledge to take lie detector tests and pose in front of Tour de France yellow jerseys boasting of your ‘victories’ without any sense of shame whatsoever. What better way to show the drugs do work

Price: about 100m of sponsorship.

Available from all good… bad chemists.

Previously sold as the Ben Johnson Chemistry Set. Syringes not included.

British Swimming Lead Medals
Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Who needs gold medals Who needs to stay afloat British Swimming will take you under with their lovingly crafted, heavy lead gongs.

Former performance director Michael Scott inspired Team GB to new lows in the pool at London 2012 with his unique coaching mantra ‘I’d rather do it Down Under’.

In honour of the ex-coach, who is now back in Australia, where he appeared to be living most of the time anyway, you can go ‘down under’ too.

Just hang this expensive dead weight around your neck in honour of the pathetic splash that swimming bosses delivered despite 25m of public funding.

Price: 8.4m per medal.

Special offer: To sink without trace, add a pair of concrete boots branded with the name of British Swimming CEO David Sparkes — and receive a chauffeur-driven Mercedes FREE!

The ‘BaleBag’ safety shirt

Based on the latest automotive airbag technology and championed by Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, this innovative football jersey automatically senses when a player has thrown himself through the air.

In the moment after a player dives — I mean ‘protects himself from injury by evading contact from a defender’, this shirt registers the change in gravitational force and air pressure and immediately inflates.

This prevents the player suffering further injuries during contact with the turf from a great height. The BaleBag Safety Range includes inflatable elbow and kneepads as optional extras.

Price: contact your insurers.

Also available: the YoungBag Safety Shirt, endorsed by Ashley Young.

Gareth Bale
The FergieTime Chronograph

Liverpudlians have long suspected the concept of time has a Manchester bias — which they have sought to correct by trying to turn the clock back to the 1980s, when they were good. But Sir Alex Ferguson’s new range of watches will extend time like never before and comes with a host of new features:

The in-built calendar not only adds minutes to real time, but entire days. So while the record books say Ferguson’s birthday is December 31, in FergieTime this becomes November 61.FergieTime watches link directly with a referee’s timepiece and fourth official’s electronic scoreboard, to allow the manager to directly input the minutes he wishes to add.Alternatively, you can press FergieTime’s unique ‘Play Until We Score’ feature and just let the timepiece do its business automatically.

Price: 25 years at the top.

Retirement clocks not available until 2014.

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

Italian Football Yearbook 2013-14
HEAR DES ON THE RADIO

Don’t miss the ‘Christmas edition’ of The Press Pass on talkSPORT on Sunday at 6pm — by Christmas edition, I mean we’ll do most of the usual stuff, but with a sleighbell sound effect in the background. I’ll also be wrestling on air with
Micky Quinn on Christmas Eve from 10am until 1pm. Verbally, not in reality. That’s a horrible
image at any time of year.

No football fan or player can live without this superb guide to Italian football’s season ahead. It is in the style of England’s famous Rothmans Yearbook, once prized by collectors. Unfortunately, most of those collectors are now dead due to their susceptibility to cigarette brand sponsorship.

But the Italian Football Yearbook not only beings you all the teams, fixtures, players and statistics —but ALL THE RESULTS for next season as well! Take a look…

September 29, 2013 — Juventus 3 Napoli 0. Scorers: Vucinic, Pirlo, Marchisio. Half-time: 1-0.

This guide taps into the Italian game’s unique tradition where clubs, referees and directors decide the outcome of matches well in advance and Juventus collect the Scudetto.

Price: How much have you got

Coming soon: the 2013 Pakistani edition of Wisden, edited by former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt. With all the results for the coming year, including our new dot-ball feature for spot- betting success.

And One Genuine Suggestion…

If you do want a small sporting gift for yourself, download the Hillsborough Justice Collective’s cover of The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.

They aim to top the UK singles charts on Christmas Day and all the proceeds will go to the families of 96 fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final — and help them continue to fight one of the most disgraceful establishment cover-ups in British history.

Well done to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright for choosing the song. And not only will you be helping the noblest of causes, but you will also be keeping a Simon Cowell act off the top spot as well.

* Happy Christmas to you all and many thanks for all the emails, tweets, the handwritten letters, books, holiday offers, complimentary sporting goods, recommendations, anonymous tips, nude photographs and unsolicited bundles of cash that you send to me throughout the year. I cherish each and every one of them.

Craig Levein starts legal proceedings against SFA after "resigning" as Scotland manager

Levein starts legal proceedings against SFA after 'resigning' as Scotland manager

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 19 December 2012

Former Scotland manager Craig Levein has opened legal proceedings against the Scottish Football Association.

Levein was 'relieved of his duties' by the SFA on November 5 following a disappointing start to the World Cup qualifying campaign.

The SFA has confirmed Levein has now instructed his lawyers to serve a writ on the Association, who had offered to honour the remainder of his contract in full.

Action: Levin has opened legal proceedings against the SFA

Action: Levin has opened legal proceedings against the SFA

A statement from the SFA read: 'Regrettably, the Scottish FA has received notification from lawyers representing Craig Levein that their client has served a writ on the Association.

'This notification has been received despite the Scottish FA's offer to honour Craig's contract in full, an offer that was made immediately upon the Board's decision to relieve Craig of his duties on November 5, 2012.

Axed: Levein was shown the door in November

Axed: Levein was shown the door in November

'The Scottish FA has since received notification that Craig has chosen to resign, thereby foregoing the offer made to honour his contract in full.

'In the notification received, failure to make a proposal in lieu of compensation has been cited.

'It is the view of the Scottish FA that no such offer is required given Craig's decision to resign, especially since an offer of mediation was rejected by his legal representatives.

'We will make no further comment at this time.'

Levein had found himself under pressure after the Scots failed to record a single win from their opening four games of the current campaign.

Draws at home to Serbia and Macedonia, followed by defeats away to Wales and Belgium, left Scotland bottom of their group with little hope of booking their place at Brazil in 2014.

Those results ultimately sealed the fate of the former Hearts and Dundee United boss and his near-three-year tenure came to an end last month.

Under-21s boss Billy Stark was placed in interim charge while the SFA search for Levein's successor.

Mario Balotelli tribunal delayed as Manchester City try to thrash out peace deal with striker

Balotelli tribunal delayed as Man City try to thrash out peace deal with errant striker

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 19 December 2012

Manchester City are on the verge of settling their dispute
with Mario Balotelli without the need for a tribunal.

The Blues are due to take on their errant striker at a Premier
League hearing today after he contested a fine of two weeks wages imposed for
accumulating too many red and yellow cards last season.

Absent: Mario Balotelli missed Manchester City training on Tuesday with a virus

Absent: Mario Balotelli missed Manchester City training on Tuesday with a virus

However, it is understood that the club and Balotelli’s
lawyers spent much of Tuesday night in talks aimed at finding a resolution and
though no agreement has been reached yet it is believed the two parties are not
far away.

There has been no comment on Wednesday morning from City or indeed
the Premier League. However the tribunal – which was due to start at 9am – has not begun.

Balotelli was contesting the fine as there is actually
nothing in rules drawn up by the Premier League and the PFA players’ union that
allows clubs to punish players merely for being cautioned or sent off too many
times.

Insiders at the PFA had been suggesting this week that this
was a case City would probably lose.

Baloteli himself was not expected in London for the hearing as he missed training yesterday with a virus.

In the dock: Balotelli is in trouble over his poor discipline last season

In the dock: Balotelli is in trouble over his poor discipline last season

Rocky relations: Roberto Mancini left Balotelli out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle on Saturday and made him take on extra training at the club's base

Rocky relations: Roberto Mancini left Balotelli out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle on Saturday and made him take on extra training at the club's base

West Ham anti-Semitic chants: Yossi Benayoun blasts fans as two arrested over vile songs at Tottenham

Israeli midfielder Benayoun blasts 'embarrassing' West Ham fans as two arrested over vile anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham

Football Association confirm probe into alleged chants referring to Adolf Hitler and attacks on Spurs fans in Rome last weekYossi Benayoun calls for club to punish 'minority' of fans
Society of Black Lawyers have reported incident to Metropolitan PoliceWest Ham vow to ban for life fans found guilty of sick chants

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UPDATED:

18:28 GMT, 26 November 2012

West Ham's Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun has slammed the anti-Semitic chanting from a section of the club's supporters during Sunday's London derby at Tottenham, calling their behaviour 'embarrassing'.

Two West Ham United supporters have been arrested following the chanting. The two fans have accepted police cautions reportedly for making Nazi salutes, while one of them, a season ticket holder at Upton Park, has already been issued with a life-time banning order by the club.

West Ham earlier today vowed to enforce life bans on any supporters found guilty of participating in vile anti-Semitic chanting that marred the 3-1 Spurs victory. The club are working with Tottenham in their investigation after references to Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust and last week's brutal attacks on Tottenham fans in Rome were reportedly heard during West Ham's 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane.

Scroll down for video

Let down: West Ham fans hit a new low with their chants at White Hart Lane

Let down: West Ham fans hit a new low with their chants at White Hart Lane

Tweet from Sportsmail's Alex Kay

Lazio' chants have gone on for most of
first half. Not just a few people, hundreds. It's sad and pathetic. Ban
them all.' @Alex_Kay_DM

But Benayoun, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea and in his second spell with the club, has spoken out publicly against the fans' behaviour and called on the club and FA to punish those guilty of the sick chants.

Benayoun, who missed the match on Sunday with a thigh problem, said on Twitter: 'I have a great relationship with the West Ham United supporters, from my first spell at the club and again now I am back on loan here.

'This why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing.

'But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I'm sure the FA together with West Ham United football club will do everything to find and punish them.'

Earlier on Monday, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Two men were arrested during the football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham on Sunday November 25 on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. The men accepted a police caution.’

West Ham this
morning issued a statement, which read: 'West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to
assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number
of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday's
match at White Hart Lane.

'West Ham United will take the
strongest possible action against any of their supporters, including
enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behaviour
which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United.

'During the 46 games in the
Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or
violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will
examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the
appropriate action.'

The FA also moved quickly and released a statement on Monday afternoon.

It read: 'The FA can confirm it has begun investigating reports of abusive chanting at the Tottenham Hotspur FC versus West Ham United FC fixture on 25 November 2011.

'The FA Governance Department has this morning contacted both clubs and will continue to make enquiries into the matter in the coming days.

'We note the statement issued by West Ham United FC and encourage Clubs to identify and ban for life any individuals involved in incidents of abusive chanting.

'There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination in football. The FA is committed to working with the Clubs, Leagues, fans groups, the police, CPS and community stakeholders to play our part in addressing this unacceptable behaviour.'

Tottenham Hotspur also confirmed that five supporters were arrested during Sunday's match at White Hart Lane outside of the stadium for unrelated incidents.

The chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers Peter Herbert also confirmed his organisation had already notified police after some Hammers supporters appeared to mock the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust during the match at White Hart Lane.

VIDEO: Anti-semitic chants at Spurs Fan's video captures shouts in stands

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Asked if he would take the issue to the police, Herbert told Sky Sports News: 'We've done so already.

'In
fact we were due to meet a borough commander of the Met Police either
later this week or early next week and it's one of the things that will
be on our agenda.

'As far
as we're concerned there has to be zero tolerance of this. If these
people can be identified on camera and prosecuted then that is something
we'd like to see.'

Meanwhile, a Tottenham club
spokesperson said: 'We are currently compiling a full report for the
Football Association and shall be submitting this with all our evidence
including relevant CCTV footage.'

Sportsmail
has learnt that FA officials are waiting to digest the referee's report
before launching a full probe – although off-the-field incidents
typically take longer to investigate
than those on the pitch.

Hundreds of West Ham supporters
chanted ‘Viva Lazio’ at numerous points during the game in a macabre
show of support for the hooligans who left at least 10 Spurs fans
injured and one needing emergency surgery.

Ashley Mills, 25, of Essex, had to be admitted to hospital for stab wounds to his head and groin after being set upon by a gang of masked thugs while in Rome for Tottenham’s Europa League match against Lazio. Two men have since been charged with attempted murder.

Italian flags were seen in the away section on Sunday and a red flare was also set off. After Tottenham had scored their second and third goals, ‘Lazio’ was chanted, bringing ironic cheers from the home crowd.

The most distasteful chants were saved for towards the end. In reply to Spurs fans chanting, ‘Can we play you every week’ West Ham fans sang: ‘Can we stab you every week’

Anti-semitic chanting, hissing and the references to Hitler then followed.

The FA said they would await reports from referee Andre Marriner and fourth official Mark Clattenburg before taking further action.

At the double: Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham cruised to victory over West Ham

At the double: Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham cruised to victory over West Ham

Chance: Tottenham's Gareth Bale tries to score past West Ham's Mohamed Diame (left) at White Hart Lane yesterday

Chance: Tottenham's Gareth Bale tries to score past West Ham's Mohamed Diame (left) at White Hart Lane yesterday

WEST HAM'S OFFICIAL STATEMENT

West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday's match at White Hart Lane.

West Ham United will take the strongest possible action against any of their supporters, including enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behaviour which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United.

During the 46 games in the Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the appropriate action.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said he had not heard the chanting but agreed his fans ‘should not be doing that’. Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas branded the chants as ‘stupid’.

Allardyce said: ‘I don’t hear what the fans say or do when I’m concentrating on a game of football.

‘They shouldn’t be doing things like that, should they But it’s the least of my worries at the minute.’

Asked about the Hitler chanting, Allardyce said: ‘If I didn’t hear it, I can’t condemn it. I’ll wait and look at it myself and then I’ll comment after I’ve listened to what they’ve said. I don’t want to be a political animal. I’m in here to talk about football, not what fans are saying or singing.’

Villas-Boas said: ‘We know the animosity
there is between Tottenham and West Ham. As long as it doesn’t reach
stupidity, it is a great rivalry.

Aftermath: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome were Spurs fans were attacked this week

Aftermath: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome were Spurs fans were attacked this week

‘I understand the whole situation is unavoidable although we can’t decipher the complete meaning of what they were singing.’

The two clubs have a long-standing history of abuse between supporters. Former West Ham striker Jermain Defoe, who was booed throughout, scored two of the goals in the win for Tottenham, a victory that takes them one place above the Hammers.

Spurs fans have been the subject of complaints by the Society of Black Lawyers who objected to the White Hart Lane supporters singing ‘Yid Army’ about themselves. Sportsmail has highlighted that this kind of disgraceful chanting is just as despicable as racist abuse, pointing out unacceptable behaviour such as vile abuse Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is subjected to at various grounds.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones, who has been the victim of sustained abuse, said: ‘It is like a form of racism because it is every bit as bad.’

Spurs supporters rushed to condemn their West Ham rivals on Twitter.

Three and easy: Tottenham climbed above the Hammers with this win on Sunday

Three and easy: Tottenham climbed above the Hammers with this win on Sunday

Andrew Leason wrote: 'West Ham fans & their Lazio/Hitler chants showing what utter vile scum they are.'

West Ham fan Andrew Wiseman posted: 'The minority of hammers fans with the Lazio chants should hang their heads in shame. And I'm a Hammer. Pathetic.'

Ed Aarons commented: 'Not surprised at all by reports of moronic Lazio chants by West Ham fans at WHL. Not exactly known for their intelligence.'

West Ham fans were also accused of hissing in reference to the Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis in concentration camps.

'Hissing, Lazio chants and (letting off) a flare. You classless bunch of p***** are really enjoying your cup final, aren't you West Ham,' posted Louise Page.

And Charlie Parrish added: 'Next to West Ham away fans. Lots of Lazio chants. Football's pretty grim sometimes.'

The anti-racism group Kick It Out also said it was looking into the reports of abuse.

Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley said: 'Kick It Out is following up with both clubs after the reports circulated concerning unacceptable chanting at White Hart Lane and is awaiting reports with further detail.'

The Board of Deputies of British Jews also moved to condemn the reported chanting.

They issued a statement which read: 'The Board of Deputies of British Jews utterly condemns and is dismayed by reports of antisemitic chanting by West Ham United fans at yesterday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur.

'Antisemitism has no place in football or society in general. For football fans to use Holocaust imagery and chants glorifying Adolf Hitler is grossly offensive to the Jewish community and is a stain upon the character of British football.

'This in the same week that Tottenham fans were attacked in Rome in an apparently antisemitic attack.'

Arsenal and Tottenham vow to stamp out yobs

Shop a yob! Arsenal and Spurs strike text message pact to kick abusive fans out of ground

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 16 November 2012

Arsenal and Tottenham have vowed to stamp out yobbish abuse by threatening offending fans with instant ejection.

They have warned that any supporter identified by text message as using anti-social language could be immediately kicked out of the north London derby at the Emirates Stadium.

Supporters who witness abusive behaviour, including foul, racist or anti-Semitic language, have been asked to send a text message to 67777 with the insulting chant and the offender’s row and seat number.

Watching brief: Arsene Wenger will lead his Arsenal side against Tottenham at the Emirates

Watching brief: Arsene Wenger will lead his Arsenal side against Tottenham at the Emirates

The texts will be relayed straight to the stadium’s control room so that the perpetrator can be dealt with at once. He or she will be spoken to by a steward and, if the offending persists, could be removed from the ground.

The text system, although only occasionally used by fans, enables supporters to know that they can report abusive behaviour without fear of retribution — and see an immediate effect.

Arsenal and Tottenham issued joint statements reminding supporters that such behaviour during the match will not be tolerated. The Metropolitan Police will also be handing out leaflets before the 12.45pm kick-off, while Tottenham advised their fans that any flags and banners would be checked before they are allowed to enter Arsenal’s stadium.

Flags of an ‘overtly religious, sectarian or political nature will not be permitted and may be confiscated’, the club said.

Tottenham fans have been criticised by the Society of Black Lawyers recently for calling themselves the ‘Yid Army’, while former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger were taunted when the sides met last season at White Hart Lane.

On the ball: Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere of Arsenal during a training session

On the ball: Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere of Arsenal during a training session

Arsenal and Tottenham have worked together ahead of north London derbies for a number of seasons and Spurs officials will also meet with police and representatives from Kick It Out next week to discuss ‘how to collectively eradicate anti-Semitism from our footballing community . . . both inside and outside stadiums’.

The clubs’ joint statement added: ‘A north London derby is always a special occasion and we hope Saturday’s match will be remembered for both the action on the pitch, as well as the positive support for both teams off it. All fans should be aware that breaches of stadium regulations — including anti-social behaviour — will not be tolerated.’

Wenger said: ‘We have to deal with the crowd. That’s our job. We are professionals. You have to understand the crowd wants you to win and you have to deal with the fact that they’re not always happy.

‘That’s where you see the personality and the sense of responsibility of the player. My biggest desire is to see our fans happy.’

In discussing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s wonder goal against England this week, Wenger also made a pertinent point about his own side’s chances today. He said the Sweden striker was ‘in the zone’ when he scored his magnificent fourth goal.

Tottenham's William Gallas

Tottenham's Gareth Bale

Skills: William Gallas (left) and Gareth Bale prepare to visit Arsenal on Saturday

‘It shows you how important it is to get that confidence in our sport,’ Wenger added, ‘to just do things with a freedom of spirit without any handbrake.’

How desperately Arsenal could do with an injection of that Zlatan swagger, that ‘freedom of spirit’, against Andre Villas-Boas’s team. Ibrahimovic, after all, was the striker who had the audacity to tell Wenger he ‘didn’t do auditions’ when he visited Arsenal’s training ground as a teenager, turning down an opportunity to practise with the first team before eventually joining Ajax.

But instead, Wenger’s side must deal with the anxiety of a crowd unnerved by just two victories in five home league games so far this season.

Tottenham have finished below Arsenal throughout the Frenchman’s time in charge but Tottenham come to the Emirates a point and a place above them in the Barclays Premier League table.

Injury doubts over Olivier Giroud (hamstring) and Mikel Arteta (hip), who were both assessed yesterday, do not help Arsenal’s cause, either, while players such as Theo Walcott (hip), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bacary Sagna (leg) also face fitness tests this morning.

Craig Levein in legal dispute with SFA

Sacked Scotland manager Levein in legal dispute with his former employers

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 13 November 2012

The Scottish Football Association have confirmed they are involved in a legal wrangle with Craig Levein's representatives over his removal as Scotland manager.

Levein last week announced he was seeking legal advice after being 'relieved of his duties' by the SFA, who said they would continue to honour his contract, which has 20 months to run.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: 'Craig is entitled to his opinion. We made it very clear that Craig's contract had not been terminated, that his terms and conditions would be honoured up to the end of the contract in June 2014.

Departed: Levein is seeking legal advice over his removal as Scotland boss

Departed: Levein is seeking legal advice over his removal as Scotland boss

'It's a legally binding contract and that was our position that we set out very clearly last Monday night.

'Craig has taken legal advice which he is entitled to do and the matter is now being dealt with between Craig's lawyers and the Scottish FA's lawyers.'

In a statement issued last Wednesday night, Levein said: 'I note the position as stated by the Scottish Football Association but do not concur and I am currently taking legal advice as to my options.'

David Baddiel: Tottenham fans chanting "Yid Army" sustains anti-Semitism

EXCLUSIVE: David Baddiel – Tottenham fans chanting 'Yid Army' sustains anti-SemitismJewish comedian believes Spurs supporters are not entitled to use term
'It's doubtful more than five per cent at White Hart Lane are actual Jews''I know I'm a Chelsea fan but there has to be zero tolerance'

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UPDATED:

10:54 GMT, 9 November 2012

David Baddiel

Concern: David Baddiel

David Baddiel has dismissed claims that ethnic origin entitles Tottenham fans to call themselves the ‘Yid Army’ by insisting only ‘three or four per cent’ are Jewish.

Tottenham rallied around their supporters, after Society of Black Lawyers chairman Peter Herbert urged police to prosecute those who hold aloft banners bearing the name ‘Yid Army’ and chant it during games.

Club bosses welcomed the police response that there was ‘no deliberate intent to cause offence’ and that it was more a form of self-parody by a predominantly Jewish support.

But Baddiel, the comedian and writer who is himself Jewish and a fervent Chelsea fan, is adamant such a line of defence was factually incorrect and that anti-Semitic abuse should be stamped out wherever it occurs.

‘The idea that Spurs fans are reclaiming the Y-word and are entitled to because so many of them are Jewish is simply not true,’ he said. ‘There are only 250,000 Jews in Britain as a whole and I’d say about three or four per cent of Tottenham’s crowd is Jewish.

‘That means well over 90 per cent of those chanting “Yid Army” are not actually Jewish and that is just one of several reasons why it cannot be right. If, for instance, there was a team in Brixton called Brixton United, and they had a mainly white support who adopted the N-word as their badge of honour and went round chanting “N***** Army”, they would be closed down tomorrow.

‘At Tottenham, the club’s “Jewishness” is just an historical association with the area. It’s doubtful that there are more than five per cent actual Jews in the ground at home games (only 0.4 per cent of the UK is Jewish). So the argument “but it’s just like Snoop Doggy Dogg using the N-word” does not apply to most Spurs fans.’

We'll sing what we want!

Spurs fans chant 'Yid Army' at Europa League clash – click here to read Sami Mokbel's report

Although some Tottenham fans may view ‘Yid Army’ as nothing more than a label identifying which team they follow, Baddiel has experience of why the term has more sinister undertones.

‘I was at a Chelsea match with my brother Ivor two years ago,’ he said.

‘It wasn’t even Tottenham we were
playing. It was Villa, but news that Tottenham were losing at Hull
appeared on the big screen and this bloke sitting behind us started
saying “F*** the yids! F*** the yids!” followed by “F*** the Jews!”. If
there was any doubt about it being an anti-Semitic term, rather than a
name for a group of fans, that answered it.

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A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

Shooting star: a Tottenham fan holds up an Israeli flag as Jermain Defoes first goal goes in last night

Traditional support: A banner at Carling Cup final (left) and a flag at Thursday's Europa League clash (right)

‘The thing to remember about yid is: it’s a race-hate word. It was daubed across the East End by Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts.

‘The only possible reason why a
culture which has tried to dismiss other race-hate words to the margins
of language would consider it acceptable is if the racism of which it
is a part is somehow less offensive, somehow less significant, than
other racisms.

‘This is actually what the
normalisation of the word at football has led to. It might seem strange
that the fan at Chelsea could have shouted “F*** the yids!” without a
steward intervening: racist abuse at football grounds is supposed to
lead to an immediate ban.

‘But a friend of mine, a Watford fan,
who once heard his fans chanting the Y-word, with menaces, at Spurs
fans, on complaining to a steward was told, “I don’t hear any racism”.

‘That’s why I decided to bring out a
video on the subject and there was one objective — to make this sort of
racism heard, above the chanting.

Football fan: Baddiel supports Chelsea

Football fan: Baddiel supports Chelsea

‘The only fans shown in the film
chanting the Y-word are Chelsea and Arsenal ones; the fans shown
extemporising from yiddo into a song celebrating Auschwitz are Chelsea
ones. This is important, as the debate seems to have got mired into
being just about Tottenham fans.

‘The chant, and associated
anti-Semitic abuse, exists far beyond White Hart Lane, at the
above-mentioned clubs, at Millwall, at West Ham, even at Ajax.

‘Tottenham, of course, can lay claim
to be the only club chanting it in support of their team. I respect and
acknowledge that. But there are reasons why that, too, has to be
addressed.

‘Although Spurs fans consider they are
just responding to racist taunts, the continuing use of the Y-word by
Spurs fans informs and sustains the racist abuse aimed at Spurs by other
fans. The more Spurs do it, the more it comes back.

Backing: Tottenham fans cheer on their side against Maribor on Thursday

In full voice: Spurs fans sing at the Lane

‘Many opposing fans feel they are
justified in using the chant (and associated anti-Semitic abuse) because
“The Yids is what Spurs call themselves”.

‘Additionally, we cannot mount a
campaign aimed at stopping fans chanting anti-Semitic abuse and using
anti-Semitic language while saying, “But of course, it’s OK for this one
set of fans”.

‘It has to be zero tolerance. And, as
I have said, most Spurs fans are not in fact Jewish. If we are going
to have zero tolerance, it has to be a level playing field, applied to
all forms of racism.’

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No Jewish Spurs fans are offended by using the term "Yid", so try targeting the real racists

Paul Newman
Paul Newman: No Jewish Spurs fans are offended by using the term 'Yid', so try targeting the real racists

|

UPDATED:

08:46 GMT, 9 November 2012

David Baddiel
DAVID BADDIEL: CHANTING 'YID ARMY' SUSTAINS ANTI-SEMITISM

Read David Baddiel's exclusive verdict HERE

It is the most sickening noise I have
ever heard at a football ground, one I was regularly subjected to in my
formative years watching Spurs in the Eighties.

I am talking about the sound of
hissing coming from opposing supporters as they 'celebrated' the gassing
of millions of Jews at Nazi concentration camps.

Backing: Tottenham fans cheer on their side against Maribor on Thursday

In full voice: Spurs fans sing at the Lane

Now, 30 years on, I shudder when I remember just how appalling and offensive that noise was, and how it was aimed at our large Jewish support, and how thankful I am that my children, now Spurs season-ticket holders themselves, have never to my knowledge had to hear it being directed at us.

It has disappeared, in large part, because Spurs fans brilliantly and joyously embraced what began as the insulting use of the term 'Yids' thrown at us and turned it into something positive.

Tottenham fans, who are among the most multicultural and racially tolerant of all football supporters, are now proud to call themselves the 'Yid Army'.

I took my usual seat in the Paxton Road end last night for the last time before I go to work in India and I was happy and proud to hear those words sung with particular gusto by a near full house of proud and defiant Spurs fans.

A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

I have rarely been so proud of my club for standing up to the ridiculous Society of Black Lawyers and telling them in effect to mind their own business.

How dare they call me and my fellow Spurs fans racist. They, and David Baddiel, simply do not get it.

News that the police are refusing to be provoked by this trouble-making meddling group into taking action against Spurs fans is to be welcomed too.

They know that there is no offence meant by the term. They know that, to my knowledge, no Jewish supporters of Spurs are offended by its glorification.

If Peter Herbert and his society want to do some good then I suggest they target the racists, not those who fight racism by 'owning the term'.

There are plenty of real causes for them to get involved in. Not made-up ones.

Tottenham fans told by police "Yid Army" is ok

EXCLUSIVE: Sing what you want! Police back Spurs fans over 'Yid Army' chant after racism claims

|

UPDATED:

14:29 GMT, 8 November 2012

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Metropolitan Police have reassured Tottenham they will NOT face prosecution over their own supporters use of the word 'Yid' in matchday chants.

The police have clarified their stance over whether the club's supporters could be investigated for making racial slurs given the anti-Semitic nature of the word 'Yid'.

Club supporters often sing songs featuring the expression, and on Thursday the club released a statement defending their fans right to use the expression.

And the Met have advised Tottenham chants such as 'Yid Army' will not lead to prosecution on the basis that it is used with no 'deliberate intention to cause offence'.

Spurs' conversations with police come after the Society of Black Lawyers threatened to report the club to the police if they were not seen to be doing more to ensure the term is no longer used.

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A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

Tottenham Hotspur fans celebrate in the stands

Traditional support: A Tottenham fan cheers on his side at Wembley during 2008's Carling Cup victory

Jermain man: Defoe limbers up during Spurs training session at their Enfield HQ

Jermain man: Defoe limbers up during Spurs training session at their Enfield HQ

SPURS STATEMENT

'The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting.

'Our guiding principle in respect of
the “Y-word” is based on the point of law itself – the distinguishing
factor is the intent with which it is used ie if it is used with the
deliberate intention to cause offence.

'This has been the basis of
prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant
as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect
anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any
offence, they use it a chant amongst themselves.

'The club believes that real
anti-semitic abuse such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers
is the real evil and the real offence. We believe this is the area that
requires a determined and concerted effort from all parties and where
we seek greater support to eradicate.'

Chairman Peter Herbert originally said that if chants including the
word continue, he would ask police to bring a prosecution for racism.

The club responded with a strong
defence of their supporters’ use of the word but Herbert has blasted back, accusing the supporters of casual racism.

‘The argument sounds like it is 40
years old,’ he said. ‘I’m deeply saddened that a football club that
represents such a diverse area has taken such a view. I don’t want to
have to take my children to a football match and expect to hear
anti-Semitic chants.

‘Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
obviously just don’t get it. It’s almost like saying if a woman refers
to another woman in a derogatory fashion then it is OK.’

Herbert added: ‘What we are trying to
do is change a culture. What we are saying to Tottenham is, “Maybe this
was OK 50 years ago – but it isn’t now”.

‘Even if it comes from Tottenham
supporters, it remains casual racism. We understand it is a difficult,
and for some an uncomfortable, stance to take, but we feel it is the
right stance.’

Smiles better: Tottenham's William Gallas Emmanuel Adebayor and Jan Vertonghen during a training session

Smiles better: Tottenham's William Gallas Emmanuel Adebayor and Jan Vertonghen during a training session

Tottenham then issued an impassioned defence of their fans’ right to use the term ‘Yid’ in their matchday chants.

Spurs are steeped in Jewish tradition and large sections of their support refer to themselves as ‘Yids’ in matchday songs.

In a
statement: ‘The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive
chanting.

'Our guiding principle in respect of
the “Y-word” is based on the point of law itself — the distinguishing
factor is the intent with which it is used, i.e. if it is used with the
deliberate intention to cause offence.

High profile: Incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez brought focus on racism in football

High profile: Incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez brought focus on racism in football

High profile: Incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez brought focus on racism in football

Baddiel

Baddiel

Lineker

Lineker

Herbert

Herbert

SOCIETY OF BLACK LAWYERS' PLAN

A minimum six to nine-month ban for racial abuse, rising to a five-year ban for a third offence

Any fines going directly to Kick It Out to fund grassroots anti-racism initiatives

The creation of representative associations for black players, managers and coaches

Guidance for referees to send off players using racist abuse and the power to call off games where the crowd is using such abuse

A 20 per cent quota at all levels of the FA, PFA, clubs as well as football agents and referees

Racial abuse to be a matter of gross misconduct incorporated into players’ contracts

Clubs to invest in the personal education of all players, including university or college education

Recording referees and assistants during matches to pick up any possible abuse by players.

A
system for reporting racial incidents to be set up with details of
these incidents, both on and off the pitch, published each year

'This has been the basis of
prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant
as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect
anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any
offence, they use it as a chant among themselves.

‘The club believes that real
anti-Semitic abuse such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers
is the real evil and the real offence.

‘We believe this is the area that
requires a determined effort from all parties and where we seek greater
support to eradicate.’

Former Spurs stars Gary Lineker and Ledley King have previously condemned the mimicking of the gas chambers by away supporters.

Tottenham have traditionally been
well supported by members of the Jewish community. Many fans do not
consider references to their faith as offensive. Others,such as comedian
David Baddiel, however, do.

Last year Baddiel
launched a campaign, supported by Lineker, to stamp out use of the word 'yid' in football
chants which mock Jewish and Tottenham supporters.

The Society of Black Lawyers is involved in talks to create a Black Players’ Association
with some professionals, claiming the football authorities are not doing
enough to represent them or to tackle racism in the sport.

The PFA recently introduced its own six-point action plan but the society says this will prove 'ineffective'.

SUPPORTER COMMENT: SORRY BUT THE Y-WORD BELONGS TO US

As a youngster growing up supporting Spurs, it took me some time to realise the word 'yid' was an offensive racial slur. I'd never heard it used in a derogatory sense at White Hart Lane, only ever as a collective term – yid army – and as a positive identifier.

If a player was good, he was a yiddo.

But its significance soon became apparent. Though far from the abhorrent gas chamber hissing of some away fans, it's still sensitive. Context is important, though, and its reclamation as a positive term at the ground should not be ignored.

The Society of Black lawyers says use of the word yid, including the tone adopted by Spurs fans, amounts to casual racism. Perhaps they have a point. Perhaps simply substituting the word would be the answer. But Spurs fans are unlikely to take kindly at being told what to do by an external body, especially as it is largely considered a positive, rather than offensive, chant.

David Baddiel tried to stamp out its use by Tottenham supporters but, despite his own Jewish faith, the views of a Chelsea fan were never likely to be accepted by the Spurs majority.

If the word yid really is to be kicked out of White Hart Lane, it would need concerns to be raised from within the Spurs-supporting community, rather than outside pressures.

Andrew Magee, life-long Spurs supporter

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Peter Herbert is getting it wrong with Spurs warning over "Y word"

Shut up, Peter! Herbert's getting it all wrong with warning to Spurs fans over 'Y word'

|

UPDATED:

11:55 GMT, 8 November 2012

So Peter Herbert has the misguided arrogance to tell Tottenham fans we 'just don't get it' when it comes to racist chanting

Here is a chant you might be more comfortable with, Peter: sit down, shut up.

When Herbert, the chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, threatened to report Tottenham to the police if they didn't report anti-Semitic chanting, it was assumed he meant the hissing of rival fans.

A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

Tottenham Hotspur fans celebrate in the stands

Traditional support: A flag at Wembley during 2008's Carling Cup victory and a fan cheers on Spurs

TODAY'S POLL

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When it emerged that this included home fans chanting the 'Y-word' (as we are now ridiculously calling it), the club released a concise and rational retort.

'Our guiding principle,' the club statement read, 'is based on the point of law itself, ie if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence.'

End of argument Apparently not.

Herbert's reply went as far as to tell Tottenham they 'just don't get it', and that 'even if it comes from Tottenham supporters, it remains casual racism'.

No, it absolutely doesn't. Being part of the Yid Army is a badge of honour at White Hart Lane. It is chanted with a raging pride.

Euro test: Spurs are preparing for Thursday's night's clash with Maribor

Euro test: Spurs are preparing for Thursday's night's clash with Maribor

Enough is enough: Peter Herbert

Enough is enough: Peter Herbert

The best chants make every fan at the
club feel as one and the crucial point is this is one of them,
regardless of race, colour, creed or favoured formation.

In the context of White Hart Lane, Spurs fans own the word.

Within that stadium the word refers to a footballing identity, not a religion or race.

Yes, the chant has its roots in the Jewish heritage of North London and the word, of course, has historical baggage – but not for 90 minutes on a Saturday it doesn't.

Although I fully admire Herbert's grand ambition to rid football of racism, the way he is going about it is deluded, misguided, self-promoting and so damaging to the very cause he is trying to promote. They've got this one badly wrong.

Incidentally, he was also the man who lodged the police complaint over referee Mark Clattenburg's alleged abuse of John Mikel Obi, only I've checked the footage and he wasn't there.

I will do everything I can to help his fight against racism, but insulting the Yid Army has marginalised his loudest supporters.

Which isn't bad for a day's work.