Tottenham fans told poverty “not fair game for banter” after “Sign on” chant at Liverpool

Supporters’ Trust criticises fans who sang “Sign on” chant during Saturday night’s draw at Anfield, saying that fanbase should be better than mocking joblessness

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Antonio Conte reviews Liverpool draw

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust have criticised the fans who sang the “Sign on” chant during Saturday night’s 1-1 draw away to Liverpool, pointing to their own club being situated in one of the capital’s poorest areas as a reason why mocking poverty and joblessness is not “fair game for banter”.

The chant, which has been sung by a host of clubs when visiting Anfield despite repeated calls not to, was audible during a match that significantly weakened the title hopes of Jurgen Klopp’s team. Son Heung-min had put Spurs in front before Luis Diaz equalised for the Reds.

And THST has now hit out at those who took part, saying that their fanbase should be “better than that”. According to the most recent figures from Trust for London, Haringey, the borough Tottenham is situated in, has 19.9% of the working-age population on out-of-work benefits in Haringey, the highest in London, with 40% of children living in poverty.

“Singing about the opposition has long been a feature of English football, and we are reluctant to tell fans how they should support the team. Nevertheless, we were disappointed to hear the “Sign on” chant at Saturday’s away match at Anfield,” a statement read.

“Poverty and joblessness are not fair game for banter. There is a cost of living crisis throughout England, including in London. Our Club represents an area and community with the fastest growing rate of unemployment in the country.

“We are rightly proud of our away support, and we want it to be noticed for positive reasons. For most of the game at Anfield our fans gave superb backing to a great team performance. Spurs fans have provided financial backing to Marine FC on Merseyside, and regularly contribute to foodbanks and community initiatives in London. This is what we are about.

“The ‘Sign on’ chant is not what we are about. We’re Tottenham Hotspur. We’re better than that.”

Spurs host Arsenal in a north London derby on Thursday evening that could be decisive in their race for the fourth Champions League place.

If Antonio Conte’s team lose to the Gunners they would be out of the running but a win would leave them one point behind their neighbours with two games to play.

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