- QPR Players to Wear Black Armbands Tonight vs Sunderland in Honour of DAVE SEXTON RIP: Tributes from QPR, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, West Ham, Coventry and the Football Association
- "Open All R's" Podcast With Rodney Marsh
- QPR Disciplinary Record this Season really NOT that Bad - Midtable in the Fair Play League
Harry Redknapp has warned English football is in danger of a return to the dark days of the Seventies after the disgraceful scenes at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
The new QPR manager said he was disgusted with football’s yobs and accused them of being ‘filth’ after fans of his former club West Ham chanted anti-Semitic songs during their 3-1 defeat at Tottenham.
Redknapp, who also spent nearly four years in charge of Spurs, said: ‘We don’t want to go back to what we had with all the violence in the Seventies — we can’t have that again.
‘When they get in a group it’s filth. It’s disgusting and people are supposed to stand there and take it.
‘They chant at managers, at players and at each other and it has nothing to do with the football. They are cowards. It’s disgusting and I keep hearing it, but it’s not right.’
Israel midfielder Yossi Benayoun, who is on loan at West Ham from Chelsea, spoke of his disappointment and embarrassment after away supporters hissed and sang vile songs about Adolf Hitler on Sunday.
Benayoun wrote 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 is why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing.’
The FA have launched an investigation and West Ham vowed to take ‘the strongest possible action’ — including lifetime bans — against any of their supporters found to have been chanting abuse.
The Society of Black Lawyers have reported the chants highlighted by Benayoun to the Metropolitan Police, and two men were arrested at the game for making Nazi salutes.
Both accepted cautions and one has been identified as a West Ham season ticket-holder and banned from the club.
Police may also launch a formal criminal investigation after receiving a telephone call from a member of the public about anti-Semitic chanting in the West Ham section of the ground.
A West Ham statement added: ‘Any other individuals identified can expect a similar, swift and robust response.
‘West Ham 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.’
The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the chants were ‘a stain upon the character of British football’.
The organisation, the main representative body of British Jewry, also criticised Sc**thorpe United manager Brian Laws after he compared his team’s defending in Saturday’s 4-0 loss at Doncaster Rovers to the Holocaust.
Laws has since apologised for his ‘poor choice of language’, but a statement from the board said: ‘Clearly there is either a lack of understanding or a lack of compassion within some sections of the British football world about these issues.
‘We will be writing to the Football Association to urge them to punish those responsible for these chants and to take further steps to rid our national game of these slurs.
'Anti-Semitism 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.’
On Sunday there were also repeated chants mocking the stabbing of Spurs fan Ashley Mills, who remains in hospital in Rome after he was attacked in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Sections of West Ham supporters sang ‘Viva Lazio’ and ‘Can we stab you every week?’, and Italian flags were also spotted among the away fans.
Mills, 25, was visited in hospital by Lazio president Claudio Lotito yesterday following his injuries sustained before Tottenham’s Europa League clash in Rome last week.
Lotito, who denies his club’s fans had any involvement in the brutal attack, gave Mills a Lazio shirt with his name on it and promised there would be a ‘surprise’ on his players’ strips in tonight’s Serie A match against Udinese.
When asked about the songs at White Hart Lane on Sunday, Lotito said: ‘Those people were not fans — they were chants that should be punished by jail.’
Redknapp claimed clubs are powerless to act because of the sheer number of people chanting offensive songs.
The Rangers boss said: ‘It’s so difficult to deal with and you can’t throw them all out. It’s happening more and more.
‘I heard the abuse Arsene Wenger gets and I saw Dave Jones and heard what they are singing at Sheffield Wednesday — it’s disgusting. I don’t know what we can do with these people.’ Mail
Manchester United poised to tempt cash-strapped Queens Park Rangers with £12m offer for midfielder Adel Taarabt
Manchester United are considering a shock £12 million bid for Queens Park Rangers midfielder Adel Taarabt in the January transfer window.
Any offer could tempt new QPR manager Harry Redknapp into a sale as it would raise the crucial funds he requires to bolster his squad when the window reopens.
At present there is only a relatively small amount of money available to Redknapp, who could also rely heavily on the loan market as he targets a striker and a central defender, in particular, in his attempt to haul QPR off the bottom of the Premier League.
Redknapp was guarded yesterday about his plans for the forthcoming window, again pointing out that investment had already been made in the squad with 12 players arriving – at a cost of £14 million in transfer fees and a sharp increase in QPR’s wage bill – during the summer.
QPR do not have the £9 million they bid for Tottenham Hotspur defender Michael Dawson, who will be a target again, in August as they had to spend £3.8 million on midfielder Esteban Granero to add to the squad. That was because of uncertainty over whether Samba Diakite would return to the club from France, as he has subsequently done, after he suffered from depression.
Spurs would appear less likely to allow Dawson to leave in January than they were in August, with Younes Kaboul still out injured, and would certainly resist any approach for Scott Parker, who is also yet to play this season. Jermain Defoe is not for sale either.
Redknapp takes charge of his first match on Tuesday evening, away to Sunderland, with QPR still in search of their first league victory of the season and although the new manager reiterated yesterday that he had no intention of selling Taarabt, there was a warning that he had to work harder on the pitch.
In 2010, when he was Spurs manager, Redknapp sold Taarabt to QPR, famously calling him a “fruitcake”, and the midfielder remains an erratic, if hugely talented player. Redknapp might, understandably, be tempted to sell if the right offer comes in and he is given the funds to buy. It is understood that QPR would push for closer to £15 million if possible.
Manchester United have shown interest in the 23-year-old Moroccan in the past, and considered an offer when QPR were promoted from the Championship. They have continued to monitor his progress.
Taarabt went on loan to QPR in 2009 before signing permanently the following year, for just £1 million, and becoming the key player in the club’s promotion season when he was given the captaincy by the then manager Neil Warnock.
It was then that United were first linked with a move for Taarabt with Warnock claiming Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, had scouted the player, only for him to be sent off against Hull City.
Before the takeover led by Tony Fernandes in August 2011, it was expected that Taarabt would be sold and he was strongly linked to Paris St-Germain. Telegraph
FA Fair Play Tables
# Team Games Cautions Dismissals Disciplinary Points
1 Norwich City 16 13 0 52
2 Southampton 16 16 0 64
3 Arsenal 15 17 1 78
4 Reading 15 20 0 80
5 Fulham 14 17 1 80
6 Manchester City 14 18 1 82
7 Tottenham Hotspur 15 19 2 88
8 Manchester United 15 25 0 100
9 Chelsea 15 20 2 100
10 Liverpool 15 20 2 102
11 Queens Park Rangers 15 21 2 106
12 Sunderland 15 24 1 108
13 West Bromwich Albion 15 24 1 108
14 Everton 15 26 1 114
15 West Ham United 15 30 0 120
16 Stoke City 14 28 1 122
17 Wigan Athletic 16 29 2 126
18 Swansea City 16 28 2 134
19 Newcastle United 14 28 2 136
20 Aston Villa 16 33 2 152
Caution 4 pts
Denial of a goal scoring opportunity or dismissal for 2 cautions 10 pts
Violent conduct, serious foul play, spitting or offensive and abusive language 12 pts
FA Fair Play League
Let's hope come May, we'll look back and smile!