Tottenham’s FA Cup Dream Shattered on 9th April


Sometimes a club’s name appears to be written on the FA Cup from an early stage. It was one of those season’s for Tottenham, they had overcome so many obstacles to reach the semi-final but the dream was shattered on 9th April, 1995.

Alan Sugar

At the outset it looked as if Tottenham wouldn’t even be taking part in the FA Cup. They had been expelled from the competition as part of the Football Association’s harsh punishment for financial irregularities uncovered at the club. Alan Sugar had brought them to the attention of the authorities and was horrified at the severity of the punishment handed out to Spurs, especially as they had occurred under the previous regime. It wasn’t the only problem for Spurs as the F.A.Commission into the charge of making loans to players between 1985 and 1989 also imposed a £600,000 fine and a 12 points deduction at the end of the 1984-85 season. These were the severest punishments ever handed out and it was regarded as relegation by a slow painful process. Fans were devastated but Alan Sugar immediately announced an appeal.

The appeal against the penalties imposed by the F.A. enquiry into the charge of misconduct was held in early July.  Chairman, Alan Sugar, was the man for the occasion – he presented Spurs’ case against the punishment. Having considered the case, the Appeal panel halved the points deduction to six but increased the fine to £1,500,000 as well as maintaining the Cup ban.

Spurs’ season started under the burden of the six point deduction but the arrival of Jurgen Klinsmann had given the club a much needed boost. The appeal didn’t take place until early December when Alan Sugar had his finest hour as he battled successfully against the Football Association to secure Spurs’ re-instatement to the F.A.Cup and the lifting of the points deduction. Sugar had been so enraged that he had promised to have the decision over turned. He was as good as his word and kept up the fight in spite of various set-backs and won the day, much to the delight of the fans who would be able to look forward to a 3rd Round home tie against Altrincham in January. In the view of the arbitration tribunal, the F.A.’s charges against Spurs had been ‘misconceived, bad in law and should not have been proceeded with….. and it was irrational to impose any penalty other than a fine.’

Manager Sacked

In the midst of the appeals, Tottenham’s results on the field had been poor and Ossie Ardiles’ ‘Famous 5’ attacking wasn’t working as Spurs defence was vulnerable. In November Ardiles was sacked to be replaced by Gerry Francis. He brought a greater solidity to the team and Klinsmann and Teddy Sheringham’s understanding flourished.

FA Cup

The opening rounds saw Tottenham progress with ease at home to non-League Altrincham (3 – 0) and at Sunderland (4 – 1). The next round proved more troublesome with a draw at home to Southampton requiring a replay. Two down at half-time it was an inspired Ronnie Rosenthal who led Spurs to a 5 – 2 extra time win.

It was unbelievable as was Tottenham’s win at Anfield. One of the truly memorable performances of the decade at a ground with many unhappy memories for them. Liverpool took the lead late in the first half but Teddy Sheringham managed to equalize just before the interval. In the second half Spurs played much better and it looked set for a replay but with two minutes remaining, Sheringham put Jurgen Klinsmann through to score the winner.

A great result for Spurs and with such a feel-good factor surrounding the club it felt that Tottenham were destined for another FA Cup success. There was great anticipation in the media for a Tottenham/Manchester United Final at Wembley.

On This Day

9th April, 1985

The Dream Shattered

Jurgen Klinsmann [Photo: ]Defeat in a semi-final usually has some repercussions – in 1947 Spurs missed out on promotion, in 1957 Blanchflower resigned as captain, in 1993 Venables and Sugar fell out and following the 1995 defeat by Everton it was no different. Tottenham were favourites to defeat Everton  at Elland Road as the final step back to Wembley but with the media predicting a Spurs/Manchester United final, unfortunately Everton hadn’t read the script as Spurs produced one of their worst semi-final performances. Spurs were troubled by injuries on the day and Stuart Nethercott had to play as emergency left back. Spurs simply did not perform, little resembling the side that had played so well in earlier rounds and produced such exciting football during the season. Everton started the better and took a two goal lead. Klinsmann scored a penalty for Spurs but two late goals sealed Spurs’ fate and added to their embarrassment.

The result was a shattering blow to the fans and the club but the further ramification was that Jurgen Klinsmann later announced that he would be leaving at the end of the season. He had brought vitality to the club but with the team not being able to offer him European football the following season he decided to return to Germany.

#knowyourtottenhamhistory  8th April, 1901  Sandy Brown scored Four as Spurs Reach First FA Cup Final