Tottenham fans have urged the club to rethink their potential appointment of Gennaro Gattuso as the club’s new manager after a host of controversial, historical comments resurfaced.
Spurs’ search for a successor to Jose Mourinho descended into farce on Thursday as they pulled the plug on a move for Paulo Fonseca, with a deal having been agreed for over a week, and instead turned their attention to Gattuso.
The former AC Milan hardman sensationally walked out of his job with Fiorentina this week after just 23 days in charge, having fallen out with the club’s board over transfer targets.
Not only is the 43-year-old’s management style a bad fit for the profile of manager chairman Daniel Levy outlined at the end of the season – namely someone who plays attacking football and promotes young players – but now his past comments prompted the hashtag ‘#NoToGattuso’ to trend on Twitter.
Gattuso has made a number of rather inflammatory comments previously, dating back to 2008 when he spoke out against same-sex marriage.
‘In-church marriage should be between a man and a woman, even if this is 2008 and everyone can do as they please,’ said the former Rangers midfielder while he was still playing for Italy at the European Championships.
‘I’m someone who has believed in the institution of family since I was a small child and for someone who believes in their religion this [same-sex marriage] is very strange.’
Spurs have a large LGBT supporters association, with the club’s stadium even lit up in the rainbow flag, so Gattuso’s past comments caused some concern among the fanbase.
‘I was under the impression that my club was one which supported and championed women, black lives and LGBTQ+ people,’ wrote one supporter on Twitter. ‘To appoint this absolute ghoul as a manager (in pride month ffs) would spit in the face of the Spurs LGBT Supporters Association and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust’s amazing work.
‘Is he a terrible manager? Obviously, but that’s pretty irrelevant. His appointment would, intentionally or not, send to large portions of our Spurs family a message that they are not welcome.’
One of Spurs’ most famous fans, rapper AJ Tracey, also shared the ‘NoToGattuso’ hashtag, with thousands of supporters making their feelings clear.