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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, August 4

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Who does the Queen support? No one, probably

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Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Hello, all!

Let’s start with an impressive sporting feat, courtesy of American swimmer Katie Ledecky.

Ramble of the Day

Around the time I researched Matt Damon’s conflicting football allegiances, I went down a rabbit hole about who the members of the British royal family might support. I ended up realizing that it’s more interesting chasing down the theories abut who Queen Elizabeth might support and decided to do more research on a later date because there happens to be a lot of writing on the topic. As I began to compile some research, though, I realized that there is a lot of unsourced material from tabloids that really cannot answer the question.

I’ll begin with the oldest claim I found, news from April 2007 that the Queen is an Arsenal fan. This was about two months after the Queen apparently met Cesc Fàbregas at a private event at Buckingham Palace, with The Sun and The Daily Mail telling versions of a story I won’t bother sharing because I couldn’t remotely trust the accounts. The Sun does drop a quote from Fàbregas in their story where he says the Queen told him she’s an Arsenal fan, but attribute it to “Spanish radio,” making it basically impossible to find the original quote and confirm that an unreliable source actually had reliable information. The quote’s been picked up enough times that it’s the leading theory on her football team.

Attached to this claim that the Queen is an Arsenal fan is the claim that her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, was an Arsenal fan. Again, this was a hard one to reliably source, but is a less cited

In September 2009, The Mirror reported that the Queen is actually a West Ham fan, which she accidentally let slip because she ran into a member of her staff who was a Millwall fan. The Mirror claims they got a confirmation from the Palace that she is a West Ham fan, something that no other publication picked up. Again, we run into an unreliable source whose information is hard to verify.

In the end, I’ve found that tabloids really like writing about random things the Queen might like or do, writing things that are hard to genuinely believe. I think of it as a weird practice, which naturally sets me up for a conversation about the dynamic between the British royal family and British tabloids and my perspective as someone from outside of the U.K., but that’s really a conversation for another place and time. A quicker point to make here is that we have very few answers despite the speculation, though it just leads me to believe other people care much more about football than she does. We do have this, though:

tl;dr: British tabloids have created a debate around which football team Queen Elizabeth supports without any hard evidence one way or another, and I’m convinced she doesn’t care enough about football for this.

Stay informed, read this: Iman Stevenson on the evolution of the Black book club and a recent pivot to further highlight authors of color and systemic inequality for The New York Times

Links of the Day

A Women in Football study found that more than 75% of women working in the industry said they have been treated differently than their male colleagues by employers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Transfer updates: Nice signed Jordan Lotomba from Young Boys

A longer read: Giles Hattersley interviews Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford on activism and advocating for children in need for British Vogue’s September cover story