In 2015 the city of Florence was put on alert to ‘welcome’ Tottenham fans to the city.
Bad behaviour was expected and it was clear the local authorities were competing with each other to see who could go most over the top.
We covered it at the time and one Florence newspaper ran a headline saying ‘here come the ultras’ whilst using an image of two Tottenham fans who could have just left a book club.
It was all because of Feyenoord fans trashing parts of Rome in February 2015. Durtch supporters took over La Barcaccia fountain at the foot of The Spanish Steps, causing permanent damage to the work of art which has been there since 1627.
That created panic in Florence.
Of course, the Tottenham fans didn’t cause any trouble, but when they returned to the same city a year later there was panic again.
TMW reported: ‘Among the measures will be the prohibition, for nearly two days, of the sale of alcohol to take away in the city centre. A task force will monitor the movements of the British fans, and officers of law enforcement will be in squares and around monuments to avoid damage to artistic heritage.’
In Turin, the welcome seems far less scared to death. Tuttosport report the ‘invasion’ of Tottenham fans is expected to be peaceful.
The English visitors are expected to be ‘on a par with the Germans’ as far as their spending goes. Therefore, rather than the tales of doom from the Florence media, in Turin, at least from Tuttosport, it’s a good news story.