Petit: Spurs paid the cab then two hours later I’d given my word to Arsenal

10 May 2010

Arsenal hero and double winner Emmanuel Petit has admitted that Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Alan Sugar paid for his taxi to Arsenal when he arrived in England from Monaco, and later that day he rejected the White Hart Lane club to sign for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.

Emmanuel Petit signed for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in the summer of 1997 along with the likes of Gunner's legends Marc Overmars and Gilles Grimandi, and the Frenchman went on to lift the Premier League, FA Cup and World Cup in 1998. However the poney tailed French international was close to signing for Arsenal's North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, having a meeting with then Chairman Alan Sugar and Tottenham Hotpsur manager Gerry Francis.

Up until now the alleged meeting with Tottenham Hotspur and taxi from White Hart Lane to Arsenal were pure legend, but former Arsenal star Petit, speaking to Four Four Two Magazine, cleared up rumours regarding the meeting with Tottenham Hotspur, and the rumours that the club paid for his taxi to Arsenal, when the Frenchman snubbed a move to White Hart Lane in favour of joining the Gunners. Petit said:

“I don’t know if it was Gerry Francis who paid, but it’s true the day I arrived in England I first went to White Hart Lane. I had a meeting with Mr Sugar and they made me an offer.

“Two hours later they ordered me a black cab, it was pre-paid, and I went to see Arsene Wenger at his place. When I arrived he was with David Dein, and two hours later I’d given my word to Arsenal”

Petit also spoke of the famous chant sung by Arsenal fans, “he’s French, he’s quick, his name’s a porno flick.” He digressed:

“Yes, I knew what it meant. I was happy, because it is a form of recognition to have a song named after you.

“It reminds you of Emmanuelle sitting on her chair with her legs crossed. The Emmanuel films were very good, especially the one…which one is it again? When she is sitting on the swing, it starts raining and they throw themselves on the floor and start rolling about in the mud. I adored it!”