- Ticketing at Tottenham for the 2016/17 campaign
- White Hart Lane next season
- Chelsea v Spurs Policing Meeting – Thursday 28 April
- Plans for the last home game of the season v Southampton – Sunday 8 May
- End of Season BBQ at the Antwerp Arms – Sunday 29 May
- Olympic Stadium Coalition – Rental contract published
- DCMS Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement – Structured dialogue meeting – 1 April
- THST Away match data
- THST backs the Bring the Dons Home campaign
- Football Fans Not Criminals
- TV picks and ticket on sale dates
- Europa League Final ticket allocation
- Crowd management at Dortmund
- Watford allocation at the Emirates
- Supporters’ Direct Premier League Trust Group meeting – 21 April
- THST database improvements
- Olympic Stadium rental contract published
- The Spurs Show – 26 April
- United We Stand podcast – 10 April
Since our last newsletter, the verdict from the Hillsborough Inquiry was delivered. It’s something that goes far beyond football. We wanted to acknowledge the courage and determination of the Hillsborough campaigners over the years. Many Spurs fans contributed evidence to the Inquiry, based on experiences at the 1981 semi-final, and that contribution has been noted and valued by the campaign. And one of the 96, (Colin) Andrew Sefton, was a Spurs supporter who’d given his mates a lift to the game and been given a spare ticket. For all the families, the verdict delivers justice, but the fact that it took 27 years is a shocking indictment of the system. We hope all the lessons will be learned, and that accountability follows justice.
1. Ticketing at Tottenham for the 2016/17 campaign
Our deadline for this newsletter means we can’t confirm the dates for season ticket renewals or membership details for next season. We are in regular contact with the Club about ticketing. All prices have, as we’ve reported, been frozen for a third season running. Now that Champions League football has been secured for next season, an announcement shouldn’t be too far off. We’ll have information up on the Trust website as soon as we possibly can.
2. White Hart Lane next season
There have been a number of stories in the media speculating on details of the new stadium build and its affect on White Hart Lane next season. That has understandably led to questions from many fans. With the Secretary of State only recently having signed off the project, many details are still being put into place, and so much of what has been run in the media is merely speculation. We’re in regular contact with the Club on any matters affecting fans and, like the Club, we are waiting until facts are established before making any comment. Again, we’ll have information up on the Trust website as soon as is possible.
3. Chelsea v Spurs Policing Meeting – Thursday 28 April
For years, Spurs fans have experienced entry problems at Stamford Bridge. This was particularly poor in the corresponding fixture last season (Dec 2014) when up to 1000 of our travelling fans were held outside the stadium for up to 20 minutes of the first half.
THST collated fan accounts of experiences on the night and contacted CFC, THFC, the Sports Ground Safety Authority, Hammersmith and Fulham Safety Advisory Group, the Premier League and the Football Association to express concern over the lack of crowd management. THST subsequently attended a meeting at Stamford Bridge with CFC’s Head of Security and CFC’s Safety Officer to address these concerns. Notes from this meeting can be read here.
An action point from last season’s meeting was to include fan groups in the planning of the 2015/16 fixture and, with this in mind, THST was invited to New Scotland Yard to attend a policing meeting on Thursday 28 April 2016. Representatives of both Clubs and the Metropolitan Police were present, along with Chelsea fan reps.
As a result of that meeting, we passed on information to fans about early entry, designated pubs and the entry flow procedures at Stamford Bridge. We also managed to secure a commitment from Chelsea that turnstile technicians would be on site to ensure any technical problems were dealt with quickly.
We now have feedback that 2800 of our 3000 allocation were inside the ground ten minutes before kick off and that arrivals were on the whole much earlier than normal at Stamford Bridge. This helped enormously in ensuring there were no problems in or around the ground pre kick off. So that shows the value of these meetings. Chelsea Football Club has a debrief meeting with their Local Authority and with the Metropolitan Police next week and we'll pass on anything of significance following this session. We're pleased with the vast improvements from December 2014 and believe this is a good example of the benefits of collaborative working.
We were, however, concerned at the unwillingness of the police at the meeting to share information that has been shared at other policing meetings, and at the fact they disregarded advice from us and the FSF about messaging they issued through the press before the game. For these meetings to work as they should with the police, communication has to be a two-way process.
4. Plans for the last home game of the season v Southampton – Sunday 8 May
THFC is keen to encourage fans to make the last home game of the season a spectacle to remember. Information from the Club on how to get flags and banners in is due in the next 24 hours, and we have also worked with the Club to arrange banners and flags for the Park Lane lower. Some of the designs are those sent in by supporters for the surfing flags. We’re really pleased to have been able to work with the Club on an initiative that boosts our visual support in a way that is owned by the fans. If you have a ticket for the South Stand Lower on Sunday and want to be involved, please email us on info@THSTOfficial.com.
5. End of Season BBQ at the Antwerp Arms – Sunday 29 May
THST is delighted to be working with the Antwerp Arms Association to jointly host an End of Season BBQ at the pub on Bank Holiday Sunday, 29 May. We’ll be starting at 1pm and finishing at around 8pm for what will be a great day for all the family. There’s a mouth-watering BBQ, live entertainment and Tottenham royalty, Mr Ledley King, hosting a fantastic raffle – with some SERIOUS prizes to be won. All proceeds from the raffle will go to Prostate Cancer UK as part of the fundraising for the bike ride to Amsterdam, departing on June 3.
Places are limited and tickets are FREE so be sure to book your place here.
6. Olympic Stadium Coalition – Rental contract published
As reported in March’s newsletter, the Information Tribunal found in favour of the 14 Supporters’ Trusts calling for full publication of the rental agreement between the London Legacy Development Corporation and West Ham United for the use of the Olympic Stadium on 11 April. The contract was released on 14 April and has prompted much media scrutiny and comment around the terms of the deal. THST is proud to have been a part of the determined campaign mounted by the coalition of 14 trusts concerned there was not enough transparency over the use of public money to convert the stadium. The released contract revealed:
- West Ham will pay £2.5m a year in rent over their 99 year lease - a grand total of £247.5 million
- The £2.5m annual rental figure will halve to £1.25m if West Ham are relegated
- The 60,000 capacity stadium will eventually have cost £701m following a £272m conversion to make it suitable for football
- West Ham will pay only £15m towards the conversion cost
- The LLDC will keep the first £4m of any naming rights deal for the stadium over a 20-year period and anything over that will be split 50/50
- The LLDC will also keep the first £500,000 of any profit on catering, with anything over that amount being split 70/30
- LLDC will meet all the running costs for the stadium, providing everything from stewards to corner flags
- West Ham must pay an additional £100,000 for each match they play over an agreed total of 25 per season
- West Ham must pay up to £100,000 per season extra if they finish in the top half of the Premier League
- The club must also pay up to £1m in the unlikely event they win the Champions League
The Coalition met on Wednesday 27 April to agree next steps and these will be shared as soon as is possible.
7. Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement – Structured dialogue meeting – 1 April
Back in November 2015, the long awaited DCMS Expert Working Group report on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement was published. One of the recommendations was around establishing a form of – horrible lingo alert – structured dialogue between fan groups and Club owners, as a move to involve supporters more in the running of their Clubs and to make the owners more accountable.
The aim is to establish some minimum standards for clubs to meet when dealing with their supporters, these include frequency of meetings, what financial information should be made available to supporters and what practical input supporter groups can make.
For most Premier League supporter groups, owning the club is not a realistic aspiration, so it’s the engagement end that we’re most interested in. We believe fans should have the fullest possible information about the ownership and finances of their club, and that there should be meaningful engagement between clubs and fans, rather than simply talking shops.
THST was among the fan groups who submitted detailed proposals to the EWG. While what was eventually proposed could, in the view of THST and a number of other Trusts, have gone further, the fact that there is a recommendation from the government to improve the way fans and clubs can work together gives us a chance to achieve something.
THST has been among the Trusts working with Supporters Direct to scope out what form this ‘structured dialogue’ will take practically. Co-chair Martin Cloake attended a meeting alongside SD and two other Trusts on behalf of Premier League Trusts at the Premier League on 1 April to discuss changes to the Premier League rule book to incorporate this initiative. A further meeting with the PL’s Head of Legal Affairs and Head of Finance is planned to draft this rule change.
THST Away match data
For the past 4 seasons, THST has collated data on all Premier League away matches. Information for the 2015/16 campaign is now available. We’ll continue to monitor the impact of the £30 price cap and the recent on field success of the team on away applications throughout next season, also.
THST backs Bring the Dons Home's 'London Calling' campaign
Our colleagues at The Don's Trust have asked us to help publicise their efforts to get AFC Wimbledon back home to Merton. We recognise the importance of clubs playing where they feel home is, and we are happy to repay the support they have shown us by publicising their campaign.
As a result, THST is backing The Don’s Trust’s and the Bring the Dons Home (BTDH)’s ‘London Calling’ campaign. AFC Wimbledon submitted a planning application for a new stadium and housing development in Wimbledon, which was passed unanimously by Merton Council last December. The current London mayor, Boris Johnson has "called in" the planning application. However, with the timing of the London mayoral elections, Mr Johnson will not be deciding the application’s fate – it will be his successor.
This campaign is asking London-based football fans to email both leading candidates, Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith, to support the planning application. A simple form has been created which will automatically e-mail both candidates. BTDH is also urging supporters to forward news about this campaign to friends, colleagues and any other football fans or well-wishers across London so that both candidates are fully aware that many people think that it is time to Bring the Dons Home.
Football fans not criminals
THST is backing a new campaign set up to challenge the way the law is often applied to football fans. Football fans not criminals aims include ending civil football banning orders, ending the random filming of fans, scrapping the ban on drinking alcohol in stadium spectator areas, reforming Safety Advisory Groups to give fans formal representation, permitting safe standing and scrapping ‘football only’ crimes such as encroaching on the pitch and reselling tickets. Full details of the campaign can be found at the website linked above.
TV picks and ticket on sale dates
Three weeks after tickets for our final home game of the season against Southampton had sold out, the match was selected for broadcast and moved to Sunday 8 May. This is the third time this has happened in just several months, with the kick off time changing once tickets had been sold out for the North London derby, while the game against Manchester United was moved to a Sunday, again once all tickets had been sold. This prompted a lot of frustrated supporters to question why television selections are not made before match tickets are put on sale.
THST wrote to the Premier League to make this point. THST understands and accepts that matches are going to be moved for broadcast, particularly during a successful season, but believes a new approach could be adopted to reduce the inconvenience to match attending supporters. The Premier League replied saying it currently works to a guideline of five to six weeks prior to the date of the game but admitted this was, at present, an aspiration, rather than a fixed rule.
The Premier League says unless there are fundamental changes to the cup competitions (i.e. fewer replays) it is likely the system of rescheduling will not alter much for next season. However, developments may be made in communication methods that will aid the process from everyone’s perspective. We will update supporters when we hear more.
Europa League Final ticket allocation
As reported last month, THST, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and Liverpool’s supporters’ union, Spirit of Shankly, had written to UEFA via the FSF to lobby for more tickets for fans of the teams competing in the Europa League final.
This year, the final takes place at Basel’s St Jakob-Park – a stadium with a capacity of 37,500. Of that, only c 9 - 10,000 tickets will go to each of the finalists. The rest will be sold to ‘neutrals’ via a general ballot or allocated to sponsors and commercial partners.
We received a wholly unacceptable and dismissive response from UEFA on 17 March, defending the current ticketing arrangements as the ones they consider the most appropriate and stating their belief that there is a natural sales limit of c 9,000 tickets for each club competing in the final. Unsatisfied that this response had addressed our concerns, we submitted a further letter to UEFA via the FSF on 19 April, asking for the opportunity to present our case in person and in time to affect this season’s final.
We were particularly concerned to learn that all sponsor, partner, player and staff allocations were included in the 9,000 tickets per club meaning the reality is significantly less would reach grass roots fans.
As Liverpool has now progressed to the semi-final stage of this year’s competition, our colleagues at Spirit of Shankly will be leading any media or press coverage on this subject for the short term but we remain committed to working towards a fairer allocation for fans at what should be a European showpiece final.
Crowd management at Dortmund
Having submitted over 60 fan accounts of the incident outside Dortmund’s stadium last month to UEFA, BVB and THFC, as reported in our previous newsletter, we followed up with UEFA on 7 April. Seemingly, UEFA will only speak with clubs, not supporters, on matters such as this, so we were directed back to our own Senior Safety Officer, Sue Tilling, for an update.
Sue had returned to Dortmund on 2 April and witnessed the changes to their entry procedure first hand. These included establishing a holding area to enable ticket checks while reducing the likelihood of a crush building up at the gates, and better briefing of stewards. These changes came as a direct result of the problems reported by our fans and we are pleased BVB took them on board.
However, there has been no apology from BVB nor from Dortmund Police, who blamed our fans for causing the crush, in which 17 fans required medical treatment, by arriving late. We strongly refute the accusation that our fans were to blame for the problems in Dortmund. We are currently considering what our next steps will be.
Watford FA Cup allocation at the Emirates
As reported in March’s newsletter, THST submitted Freedom of Information requests to both Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police following the FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Watford. More than 8,500 Watford fans attended the match at the Emirates, using both the upper and lower tiers. You may recall Spurs fans were denied 4,000 of our 9,000 allocation when we faced Arsenal in the FA Cup in 2014. We are yet to hear from the Metropolitan Police but did receive an unsatisfactory response from Islington Council. THST has requested an internal review of the answers and will update members when we have further information.
Supporters’ Direct Premier League Trust Group meeting – 21 April
The quarterly meeting of the Supporters’ Direct Premier League Trust Group took place on 21 April in London. Both THST co-chairs were present for the update on various issues including the FA Governance Review, the annual SD/ FSF Summit (16/17 July), SD’s future structure and business plan and the prospect of Premier League B teams playing in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy competition.
Katrina will attend the next SD England and Wales Football Council meeting on 5 May while Martin continues to work with the Premier League and SD around embedding ‘structured dialogue’ into their rule book.
THST database improvements
A sub group of the THST Board met on 11 April for an advanced database training session. We are looking to introduce a direct debit option for yearly subscriptions in the near future.
Our challenge for the Premier League title has come to an end. Congratulations to Leicester City and our friends at the Foxes Trust. We’re proud of the challenge our team has put in this season, and now we just need to secure that second place. COYS.
Co-chairs Martin Cloake and Katrina Law were interviewed by the Manchester United podcast United We Stand before the home game against the Reds.
Martin was also a guest on The Spurs Show
Olympic stadium special
The success of the Olympic Stadium Coalition, of which THST is part, in getting the deal between West Ham and the LLDC published led to a slew of articles and comment in the media. These included:
West Ham Olympic Stadium deal: Analysis of the Hammers contract
West Ham: Karren Brady insists Olympic Stadium deal 'cause for congratulations'
Karren Brady slams Barry Hearn and says Olympic Stadium deal was good for taxpayer
West Ham to pay £2.5m Olympic Stadium rent per year
West Ham at the Olympic Stadium: My dog could've done a better deal - Barry Hearn
West Ham’s Olympic Stadium contract: club to pay £2.5m per season in rent
David Sullivan EXCLUSIVE: ‘People are JEALOUS of West Ham’s Olympic Stadium deal. It’s a good deal for the whole nation’
Revealed at last, truth about Karren Brady's Olympic Stadium deal: West Ham can rent 60,000-seat ground for just £2.5million a year while also getting favourable terms on catering, policing and naming rights
West Ham to pay £2.5m a year to play at Olympic Stadium... but club don't have to pay for heating, police, or even corner flags as taxpayers pick up the bill
West Ham's Olympic Stadium rent REVEALED as club pay just £2.5m-per-year for new home
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan hits back at Olympic Stadium deal critics
West Ham's Karren Brady fires back at critics: Olympic Stadium is good deal for taxpayer and should be celebrated
West Ham United's rent for the Olympic Stadium confirmed as £2.5m a year
Karren Brady hits back at critics of West Ham's Olympic Stadium deal
Indian giant in West Ham stadium talks
‘A real disgrace’: Critics slam British govt over West Ham’s Olympic Stadium deal
West Ham got a great deal with the Olympic Stadium, but other clubs have had it even sweeter
Karren Brady: West Ham’s Olympic Stadium deal should be celebrated
West Ham: Karren Brady insists Olympic Stadium deal 'cause for congratulations'
Technology firm to announce £6m sponsorship deal for Olympic Stadium before end of the season
Barry Hearn labels West Ham's Olympic Stadium deal 'outrageous'
West Ham Olympic Stadium deal: Analysis of the Hammers contract
West Ham’s Olympic Stadium deal: All you need to know about the Hammers’ £2.5m-a-season contract
How much are West Ham paying for the Olympic Stadium? Rent, naming rights, repayment clauses and extra fees explained
West Ham to pay £2.5m Olympic Stadium rent per year as critics fume over agreement
Taxpayers owed explanation over West Ham deal for Olympic Stadium - campaigners
West Ham to pay £2.5m a year to rent 60,000-seater Olympic Stadium, documents reveal
West Ham are getting the Olympic Stadium rent-free in ‘laughable’ deal, Barry Hearn tells talkSPORT
Hearn: My dog could have negotiated a better deal for Olympic Stadium
David Sullivan hits back at ‘jealousy’ surrounding Olympic Stadium move
West Ham to pay £2.5m per-year on Olympic Stadium rent
It took an Olympic effort to secure West Ham's new stadium... now we can't wait to start playing there!
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