Season ticket sales and pricing at Spurs
FA Cup semi-final and final pricing
Safe Standing: an update
THST Quiz Night: 19 April
THST Summer BBQ: 27 May
Catering in the new stadium: an update
Business Community Liaison Group meeting: latest notes
Follow ups to Chelsea and Stoke away
- PCUK Football to Amsterdam, 1-3 June
- Spurs Show Live special offer: 16 May
- Spurs Secret History Walk: 6 May
- Zeelo: final trips to Wembley
- A fond farewell to Steve Alderson
1. SEASON TICKET SALES AND PRICING AT SPURS
There has been no formal communication from the Club over season ticket pricing since our last newsletter. With the seat selection phasing period now over, the two-week payment period is now opening up between 1 May and 16 May.
We have continued to receive high volumes of mail from fans over issues connected with ticketing in the new stadium. There has been a particular focus on the Club’s stance that season ticket holders will not be able to move seats in future seasons, and especially how this applies to juniors and young adults who cease to qualify for those categories, and the highly contentious 1882 offer.
The Club will no doubt take the view that as the tickets have sold (although only deposits have been taken to date), the pricing is right. Our view is that tickets would always sell out for the first season in the new stadium. That doesn’t mean fans are happy, or that the Club has not created problems for the future. We believe significant opportunities have been missed, and that the unity that existed between fans and club through our last season at White Hart Lane has been severely tested.
The 1882 offer has become a focus for discontent. It’s worth us reiterating the fact that the Club did not share its plans for this offer with us in advance. Sales were noticeably slow for these tickets, particularly in the South Stand. We have evidence that, sometime around phase 6/7, the Club began cold-calling anyone on its database who had ever expressed interest in premium packages to try to sell the remaining 1882 tickets in the East and West stands. The 1882 tickets are General Admission tickets, not premium, so offering tickets in this way bypasses the waiting list and the local residents yet to select seats.
The fact that the Club has resorted to this measure to sell the 1882 tickets shows it made a mistake in making this offer – and particularly in locating that offer across the middle of the South Stand. We don’t expect the Club to acknowledge this, but we wouldn’t be surprised if future seasons see changes in this package.
We remain of the view that there is significant discontent with pricing. We’ve always acknowledged there are a variety of views, and that some will be happy. We are confident our position is representative and one that a fan organisation confronted with the highest season ticket prices in the country has a responsibility to take. We’re also aware that other football bodies are starting to take pricing at the New White Hart Lane as a benchmark, so it is important we make every effort to prevent even more rampant ticket price inflation.
We have been particularly saddened to hear and see a few instances of fans who can’t afford the prices or who express opposition to them being told they are not “real fans”. Spurs fans have a long tradition of standing together, stretching back through protests over the executive boxes on The Shelf to marches for fairer allocation of Cup Final tickets in the 1960s, and denigrating fans for expressing genuine grievances is not what we are about.
There is much still to do. Match day pricing has yet to be announced, as has pricing for cup games – something fans will be looking at closely in view of the manager’s comments about domestic cups. The whole area of concessions still needs looking at. As does pricing in future seasons. We believe there will be significant problems around pricing and ticketing going forward and remain ready to have constructive discussions with the Club to resolve them for the benefit of supporters. The commitment to genuine engagement from our side remains.
2. FA CUP SEMI-FINAL AND FINAL PRICING
After holding prices since 2011, the FA chose to significantly increase the price of category 1 and 2 tickets for this season’s semi-finals and final. Those are the seats along the side of the pitch and behind the goals in Level 1. Tickets for category 4 were held at the previous level, while tickets for category 3 saw a minimal increase under the rate of inflation. The increases in categories 1 and 2 saw tickets behind the goals rise to £65 for the semi-finals and £115 for the final and to £80 and £145 respectively along the length of the pitch. Juniors and Seniors were to be offered a meagre £10 off the full adult price.
Alongside fan reps of the other competing clubs, we issued a joint statement on 21 March condemning the price rises in light of record broadcast and sponsorship deals and the simultaneous announcement of the strong financial health of the FA. We also criticised the lack of any consultation with FA Council supporter representatives ahead of the pricing being announced.
On 9 April, fan reps met with FA CEO, Martin Glenn, Commercial Director, Mark Bullingham and Director of Professional Game Relations, Andy Ambler, to discuss the pricing policy, and the rationale behind such rampant increases at a time when fans are already paying a fortune to watch top level football and when other bodies, such as the Premier League, have introduced price caps.
The FA explained that the revenue from the FA Cup was their largest source of income and had to fund a myriad of other projects, from grass roots football to the women’s game, and they were unwilling to cross subsidise fans by diverting funds away from other strategic priorities and commitments. As a non-profit organisation, all monies needed to be carefully deployed.
They also cited the increase in security costs since 2011 and the general costs of staging the matches, while stating that the new prices weren’t purely a commercial decision. If that was the case, they would be higher still. They had benchmarked pricing against London based Premier League clubs and against other major sporting events such as Wimbledon and the NFL.
Fan reps made the point that comparing a football match to a one off event displayed a lack of understanding of football fans, where support was based around regularity and frequent attendance. By the time a team reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, fans had already been to 4 games minimum (6 in the case of Tottenham) and their reward for reaching Wembley should not be eye-watering prices.
We also argued that the prices behind the goals would lead to the displacement of some of the traditionally most vocal fans, which would be an issue for atmosphere and spectacle.
The pricing of concessions was also discussed. A week’s state pension was surely too much of a stretch for Seniors. Similarly, expecting a family of 4 to pay up to £560 for seats along the side of the pitch for the final was unrealistic.
On 17 April, the FA agreed to increase the concessionary discount from £10 to £25 in categories 1 and 2. A step in the right direction. They also agreed to consult with fan reps around recategorising pricing behind the goals and introducing a more accessibly priced family area for next season, when the new TV deal kicks in. There was a commitment not to increase prices further until at least 2021. And a commitment to fully involve FA Council Supporter reps in discussions moving forward.
We issued a joint statement with Manchester United and Chelsea trusts and fan groups at Southampton, welcoming the commitment to dialogue over the coming months but acknowledging that the proof would be in the pudding - actions speak louder than words.
We are looking for significant downward movement in pricing and for the FA to take the lead by recognising the value of match-going fans and not just the size of their wallets. There is much work yet to be done.
3. SAFE STANDING: AN UPDATE
The campaign for the introduction of safe standing areas in the top two divisions of English football took a bit of a blow last month when the Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, rejected an application from West Bromwich Albion to trial a safe standing area at their Hawthorns ground. Crouch not only rejected the application, which had the backing of West Midlands Police and their local Safety Advisory Group, but suggested that existing ground regulations should be more tightly enforced and that only a ‘vocal minority’ wanted safe standing.
Her comments prompted counter responses from the Football Safety Officers Association, from Shaun Harvey on behalf of the EFL and, unsurprisingly, from the hundreds of fan groups who’ve undertaken countless surveys and research over the past years, from the national fan organisations who’ve worked tirelessly to sensitively and responsibly progress the discussion with bodies such as the SGSA and the DCMS, and from the thousands of individual fans who want the choice to sit or stand at football matches.
A petition calling for the introduction of safe standing areas in the top 2 divisions is now over the 100,000 signatures needed to be considered for parliamentary debate. We’d encourage fans who want the choice of standing in a designated area to watch the match to sign the petition here. We’d also encourage fans who want the choice to watch the game from seated accommodation without others standing in front of them to sign the petition here.
It’s vital this matter is now given the attention it deserves by those in government, and that an unnecessarily strict enforcement regime that does not take account of how football crowds naturally react is not introduced to cause problems.
Spurs fans will be aware that the front of the South Stand in our new ground has been future proofed for safe standing and we hope that one day in the near future, those fans who’ve purchased seats in that area will be allowed to stand in safety.
THST continues to argue for legislation to be changed to allow fans to exercise choice and for clubs to be able to help them do that. We also continue to work with national fan groups to achieve the change so many fans have been asking for over such a long period.
The Football Supporters Federation, alongside the English Football League, have just launched a survey on the issue of standing and choice in football stadiums. While this is an EFL survey, fans of Premier League clubs are also encouraged to complete it to help build as complete a picture of possible of supporter opinion on this subject. It takes about 90 seconds to complete and can be found here.
4. THST QUIZ NIGHT: 19 APRIL
On Thursday 19 April, The Antwerp Arms was the venue for our Charity Spurs Quiz Night; a Trust event for members, friends and local pub regulars. The Annie was full to capacity, with Richard Cracknell hosting and 15 teams battling to become THST Spurs Quiz Champions 2018.
When the final scores had been added up, a contest that had been closely fought resulted in a tie between ‘Chivers Regal’ and ‘Bobby Buckle’, both on 195 points, followed by ‘When The Year Ends In 8’ on 190, ‘Kane’t Touch This’ with 186 and ‘General Burkinshaw’ on 177. Chivers Regal kept its nerve to decide the tie break.
The quiz was a resounding success. So too was the fundraising for our nominated local charity, Studio 306 Collective, who also entered a quiz team that included the Mayor of Haringey as a player.
Prior to a charity raffle, THST Co-chair Kat Law interviewed Pamela Anomneze, Studio 306 project leader, and the raffle and quiz entry revenue brought in total donations of £655.
Special thanks go to Crackers, who was on great form as our quizmaster host, and to Chef Wayne and all the staff and Management Committee at The Annie for such an impressively organised event.
We’ll definitely be running another Quiz night in 2019!
5. THST SUMMER BBQ: 27 MAY
It’s up and running again! We have our Spurs guest -FA Cup and UEFA Cup winner, Micky Hazard. We have our MC - Theo Delaney of Spurs Show fame. We have music sorted with our superb singer/guitarist Tom Mitchell and DJ Alex. We are gathering together a multiplicity of great raffle prizes.
For the third year running, our joint host - The Antwerp Arms - is supplying the BBQ food for free as a welcome back to Tottenham for Spurs fans.
All the money raised on the day will be donated to our two charities, Studio 306 Collective and Prostate Cancer UK, with our Cycle On You Spurs riders enjoying their final few beers before heading off to Amsterdam five days later.
All you need to do is click here to register and get your free ticket.
It really is a fantastic day and we’re very much looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces – and some new ones - on Bank Holiday Sunday, 27 May.
6. CATERING IN THE NEW STADIUM: AN UPDATE
THST Board Member and catering lead, Rachel Martin, met with David Peskett and Antonio Sellecchia from Compass, and Jonathan Waite of THFC at Lilywhite House on Wednesday 4 April. They discussed many aspects of the catering operation for the new Spurs Stadium including progress to date and innovative ways to speed up service, the range of food and drink in general admission areas, the Club’s commitment to environmental sustainability and future responsiveness to supporter feedback. There are also opportunities to apply for match day employment – just follow the link.
To read the full report from the meeting, click here.
7. BUSINESS COMMUNITY LIAISON GROUP MEETING: LATEST NOTES
The latest BCLG meeting was held on 17 April at Lilywhite House, with Pete Haine in attendance for THST. Key take outs from the meeting are as follows:
- A record number of people working on site was recorded this week (2,607), with an average on the night shift of 300 workers on site
- The stadium roof lift and installation has progressed well, with the framework now fully in place. The roof will now be fitted with glass panels and cassettes
- The pitch tray deliveries are nearing completion (4 per night, expected to be completed by the end of April) and the work to lay the NFL pitch has started
- The GA seats continue to be installed across all levels
- Internal works are progressing quickly, with work on many concourses, restaurants, toilets and bars now reaching completion
- The stadium build and south plaza will be ready in time for opening in August, but that some external landscaping works may be installed on an interim basis for safety reasons
- Test events are being planned for August. They will be ticketed and will test out all functions of the new stadium
- The Tottenham Experience will hopefully be ready to open at the same time as the stadium
- There are plans for a new community café at 810 High Road, close to Percy House
- Information on road closures before, during and after stadium events will be presented at the next BCLG meeting
- THFC continues to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the upgrade works at the four key local stations (White Hart Lane, Seven Sisters, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale) are completed as quickly as possible. THFC is also working to have adequate plans in place to ensure wait times and queue organisation are as good as they possibly can be for stadium opening
- The new shuttle buses that will be in place for match day one, along with an extensive messaging plan to local residents and fans, will help manage any issues caused by unfinished stations not working at capacity
8. FOLLOW UPS TO CHELSEA AND STOKE AWAY
Following the memorable win away at Stamford Bridge at the start of April – a definite highlight of the season! – we asked the Club for a debrief in terms of fan arrival patterns, any specific issues on the day and any behavioural problems. This followed on from the planning meeting at Stamford Bridge in March.
We understand that arrivals were noticeably later than the previous two games at Chelsea, with only 1089 fans inside the stadium half an hour pre kick off. The final 1829 entered in the last 30 minutes, with all fans inside by 5 minutes into the match. This put pressure on the turnstiles so we will be appealing for earlier arrivals next season again. The game passed relatively peacefully with just 1 arrest and 4 ejections.
We are dealing with a small number of individual cases, including one that indicates not all stewarding staff working for Chelsea were fully briefed. In our initial contact with Chelsea they informed us they were not aware of the incident. We have now made them aware and await a response.
We also asked for an explanation as to the significant police presence at Festival Pier and Putney Bridge for the supporters’ boat and for the police boat and helicopter following the boat for large periods along the Thames. We are awaiting information from the Metropolitan Police regarding the disproportionate welcome on disembarkation but understand the MPS on the Water patrol formed part of the Met’s operational plan for the day, which apparently isn’t unusual for Cat C fixtures at Chelsea, Fulham & Brentford where police information suggests this may be appropriate.
Those at Stoke City away later in the month may be aware of the issues with the shortage of shuttle buses between Staffordshire University and the Bet365 stadium, leaving dozens of Spurs fans stranded before the game. We’ve registered the issues with Tottenham, who have taken those up with Stoke.
We are not satisfied with Stoke’s response, however, that four buses is the usual number running on a match day and there had been no issues all season prior to our game. There have been more buses in previous seasons. Four is nowhere near enough and we’d be looking for an increase to at least six should we play Stoke again next season. Similarly, on the return leg, there were insufficient buses for fans and while the buses are supposed to make round trips, the traffic conditions meant significant delays in both directions.
It should be noted that Stoke City did not provide Spurs with any travel, club or match day information in the lead up to the game, either. This resulted in fans receiving no advice ahead of the game from Spurs.
9. THST MEMBERSHIP
We’re very pleased to have welcomed so many new members over the last month or so. That helps us to know we’re doing a good job, but most importantly every new member makes us that much stronger. Please do ask your fellow Spurs fans to join so we can build the strongest possible voice for supporters at THFC. They can sign up here.
PCUK Football to Amsterdam, 1-3 June
After the football season comes the BBQ, and after eating, drinking and dancing comes the cycling. Our Cycle On You Spurs team is heading off from the London Olympic Velodrome to the Ajax Arena on Friday 1 June. To date, they’ve raised over £14,000 to add to the £47,000 raised in 2016 and 2017.
See if you can help them on towards £20,000 for 2018 by donating to the team page here.
Spurs Show Live special offer: 16 May
Full members of THST will have received details of discounted tickets to The Spurs Show Live with special guest Ryan Mason on 16 May. A link to a dedicated microsite is included in the covering email sent out to all full members with this newsletter.
Non-members are able to book here for the event at the iconic 100 Club on Oxford Street for £25 per person.
Spurs Secret History Walk: 6 May
On Sunday 6 May, as part of the 3rd Birthday celebrations of the community taking over the Antwerp Arms, THST Secretary Pete Haine is organising a sponsored Spurs Secret History Walk.
Written by Julie Welch, Rob White and local historians of the Club and the area, the walk starts from Tottenham Hale at 10am and finishes at the pub by 1pm. It passes the former grounds where THFC played and key local sites in the history of the Club.
Pledge £10 (or more) for charity and you’ll get a free drink back at the pub.
And then join in the celebrations for the Annie’s 3rd Birthday with a fun-filled day of Live Music, Street Food, Art Exhibition, Charity Auction and much, much more…
Details of how to book your place on the walk are available here.
Zeelo: final trips to Wembley
Zeelo are running services to Wembley for the final league games of the season, including one-way trips home for evening games for those working in London. They have also launched their early bird season tickets for the 18/19 season, from £9 per game. You can book all of this here.
Get in touch directly with Zeelo with any route requests or queries via email, live chat on their website or by tweeting @gozeelo.
A fond farewell to Steve Alderson
We were sad to hear that Steve Alderson, the landlord at The Antwerp Arms, is leaving. Steve has been influential in building the relationship between the Trust and the pub, and has proved to be a fantastic guvnor on match days and Trust event days. We sent a note of thanks to Steve and he responded that it had been “a pleasure meeting and knowing you”. Steve’s now hoping to get to a few more games, and promises to pop in to the Annie for the occasional visit. We’re sure everyone who has enjoyed Steve’s hospitality over the years will wish him well.
THFC Financial Results
ESPN: Tottenham's Levy paid £6m as club announce record revenues for 2016-17
Evening Standard: Tottenham’s record £306.3m revenue sees Supporters' Trust call for lower season ticket prices at new stadium
Daily Telegraph: Tottenham double amount paid to Daniel Levy for the year to more than £6m
Ghana Soccernet: Tottenham's Levy paid £6m as club announce record revenues for 2016-17
Iphonefresh: Tottenham Hotspur achieves record revenue for 2016-17
Evening Standard: Fever pitch: Why the next generation of London football stadiums will never match Anfield's unique atmosphere
The Guardian: Sports Minister Tracy Crouch is ducking the facts on safe standing
FA Cup Final Concession Pricing
Sky Sports: FA Cup final concession prices reduced following fans consultation
Supporters Direct: The FA announce reduction in concessionary prices for the FA Cup Final
Football.London: Chelsea, Tottenham and Man United fan groups respond to FA announcement over ticket prices
ESPN: Safe standing at stadiums should return to English football
FA Cup Final Pricing
The Guardian: Manchester United fans condemn FA Cup final ticket price rises of up to 35%
ESPN: Football Association to speak with supporters about FA Cup final ticket prices
Spending on New Players
Paddy Power News: Amid potential player exodus, is Pochettino also preparing for Spurs exit?
The Spoken Word
The Spurs Show, 17 April: Pete Haine guests
LoveSport Breakfast Show, 20 April: Pete Haine on the FA Cup Semi Final v Manchester United
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The Club has also set up a dedicated information portal online which answers many of the questions we are frequently contacted with. We’d urge fans to read and familiarise themselves with the details available on the portal as we continue to receive a high volume of questions asking for this information.
30 April 2018
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