Ticketing for the FA Cup Third Round tie v Aston Villa, 8 January 2017
Ticketing for the Europa League Round of 32 v Gent at Wembley Stadium - 23 February 2017
Policing at the Arsenal, West Ham United and Chelsea matches – November 2016
February TV Picks – lobbying the Premier League
Request for subsidised train for Liverpool Away - 11 February 2017
Stadium Community Liaison Group meeting - 20 December 2016
- THST AGM 2017 - 13 February 2017
- Football Supporters’ Federation Awards - 5 December 2016
- Premier League Enterprise Challenge - 15 December 2016
- Antwerp Arms share issue
- Football to Amsterdam 2017
- Supporters’ Direct Weekly Podcast - 16 December 2016
- Celebrating Women in the Trust Movement, Supporters' Direct - December 2016
1. TICKETING FOR THE FA CUP THIRD ROUND TIE - SPURS v VILLA, 8 JANUARY 2017
THST was pleased to see the Club continuing with the accessible pricing policy for Cup games that we’ve enjoyed for the best part of 3 seasons now. With the FA Cup 3rd Round tie against Aston Villa forming the second cup voucher in the Season Ticket package, members tickets were priced at £20 for adults, £10 for seniors and £5 for juniors in any area of the ground.
We were, however, surprised to learn that THFC had opted to change the sales mechanism for this match from an ‘old style’ online sale to a ballot. We were under the impression that Cup games would be sold via an online sale, as per the League Cup match against Gillingham in September.
We were also disappointed to learn of this decision via the Club’s twitter feed, with no explanation for this seeming shift in approach.
We contacted the Club. They explained that a decision had been made to run this match as a ballot based on historical demand for FA Cup 3rd Round home ties and that they regarded this match as being no different to a mid-ranking Premier League game, all of which were being balloted this season. (6454 applications were received for this match with 5124 tickets available.) Should Villa request their maximum allocation, this would put further demand on the limited volume available to sell.
From the Trust’s point of view, running this match as a ballot with one price point around the ground simply removed the choice of seats from members and prevented existing Season Ticket holders purchasing tickets for juniors; this being a popular match for families, while doing nothing to alleviate the supply v demand issues.
We are still awaiting confirmation of Villa’s maximum allocation for this game having been informed THFC had dispensation not to offer the full 15% required under competition rules this season when the Premier League away allocation was reduced back in the summer.
2. TICKETING FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND OF 32 v GENT AT WEMBLEY STADIUM, 23 FEBRUARY 2017
With the announcement of pricing for the Gent Europa League game at Wembley, THST is delighted to see THFC has continued with the widely-praised and successful pricing policy used for the vast majority of cup games in recent years. Accessible pricing has helped drive the huge attendances at our home European games so far, and we believe the message this sends about how to price the Club’s new stadium is clear.
We’re also pleased to see the Club has taken on board lessons from the previous sale and decided to stagger application windows, thus restoring some of the benefits of the depleted Bronze membership offering this season.
We are less happy with two other aspects of this announcement, however. The Club will be offering half-year One Hotspur memberships. This is something that has been done in previous years, but in the unique circumstances of this season the implications are different. Anyone purchasing a half-year membership in January will therefore be able to apply for European home tickets at the more competitive member prices, and will also be eligible to apply for tickets in the ballots for home Premier League games at the reduced capacity White Hart Lane.
With unprecedented demand already for tickets in this unique season, we question the wisdom of increasing demand in this way. The Club says it wants to continue to “grow the fan base”. We recognise the commercial imperatives, but feel there should be a balance between looking after existing members and attracting new fans. We do not believe this balance has been achieved in this case and would have welcomed fuller consultation. The Club has noted our comments but opted to go ahead anyway.
We are also concerned about the change in the way Loyalty Points are to be issued for the Gent home game. The decision to award points retrospectively only when the ticket is used represents a significant change to the principle of LPs and sends out negative messages about our fans.
We obviously do not support the practice of buying tickets simply to get Loyalty Points. And we know that some people do this. But our experience is that the vast majority of fans buy tickets because they want to see the team play. The Club has occasionally awarded LPs retrospectively in the past, but our understanding was that this was for security reasons due to the location of the ties concerned. Now, for the first time, the Club is explicitly stating that it will use LPs to incentivise attendance. It is also making a basic assumption that most fans will buy tickets just for the points unless incentivised to do otherwise, an assumption we find disappointing, to say the least.
We are also concerned that making changes to an already contentious system opens the door to an overregulated approach to issuing match tickets in future. Fans do sometimes miss games for genuine reasons. Let’s hope no Spurs fan who purchases a ticket for this game gets ill or has a last-minute emergency to deal with. There will be no refunds for non-attendance.
Issuing LPs retrospectively will also inevitably lead to complaints from season ticket holders and members who apply for other tickets between the closing of the Gent window and the date of the game who will assume, in line with what has been normal practice, that their points will be credited immediately.
We believe the negatives outweigh the positives here. The Club has told us it thinks the current system works well. And yet at the same time it says the current system needs to be changed. We are at a loss to follow the reasoning and would have preferred to take part in full consultation over the scheme as a whole if the Club was so sure changes had to be made.
If any fans have problems or issues with these changes, our advice is to contact the Club directly by email and to copy us in.
3. POLICING AT THE ARSENAL, WEST HAM UNITED AND CHELSEA MATCHES – NOVEMBER 2016
As reported in last month’s newsletter, THST attended a pre meeting ahead of the away match at Chelsea at the end of November and liaised with the Metropolitan Police and THFC’s Safety team ahead of both Arsenal away and West Ham at home in what was a busy month for high profile, increased risk fixtures. A combined debrief session was arranged for Thursday 8 December which, owing to workloads, was cancelled by THFC. We requested a written report back from the Club and the Met on all three matches in lieu of a face to face meeting and are now sharing those details below:
Arsenal (away fixture) – No problems that THFC is aware of, minimal damage to property, 26 THFC stewards in attendance, plus Head of Supporter Services, Safety Officer and 2 access stewards. The Police operation outside was markedly different from previous matches and worked very well in the view of THFC, with all fans in well before kick-off. Arsenal Safety Officer was very pleased with the day. 15 PSU’s on duty with 6 arrests in total, 4 Arsenal and 2 Spurs (public order offences).
Chelsea (away fixture) – 6 THFC stewards in attendance, plus Head of Supporter Services, Access Officer and an access steward. No issues that THFC is aware of. Turnstiles worked well again and all in at least 5 mins before kick-off. Chelsea thanked THFC and THST again for our support in planning. 6 PSU’s present – 12 arrests in total, 10 Spurs (Possession of controlled substances, Drinking in View, Drunk and Disorderly and Assault) 2 Chelsea (Assault and Possession of controlled substances).
West Ham United (home fixture) – Planning with the Police started very early for this fixture and meetings were also held with senior personnel from West Ham to ensure their support and input for the game. West Ham agreed to send 18 Stewards to the game. These were integrated into THFC’s staffing operation in the away section. Police agreed to Officers on the segregation line from opening and this worked really well, setting the tone early on that THFC would not accept any inappropriate behaviour. The Police operation outside also went well from THFC’s viewpoint. All WHU supporters were inside before kick-off. Post-match, Park Lane/Bromley Road arrangements were in place to separate fans and again, this worked well and all stood down after 20 minutes. This was the best category CIR Matchday Operation THFC has witnessed for many years, with plenty of cooperation from the Police, who supported and assisted their staff throughout the day. West Ham officials were very complimentary of THFC’s operation. The report from the FA Security Officer was also positive and complimentary. 15 PSU’s present. One Metropolitan Police Dog Unit & Mounted Division. 23 arrests in total, 20 WHU (Public order, assault, drunk and disorderly, criminal damage) and 3 Spurs (Assault, Pitch Invasion, Public Order).
4. FEBRUARY TV PICKS – LOBBYING THE PREMIER LEAGUE
Last month, we reported on the first meeting between fan reps and Sky Sports executives to discuss the impact of fixture changes for TV broadcast on match going fans, which can be read here. The FSF subsequently issued a statement, which can be read here. One of the areas discussed was the importance of keeping TV pick announcements to the dates specified on the schedule provided by the Premier League, which can be viewed here. So we were disappointed to see the February TV picks announced a day late, keeping the record of every set of TV picks being announced after their publicised date so far this season.
We were equally unimpressed to see the picks for February the worst yet for travelling fans in terms of public transport options home, including THFC’s match at Liverpool on 11 February where the last train back to London departs at 19:48. THST Co-chair Martin Cloake drills deeper into the effects of rescheduling on match going fans in this article for Yahoo Sport.
THST has been in touch with the Premier League to press the point home that late announcements and the continued inconveniencing of travelling fans is an issue long overdue proper discussion.
The FSF is coordinating a further meeting with Sky Sports and we expect the Premier League to accept the invitation to field representation at this session.
We are working closely with our colleagues at the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust on this issue, also.
5. SUBSIDISED TRANSPORT FOR LIVERPOOL AWAY - 11 FEBRUARY 2017
As referenced above, the rescheduling of Tottenham’s away fixture at Liverpool for broadcast to a 1730 kick off on Saturday 11 February has left fans with no train options back to London that evening. THST has approached THFC to request a charter train to transport fans back to the capital, in line with their commitment to continue to provide subsidised alternatives where public transport is not available. We understand there are extensive engineering works planned for that weekend on the Liverpool to London line so it is not yet clear whether it will be possible to provide a Club train at this stage. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear either way.
6. STADIUM COMMUNITY LIAISON GROUP MEETING – 20 DECEMBER 2016
On 8 December, the Club hosted a construction-focused Jobs Fair at White Hart Lane as part of its continued aim to deliver employment opportunities on the site of its new stadium development. A total of 20 employers, including contractors and sub-contractors involved in building the Club’s new 61,000-capacity venue, offered jobs and training opportunities to around 500 local young people in attendance. By the time the stadium opens in August 2018, more than 3,000 construction jobs are expected to have been delivered with the Club aiming to ensure people living within the local area benefit from the employment opportunities created by the scheme.
The Club announced that Haringey Council’s planning sub-committee has given permission for the development of the new ‘Paxton Building’. The building will comprise of new ticket sales offices and ticket windows, covered queuing areas, retail space, administrative offices, a security centre and other ancillary uses. The development will also see the creation of two high quality associated public spaces, enhancing the setting and access to existing heritage assets. The Paxton Building will be housed to the north west of the new stadium, close to Lilywhite House. The application is still subject to a further legal process, detailed design works and agreement with the leaseholder. This application represents the first phase of the Club’s commitment to invest in and restore the Northern Terrace, which is a historic terrace of Statutorily Listed and non-designated heritage assets between 790 and 814 High Road. Further plans for the Northern Terrace includes creating an attractive and useable space and enhancing the heritage significance of the area. As part of that plan, the Grade II Listed 796 High Road, more commonly known as ‘Percy House’ is already undergoing restoration with a completion date of December 2017. It will become the new home of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and a Community and Employment hub. The Northern Terrace also includes 810-812 High Road. The Club's proposals will ensure their sensitive restoration to bring them back into beneficial use, with plans due to be submitted to Haringey Council in the coming months.
THST AGM 2017 - 13 FEBRUARY 2017
As a formally constituted Friends and Industrial Provident Society, THST is required to hold an AGM before the end of February each year. The date for the 2017 AGM has been set for Monday 13 February 2017 and will be held at Nabarro LLP, 125 London Wall, EC2Y 5AL from 7pm onwards. Full Trust members will receive the formal convening notice on Friday 6 January, which will detail the resolutions to be covered at the meeting. In line with our constitution, we will also be holding elections to the Trust Board at our AGM. Anyone interested in standing for election should ensure they are a fully paid up member of THST before the process opens. Nomination forms will be included in the formal AGM communications on 6 January 2017.
Membership details can be found here for anyone wishing to join the Trust or upgrade their current membership.
THE FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS’ FEDERATION AWARDS 2016 - 5 DECEMBER 2016
The start of December saw the annual FSF Awards ceremony take place at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. For the third year in a row, Tottenham Hotspur’s Head of Supporter Services, Jonathan Waite, had been shortlisted in the Supporter Liaison Officer of the Year category. Unsuccessful on both previous occasions, missing out to Stoke and Sunderland, we were delighted to finally see Jonathan recognised for his consistently strong work with and on behalf of fans at Spurs. Jonathan has a daily dialogue with THST and we are all fortunate to have such a dedicated, competent liaison officer working for our Club.
Immediately after receiving the award, Jonathan gave an interview to the FSF, which can be read here. His constructive and open approach will be very much needed as we enter a challenging period at Tottenham Hotspur with the move to Wembley and the opening of the new stadium on the horizon. Congratulations to Jonathan on this well-deserved accolade.
PREMIER LEAGUE ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE 2016
Along with Spurs fan and sports journalist, Emma Storey, and THFC's Supporters Club Operations Manager, Stacy Haley, the Trust’s Kevin Fitzgerald had the pleasure of witnessing and judging five local secondary school presentations at Lilywhite House earlier in the month.
In this year's Premier League Enterprise Challenge, each team of five 14-15 year old students outlined their proposals on the best way to generate interest and enthusiasm for THFC in the USA and thereby attract more new fans from the States.
The judges were impressed by the presentations of realistic and thoughtful business plans; selecting a winner was no easy choice. Enfield Grammar School's input was judged to be the strongest and their five students won the contest. They now go forward to the regional stage of the competition on 3 February at The Emirates. Most appropriate that it should take place at a library.
As a couple of extra treats for their efforts, all 25 of the students were taken on a stadium tour and then returned to meet and have photos taken with Spurs' USA player, Cameron Carter-Vickers, who also undertook a Q&A with Gareth Dace of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
ANTWERP ARMS SHARE ISSUE
As reported in our September Newsletter, community owned pub - The Antwerp Arms - agreed at its AGM to move ahead with plans for major improvements to the pub’s interior. As part of the financing, a new share issue has been launched. So, if you would like to have a share, or increase your share in the ownership of the pub, please click here for more details.
FOOTBALL TO AMSTERDAM 2017
Another five Spurs riders have signed up since last month’s Newsletter. So, we are now up to 20 cyclists for next summer's ride from London to Amsterdam and it's not too late to join us. Just click here. Set yourself the best New Year’s resolution there is: get cycling and help to raise money to combat Prostate Cancer.
If you’d like to give us some extra motivation with a donation, the 'Cycle On You Spurs' team's fundraising page can be found here.
iSpurs information portal
The Club has also set up a new, 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.
Co-chair Martin Cloake on fixture rescheduling:
Supporters’ Direct weekly podcast, 16 December 2016
Co-chair Katrina Law on Women in the Trust Movement:
Supporters' Direct interview, December 2016
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all THST members for their continued support throughout 2016 and wish you and yours a happy festive period and a healthy and successful 2017.
Up the Spurs.
23 December 2016.
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