- Mayor of London approves new stadium plans – 25 February
- Ticket pricing campaign, including FSF meeting - 19 February
- THST/ THFC B2B Prep Meeting – 2 February and THST THFC B2B meeting – 10 February
- THST Annual General Meeting and first meeting of the new Board – 22/29 February
- North London Derby Policing meeting – 15 February
- West Ham United Policing meeting – 24 February
- Increased FA Cup Final tickets for fans
- Supporters Direct England and Wales Football Council - 23 February
- Catering Meeting
- Sky Italia interview
- Ham and High article
- Ticket pricing – Times, Guardian, Mail
1. Mayor of London approves new stadium plans – 25 February 2016
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, approved plans for Tottenham Hotspur’s new 61,000 seater stadium on 25 February 2016, marking a major step towards the construction of our new home – the largest and most ambitious Club stadium in the capital. THFC released an update which can be read here and THST made comment shortly afterwards. Our statement can be read here.
We will continue to impress upon THFC the need for fan consultation at every step of the build process to ensure the stadium is designed with fans at its heart and is accessible as possible for existing and future generations of Spurs supporters.
2. Ticket pricing campaign, including FSF meeting on 19 February
THST has played a part in the national ticket pricing campaign, under the FSF banner of ‘Twenty’s Plenty for away tickets’ for the past 3 years, organising demonstrations, participating in protests, attending meetings with the FSF and the Premier League, joining in marches and waving flags. We have also lobbied consistently for price freezes for home tickets and for accessible pricing for cup games at White Hart Lane.
The issue of ticket pricing was brought into sharp focus during the month of February when, shortly after the Premier League Shareholders failed to back a proposed £30 cap on away tickets from next season, Arsenal FC reversed their decision to impose a surcharge on their Season Ticket holders for the Barcelona match as a result of a fan backlash and Liverpool FC scrapped their plans for price increases at Anfield next season after the 77th minute walk out by over 10,000 fans at their match against Sunderland. Both showing the impact fans can have on clubs when they mobilise and both showing the levels of anger at the seeming lack of will to give any of the £8.3 billion TV monies back to the lifeblood of the game, the supporters.
This month has seen the issue make numerous front page headlines, had most nationals running articles and vox pops, secured comment from the likes of Jamie Carragher, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer – the latter on the BBC’s flagship football programme, Match of the Day - and given fans a platform from which to increase the pressure on Premier League bosses ahead of the next Shareholders meeting at the end of March.
We have made our views clear in discussions with the Club, and the Club has in turn made its views clear. The Club’s position is that it recognises the financial burden on away fans and wants to take measures to alleviate this, but does not believe the correct mechanism has been found to do that. Details of that discussion can be found here.
We’ll continue to argue the case for our Club to be part of a solution that can benefit all fans at the upcoming Premier League shareholders meeting.
On home ticket prices, we recognise the Club and its supporters are in a unique position. The fact that a huge funding programme for a new stadium is being delivered is never far from the surface. We understand the scale and complexity of this project and the fact that, unlike some of our Premier League competitors, Tottenham Hotspur is not benefitting from being handed a taxpayer-subsidised stadium.
However, we also recognise that other clubs have other pressures on their income streams. We know the significant financial burden match going fans have had to bear as the Premier League clubs have grown richer, and the strength of feeling generated by the current debate over ticket pricing.
So we will continue to argue for a position on tickets that eases the burden on fans while also recognising the issues the Club faces. We believe this is the pragmatic approach our members and Spurs fans would want us to take.
We continue to discuss home ticket pricing for next season with the Club and, contrary to some reports in the press, no decision has yet been made.
THST also attended the Football Supporters’ Federation campaign meeting specifically around the issue of pricing on the evening of Friday 19 February. Representatives of 24 fan groups were present for the session, which saw suggestions for progressing the grass roots ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign brainstormed. As a result of this meeting, a league wide weekend of action has been called across 19, 20 and 21 March. Spurs play Bournemouth at White Hart Lane and more details of how fans can show support for the ticket pricing campaign will be shared shortly by THST and the FSF.
We also published a statement regretting the Club’s decision to put the upcoming Europa League tie against Borussia Dortmund into the match pricing category, discarding the popular and successful practice of pricing cup games at below categorisation rates. Our issue was not with the prices themselves, but with the direction of travel indicated by the decision. We don’t believe the extra revenue generated by the difference between Category C pricing and a price level just below this that would have kept the accessible pricing approach intact is significant enough for the loss of good PR scrapping a popular and successful practice means. And we do not think it sends the right message to the thousands of fans who have turned up for games against less popular opponents and shown passionate support for the team, and who now may be priced out.
We would have welcomed the chance to put this view forward before hearing the decision had been made. We were also dismayed to see that BVB had also opted to price away tickets significantly above the average price of a Bundesliga ticket, something which probably influenced the THFC decision.
We have asked the Club not to increase prices above Category C should we progress in the competition.
3. THST/ THFC B2B Prep Meeting – 3 February and THST THFC B2B meeting – 10 February
Representatives of both the Boards of THST and THFC met for the first of three formal meetings throughout 2016 on Wednesday 10 February. A report from the meeting can be found here. As always, significant preparation goes into these sessions and those attending the meeting with the Club from THST met on Wednesday 3 February to work through member questions, refine the agenda, agree key areas for debate and identify key take outs.
The level of detail and discussion at recent B2B meetings means there is a real value from these sessions, with both parties displaying a desire to engage in depth and aware of the need for communication on strategic issues with the wider fan base. As is to be expected, there will be some areas where full disclosure isn’t possible, but we make the case for as much of these meetings as possible to be recorded and published within 48 hours. Both parties agree the minutes and the only redactions approved are those of a commercially sensitive nature.
We’d like to thank members who submitted questions for Mr Levy and the Spurs Board ahead of the meeting. As always, all questions were collated into a pack and handed to each person present for their consideration.
The next meeting of the two Boards will take place in late May, after the season has ended.
4. THST Annual General Meeting and first meeting of the new Board – 22/29 February 2016
The THST Annual General Meeting took place on Monday 22 February at Nabarro LLP on London Wall. Thank you to those members who joined us on the night, where all 8 resolutions were passed.
The THST Board recapped on a busy year at the start of the evening. A summary of our work can be read in the Annual Report in the dedicated AGM section of our website and linked here.
Treasurer, Adam Bailey, talked through the latest audited accounts, which we are pleased to report recorded a surplus for the year ending 31 August 2015.
The meeting concluding with an open floor discussion on issues such as match day transport, attracting younger members to the Trust, legacy Life membership and the construction plans for the new stadium.
Three new members were appointed to the THST Board at the AGM: Martin Buhagiar, Michael Green and Rachel Martin. Four existing Board members were reappointed: Adam Bailey, Martin Cloake, Paul Head and Suraj Sharma while Kevin Fitzgerald, Katrina Law and Keith Sharp remained in post. Adam Manson and Adam Nathan stepped down from the Board after one year’s service.
The new Board met for the first time on the evening of Monday 29 February, where positions for the forthcoming year were agreed, as follows:
Co-Chairs Martin Cloake and Katrina Law
Secretary Keith Sharp
Treasurer Adam Bailey
Key areas of responsibility were also agreed at this session.
The next formal meeting of the THST Board will take place in May 2016.
5. North London Derby Policing Meeting – 15 February 2016
Representatives of THST, THFC, AFC, Red Action and the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association met with Spurs and Arsenal dedicated Football Intelligence Officers at New Scotland Yard on the evening of 15 February to discuss policing arrangements for the forthcoming North London Derby at White Hart Lane on 5 March. This followed on from the meeting ahead of the reverse fixture at the Emirates in November.
THST was keen to understand the policing approach and arrangements for the day and to be able to input constructively into decisions that directly affected fans. In our experience of such meetings, the visiting fans normally have more specific questions so we were happy to let AISA and Red Action take the lead on this occasion, after feeding back on fan’s experiences of the NLD earlier in the season.
THST will be asking fans for written comments/ accounts of their experience of the policing after the match so please contribute should you be attending this game.
A wash up meeting was scheduled for Monday 21 March at New Scotland Yard with the same delegates in attendance.
6. West Ham United Policing Meeting – 24 February 2016
THST reps attended another policing meeting last month, this time ahead of the visit to Upton Park on Wednesday 2 March. As indicated above, visiting fans often have more specific questions than home supporters at these sessions and this proved to be the case on the night.
Representatives of THFC, THST, WHU, WHU’s Supporter Advisory Board and the FSF were present, along with Match Commander, David Moorhead, and both Club Football Intelligence Officers.
THST questioned the number of police on duty, their approach, plans for transporting fans to the stadium and away again after the match and whether our fans would be afforded the opportunity to purchase alcohol at a premium priced recreational event. We were informed no alcohol would be made available either before the game or at half time, something we pushed back on given the Met’s desire to encourage supporters into the ground early and our stand point that fans should be viewed as adults and not as potential problems. We were very pleased to hear our argument was persuasive enough to convince the relevant authorities to serve alcohol to our fans pre game. No alcohol is available to visiting fans numbering more than 2500 this season at half time.
We were aware that there were some tensions in the run up to the game, but put forward our view that the police approach should not assume fans were going to cause problems.
It was agreed to meet after the game to assess how things had gone, so again we invite fans who attend on the night to let us know their experiences.
Increased FA Cup Final tickets for fans
Following on from an original meeting at Wembley in the summer of 2014 which THST attended, a campaign initiated by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, co-ordinated nationally by the Football Supporters’ Federation and backed by over 90 fan groups including THST, has successfully secured an additional 7,000 FA Cup final tickets for supporters.
Although this, sadly, won’t be of direct benefit to Spurs fans this season, we firmly believe as many tickets as possible should be reserved for fans of the teams contesting the FA Cup Final. Previously, only 71% of seats were available for fans of either team. This has now increased to 80%.
More can be read here.
Supporters Direct England and Wales Football Council Meeting - 23 February
Trust Co-Chair, Kat Law, attended her first EWC Meeting on 23 February. As the only Premier League Trust representative on the Council, her priority is to ensure the specific needs of fans of Premier League clubs are addressed and better reflected through the work of Supporters Direct.
Following on from our discussions around the sub standard match day catering at WHL at the recent meeting with the Board of THFC, Head of Supporter Services, Jonathan Waite, is in the process of arranging a meeting with the Stadium Catering Director. This will potentially take place ahead of the Bournemouth match on 20 March.
New role for John McDermott
THST hold positive talks with THFC
Premier League Ticket Prices: Fans verdict
Ticket pricing at Tottenham
Martin Cloake in the Ham and High
Katrina Law on Dortmund pricing for the Fighting Cock
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