- THST Annual General Meeting – 22 Feb
- THST Q1 Board Meeting – 18 Jan
- Premier League Ticketing Meeting and FSF campaign – 21 Jan
- THFC Ticketing Meeting – 16 Jan
- Olympic Stadium Coalition ICO FOI Tribunal – 25 Jan
- Government Expert Working Group Report – 19 Jan
- Next Board to Board Meeting with THFC – 10 February
- Supporters Direct Meeting – 28 January and England & Wales Football Council elections
- Surfing flag v Leicester City – 13 January
- Subsidised train to Leicester – 20 January
- Transport to Norwich City – 2 February
- StubHub Corporate Social Responsibility Project
- Antwerp Arms update
- EZTrader commercial partnership with THFC
- Football to Amsterdam: Prostate Cancer fundraiser
- New THST database platform
- North London Derby Policing Meeting – 15 February
1. THST Annual General Meeting – 22 February 2016
THST opened up the formal AGM process on 15 January when all full members of the Trust were issued with Convening Notices and nominations for Board Election were invited. Candidate manifestos and Voting Forms will be issued by email on Monday 8 February, ahead of the AGM on Monday 22 February.
Voting on resolutions at the AGM is a key part of belonging to a membership organisation so we ask all full (paying) members to make sure they either vote by post, by proxy or in person, please. We’d like to see as many of you as possible at the AGM, so please do mark the date in your diary, come along and participate. Full details are also available on our website.
2. THST Q1 Board Meeting – 18 January 2016
The THST Board held its Q1 meeting on Monday 18 January. Much of the focus of this session was around preparation for the AGM and updating on work streams ahead of changes to Board personnel after the AGM. There was an update on membership numbers and the regular quarterly financial update, both of which will be covered in the THST Annual Report, due out on 22 February, and an update on the database upgrade, also. KL and MC provided a report back on various ongoing campaigns and on the ticketing meeting held with THFC on 16 January – both of which are covered later in this newsletter.
The first meeting of the new THST Board post AGM was scheduled for Monday 29 February 2016.
3. Premier League Ticketing Meeting and FSF Campaign – 21 January 2016
THST Co-chair Kat Law once again formed part of the fan delegation that met with senior Premier League executives, including Richard Scudamore, alongside the FSF to discuss ticket pricing on 21 January. Objectives for the session were to ascertain what was being tabled at the forthcoming Premier League shareholders meeting in terms of the ongoing ticketing campaign and where fans needed to apply pressure ahead of a vote. To recap, fan groups and the FSF are asking for a £20 cap on away ticket prices, an increase in the Away Supporters’ Initiative to £1m per club per season, the end to away match categorisation and more concessions for 18-21 year olds.
Following that meeting, a strategy was agreed which included Trusts writing to their Clubs echoing these calls as well as asking for a price freeze on home tickets for the duration of the new TV contract, the launch of a lobbying tool for all fans of all Premier League clubs to mail their Chairman directly, and a call for all PL sponsors to ‘support the supporters’.
The February and April shareholders meetings will be crucial in terms of the clubs agreeing how the TV windfall is allocated so we need as many fans as possible to make their voices heard now.
4. THFC Ticketing Meeting – 16 January 2016
Co-chairs Martin Cloake and Katrina Law met with THFC’s Head of Ticketing and Membership, Ian Murphy, and Head of Supporter Services Jonathan Waite ahead of the early kick off against Sunderland in the middle of January. Fuelled with sausage sandwiches from Jack’s Café on Park Lane, we discussed the current ticketing situation, with sales up year on year – especially for Cup matches: undoubtedly down to the accessible pricing for these games.
We asked for confirmation of pricing for next season, with several clubs already announcing a price freeze and with Spurs having indicated a 2% rise for the 2016/17 campaign last March. No decision has been reached as yet but THFC is aware of our thoughts on any rise in light of the record £5.14bn TV deal. The Season Ticket renewal date was confirmed as mid-May, however.
We had preliminary discussions around ticketing arrangements for the last season at White Hart Lane and in any temporary ground for the 2017/18 season, which will be followed up on once the situation is clearer in terms of the venue for the year away.
Pricing in the new stadium also remains at the preliminary stage with the Club undertaking another wave of research with ST holders and One Hotspur members towards the end of this season. We once again pressed the point that as wide a range of pricing points and packages as possible needed to be considered, and let the Club know of concern over the prospect of asking fans to pay large proportions of multi-year packages up front.
Regarding StubHub, we reiterated our preference for a face value, ethical ticket exchange when the current deal expires in May 2017, which was noted.
5. Olympic Stadium Coalition: ICO FOI Tribunal – 25 January 2016
As members of the 14-Trust-strong Olympic Stadium Coalition, THST was present at the London Legacy Development Corporation’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ruling that the financial terms of the LLDC contract for the use of the Olympic Stadium by West Ham United should be published in full. After an interesting two hours of open session questioning of the LLDC’s Finance Director, Geraldine Murphy, the tribunal moved into closed session for the rest of the day and we are now awaiting a second date for the conclusion of the hearing.
The Coalition made the following statement after Day One had come to a close.
6. Government Expert Working Group Report
THST welcomes the proposals in the Government’s Expert Working Group Report on Supporter Ownership and Fan Engagement. However, along with our colleagues at the Manchester United and Arsenal Supporters Trusts, we have concerns that the proposals as they currently stand offer little to those clubs not facing insolvency. We believe the Government needs to take a more comprehensive look at football governance.
We are among a number of Trusts for whom representation at Board level is a more realistic aim than ownership and there is concern among a large group of Premier League and Championship Trusts that the focus on ownership options in the case of insolvency does little to advance our interests. Our view is that there is no single model for supporter ownership or representation, and that work on implementing the basic principles agreed by the EWG should reflect this.
We also have concerns that what is presented as a commitment to plurality in terms of recognising fan groups is in fact an attempt to dilute the influence of properly-constituted, democratic Trusts and the development of properly structured engagement with them.
Next Board to Board Meeting with THFC
The next meeting of the Boards of THST and THFC is scheduled for Wednesday 10 February 2016. Ahead of this meeting, we’d like YOUR questions for Daniel Levy and the Spurs Executive Board, please. As always, every question submitted is collated and presented as part of a question deck and every one of them is read by the THFC Board. So, if you have a relevant, pertinent question you’d like to ask, please email it to info@THSTOfficial.com by Friday 5 February 2016.
Supporters Direct Meeting – 28 January 2018 and England and Wales Football Council elections
THST Co-Chairs, Martin Cloake and Kat Law attended the London meeting of Supporters Direct on 28 January.
Much of the meeting was taken up with a fairly intense and, at times, blunt discussion about how the particular interests of Premier League Trusts were being represented and, related to this, the outcome of the Expert Working Group. We believe the point has now been registered that many Premier League and Championship Trusts operate in different circumstances and face different issues to the traditional model Supporters Direct has been involved in, and that there needs to be greater input into SD policy that reflects this, along with improved communication and consultation with this group of Trusts.
We are pleased to report that Kat has also been appointed to the Supporters Direct England and Wales Football Council until the 2018/19 season. We’d like to extend particular thanks to our colleagues at the Foxes Trust for nominating Kat.
Surfing flag v Leicester City – 13 January 2016
The Game is About Glory surfing flag made its debut at the Leicester City league match on 13 January and we’re pleased to report it went remarkably well!
We’ll look to roll out the flag again later in the season so do let us know if you regularly sit in the Park Lane Lower and you’d like to help coordinate the surf. Info@THSTOfficial.com
Subsidised train to Leicester – 20 January 2016
As part of the Away Supporters’ Initiative, THFC chartered a train to the FA Cup Third Round replay at Leicester on 20 January. Priced at just £20 return, the train proved popular with fans who would otherwise have struggled to get back to London with the last normal rail service departing at 2158. Thank you to THFC’s Jonathan Waite for pulling out the stops to secure this service at 48 hours’ notice and we hope to be able to report on more such initiatives as the season progresses.
Transport to Norwich City – 2 February 2016
Fans travelling by public transport to the upcoming League game at Norwich will be aware of the disruption to the rail network that evening, owing to planned engineering works. With the last train back to London scheduled to leave during the second half and with line closures after that point, it was not possible for THFC to organise a chartered train to transport fans back to the capital that evening. However, Spurs have put on extra coaches and added an additional drop at Birchanger Green services to try to ease the situation. Please contact THFC and Thomas Cook Sport for further information on the coach services.
StubHub Corporate Social Responsibility Project
We’re pleased to see that details of the community project StubHub agreed to fund as part of their latest deal with THFC have been released. The Club shared information on the initiative, which will help the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation assist local young people into apprenticeship schemes, on its official website last week.
Funding for this project came as part of a package of changes to the original deal that were negotiated as a result of fan concerns.
THST’s position on so-called secondary ticketing platforms such as StubHub remains unchanged. But, with the partnership between the Club and StubHub still in place, we are pleased to have been able to play a part in securing tangible benefits not only for fans but for local people too.
Antwerp Arms update – 28 January 2016
THST Board Members, Keith Sharp and Kevin Fitzgerald, met with the management committee of the Antwerp Arms on 28 January to discuss ways in which THST and the AA can work closer together. A few ideas were brainstormed and we’ll look forward to sharing those with you in the February newsletter.
EZTrader commercial partnership with THFC
Earlier in the month, THFC announced a commercial partnership with binary options broker, EZTrader, which caused concern around brand association amongst a number of our members. With EZTrader operating in a totally unregulated market, we approached THFC for clarification of the activation aspects of the partnership and are awaiting the finer details. We’ll report back to our members as soon as we have a clearer picture of the key aspects of the partnership.
Football to Amsterdam: Prostate Cancer fundraiser
As reported last month, THST Board member Kevin Fitzgerald is leading a team of Spurs riders from London to Amsterdam in June to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. The team consists of fans, representatives from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, and Club staff.
Each rider needs to hit a £1000 target in order to participate in the challenge so PLEASE give generously to the team page – it’s for a terrific cause!
And if you’re a keen rider, there’s still time to join our growing Spurs team, 14 of us now, and raise the funds. Details here.
New THST database platform
THST moved over to a new database platform on 14 January, just ahead of opening the AGM process. The new system – run by www.paysubsonline.com – allows members to manage their own accounts online. All members will be receiving instructions and more details once the AGM period has closed – we don’t want to bombard you all at once!
North London Derby Policing Meeting – 15 February 2016
The planning meeting between the Metropolitan Police, Arsenal Football Club, Arsenal Independent Supporters Association, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, THST and the FSF ahead of the North London Derby on 5 March has been scheduled for Monday 15 February at New Scotland Yard. We’ll report back in full after this session.
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