- Premier League away price cap
- Season and match day ticket price freeze at Tottenham Hotspur
- Crowd Management at Dortmund
- Policing at West Ham United
- Catering at West Ham United
- Olympic Stadium Coalition – FOI Tribunal hearing concludes
- Meeting with LOROL re: match day transport
- Atmosphere at White Hart Lane
- Europa League Final ticket allocation
- End of Season BBQ at the Antwerp Arms – Sunday 29 May
- Football to Amsterdam for Prostate Cancer
- North London Derby policing meeting
- Watford allocation at the Emirates
- Centerplate catering meeting update
- THST Meeting dates for 2016
- The Tottenham Way podcast
- Dortmund Crowd Management problems – various
- Ticket pricing – various
- Atmosphere – the Fighting Cock
- General Tottenham – Press Association, Sky Italia
1.Premier League away price cap
We’ve rarely had more positive news with which to begin a monthly newsletter, with two important victories on pricing that deliver real benefits to fans coming on the same day. On 9 March, Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to cap the price of away tickets at £30 for the next three years. This measure will save a Spurs fan who travels to every away game over a season £284 based on 2015/16 pricing.
THST has consistently put the case for a reduction in away tickets over the last three years, and our views on the cap can be read here. We’ve argued our case at national level with the Premier League alongside other Trusts, and at a local level with the board of THFC. There have been clear disagreements, but we are glad that in the end the views of fans were taken on board and all parties put their name to agreement on this measure.
2.Season and match day ticket price freeze at Tottenham Hotspur
We were delighted to hear the Club had listened to the arguments we put forward on pricing and decided to freeze the price of all season tickets and home match home tickets for a third season running.
Our position has always been that, with THFC charging some of the highest prices in the country and especially now the new TV money has provided a substantial boost to every club’s finances, a price rise could not be justified.
At the end of last season, THFC informed us that home ticket prices would be rising by around 2% across the board. We opposed that decision and, for the past year, have argued our view with the Club. We’re glad they have listened and decided against the increase. We have no doubt the background of the national debate over ticket prices played its part in influencing this decision. That debate was fuelled by fans across the country, club by club, arguing our case. So credit here to the Club for listening and responding, and to all fans who backed the case. It’s an example of how organised action and sustained conversations can secure real benefits for fans.
3.Crowd Management at Dortmund
A significant number of Spurs fans who travelled to Dortmund for our Europa League tie experienced serious problems entering Signal Iduna Park. Fans were crushed in front of the gates, attacked by police and stewards, pepper sprayed and batoned. Seventeen fans were treated for injuries, with Dortmund fans also caught up in the problems.
Members of the THST were caught up in the crush and witnessed at first hand what happened. We made contact with the THFC security team who also watched with concern as the scenes unfolded, and who contacted their colleagues at BVB.
THFC insisted officials from BVB meet reps from the Trust immediately after the game, and we were able to give instant, first hand accounts and receive initial feedback. In the immediate aftermath of the game, THFC condemned the inappropriate use of pepper spray, and have continued to work closely with the Trust on this.
We appealed for fans to send in accounts of their experiences, and over 60 did. All these comments have been passed on to the Club, to BVB, and to UEFA. Supporters Direct’s European supporter liaison officer and Football Fans Europe are also aware of and monitoring the situation.
BVB fans themselves, who worked alongside Spurs fans on the night to ensure things didn’t get worse, have also been in touch offering support and sharing their stories.
We were dismayed to see that, within 24 hours, Dortmund police were spinning the story that the problems were caused by Spurs fans. THST also did a significant amount of press in the wake of the events, countering the false story put forward by Dortmund police and explaining what had happened.
We are now waiting for a response from UEFA. We understand some changes to away entry procedures have already been made as a result of feedback from us and the Club. Dortmund police have launched an investigation into the use of pepper spray. And UEFA has charged BVB with issues occurring inside the stadium.
We are looking for:
• Recognition that Spurs fans were not to blame and for Dortmund police to withdraw their story.
• Evidence that BVB have made changes to their entry procedures to reduce the likelihood of scenes such as this happening again.
• Evidence that changes have been made to steward training and lines of responsibility on match days.
The work we’ve been able to do here has been aided greatly by the relationship we’ve built with our own safety and stewarding team, and we’re grateful for their existence and advice throughout this affair.
We also hosted a small delegation from one of BVB’s main fan groups at the tie in London, and have established a good working relationship with them.
Some coverage of the event is below.
4.Policing at West Ham United
Thanks to all fans for feeding back their experiences of policing around the match at Upton Park at the start of the month. We are still waiting for an opportunity to feedback directly to the match day commander and are in touch with our Football Intelligence Officer regarding finding a suitable date.
5.Catering at West Ham United
West Ham United have apologised to Spurs fans for the lack of catering in the away end at half time during our match at Upton Park.
WHU said Spurs fans smoking in the toilets before the game led to a fire alarm going off which automatically closed the catering shutters.
Upton Park maintenance employees attended the scene with the aim of resetting the system which would have led to the shutters opening. However, the shutters were damaged and could not be raised.
Initially WHU claimed they had been damaged by Spurs fans but there is no CCTV evidence to support this theory. Whatever the reason, Spurs fans were left with no catering facilities at half time.
THST asked WHU if the club had contingency plans in place to ensure this would not happen to any visiting supporters in future. WHU apologised for the lack of back up in place and agreed they needed to provide at least water. The club now has a plan in place to manually distribute water to fans from the doorway of the catering kiosk and along the concourse should this situation arise again during the remaining fixtures at the stadium.
6.Olympic Stadium Coalition – FOI Tribunal Hearing concludes
Last week, the remaining arguments were again presented in a continuation of the appeal made by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) against the ruling by the Information Commissioner that the full financial terms of their contract with West Ham United be published.
The OS Coalition has published the closing statement of Richard Hunt, Coalition member and the original FOI applicant. This document sums up the arguments put forward by the Coalition in favour of full disclosure of the contract for the rental of the stadium between the LLDC and West Ham United to be published in full.
A decision is anticipated within the next fortnight.
7.Meeting with LOROL re: match day transport
Kevin Fitzgerald and Bernie Kingsley met London Overground (LOROL) managers in March to discuss the numerous problems that have disrupted train services through White Hart Lane on match days this season. Having taken over the service from Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA) last summer, it seems LOROL have finally got enough rolling stock and staff to operate a better service but are still regularly impacted by rail network problems beyond their immediate services from Liverpool Street to Enfield, Cheshunt and Chingford.
They accepted a number of mistakes had been made - and now rectified - such as trying to change access to the northbound platform post match and non-stopping trains at Bush Hill Park. Next season is expected to be affected by numerous weekend closures of the Northumberland Park line, with AGA trains diverted via WHL and Cheshunt, but it was agreed to look at diverting one post match LOROL Cheshunt service to provide an extra train to Enfield.
The redevelopment of WHL station, providing better access on both sides, is also expected to go ahead during our season away from the Lane, possibly funded by THFC's section 106 commitments. By the time we move into the new stadium there should also be new trains, giving around 20-30% more capacity.
8.Atmosphere at White Hart Lane
After Dortmund fans put on an impressive display of support at the second leg of the Europa League tie, there was considerable debate about atmosphere at White Hart Lane. THST’s position is that we will help facilitate any efforts by fans to boost the atmosphere at our ground, and that we’d prefer anything that does happen to be grassroots-led rather than over-organised and corporate. A number of social media groups devoted to improving the atmosphere have raised their profile since this game, and we’re happy to help and advise people on how best to achieve what they want.
Europa League Final ticket allocation
Prior to the first leg of the Round of 16 matches, THST joined the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, the Spirit of Shankly (Liverpool) and the Football Supporters Federation to lobby UEFA 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 10,000 tickets will go to fans of each of the finalists. The rest will be sold to ‘neutrals’ via a general ballot or allocated to sponsors and commercial partners. We consider this to be unsatisfactory.
Fans are encouraged to support their teams and the competition itself throughout qualifiers, group stage games and knock-out rounds, often at considerable expense. For so many to be denied access to a ticket for the final is in our opinion unfair.
We have asked that UEFA consider bolstering the number of tickets available to fans of finalist clubs by:
- Reconsidering their strategy of playing Europa League finals in stadia with a capacity of less than 50,000
- Agreeing to look at reducing the proportion of tickets allocated in the first instance to the general public ballot, in order to boost the proportion delivered to competing finalists
- Agreeing to consider amending the ticket allocation to commercial partners in all future contracts to a percentage of stadium capacity rather than a fixed number
End of Season BBQ at the Antwerp Arms
Some great news - a Spurs fans event at our community owned and managed pub. We have met with the Pub’s event organiser and other members of their Management Committee and have agreed to jointly host a BBQ on Sunday 29 May 2016.
Two themes for the day: our team of 16 riders will be setting off to ride to Amsterdam five days later on June 3, fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK (see item, below) and this is our chance to wish them well before the Grand Depart and to contribute to some last minute fundraising.
Secondly, whatever the eventual outcome, what a wonderful season we are all enjoying. So, as we wave good bye to 2015-16 and look forward to our last season at the Lane, let’s all get together with family and friends for a great day at the Antwerp.
Please put it in your diary now and keep the date free.
We are due to meet the Management Committee again on 8 April, so keep a look out for Twitter, Facebook and THST news updates shortly.
Football to Amsterdam for Prostate Cancer
As mentioned above, 16 Spurs cyclists will set off from the Olympic Park to ride the 150 miles to Amsterdam, along with hundreds of other football club fans (and several hundred more from Barnsley FC's ground).
When the Trust decided to make this our charity for the year there were only two riders, so we are particularly pleased to have played such a role in making Spurs the second biggest team of cyclists in the land and by far the biggest from the Premier League. We also put out the call to other PL Trusts. The Club have also put the message out and three of our team are from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
Fundraising and training are going well. To date we have raised close on £9,000 and have thus exceeded our end of March target. Now it’s onwards to £1000 per rider by June 3 2016.
In addition to our individual fundraising, we have a team page which can be viewed here.
So, please help all 16 of us reach our final target.
North London Derby policing meeting
We were due to meet with the police and Arsenal fan groups for a debrief following this game, but the meeting scheduled for 21 March 2016 was cancelled. We await further information.
Watford allocation at the Emirates
THST has 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, using both the upper and lower tiers at the Emirates. You may recall that we were denied 4,000 of our 9,000 allocation at the same stadium in the same competition after the council’s Safety Team identified risks with persistent standing in the upper tier. Watford fans were seen standing for large periods of the game in the same tier. We shall update you once a response from both parties has been received.
Centerplate catering update
Our meeting with Centerplate has been cancelled for a second time. We continue to talk with THFC regarding the sub standard match day catering on offer at present.
THST Meeting dates for 2016
Board meeting dates were agreed as Monday 23 May, Monday 1 August and Monday 7 November.
Our next meeting with the Board of THFC has been arranged for Tuesday 31 May.
Evening Standard on ticket pricing
Fighting Cock podcast on Dortmund pricing
Fighting Cock – The good, the flag and the ugly
Press Association on title chances – Martin Cloake
THST Co-chairs on The Tottenham Way podcast
Sky Italia recently came to London to film a short documentary on THFC. THST was happy to help with and contribute to the film, and it can be seen in full below. It’s a beautiful piece on our great Club and we hope you enjoy as much as we did.
To view the Sky Italia' Inside Tottenham' piece, click here.