- THST Members’ Meeting – 15 November
- Burnley fixture change compensation
- Chelsea Police Meeting – 16 November
- FSF Premier League Supporter Organisations Meeting – 14 November
- Fixture change sub group meeting with Sky – 2 November
- Structured dialogue sub group meeting with the Premier League – 10 November
- Safe Standing update
- THST Q4 Board Meeting – 7 November
- Premier League Enterprise Challenge 2016
- Football 2 Amsterdam 2017
- Crowdfunding Spurs fan’s legal case
- Tottenham Community Press
- THST AGM preparations
1. THST Members’ Meeting – 15 November
Our latest Members’ Meeting took place in the William Blake pub at Old Street on the evening of Tuesday 15 November. Around 50 members took the opportunity to question the most senior ticketing executive at Tottenham Hotspur – Ian Murphy – on everything from the home ballot to Wembley pricing to the season away to plans for the new stadium. Head of Supporter Services, Jonathan Waite, was also present to answer any general queries. A full report from this session can be read here.
Thanks to those who took the time to come along and participate in a candid, frank and enlightening session. We’ll look to organise another Members’ Meeting in the New Year.
2. Burnley fixture change compensation
When the Club announced the rearrangement of the Burnley home game almost two weeks after the latest round of TV picks, we immediately contacted the Club to protest about the late notice, lack of consultation and inconvenience caused to supporters. Our colleagues at Burnley’s Clarets Trust informed us they had been told of the change a week earlier, and we were less than impressed to hear from our Club via the official Twitter feed.
We informed THFC we would be looking for compensation for those fans with tickets who had booked travel and accommodation for the original fixture, and made clear our feelings about any future late fixture moves.
We put out a call for fans who were out of pocket to contact us, and we passed those details on to the Club. The Club agreed to refund season ticket holders who sent proof of non-refundable travel and accommodation costs to them. We welcome that decision.
The Club did not, however, refund fans who had paid for travel and/or accommodation without match tickets. We have pointed out the realities of the travel market mean fans will often make arrangements before they have secured a match ticket, which is why we argue for firm decisions to be made and stuck to on fixtures at an early stage. We’ve made clear our expectations for the future on this subject.
3. Chelsea Policing Meeting – 16 November
Martin Cloake, Katrina Law and Kevin Fitzgerald represented THST at the Partnership and Planning Meeting ahead of the away fixture at Chelsea at the end of November. Hosted by CFC at Stamford Bridge, senior members of the Safety team from Chelsea, Spurs’ Head of Supporter Services, senior commanders from the Met and British Transport Police, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea/ Hammersmith and Fulham, representatives of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust and the Football Supporters’ Federation discussed the operational plans for the event. Much focus was placed on the arrival at Stamford Bridge and how best to encourage fans to arrive at least an hour before kick-off. A report from the meeting can be read here.
We were pleased to input into a constructive, well-organised session as genuine stakeholders and hope other clubs will follow Chelsea’s template when planning for high profile, high risk matches in future.
4. FSF Premier League Supporter Organisations Meeting – 14 November
Reps from fan groups at all 20 Premier League clubs met in London at a meeting organised by the Football Supporters Federation to catch up on a number of national issues. Reports of progress around fixture scheduling and the process of structured dialogue at national level called for in the Government’s Expert Working Group on Football appear below, along with an update on safe standing, which was also discussed. Other discussions were:
• Location of away fans in stadiums. The Premier League has announced a new rule saying away fans must be located pitch-side. The FSF is circulating details and club reps have been asked to monitor implementation. THST asked that attempts to implement the rule by splitting allocations were monitored and resisted.
• Concessionary prices for away fans. There was discussion around differing definitions of what age a young adult was from ground to ground. FSF was minded to push for u22 across the board, but a number of fan reps (including THST) thought that may be too high (excepting those in full time education etc.) THST also raised the point that concessionary prices across the board ranged from £11 to £27 for away tickets, with the higher end prices clearly not being in the spirit of the away price cap. We suggested compiling a full list of concessionary prices.
• Hull City Trust asked to be kept informed of pricing offered to away fans at their stadium.
• Man United Trust asked everyone to remain vigilant over any cuts in away allocations, and the FSF agreed to reiterate the message.
• Fan experiences at West Ham’s stadium were shared. West Ham fans were beginning to get organised, having realised they needed to get their own club to take concerns more seriously. And the FSF had an extensive dossier of away fan experiences at the stadium which they were using to try and get workable solutions implemented alongside the police and club officials.
5. Fixture change sub group meeting with Sky – 2 November
THST Co-chair, Kat Law, was one of three fan reps who met with Senior Sky Sports executives at the start of the month to discuss the impact of fixtures changed for broadcast on match going fans. The session was an FSF sub group meeting following earlier discussions at the Premier League meeting back in July. This was the first session in what is hoped will be an ongoing dialogue between fan reps and broadcasters as we look to ease the inconvenience caused by scheduling changes.
THST presented research on the volume of League matches moved for broadcast over the past 4 seasons, alongside similar statistics from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, which provided valuable context and highlighted the scale of the problem. 41.5% of Spurs’ matches have been moved for broadcast over that period. Special thanks go to THST member Peter Haine for working back through the fixture calendars and providing the statistics for us.
A statement following the meeting can be read here.
6. Structured dialogue sub group meeting with the Premier League – 10 November
THST Co-chair, Martin Cloake, was one of three PL club supporter reps, along with Supporters Direct and the FSF, to meet with the Premier League’s Communications Director and customer services staff to discuss progress on implementing the proposals on structured dialogue made by the Government Expert Working Group on Football. In plain English, that means the recommendations that clubs must meet regularly and meaningfully with their fans at least twice a year. (The THFC Board currently meets THST three times a year).
Many fan groups, THST among them, wanted to see firmer requirements come from government but the deal eventually agreed by SD and the FSF only saw recommendations issued. At the initial meeting of this group, the PL indicated it would be introducing a rule requiring clubs to meet regularly with fans, and we were hoping this meeting would begin to address the practical details of how this would happen, and what details – particularly financial – would be shared. At the moment, information about club ownership and finances is too often too hard to find.
The PL’s stance at this meeting had changed, with reps told the PL was now looking only to introduce “guidance” for clubs, and that it preferred achieving consensus through demonstrating good practice works rather than imposing rules and requirements.
THST was among those who expressed dissatisfaction with this position. But the reality is that, with little enthusiasm at government level to legislate, we have to work at a pace dictated by the PL. The sub-group will continue to push for best practice, particularly around financial reporting.
Safe Standing update
After years of pressure, the PL clubs finally discussed their approach to safe standing. The FSF statement on those discussions is here. THST had asked the Club to raise the issue and seek clarification on current legislation, and we understand that THFC helped put the issue on the agenda. As the clubs never disclose who said what at these meetings, we can provide no further information on the part THFC played.
We’re pleased the issue has been raised and that more clubs, including THFC, seem to be actively considering the arguments around safety, choice and atmosphere with safe standing. We’re pleased too that discussions are moving on, although much of the information that would be obtained by the “scoping out” the PL speaks of is already known. We will, alongside other supporter groups, keep this issue live at a national level, while continuing to put the case for safe standing in the new stadium should a way be found to allow it.
THST Q4 Board Meeting – 7 November
The Board of THST held their Q4 meeting on the evening of 7 November. All Board members were present for an update on finances and membership numbers, a ticketing round up, discussions around the potential renaming of White Hart Lane station, an update on Trust representation at national level, finalising plans for the Members’ Meeting, preparatory work for the 2017 AGM and progress with the NPD. All Board members reported back on activity over the last quarter. The next meeting is scheduled for 25 January 2017.
Premier League Enterprise Challenge 2016
Each year the Premier League sets a business challenge to secondary school pupils working with their local club. Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is working with five local secondary schools to help teams of five students on this year’s task, which is to propose ways in which clubs can attract new fans from the USA.
For the third year running, THST will be involved with the Foundation by providing one of the judging panel that will decide on 15 December which is the best team to go forward to the regional contest and then, hopefully, to the national final in March 2017.
Football to Amsterdam 2017
Can the Cycle On You Spurs team surpass this year’s table topping effort? Will you be joining them on the ride? Will you be there in spirit with a donation?
Things are looking good. To date we have 15 riders signed up to leave the Olympic velodrome on 9 June. This is one more than last year’s final total and puts us top of the league again. If you ride a bike, want to get even fitter, have a great time on the road, ride with Les Ferdinand and arrive at Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena on 11 June, then celebrate in Dam Square (and who could ask for more?) here’s what you need to do. Sign up by Orange Friday, midnight, 2 December and get £25 off your signing up fee.
Or if you want more information or questions answered then email Kevin Fitzgerald.
If this is not one for you, how about a donation? Prostate Cancer effects 1 in 8 UK men at some point in their lives, including many riding to Amsterdam and even more of their loved ones. So every donation, however small helps fund the research so necessary to combat this disease. The Cycle On You Spurs team fundraising page is here.
Crowdfunding Spurs fan’s legal case
We’ve been asked to make supporters aware of the following crowdfunding appeal, conducted on behalf of a Spurs fan who cannot be named for legal reasons, who was assaulted outside the ground in 2011. It’s a slightly complex case, so please read the appeal carefully. Thank you.
Tottenham Community Press
This is the title of a new community newspaper recently launched in Tottenham, with the first issue of 10,000 free copies distributed to local libraries, cafes and pubs in November. It is a Social Enterprise UK backed initiative, with plans to produce and distribute copies every two months, next issue January 2017, with the aim of becoming a monthly.
Alan Fisher, the Tottenham On My Mind blogger, is writing a regular column for the paper and the Trust will maintain contact regarding matters of mutual interest.
THST AGM 2017
THST is due to deliver its’ Annual General Meeting before the end of February 2017. We are finalising a suitable date with our regular hosts, Nabarro LLP, and will inform full members of arrangements a minimum of 6 weeks in advance of the meeting, in line with the guidance in our constitution. Anyone wishing to stand for election or vote on any of the resolutions at the AGM needs to be a full (paying) member by 1 January 2017.
Finally - a reminder…
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.
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