We are living with a reinvigorated COVID virus thanks to the Omicron variant and have recently moved to the restrictions under the Government’s Plan B. This has implications for match goers. Add to that an increased away allocation of 6,000 West Ham fans and a lively rivalry between the two sets of fans, and we thought it was worth speaking with those in charge of making sure Wednesday night goes smoothly to work through some of our questions and concerns.
First and foremost, we must stress that it is now compulsory to show proof of either double vaccination OR a negative lateral flow test in order to gain entry to the stadium. The move to Plan B means any supporter unable to show either their vaccination status or confirmation of a negative test when asked to do so will be turned away from the ground. Please take it upon yourself to have either ready, or proof of a valid medical exemption if applicable. THFC is extremely clear as to what constitutes proof, so please check the list on their web story here. It’s worth noting that the cards given out at vaccination centres are no longer accepted. All ticket holders will also have been asked to complete a declaration form. Please make sure this is completed in good time ahead of the match.
The Club will be operating increased spot checks from the Liverpool game on Sunday 19 December and are now required to refuse entrance to any fan unable to show their status. This is not a THFC decision or choice. It is now a legal requirement, so please work with the stewards to make the best of a difficult situation.
West Ham United will be bringing a team of 15 stewards to the game, who’ll be on hand to answer any queries from visiting fans regarding COVID checks.
TRANSPORT AND ROAD CLOSURES
At the time of writing, we have been informed that there is a normal service planned on all rail and underground lines on Wednesday evening with no planned closures or service reductions. However, fans are strongly urged to check routes before leaving for the match and to be wary of last-minute service cancellations should COVID cases result in a shortage of drivers and other key staff.
Supporters are also reminded that the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is served by several stations, and to check alternative routes should there be issues with their usual route.
Park Lane will be closed to traffic from 16:45 on Wednesday afternoon and the High Road will be closed to traffic from 17:45. The CPZ will be in place.
POLICING AND STEWARDING
This has been classified as a High-Risk match. Consequently, there will be an increased steward presence inside the stadium. There will also be a police presence inside the stadium to handle any flashpoints. The Met will be utilising horses and dogs on the stadium footprint. Police will also be issuing dispersal notices outside the ground, if necessary.
THFC response team supervisors will be wearing body cameras to protect both the stewarding staff and supporters inside the stadium. More information on how that footage will be stored and used can be found here.
There are no specific plans to escort West Ham United fans to the stadium, but the police will react to the circumstances on the evening. It may be necessary to hold away fans on Bromley Road before moving round en masse along Worcester Avenue, so home fans may experience some delays in accessing the East Stand should that be the case. THFC stewards and Met police will provide as much information on the ground as is possible to supporters unsure of the best way to reach their entrance.
West Ham United has an allocation of 6,000 tickets for this match: 10% of stadium capacity. Away fans will be located in blocks 113 to 118 and blocks 419 to 424. A five-seat segregation line will be in place on the North side of the away allocation, which will be manned by double the number of stewards initially with the option to include police, if necessary. It’s especially important this segregation line is robust as the North side borders the traditional home Family area. Other segregation lines will be in place prior to kick off, as usual.
Stewards will also be present behind the glass walkway in Blocks 116-118 in the NE corner, to separate the band of home Premium fans from the away support below.
Alcohol will be served, as usual, in both home and away areas prior to the match and will continue to be served up until the stadium closes at 11pm, providing there are no incidents of anti-social behaviour.
It would be foolish to think that some away fans won’t appear in home areas on Wednesday night, given the proximity of the two fan bases and the magnitude of the match. We are assured that THFC safety briefings will stress the need to refuse access to home areas to any fan visibly wearing West Ham colours and also to remove away fans drawing attention to themselves in home areas throughout the match. This will be cascaded down through the steward’s briefings to ensure front line staff are fully aware of process and procedure.
Home fans are reminded that they face an indefinite ban for selling on home tickets to away fans, so please consider the ramifications before selling onto that West Ham mate on Wednesday lunchtime when your other mate pulls out!
All local pubs welcome Home fans only, and all will be operating usual licensing hours on Wednesday.
That’s the main thrust of the briefing. We hope Wednesday night is a Christmas cracker for everyone connected to Spurs and that the match goes off without incident off the pitch, and plenty on it! If you do experience any difficulties at the game, please speak with your closest steward initially or text the Reporting Line on 07537404821 with details of the behaviour and location. Full details on the line can be found here. They’ll be able to provide on the spot assistance. You are also welcome to email us on info@THSTOfficial.com or to tweet us on @THSTOfficial and we’ll do our best to respond swiftly.
Tuesday 21 December 2021