THST ran its seventh annual Fan Survey from 9th to 18th June. After a pause in 2020 owing to the disruption to the 2019/20 season caused by the pandemic, we were keen to gauge fan sentiment on a wide range of issues affecting Spurs fans. The online survey was open to all Tottenham supporters, including members of the Trust.
Asked how confident they were in ENIC’s long-term strategy for the Club, just 5% were confident, with 77% not confident. Among Season Ticket holders who responded, 75% were not confident, with the figure for One Hotspur members 79%. In 2019, just 12% of respondents lacked confidence in the owners’ long-term strategy.
Reading through the many thousands of comments, the overwhelming sentiment is very clear. People spoke of feeling fans were held in contempt, that the Board was too focused on business and not enough on football, that responsibility for poor decisions was seldom taken, that communication and decision-making was poor.
Considering the Club’s transfer policy, 82% of all respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied; up from 62% in 2019. On THFC’s academy and homegrown player policy, 53% of total respondents were satisfied or very satisfied; down from 81% in 2019.
Across the survey, the current Board’s approval ratings have plummeted, when just two years ago, fans spoke of the fantastic feeling of unity at the Club. If anyone ever doubted significant change is needed at our Club, these survey results make the point very clearly.
Of course, it’s not enough just to say what is wrong, although the clear feeling in these results must be acknowledged. Nor is it enough to sloganise or pretend there are easy solutions. That’s why we have been working hard on a set of proposals to genuinely embed the voice of supporters at the heart of the Club’s decision-making. We’re doing that as part of a review being led by fans and carried out by the government that is looking at how individual clubs and the whole game in England is run.
Those proposals are set out in full in our submission to the review. The interim report published by Tracey Crouch MP, who is chairing the fan-led review, also indicates support for significant reform of football governance, including the strengthening of fan voices at board level.
Our survey revealed 81% of Trust members wanted to see independent members of the Club’s Executive Board representing fans in decision-making, and 65% backed the call for an elected Supervisory Board operating a ‘golden share’ option on key decisions affecting our Club. A further 88% of THST members agreed that football club boards should be required by legislation to have independent supporter representatives, Fan Directors, as members.
These results will make uncomfortable reading for those running the Club, but acknowledging there are problems and genuinely working with supporters to address those issues would be a decisive and positive first step.
The full results of our survey can be read in the document below.
4 August 2021