We all know standards have slipped on the pitch. Our talisman Harry Kane recently said what most fans have been thinking when he said the Club had lost ‘some values’ since the Mauricio Pochettino era. We doubt anybody would disagree with that.
It has also been a challenging time for the Trust. There has been a lot of change within our board, and a lot of change in the relationship we have with our Club. As the new chair and vice-chairs, we wanted to establish clearly what we are about, and how we would like to work.
THST is an independent organisation that has a formal relationship with THFC. We represent our members, but we are always conscious of the need to be aware of opinions beyond our membership. We have a responsibility to make the Club aware of a broad range of views, but also to take a clear position when required.
There has been much talk about the current ownership and board at THFC. We believe mistakes have been made by both. But the responsibility we have means we have to make every effort to maintain a working relationship to challenge the board, to hold it to account, and to make sure it is aware of the views of a broad range of fans.
We worked hard to establish a more formal basis to the relationship between fans and the board. The Fan-Led Review on the way the game, and our club, is run helped us to do this, resulting in the new Fan Advisory Board announced recently. We pushed for other formally-constituted fan groups to be included, and for representation from a range of constituencies.
Bringing so many different groups together means everyone needs to compromise. The Trust has concerns about how some aspects of the FAB will work, but we were keen for all the supporter groups to agree a position. This has happened, and for the first time there is a formal relationship that requires the Club to consult with fans, rather than an informal arrangement that the Club can withdraw from at any time.
Our members have backed us taking part in the FAB with us reviewing how it works after 12 months. We want to play our part in helping all those fans who are elected, particularly those who do not have experience of dealing with the Club.
We have concerns about whether confidentiality requirements will prevent fans from finding out any meaningful detail about what is discussed, and about the extent of the FAB’s powers. So, we will monitor progress and, alongside the national Football Supporters Association, we will ask the new Independent Regulator for English Football to intervene if the new arrangement falls short.
We hope everyone, including the Club, takes the opportunity to make this work. We know a good number of fans would rather we did not talk to the Club at all, and that they would like to see a change in ownership.
The Club’s lack of communication with supporters continues to be an issue and an area we will attempt to push for change in. The perceived lack of concern for the views of our fans from the Club’s board can often be the catalyst for many disagreements amongst Spurs fans on social media.
We do not think walking away would mean we were taking our responsibilities seriously. We will continue to make the Club board aware of all opinions.
We know that some will not agree with that so we will not pretend to be all things to all people. We aim to be as clear and transparent as possible about the decisions we take and the discussions we have. We will run the Trust as we would like our Club to be run.
Our priorities remain focussed on ticket pricing and the matchday experience, and on ensuring supporting Spurs is as welcoming an experience as possible for people. We will work alongside any groups who are prepared to be open and collegiate, we will continue to help individual fans as well as campaign on the bigger issues. We remain committed to being active members of the supporter movement in England and in Europe. And we want to carry on doing the charity and community work that we are extremely proud of.
Above all, we want the Trust to remain as a voice for ordinary supporters. We also want to encourage more of you, particularly younger fans, to get involved in whatever way you can.
The easiest way to do this is to join. Details are here and you can join for free or as a paying member which helps us cover the costs of the work we do. We know it’s a tired old cliché, but it really is true that the more members we have, the better the job we can do.
Martin, Anthoulla, Michael
18 May 2023