For the game to have gone ahead on New Year’s Eve, capacity would need to have been capped at 43,000. We have 46,000 Season Ticket holders at Spurs across GA and Executive levels. With an away allocation and commitments to sponsors, partners, players and staff, up to 8,000 of our Season Ticket holders and all of our One Hotspur members would have been unable to attend the match. As soon as we became aware of this possibility, we made it clear that was not an acceptable solution, and we used our contacts to ensure that all parties were aware we would use whatever measures necessary to challenge a capacity cap.
While we recognise the new date will be inconvenient for some fans, we now have the outcome we wanted, a confirmed date for a maximum capacity event. We also recognise the efforts made by THFC to remind supporters the fixture was not confirmed while discussions were continuing.
However, if Sky had listened to the objections raised when it made its first choice, and had it not published that first choice before it was confirmed that the many elements needed to stage the game were in place, weeks of confusion for supporters could have been avoided. As could the fixture congestion our team now faces.
We’d like to thank our contacts at the Premier League, the Mayor of London’s office, the Shadow Sports Minister and, eventually, Sky for taking our views on board.
What has been shown clearly is the value of proper dialogue. When all stakeholders are involved and properly consulted, it is possible to find solutions that work. We hope this lesson is borne in mind and that we never have a situation again in which a scheduled fixture is not confirmed less than four weeks before it is due to be played.
4 December 2017