Following an exchange of views over the last week, which we reproduce below in the interests of transparency, the Club has confirmed it will not be changing its decision.
We will continue to work for improvements in decision-making that ensure proper consultation and discussion on key decisions such as this happens in future.
We encourage any fan who is facing financial difficulty renewing by the 29 April deadline to contact Ticket.Office@TottenhamHotspur.com to request that their case be heard on a one-to-one basis.
Fans will now make their own decisions about how they spend their money. With the biggest fall in living standards since records began being forecast, this decision does not present the Club in a good light.
25 March 2022
Our conversation with the Club, reproduced in full here for transparency:
15 March 2022: From THFC
Dear THST, Proud Lilywhites and SpursAbility,
Thank you for your letter of 11 March which covered several points including the Season Ticket renewal timetable.
We are indeed facing challenging times for everyone. For this reason we decided to freeze season ticket prices and to absorb rises in costs within our own cost base. We are in London with the associated higher costs that brings, not least of which is the London Living Wage for all staff, however we felt that a price freeze was the correct decision as we are acutely aware of the increases in the cost of living for our supporters.
It had always been our intention to bring forward the season ticket renewal timetable when we opened the new stadium. The pandemic obviously meant we did not do this for the last two seasons. We do expect an increase in requests for relocations now that fans are better versed in the layout of the seating – indeed we have received more than 3,600 in the first week - along with the return of those fans that deferred their season tickets. We are keen to accommodate as many requests as possible. We have provided a slightly longer renewal period and ensured that it still covers two month ends. No fan with a credit agreement will pay anything before June.
We are immensely grateful for the amazing support from our fans. We know Antonio has felt that support from the stands. We shall always be ambitious for this Club and shall continue to rebuild during the summer.
18 March 2022: From THST, Proud Lilywhites and SpursAbility
Thank you for coming back to us on a number of important issues. We are of course aware of the cost of living and doing business in London; many fans live in the city and so experience the costs you refer to. In our earlier correspondence, we recognised that the Club has frozen ticket prices but pointed out the potential goodwill generated has been largely lost because of the decision to bring the renewal deadline forward.
We appreciate the need for the Club to manage its Season Ticket inventory ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, which is why it’s fortunate that the Club had the foresight to partner with Ticketmaster for co-innovation projects resulting in a virtually fully digital ticketing offering. Seat moves have been automated, significantly streamlining the relocation process this summer, and it is our understanding that the renewal process as a whole will be less labour intensive than during previous renewal windows. It does not seem to explain the need to move the renewal deadline to April.
It is also worth noting that in an ongoing dialogue between THST and THFC, the intention to bring the deadline forward once we moved into the new stadium was never articulated until after the decision had been taken this March. Consultation is not presenting a fait accompli.
Season Ticket sales form just a small part of the Club’s income, dwarfed by broadcast and sponsorship monies and it’s not clear how giving supporters an extra month in which to renew would have a materially adverse effect on the Club. From our calculations, General Admission Season Ticket sales represent between 12% and 16% of revenue and extending cash collection until May would still mean the Club receives monies prior to the end of its financial year in June.
Rises in costs have affected us all and both the Club and supporters have taken a hit. There have been two rises in food and beverage prices at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this season, and there is potential for a third when the rules on VAT change. When the VAT rate was cut, the Club absorbed that instead of passing it on to fans. It has also removed Senior and Young Adult ticket categories from cup pricing, and removed all concessions from Ticket Exchange, so there have been savings for THFC along the way, too.
It is accurate to state that fans taking the V12 finance option won’t begin repayments until June. But many fans who are struggling to pay will not qualify for that scheme, those who are accepted incur extra costs and there is an impact on their credit rating.
We have listed the reasons why fans generally are experiencing tough times, and we’d also like you to take the circumstances of two sets of fans into account. LGBTQ+ communities are among the poorest in the country, and so planning finances is critical. And for many of our disabled supporters, who already face significant financial challenges, an earlier deadline will mean the difference between retaining or giving up a Season Ticket. For some fans, a Season Ticket equates to 5% of their annual income. It’s a big expenditure that requires considerable planning.
Taking all of the above into account, we are still searching for a cast iron reason as to why the Club needs all of the GA Season Ticket monies by 29 April. When the earlier deadline is going to cause a great deal of distress to some of your fans, and when those fans have written directly to you to express their distress, we’d like to think you’d be willing to listen and adopt a compromise. Would you be willing to accept a 20% deposit by the 29 April with full payment by 31 May? In these uncertain times, it will undoubtedly be harder to replace lapsed Season Tickets holders than to retain existing ones, so showing some flexibility here would also be a sound business decision.
We await your response.
THST Board, Proud Lilywhites Committee, SpursAbility Committee
24 March 2022: From THFC
Dear THST, Proud Lilywhites and SpursAbility,
Thank you for your further email.
We share your concern about rising costs affecting everyone, hence freezing the price of season tickets.
We note your request for a date change and deposit. We did respond to the former in our earlier email. In respect of a deposit, we used this in the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic and, as you know, it is no guarantee that the renewal would definitely be completed, thereby potentially holding seats that we could not offer post closing to those relocating. Additionally, we need to ensure fairness - renewals and payments have already been taking place for some weeks now.