5th February 2014
Att: Matthew Collecott, Operations and Finance Director, THFC/ Ian Murphy, Head of Ticketing and Membership, THFC
RE: SEASON TICKET PRICING – SEASON 2014/ 2015
THST is aware that the Club is in the process of finalising Season Ticket pricing for the 2014/ 2015 campaign. As finding a meeting date earlier than 27th February to engage in genuine fan consultation on this subject is proving difficult your side, we are outlining
our position on this subject below and ask that this is considered before any proposals are signed off.
The decision to increase the price of full Season Tickets by, on average, 3.3% for the 2013/ 2014 campaign was announced last March, at a time when the Club was in an outwardly stronger position than it is now.
THST understands the reasoning behind the rise was part of an incremental year on year increase to soften any leap when Spurs move into their new stadium. A year later and we still await the laying of the first brick and, other than a change of architects, the project doesn’t appear to have progressed at all. Fans are being asked to invest for the future with no tangible return on that
investment in sight.
Last March, THFC was in the midst of a much cited ‘‘project’ under Andre Villas Boas, about to reach a Club record points haul in the Premier League, as well as a record number of away wins in a season. We also boasted a genuinely world class player, in the form of Gareth Bale.
At the time of renewal in May 2013, fans had been encouraged to buy into this ‘project’, which has subsequently been disassembled throughout the 2013/ 2014 season.
The departure of Andre Villas Boas; the sale of Gareth Bale to our ‘special partner’, Real Madrid; a decline in performances and entertainment on the pitch; the serious ticketing difficulties experienced at the start of the campaign
resulting in a second roll out of reprinted stadium access cards for members in October; the activation of the StubHub resale facility and the extortionate figures tickets are trading for on that platform; the arrests and prosecution of our fans for singing the Y Word and the lack of communication from the THFC Board on all of these key issues has culminated in a difficult, unsettling season at The Lane.
Financially, fans are stretched more than ever before and, rather than feeling embraced or valued for their loyalty, a sizeable percentage feel disenfranchised, disposable and replaceable.
What is concerning to THST is that the dissenting voices are getting louder and are now not solely confined to social media or the online community. They are being heard in the stadium, both home and away. Fans are fed up with being treated as customers, not supporters; as a client reference number rather than a genuine stakeholder.
The Club has a duty to prioritise those fans coming through the turnstiles over supporters clubs in the USA, or online supporters in the Far East, regardless of global marketing strategies and targets.
By increasing Season Ticket prices this year, it will only galvanise the growing levels of frustration.
Campaigns such as the FSF’s ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ and the wider ‘Football Without Fans is Nothing’ movement call for not only a halt to the annual increase in ticket prices but a move to reverse this trend before the heartland of a club’s support is lost forever.
We urge you to consider whether the vitriol any increase would cause would actually be worth it, for the relatively small amount of revenue a rise of c 3% again would generate. Also, with a deal in place the size of the StubHub partnership, surely there is room for manoeuvre on Season Ticket pricing for next year?
For all of these reasons, THST strongly requests a price freeze for full Season Tickets for the forthcoming campaign.
Before closing, we would like to flag our appreciation of the Europa League and Capital One Cup pricing so far this season, which has been well received by all. Making White Hart Lane accessible to the next generation of fans is absolutely crucial should there be any chance of filling a larger stadium in the future.
In addition to freezing full Season Ticket prices for the 2014/2015 campaign, THST also advocates extending the age for concessions from 16 to 18, for the reason outlined above.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
The Board of Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust.
cc: Donna Maria Cullen, Executive Director, THFC/ Jonathan Waite, Customer Services and Supporter Liaison Manager, THFC
THFC response to THST letter - 7th February 2014
Thank you for your recent letter in respect of next season's pricing structure for our Season Tickets.
The Board will review the points you have raised within the overall budgetary process and complex matrix of demands placed on the Club when considering our pricing strategy for next season in the coming weeks.
I know myself and Jonathan are due to see a couple of you ahead of the Dnipro home match and I am sure the matter will also be discussed, along with some of the other points raised in your letter, when we are due to sit down for the wider meeting in March.
Ian Murphy, Head of Ticketing and Membership, THFC