THFC furloughing decision
Trust during lockdown
Update on Trust events
Football to Amsterdam 2020
Trust Members' Forum
1. THFC FURLOUGHING DECISION
Since our last newsletter, our biggest piece of work has been in lobbying the Club to reverse its decision to cut non-playing staff pay by 20% and apply to join the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme after putting 40% of its non-playing staff on furlough.
The decision, coming on the day the Club issued its financial statement for the year to 30 June 2019, immediately drew criticism and we contacted the Club to highlight the strength of feeling that was immediately apparent among fans. We issued a statement calling on the Club to explain its reasoning more clearly, and expressed our concern about the effect of the decision on the Club’s reputation.
We were careful not to jump to conclusions, to posit ourselves as representatives of Club staff, or to rule out any measures that could have helped prevent job loss or hardship. And we asked for the organisations representing players and managers to engage in meaningful dialogue to address the problems the game was facing.
We continued to lobby for a change of mind over the following week; a week that saw the Club subjected to intense criticism from the media and, more importantly, growing numbers of fans. Co-chairs Kat Law and Martin Cloake put the Trust case in a number of media outlets and podcasts, responding to huge demand for comment. We then issued a more detailed statement, setting out our position and putting forward a number of practical alternative suggestions that could be applied at THFC and across the game.
Three days after that, the Club publicly reversed its decision. In doing so, it acknowledged the constructive contribution the Trust had made, and promised to consult with all stakeholders, including the Trust, should circumstances change.
There can be no doubt that the strength of fan opinion against the Club’s original decision was a key factor in securing a change of mind. Each and every fan who contacted the Club, whether directly by email or by flooding the official social media channels with #payyourstaff, can feel proud that they played their part. We were able to channel that strength of feeling in order to press the point strongly through the relationship we have built up with the Club’s Executive Board. Our measured and constructive approach made it harder for the Club to dismiss criticism, and helped gain key media support.
This success shows clearly the value of constructive engagement backed by strong expressions of feeling by supporters. One without the other is far less effective, and we were left to reflect on what we might have been able to achieve on ticket pricing at our new stadium, for example, if more fans had spoken up to back the arguments we put forward.
What was so positive about this was the fact that so many fans showed they still cared so much about our Club doing the right thing. We are so often encouraged to see football simply as a business, but what has been demonstrated – at Spurs and elsewhere – is not only that football clubs are so much more than just businesses, but that fans are prepared to do something to protect the true value of the clubs they support. We want to be proud of our clubs.
In congratulating the Club for being brave enough to admit it had made a mistake, we expressed the wish that it would be a big step in restoring relations between the Club and its fans. If we really have shown Club executives the true value of listening to and working with fans, then something significant will have been achieved.
Following the Club’s announcement, we took the decision to do no media other than the short statement we issued. We saw no value in raking over a bad decision and urged a focus on the practical measures the Club was undertaking to help combat COVID-19. These measures also helped restore pride in our Club.
With no conclusion to the current crisis in sight, it seems inevitable that there will be more challenges ahead. We will play what part we can in meeting those challenges.
2. TRUST DURING LOCKDOWN
This month’s newsletter comes to you nearly six weeks into an unprecedented period of lockdown. We hope that you and yours are staying safe and healthy, and that you have not been hit too hard by these challenging times.
The suspension of the season means that much of our work is on hold, and Trust Board members, along with everyone else, are dealing with new challenges in our work and personal lives. Aside from keeping in touch with our contacts at the Club, we also mailed every one of our members aged over 70. We felt it was important to provide a point of contact and offer help if we could. We’ve very much enjoyed the conversations that ensued from that, and we’re encouraged by the resilience and good humour we’ve encountered.
With a spike in new memberships following our work around the furlough controversy, we took the decision to donate ALL fees from memberships taken out for the duration of full UK lockdown to the Meals for the NHS charity. So far, we have raised over £1,700. Thank you to everyone who has joined, strengthening the voice of the Trust and raising funds for a very deserving cause. If you are an existing member and want to donate, please do so using the DONATE button on the Membership page of our website. We’ll add any donations to the registration fees for the duration of lockdown in the UK and send onto Meals for the NHS.
We’ve been in direct contact with Meals for the NHS and they want to make all Trust members aware of the ways each of us can continue to support their initiative. The waiting list for hospitals and meals is growing: and there are still thousands more hungry NHS team members who need a boost. Right now, this is what you can do about it:
- Get involved in the #makedonatenominate campaign. It's simple: make a meal, share a picture on social media, tagging in @MealsfortheNHS and using the #makedonatenominate hashtag, before donating and nominating others to do the same
- Tell your networks - friends who can donate, restaurants who could help, doctors who are hungry. Make sure they all know about Meals for the NHS.
- Shout from the rooftops/your window/balcony. Just #StayInside
3. YOUR QUESTIONS
We’re aware the uncertainty about what happens next in football has prompted much speculation and a host of questions. We don’t see any value in responding to or contributing to speculation, but we do want to try and briefly cover some of the questions we know fans are raising.
- Will the season resume?
- Will games be played behind closed doors?
In line with fan organisations throughout Europe, we also question whether it would be right for football to create demand for resources that are needed more urgently elsewhere – especially the testing and tracing that are needed to successfully deal with COVID-19. The argument against playing behind closed doors is put very eloquently here in relation to the situation in Germany.
However, with circumstances changing very fast and clubs facing unprecedented pressures, it would be foolish to rule any solution out. Staging games behind closed doors is very much a last resort, and any solution should be discussed properly with fan representatives.
- What is happening with the tickets I’ve purchased for the remaining games of the 2019/20 season?
- What is happening to cash held by the Club in the cashback scheme?
- What is happening about season ticket renewals?
4. UPDATE ON TRUST EVENTS
Lockdown meant we were unable to stage our fundraising quiz night in April, and as we announced last month, the annual end-of-season BBQ has been cancelled. We intend to reschedule both events as soon as we can. We have no intention of staging either event behind closed doors. Until restrictions on movement are lifted and it is safe to stage social gatherings, it is not possible to plan anything with any certainty.
The Trust Board is scheduled to meet for its regular meeting on 18 May, and this meeting will go ahead via video conferencing. We hope by then to have a clearer idea of what will be happening over the next few months.
5. FOOTBALL TO AMSTERDAM 2020
As we announced in last month’s Newsletter, Prostate Cancer UK postponed the 2020 cycle event due to be held on 5 to 7 June, and was hoping to reschedule the ride later in the Autumn.
Rescheduled dates have now been announced as 4 to 6 September 2020, with all registered cyclists given the options of riding on those dates. deferring to June 2021 or withdrawing and being reimbursed the entry fee.
Of the 28 riders registered with the Cycle On You Spurs team, 16 have opted to ride in September with 11 deferring until June 2021. All funds raised by those riding in September will contribute towards PCUK’s 2020 total, while the funds of those deferring will go forward with them to June 2021. Donations made on the team Just Giving page by the Trust and our supporters will contribute towards the 2020 total.
Clearly the final go-ahead for the September 2020 ride is dependent upon the control of COVID-19 and the easing of current restrictions. Should that mean that the ride cannot be undertaken in 2020 then all funds and donations will accompany the COYS 2021 team.
5. TRUST MEMBERS’ FORUM
We’re pleased to announce that the online forum for members will launch in the next fortnight. We’ve been working for some time to create a space in which members can discuss the areas we work in, especially since our decision to go transmit only on social media.
We want this to be somewhere members can discuss issues you feel are important, and where we can test, discuss and develop policy.
You’ll need to sign up using your Trust membership number, and we’re asking you to use your real name. We’ll try to ensure the forum is run to the following principles:
“The THST members’ forum is an online community for full members of the THST to connect with other members, including the elected Board of the Trust, and to discuss the work of the Trust.
- How we connect
We expect all members to contribute to creating an open and welcoming forum. This means respecting others’ opinions, no swearing, no discrimination, no aggression and nothing that is legally actionable.
When you post, please write clearly, so that other members find it easy to read and comment on your thoughts; stay on topic; and treat others as you would like them to treat you.
Posting copyrighted material, such as full newspaper reports, is not allowed and we will remove material that infringes copyright as soon as we can.
Please do not post personal information in public.
- What we talk about
This is not the forum for club customer service enquiries, debates about on-field activity or the history of the club. There are numerous other Spurs fan forums dealing with those subjects far better than we ever could.
Individual members of the Trust Board do not guarantee to respond to direct questions posed on threads, but will endeavour to reply to DMs.
- Moderating this forum
If a moderator takes action against an individual, the individual in question will be contacted directly with an explanation and will have the chance to explain their case. Moderators will try to resolve any issues through discussion.
Moderators will try to remove any comments that contravene community guidelines within 48 hours of being notified of a breach.
We don’t allow:
- Advertising or other commercial content, company logos, links, or company names
- Copyright infringements
- Spam, unwanted contact, or content that is shared repeatedly in a disruptive manner
- Content that endorses or promotes illegal or harmful activity, or that is profane, vulgar, obscene, threatening, or harassing
- Content that is discriminatory
- Attempts to impersonate another person, account, or entity
- Content that is illegal
- Trolling or repeatedly targeting community members
- Think before you comment
Not surprisingly, it’s been a bumper month for media coverage. This might be the point at which you make a cup of tea.
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust send important message to Daniel Levy and the Spurs squad
Spurs fans' group angered by chairman and players who they insist must help pay non-playing staff
Exclusive: Tottenham to push ahead with 20 per cent wage cuts and furloughing non-playing staff
A year of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Analysing Tottenham’s finances: Levy’s £7m and wage cuts for non-playing staff
Gary Lineker slams Tottenham move to cut staff pay amid coronavirus pandemic
Tottenham fans want players to take pay cut amid coronavirus outbreak
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust urges Daniel Levy to make 'personal contribution' after staff wage cuts
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust call on chairman Daniel Levy to make 'further personal contribution'
Daniel Levy considers putting Tottenham ground staff to work on his private estate
Tottenham supporters increase pressure on club as Liverpool reverse furlough decision
Tottenham told to ‘listen to your fans’ and reverse decision to furlough non-playing staff
Tottenham's stance on coronavirus U-turn after Liverpool backtrack on furlough decision
Tottenham fans' group send desperate plea to Daniel Levy over furlough decision
English football's blame culture makes it unable to come together
Lord Sugar explains what he'd do if he was Tottenham chairman after decision to furlough staff
Liverpool’s furlough U-turn piles pressure on Tottenham with fans insistent reputation is damaged
Tottenham fans go public to BEG them to reverse the furloughing plans
Former Tottenham man hits out at Daniel Levy over decision to furlough non-playing staff
What is Daniel Levy’s thinking behind Tottenham furlough decision?
José Mourinho and Tottenham players break coronavirus rules to train
Daniel Levy has no right to turn Spurs into pariahs
Tottenham supporters urge club to 'do the right thing' on furlough plan
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust releases statement calling on club to 'do the right thing'
Tottenham Supporters' Trust fears club's furlough decision has 'exhausted any future goodwill' from fans
Supporters' Trust urges Tottenham to "do the right thing" over staff furlough decision
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust urge their club to 'explain its options'
Tottenham fans group urges club to 'explain options' amid growing pressure on Daniel Levy
Spurs supporters trust urges club to 'do the right thing'
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust urges club 'to do the right thing' and restore staff wages
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust urges Daniel Levy to ‘do the right thing’ amid pay cut dispute
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust again urges club to reverse furlough decision like Liverpool amid ‘body blows’ to Spurs’ reputation
Club Update on COVID-19
Tottenham REVERSE decision to use Government cash to pay for furloughed non-playing staff
Tottenham Hotspur reverse furlough decision for non-playing staff
'Better late than never'
Tottenham's wages and furloughing u-turn: What it means for Daniel Levy, the fans and spending
Spurs announce U-Turn on decision to furlough staff
Tottenham latest club to perform furlough U-turn
Tottenham reverse plans to use government money to furlough non-playing staff
Tottenham shamed into wage cut U-turn after fan fury
Tottenham reverse furlough decision after fierce public criticism
Spurs backtrack on furloughing non-playing staff during coronavirus crisis
Tottenham make U-turn on decision to furlough staff after fans' fierce criticism
Tottenham reverse decision to use government scheme to pay non-playing staff
Tottenham reverse controversial decision to furlough staff until end of May
Tottenham U-turn on decision to furlough non-playing staff during coronavirus crisis
Tottenham reverse coronavirus furlough decision after Daniel Levy and co slammed
Tottenham hope U-turn on furloughing staff will help break impasse over player wage cuts
The Totally Football Show
Tottenham & Liverpool’s coronavirus u-turns show fans’ voices can still be heard
Fan power behind Tottenham furlough reversal, says Jamie Carragher
Tottenham hope U-turn on furloughing staff will help break impasse over player wage cuts
Tottenham’s U-turn explained: Fans’ fury, Levy backs down and budgets revised
What Daniel Levy has said about Tottenham Hotspur Stadium naming rights as Amazon eye £250m deal
John Crace’s Digested Week (Friday)
Tottenham owner Joe Lewis is the man of mystery
Furlough at Spurs
The Cheese Room
Supporters Trust Special
30 April 2020
For more exclusive and live updates follow us on our social media sites:
TO BECOME A TRUST MEMBER, PLEASE CLICK HERE.