Champions League tickets
Fan-led review of football governance
THST Official podcast
Advice for fans travelling to away games
THST Forum update
Sadly, we need to say a huge and heartfelt thank you and goodbye to our Treasurer Adam Bailey who has run the THST finances for nine years. Adam is stepping down now to pursue other interests but is handing over his responsibilities to our new co-opted Treasurer Anthony Morkos, who we now welcome to the Board. We will all miss Adam’s hard work, his wisdom, methodical and vigilant approach to his responsibilities, and calm and thoughtful responses to the plethora of questions we ask him. We wish him every happiness for the future and I am sure we speak on behalf of all our members.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TICKET UPDATE
Prior to the Champions League group stage draw, we lobbied the Club to offer the option of a package of tickets for the three group stage games, alongside the standard option of individual match tickets. This would have enabled the package to be offered at a discounted rate, saved fans money on individual transaction fees, and also enabled the Club to get the money for all three games in earlier. A win-win. The package option was very popular with match-goers when it was last offered and has been supported consistently by fans in numerous THST surveys.
Let’s also not forget that the Club previously used the offer of a competitively priced group stage European package as the major reason for withdrawing the two Cup vouchers from the Season Ticket package.
The Club did not accede to our request.
When ticketing information was published, it was only for the opening home game against Olympique Marseille, and contained no detail on pricing. When money was taken from the accounts of Season Ticket holders registered on the Automatic Cup Ticket Guarantee Scheme it became clear the Club had decided to charge category B pricing for this opening group stage.
We challenged the pricing. The Club told us it was confident the stature of the opposition justified the price. But it was seemingly not confident enough to announce this up front. In fact, money was debited from Season Ticket holders on the automatic cup ticket scheme with no prior information as how much would be taken. This is unacceptably poor customer service and, at best, disrespectful to fans.
We are now concerned at the precedent that has been set. The Club often argues it benchmarks pricing against other clubs. But if the pricing for this game is checked against, for example, the pricing structure Chelsea has announced for the group stage, Spurs’ is far higher. If this game is a Category B, what does this mean for other group stage pricing, or pricing if we qualify for the knockout stages?
The Club now has a chance to consider its pricing policy in light of the points we have raised and in the midst of the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. Progress on the pitch should not be used as an excuse to further penalise supporters. And, at the very least, supporters should be treated with the respect other businesses treat their customers.
A number of Trust members contacted us about the decision not to operate the Ticket Share platform for home Champions League fixtures and we raised this with the Club, who maintain that this is their standard position for UCL home games. With dates and times being confirmed ahead of purchase windows opening, the theory is that fans will know if they can make the match and will either purchase tickets or not dependent on their ability to attend, unlike Premier League games, where a bundle of 19 home games is effectively sold blind. Should a situation arise whereby a Season Ticket holder can no longer attend a UCL match then Season Ticket holders are able to return tickets to the Club for a full refund up to 7 days ahead of the match.
The Club also closes Ticket Share for cup fixtures to minimise the chances of opposition fans obtaining tickets in home areas.
UPDATE ON THE FAN-LED REVIEW OF FOOTBALL GOVERNANCE
We reported last month on the ongoing discussions with the Club about a new framework to give fans a voice at board level. Those discussions are taking place together with Proud Lilywhites, SpursAbility and Spurs REACH.
Further discussions took place this month at which a number of suggested improvements to the draft documentation were agreed, with some points requiring additional refinement. We are awaiting revised draft documentation from the Club and we hope that this will provide the basis for an outcome which can be supported by all groups. We will then be able to report to you in more detail.
The proposed Premier League Fan Engagement Standard has not yet been finalised or published, but you will have seen that a number of clubs have publicised their new fan engagement structures. A number of these include aspects which we have covered in our discussions with the Club. We are aiming to achieve an outcome that matches or betters the fundamentals of those arrangements and ensures a robust enduring basis for effective fan engagement.
The start of any season is a busy one for the Trust with common questions around digital ticketing and the Exchange and Share platforms. The start to the 2022-23 season was no exception!
The changes from Google Pay to Google Wallet had an impact on Android users in terms of accessing their digital match passes, and we fielded a lot of queries from concerned members, and liaised with relevant Club staff, in the run up to the Southampton game.
The Club electing to bring forward their second set of One Hotspur Member on sale dates from late to early August with no notification on their website or social media also caused problems for members who hadn’t received the email update. Again, we took heavy traffic from disgruntled OHM’s who had missed out on purchasing in their dedicated sales windows. We followed up with the Club to stress the importance of using all communications channels available to them in future such circumstances.
ADVICE FOR SPURS FANS AT CHELSEA AWAY – 14 AUGUST 2022
As with every visit to Stamford Bridge in recent seasons, representatives of the Trust met with members of staff at CFC, THFC and the Metropolitan Police to discuss plans for the operational management of Spurs’ Premier League away game at Chelsea on 14 August.
A full report can be read here:
The main bone of contention focused on CFC’s decision to reduce THFC’s allocation by 70 tickets in order to strengthen the upper segregation line after flashpoints at recent games. Removing tickets solely from the Spurs allocation when the troubles had been on both sides of the divide was disproportionate, and THST objected strongly to this decision.
We’ll pick up with Spurs ahead of Chelsea’s visit to our stadium later in the season.
ADVICE FOR SPURS FANS TRAVELLING TO FOREST AWAY ON 28 AUGUST 2022
Trust reps Martin Cloake and Katrina Law requested a planning meeting ahead of Tottenham’s trip up Nottingham Forest on August Bank Holiday weekend. Due to staffing issues at NFFC, this wasn’t possible so THST submitted questions in advance of a written response.
That information was collated and shared with Trust members and travelling supporters ahead of the match, and can be read here: https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/2022/august/information-for-our-fans-travelling-to-forest-on-sunday/
We have outstanding queries with the Club around their Senior Concessions policy for Season Ticket holders, with an ongoing exchange currently offering unsatisfactory responses to some important and specific questions around ‘caps’ on the number of Senior, Junior and Young Adult seats available in concessionary blocks. THST is on record as believing a concession should be linked to a person, not a seat, and is extremely keen to clarify precisely how the Club determines when a concessionary block has no further concessionary seats available in it. We would hope the Club would be willing and able to answer straight questions with straight answers, considering STH’s and OHM’s have a right to transparency when it comes to ticketing and seating policies that directly affect them. We are in the process of scheduling a full meeting with the THFC ticketing team to address a number of other issues on behalf of our members.
THST OFFICIAL PODCAST
In this month’s podcast Martin Buhagiar, Rachel Martin and Rob White meet to discuss the Fan Led Review, our very own annual survey findings, ticketing and catering... and there's also time to quickly discuss our start to the season, the transfer window and our favourite kick off times. (200) THST Official August 2022 - YouTube Let us know if there are any particular areas you’d like us to cover in future editions.
CATERING UPDATE – PLEASE FILL IN OUR SURVEY IF YOU WERE AT SPURS FOR THE MATCHES AGAINST SOUTHAMPTON OR WOLVES
Regular readers will know that we were advised by the catering team that the menu was being upgraded for the new season. It’s fair to say that the new dishes have been very well received and that the increased variety at Tap Inns is also very welcome. However, the excitement and anticipation of the first match of the season, the beautiful weather, and the prospect of seeing some of our new signings, meant that there was a very large crowd, from when the stadium doors opened. We received a lot of messages about unacceptable queueing and waiting times at many different points around the stadium. There also appeared to be a lot of new staff, understandably, who were not all up to scratch about the new menu, how the equipment worked, or even where water was available.
Simon Sullivan and Rachel Martin, who lead on catering, fed this back to the catering team and will be meeting with them at the end of September. However, it is really important that for these conversations to be meaningful, they have solid data about the scope of difficulties – as well as feedback on what is going well.
So please would you fill in our catering survey if you have attended the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for either or both of the matches v Southampton and Wolves? We will be using your responses at meeting. Please be as specific as you can be, detailing where any difficulties arose and at what time. Just click here to get started – it takes about 10 minutes to complete: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PWVXSGV
We also strongly recommend that you download the new Spurs Official app and look at the menus under More… Stadium / Matchday Checklist / Food and Drink. Here you will see scrolling images of the menus at the various outlets as well as policies on dietary requirements / food allergies etc.
You’ll also see that the Park Lane Square is open every match currently with different food retailers each match as well as mobile units serving draught lager, spirits, soft drinks and coffee.
The section on Inside the Stadium is also well worth a read.
Here’s the link to our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PWVXSGV
This month on the Forum full members have been discussing difficulties with accessing season tickets on android phones, ticketing, catering at the stadium, and stewarding. The THST Forum is open to full and life members of the Trust. Full and life members should apply to join through the link on our site and set yourself up an account. We emphasise that Trust membership alone doesn’t give you automatic access to the forum, you need to register via the link.
To JOIN the Trust, please register here. To UPGRADE from free Associate Membership of the Trust to Full membership, please click here.
If you’re already a Full or Life member of the Trust, click here to register for our Forum.
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1 September 2022
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