Completion of AGM process
THST New Board Meeting – 26 February
Meeting with the Board of THFC – 2 March
THST Charity Pub Quiz – 23 April
Cycle on you Spurs: Rider recruitment closing soon!
Season Ticket Pricing announcement
Haringey Safety Advisory Group Meeting – 11 February
Match day stewarding
Club atmosphere group
Business & Community Liaison Group Meeting – 18 February
The One Show complaint update
Oxford English Dictionary definition of Yid
Show Racism the Red Card training days
FSE Working Group European Club competitions
Members online forum
- The Spurs Show
- Wingate and Finchley FC
- Zeelo coach travel
- One Hotspur Moments
- Save the date: THST BBQ 2020
1. COMPLETION OF AGM PROCESS – 11 FEBRUARY
The THST AGM took place on Tuesday 11 February 2020 at CMS, Cannon Street. Thank you to those members who either attended in person or submitted postal or proxy voting forms in advance of the meeting.
All resolutions were passed on the night, as follows:
Resolution 3: That existing Board member Kevin Fitzgerald be re-appointed to the Board of THST.
Resolution 4: That existing Board member Katrina Law be re-appointed to the Board of THST.
Resolution 5: That the appointment of Rob White to the Board of THST be approved.
Following the AGM, the THST Board now consists of Anthoulla Achilleos, Adam Bailey, Martin Buhagiar, Martin Cloake, Kevin Fitzgerald, Michael Green, Pete Haine, Katrina Law, Rachel Martin and Rob White.
We urge you to read our Annual Report 2019-20, which gives a detailed account of the work undertaken by the Trust over the past year, and we have also provided the latest set of THST accounts to the period ending 31 August 2019.
2. THST NEW BOARD MEETING – 26 FEBRUARY
The first meeting of the new THST Board took place on Weds 26 February and we welcomed new board member Rob White.
Positions were agreed for the coming year as; Co-chairs, Katrina Law and Martin Cloake; Secretary, Pete Haine; Treasurer, Adam Bailey.
We prepared for our meeting with the Club Board on 2 March, discussing how best to address the questions received from members and the concerns outlined in our annual report.
Other items discussed included progress on ongoing work with the club around stewarding, safe standing and ticketing, Trust finances and membership, the Trust website and national camapigns.
3. MEETING WITH THE BOARD OF THFC – 2 MARCH
Representatives of the Trust Board are due to meet with the Club Board and Senior THFC Executives on the evening of Monday 2 March. We are inviting questions from members so should you have any burning questions you’d like raising, please be sure to email us on info@THSTOfficial.com by close of play on Saturday 29 February.
As we indicated in our Annual Report, we will be prioritising questions on the Board’s strategy for future development on and off the pitch, and on the Club’s model of governance. We believe that after the significant changes this season and with the twentieth anniversary of ENIC taking control of the Club approaching, this is an opportune moment to have this discussion. We hope the Club will take the opportunity to explain how it sees things developing to supporters, and to answer the many questions being asked.
We maintain dialogue on a wide range of issues with the Club on a day-to-day basis, so we won’t be replicating the detailed discussion we have on those issues at this meeting. Our meetings with the Club Board provide the chance to address policy issues with the people who make policy, and if used properly can be a good way of communicating with supporters.
4. THST CHARITY PUB QUIZ - 23 APRIL
Preparations are now underway to make our third annual Spurs Quiz for Studio 306 Collective, a Haringey mental health social enterprise, even more enjoyable and successful than the 2018 and 2019 editions.
We have a great quizmaster in place, in Theo Delaney of The Spurs Show fame, and we need lots of you to register as teams and players for the event on the evening of Thursday 23 April, starting at 7.30pm at the Antwerp Arms.
Once again, we have a ticket price freeze (£3.50 per person or £15 for a team of five.) so encourage your mates to form a team and register on email with email@example.com
Should any readers have any items we could raffle or auction, please let Kevin know. Studio 306, one of our two official charities, is very worthy of your support. Last year’s quiz raised £730. Can we top that this year?
All bookers from 2018 and 2019 are being contacted and invited to participate in 2020. So, don’t leave it too late! Sign up now!
5. CYCLE ON YOU SPURS: RIDER RECRUITMENT CLOSING SOON!
Rider recruitment for this year’s London to Amsterdam is drawing to a close but if you hurry there might be time to join our Cycle On You Spurs team. To date we have 28 in the team, our highest ever number and are top of the national league table.
This year we have a special new recruit, one who brings a very famous name to our team. You can read who he is here.
Recruitment might be ending but the fundraising drive is being stepped up.
Statistics indicate that while we’re watching the first half of our next match, two men will die from Prostate Cancer. As a killer it now surpasses Breast Cancer and is on course to be the number one cancer killer by 2030. Yet we know that with early diagnosis the outlook for victims is very good. And this is where donations to our ride comes in – to help finance the research that will lead to improved diagnosis testing.
You can donate to the COYS team here.
6. SEASON TICKET PRICING ANNOUNCEMENT
THFC announced an increase of 1.5% in the price of Season Tickets, and we gave our view in a statement issued on 13 February. The key line from that statement is “Tottenham Hotspur is the eighth biggest club in world football by revenues and gate receipts are dwarfed by TV income and commercial deals. The simple fact is that the Club is not forced to raise ticket prices. It is choosing to do so, just as it chooses to make its other business decisions.”
We fundamentally disagree with the decision to raise prices but, as we acknowledged in our statement, we recognise that many fans will not consider the increase excessive. However, even among those who don’t consider the rise excessive there is a strong feeling that the Club is exhausting supporter goodwill by making the decisions it has on pricing. The removal of cup credits from the Season Ticket pack remains a particular bone of contention – and let’s remember the Club’s own justification for removing the last two cup credits was to give it the flexibility to offer discounted packages for European competition group stages; something it has not offered for the past two seasons.
The Club has promised to look at European group stage offers, match categorisation and other measures that would reward Season Ticket holders for putting substantial amounts of money up front. We hope to see them deliver on this promise with some tangible measures.
7. HARINGEY SAFETY ADVISORY GROUP MEETING – 11 FEBRUARY
THST rep Martin Cloake attended Haringey’s Safety Advisory Group meeting on 11 February, alongside reps from THFC, Haringey Council, London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police, together with guest observers from the government’s Housing and Communities Office.
SAG meetings review match day planning and stadium management, and Haringey is one of the few to invite a fan rep to contribute – one reason why the government department observers were present. Because discussion around issues such as match day security can be sensitive, providing detailed report backs of these meetings is not possible. THST is present to ensure the fan perspective is considered, and at this meeting we contributed to discussions on potential changes to regulations on standing, match day stewarding, away fans in home areas, and anti-discrimination work.
The Chair of the SAG commended initiatives on which the Club and Trust worked together to achieve concrete results.
Discussions between THFC’s Supporter Liaison Officer, the SAG Chair and THST about how to ensure the supporter perspective is fed into work between these set-piece meetings are continuing.
The new government has indicated it wants to introduce changes to allow supporters the choice of whether to stand or sit at top-flight football in England and Wales. As always, the devil will be in the detail, but there does appear to be significant progress in the direction THST and other fan groups have campaigned for over many years.
We understand THFC is one of the clubs being used to examine how change could be implemented, because of the integrated safety bars introduced in sections of the new stadium, and THST will be involved in discussions.
We’ll continue to advocate a common-sense approach to the issue; one that gives fans the maximum possible choice and which recognises the dynamic of a football crowd. We’ve heard it said that the introduction of so-called ‘safe standing areas’ will mean strict enforcement of sitting in other areas. We’ve pointed out that, even in seated areas, fans tend to rise from their seats at times of excitement. Preventing this completely is clearly not practical. The response to this is that persistent standing will be cracked down on. But there is no threshold definition of persistent standing. Are we going to say that someone standing for more than 10 of the 90 minutes is breaking the rules? Or more than 9? Or 11? This is exactly why we advocate a common-sense approach.
We also need to reassure those fans who do not wish to stand or who cannot stand that we are just as committed to ensuring they are able to watch the game in the way they want. We’re aware the Club’s season ticket pricing statement caused some alarm by referencing a possible expansion of the safe standing area, and we are working with the Club to find out exactly what this means. More news in future newsletters.
9. MATCH DAY STEWARDING
We continue to receive reports of unacceptable treatment of supporters by some stewards, and this is now a significant part of our casework load. We’ve emphasised on numerous occasions that we treat every case we get on its merits, and that we are aware some stewarding staff are subject to unacceptable treatment. But the simple fact remains that the good intentions and briefings from the top of the department don’t always translate as they should on the ground. And, as we mentioned in our annual report, there seems to be a growing tendency to see fans as a problem in the first instance.
We’ll continue to make our case on general issues, and to take on individual casework, using the Football Supporters’ Association’s caseworker Amanda Jacks where necessary.
Ongoing discussions include refining an approach to persistent standing – especially in the light of the latest announcements on possible changes to legislation - and dealing with away fans in home areas.
We were also made aware of some plans to deploy bodycams and use audio recording of fans. We asked a number of questions around thresholds for use, what access fans would have to footage and recordings, how long the material would be stored for and who would have access to it. These questions led to deployment being paused pending further discussion. We’ll report on any developments in future newsletters.
10. CATERING UPDATE
As always, we would like to thank supporters for completing our monthly catering surveys, which give us lots of live information to discuss at our regular meetings with the catering team. Rachel Martin will be meeting with the new manager, Craig Doyle, on 2 March 2020 to discuss the last two surveys.
In particular we will be focusing on the speed of service in food and drink outlets around the stadium, the elusive healthy wraps and bagels, the new catering information on the Spurs App and some individual anomalies around the ground where supply does not meet demand, e.g. with the supply of Neck Oil craft beer.
We are particularly pleased to see that the new, much improved search facility on the App means that those with dietary requirements can locate outlets around the ground where these can be met. Although a few glitches remain, the App has been very well received in general and has proved to be very helpful.
Some fans, when responding to the survey, questioned whether the Club actually reuse the plastic beer cups. We can confirm that this is the case – the thicker mugs are collected from receptacles and ledges, given an industrial wash, and then reused. We will be asking how quickly this process will be rolled out across all bars.
Please keep your survey responses coming and rest assured that although we can’t get every request resolved, every single comment is read by the Club and where possible, accommodated. The more specific information you provide (e.g. block number) the more chance we have of achieving a good outcome for you.
11. CLUB ATMOSPHERE GROUP
THFC’s Supporter Liaison Officer Levi Harris is convening a meeting on how to improve atmosphere in the stadium later in March and has invited a number of grass roots fans and fan groups to discuss ideas. THST will be attending in an observational capacity. Fans interested in contributing can contact Levi on firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve worked on a number of atmosphere initiatives in previous years and have taken the position recently that we will facilitate initiatives from fans rather than lead work ourselves. We know our support strongly favours more organic, grass roots initiatives and so we want to encourage ordinary fans to take on the work. It will also be useful for more fans to understand the practicalities of organising various initiatives.
We’ll keep you updated on progress in future newsletters.
12. BUSINESS & COMMUNITY LIAISON GROUP MEETING – 18 FEBRUARY
THST Secretary, Pete Haine, attended the latest B&CLG meeting at the Club. Brief updates from the session are as follows:
New rolling stock for the TfL Cheshunt and Enfield services is being introduced gradually from next month;
Nothing further to report on the renaming of White Hart Lane station at this stage;
Issues at Northumberland Park station post-match with half empty trains leaving will be reviewed at the Leipzig game;
NFL UK outlined their plans for the two 2020 games. No dates were given;
Outline plans for the Northern Terrace development (the land between Northumberland Terrace and Sainsbury’s) were given in confidence. It will be an impressive small-scale rejuvenation of the area;
THFC did not buy Bobby Buckle’s house at the recent auction.
13. THE ONE SHOW COMPLAINT UPDATE
We received a number of complaints from supporters after an item on Holocaust Memorial Day was featured on BBC1’s The One Show. Martin Bashir’s piece commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day remarked that “some still use football to express their racial hatred” and showed footage of a video produced by the National Holocaust Museum featuring Premier League stars talking about anti-Semitism and “the danger of being silent in the face of hatred”. The last still from the video sees Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane talking of ‘doing nothing’ when watching the deeds of others. This was a specific quote for that specific video.
Following the footage of Harry Kane, the piece cuts to an aerial shot of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium before sweeping into the empty stands with the audio of a radio commentary from the Spurs v Chelsea match on 22 December 2019. This commentary says: “So there we are then. There is an announcement on the loudspeaker to warn the crowd that there must be no further racist behaviour.”
An investigation led by the Club and the Metropolitan Police found no evidence of any such chanting and the case was closed on 6 January 2020.
The editing of The One Show item clearly showed the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the location that was being referred to in the accompanying commentary that mentioned instances of racist abuse from a crowd. This in itself presented a picture that is at best inaccurate, at worst misleading. The fact that this assertion was directly linked with an item on Holocaust Memorial Day makes it even more offensive.
We wrote to the Club setting out the complaints people had sent us, and the Club referenced that letter when its lawyers contacted the BBC. The BBC’s response does not, in our opinion, indicate it understands the substance of the complaint. But the broadcaster did admit that the edit of the item may have presented an inaccurate picture and agreed to re-edit the programme that was available on iPlayer.
We feel, based on the views expressed by a number of supporters, that the BBC should broadcast a formal apology and set the record straight in a prominent manner on a future edition of The One Show. We’ve asked the BBC to do this, and if that approach doesn’t succeed, we intend to submit a formal complaint to Ofcom.
14. OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF YID
The Oxford English Dictionary’s decision to include a definition of the word “yid” as “a supporter or player of Tottenham Hotspur” prompted a bit of a media frenzy. We were contacted by seven separate media outlets in the 24 hours following the announcement, six more than have contacted us for comment about Season Ticket pricing since that announcement was made two weeks ago. So that gives a good idea of what the media defines as a story.
We made no comment. A dictionary simply reflects how language is used and we did not view the OED’s decision as backing or opposing any viewpoints in what we know is a complex and sensitive debate. A number of media commentators took a different view, publishing articles that no doubt boosted audience figures but made little or no constructive contribution to that debate.
The Club’s consultation process with its supporters is currently underway and, when there’s something to report, we’ll do so.
15. SHOW RACISM THE RED CARD TRAINING DAYS
As emphasised at the Trust’s recent AGM, we intend to devote more time in the coming year to diversity and anti-discrimination work.
Following THST Co-Chairs Martin Cloake and Katrina Law meeting with the leading national organisations at the forefront of this work last month, Trust Board members are attending Show Racism the Red Card educational conferences at Leyton Orient, Dagenham and Redbridge and QPR over the coming weeks.
Kevin Fitzgerald attended the first of these at Leyton Orient on 12 February and Rob White, Rachel Martin and Anthoula Achilleos will be representing us at the other venues.
Being the leading anti-racism and anti-discrimination educational charity, the main focus of the 12 February conference was on work with school students with sessions covering topics such as the use of language, definitions of hate incidents and hate crimes and the Equality Act.
We’ll summarise our learnings and next steps after the upcoming sessions at Dagenham and QPR.
16. FSE WORKING GROUP EUROPEAN CLUB COMPETITIONS
THST has been invited to join a working group set up by Football Supporters Europe on European club competition. The idea is to pool knowledge and experience of fan groups from clubs that compete in Europe regularly, and to develop campaigning work. Subjects addressed will include pushing for a ticket price cap for away fans, safe standing, plans for a European Super League, treatment of fans at UEFA-organised matches, and the selection of venues for competition finals.
Fan reps from the following clubs are included:
Ajax, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, CSKA Moscow, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Feyenoord, Liverpool, Manchester United, PSG, Roma, Seville, Sporting Lisbon, Tottenham Hotspur, Young Boys Bern.
17. MEMBERS ONLINE FORUM
Work continues on setting up our members’ only online forum and we hope to be going live very soon.
- THE SPURS SHOW
The Spurs Show holds regular, intimate events in Central London with ex-players and Club legends. These entertaining and informative nights are extremely popular with fans of all ages, are always well attended and have become a cornerstone of the Spurs social calendar.
Now’s your chance to be at all Spurs Show Live events for the coming season with your very own Spurs Show Live season ticket and, as a THST member, you’ll get a 20% discount! Full details are can be found here.
- WINGATE AND FINCHLEY FC
For any of Wingate and Finchley’s home matches, adults presenting a proof of membership of THST at the gates will gain entry for half price. That’s just £6. And any juniors under the age of 16 will be allowed in for FREE. For Senior Concessions (over 65) and Students (proof required for both), the charge is a modest £3. More information can be found here.
THST members are welcome at these matches. Keep an eye on Wingate & Finchley’s social media for latest news.
We’d like to clarify that this is not an exclusive arrangement with Wingate and Finchley, and should we be approached by other local teams with a similar offer, we’d be very happy to explore similar partnerships.
- ZEELO COACH TRAVEL
- ONE HOTSPUR MOMENTS
- SAVE THE DATE: THST BBQ
The One Show
This Is Money
28 February 2020
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