THST AGM and New Trust Board
Fan-Led Review and Fan Engagement at THFC
THST Quiz at the Annie
Ticketing changes in post COVID era
Analysis of THFC Financial Statements 20-21
Match planning for Leeds United away
Y Word: THST position
Tottenham Foodbank during March
Antwerp Arms Trust offer for March
THST End of Season BBQ
Catering at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
THST Official Video Podcast
Off the pitch, there have been various rumours about potential bids for the Club, and about whether or not the THFC Board voted against a Premier League Owner’s Charter. We’re pressing the Club for answers, and there is more detail in this newsletter. As always, we try to focus on practical solutions. While we understand it’s unwise to respond to every piece of speculation, and that commercial sensitivities are involved around issues of ownership and investment, we believe fans have a right to know if decisions that will have a great impact on our Club are being considered or taken, and the right to seek assurances. That’s one of the main reasons we are pressing for governance reform.
Before we get down to business, a quick congratulations to co-chair Kat Law, who was shortlisted for the Football Supporters’ Association’s Richard Lillicrap Award this year. The award was established after the premature death of Swansea City supporter Richard Lillicrap, who was instrumental in establishing the Swans Trust and saving the club in the 2000s. It is given to supporters who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to help fans. It’s the most prestigious award the movement gives. Kat was one of seven shortlisted candidates. Our congratulations go to worthy winner Rachael Harding, whose tireless work for the St John’s Ambulance service at Oxford United earned her a nomination.
Finally, some great news to lift the mood – Club legend and Trust Honorary President Steve Perryman has agreed to be our very special guest at this year’s fundraising summer barbecue. It’s a great way to come back after two years away. Steve will be the most special of special guests and we are really looking forward to the day. Keep an eye on our website for more details.
1. THST AGM and new Trust Board
We held our Annual General Meeting virtually by Zoom on the evening of Wednesday 16 February. The AGM is an important meeting for the Trust, and we were delighted to welcome so many of you on the night. As a formally constituted Community Benefit Society, the AGM follows a set process, as confirmed with members in advance. We opened up with an address from co-chairs Martin Cloake and Katrina Law, summarising the year’s work and including a short film of highlights, kindly produced by Theo Delaney. Treasurer Adam Bailey then presented the Trust accounts for the year ending 31 August 2021 and took questions on the figures. You can view the latest financial statements here.
Attention then turned to the seven resolutions on which full Trust members were invited to vote, either at the meeting or in advance by proxy. The first three resolutions saw existing Board members Anthoulla Achilleos, Adam Bailey and Rachel Martin reappointed for another term. The next three resolutions saw the nominations of Henry Ellis, Koonal Shah and Simon Sullivan to the Trust Board ratified by members. Finally, members voted to disapply the need for auditors for the year ending 31 August 2022, with an independent examination of THST’s finances being undertaken in line with FCA rules for organisations of our size.
Outgoing Board members Pete Haine and Kevin Fitzgerald were thanked for their contribution and dedication over many years of service.
After the AGM, the THST Board comprised Anthoulla Achilleos, Adam Bailey, Martin Buhagiar, Stephen Cavalier, Martin Cloake, Henry Ellis, Michael Green, Katrina Law, Rachel Martin, Koonal Shah, Simon Sullivan, Rob White.
The new Board met for the first time on the evening of Monday 21 February via Zoom, where the following positions were agreed for the coming year:
Co-chairs: Martin Cloake and Katrina Law
Secretary: Stephen Cavalier
Treasurer: Adam Bailey
Responsibility for key workstreams was allocated for the next 12 months, as follows:
Anti-discrimination: Stephen Cavalier, Koonal Shah, Rachel Martin
Atmosphere: Katrina Law, Henry Ellis
Broadcast and kick-off times: Katrina Law, Koonal Shah (via FSA)
Catering: Rachel Martin, Simon Sullivan
Charity and Community: Rob White, Rachel Martin, Anthoulla Achilleos, Henry Ellis
Communications: Martin Cloake, Katrina Law, Martin Buhagiar, Steve Cavalier, Michael Green
Events: Rachel Martin, Rob White
Governance and Fan Engagement: Martin Cloake, Katrina Law, Stephen Cavalier, Rachel Martin, Michael Green, Koonal Shah
Heritage: Rob White
Media: Martin Cloake, Katrina Law, Steve Cavalier, Simon Sullivan, Henry Ellis
Membership database: Rachel Martin, Adam Bailey
Podcast: Martin Buhagiar, Rachel Martin, Anthoulla Achilleos, Rob White, Simon Sullivan, Henry Ellis
Property and Finance: Michael Green, Henry Ellis
Safeguarding: Rachel Martin, Anthoulla Achilleos, Martin Buhagiar
Safety and Policing: Martin Cloake, Stephen Cavalier, Katrina Law
Surveys: Katrina Law, Michael Green, Rachel Martin, Anthoulla Achilleos, Koonal Shah
Ticketing: Katrina Law, Anthoulla Achilleos, Simon Sullivan, Henry Ellis
Transport: Rob White, Simon Sullivan
Website: Martin Cloake, Katrina Law, Martin Buhagiar, Rob White
Members can contact all Board Directors by email at firstname.lastname@THSTOfficial.com on any matter and we’ll respond as soon as we can.
2. Fan-Led Review and Fan Engagement at THFC
We continue to discuss the mechanics of a reformed structure for fan engagement and for input at Board level at THFC with the Club. Those discussions have taken place with a representative of the Club’s Executive Board, the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer and the Public and Community Relations Manager. We hope to have a first draft to discuss within the next month or so. As we’ve said before, we won’t be giving a running commentary on each point of discussion, but we will put something in front of our members for approval once the document is sufficiently advanced.
Discussions so far look broadly on course to deliver on the principles contained in the Fan-Led Review of Governance. We continue to push the Government to make good on its promise to legislate to underpin the FLR’s recommendations, and we urge every one of you to write to your MP to ask them to back the call for legislation. The start of March has been identified as the optimal time for a big push, so look out in the coming days for a piece on the THST website giving advice on how you can most effectively lobby your local MP.
To be clear, we are not asking for the Government to run football, or for politicians to “interfere” in the detail of how the game is run. What we are asking for is some legal underpinning and guarantee that the measures recommended in the review will be required, rather than just be advice. We know from experience that football will not reform itself, and we want any new role for supporters to have teeth.
The game has already missed a number of deadlines set by the Review, and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport wrote to the Premier League, English Football League and the Football Association at the beginning of February to ask for an update on progress with nine key areas, along with a reminder that fans were expecting progress.
The football authorities responded by promising updates on the points requested, but without specifying how and when, and by indulging in a bit of intra-league finger-pointing. All of which underlines the point that we need government intervention to really move things on.
We’re also aware of reports that the self-styled Big Six Premier League clubs, including THFC, refused to sign the Owners’ Charter being discussed as part of the response to the FLR. According to those reports, the clubs objected to signing up to a commitment to qualifying for European competition through sporting merit only.
While we don’t act on every piece of speculation, the range of reports in a number of outlets prompted us to ask THFC for clarification. We asked if the Club had voted against an Owners’ Charter, and if so why. We reminded the Club that in our discussions following the collapse of the European Super League it had been made very clear that fans were committed to the idea of qualification through sporting merit.
We have not yet received a direct answer to the question, although the Club has warned of the pitfalls of responding to speculation. We are aware of them, which is why we have asked the Club directly to clarify.
We are also working on a formal Memorandum of Understanding to underpin the relationship between THST and THFC, alongside the FSA, and we’ll report back on this as soon as documentation is available.
3. THST Quiz at The Annie
We are delighted to announce that the much-missed THST Quiz Night is returning on Thursday 21 April at The Antwerp Arms in Tottenham. The event will be compered by long-time friend of the Trust, and Spurs Show and Life Goals podcast host, Theo Delaney. We are all busy researching some fun-but-tricky Spurs-related questions to challenge you with. So put the date in your diary and email us on info@THSTOfficial.com to reserve your place. You can come as a team or individually and we will join you up with others. Tickets are £5 each.
We will be raising much-needed funds for local mental health charity Studio 306 Collective, so there will also be raffles with the chance to win Spurs-related prizes. It’s sure to be another great night – we can’t wait to see you there.
4. Ticketing changes in post COVID era
As referenced in January’s newsletter, now the government has removed Plan B COVID restrictions, the Club has opted to revert to the original operational parameters for both the Ticket Exchange and Ticket Share platforms. THST had lobbied for an enhanced service during COVID, which had included TEX opening a minimum of 48 hours ahead of every home game, and both Exchange and Share opening to One Hotspur members as well as Season Ticket holders.
Judging by the traffic we’ve taken on TEX and Share throughout February, it’s worth laying out the new arrangements for clarity, now COVID is no longer considered part of the mix.
- Ticket Exchange for Season Ticket Holders
Season Ticket holders unable to attend a match because of a positive COVID test are encouraged to use Ticket Share or TEX (when open) to move their tickets on, but are asked to contact the ticket office with proof of a positive test for further discussion (Ticket.Office@TottenhamHotspur.com) if the tickets are not taken or bought via Share or TEX.
- Ticket Exchange for One Hotspur Members
OHMs are able to return individual match tickets to the Club for a full refund no less than seven days out from a match.
OHMs unable to attend a match because of a positive COVID test closer than seven days to a game are asked to contact Ticket.Office@TottenhamHotspur.com with proof for further discussion.
OHMs unable to make a match rescheduled for TV will be able to request a refund providing it's no less than seven days out from the match.
- Ticket Share for Season Ticket Holders
- Ticket Share for One Hotspur Members
- Cup games
THST is in continued dialogue with THFC around the operational parameters of TEX and Share. We appreciate many of you rely on TEX to recoup some of the significant costs of a Season Ticket for games you are unable to attend for a myriad of reasons, and we appreciate the difficulty caused when TEX doesn’t open for a fixture. We’ll continue to make those points to the Club and would encourage anyone affected by the changes outlined above to write to Ticket.Office@TottenhamHotspur.com and copy in Info@THSTOfficial.com. As so often, the more voices the Club hears, the more likely a positive outcome for fans.
At the time of writing, we are awaiting details around Season Ticket Renewals for the 2022/23 season. As a reminder, THST has lobbied for the minimum of a price freeze and for a renewal deadline after the close of the Premier League season. We’ve also pushed for the reintroduction of the two home Cup vouchers, and an interest-free payment plan, together with reassurances around the management of the seat relocation process and the Season Ticket waiting list.
5. Analysis of THFC Financial Statements 20-21
At the beginning of the month the Trust published its review of THFC’s financial statements for the 2020-21 period, which were released towards the end of last year. The review focussed on the Club’s profitability, player trading, debt levels and cash flow generation, as well as other points of interest in the financials.
The analysis suggests that in the short-to-mid-term the Club’s financial position is relatively secure, in no small part due to the structure of the majority of the Club’s debt which is repayable over a period from 2029-2051. It does, however, highlight the losses incurred during the pandemic lockdown and the importance of the stadium, European competition and commercial income to generating the revenues needed to compete in the transfer market.
6. Match planning for Leeds United away
Along with reps from THFC’s stewarding team, SLO Levi Harris and the Club’s Dedicated Football Officer, we met with the stadium safety team from Leeds United ahead of our Premier League game at Elland Road. It’s been some time since we played a league game at that ground, so we wanted to go through plans for the match in some detail. We’re also aware that fans of Newcastle United experienced some problems entering the ground earlier this season.
The Leeds safety team were extremely helpful, and we were reassured that lessons from the Newcastle game had been learned. We issued advice for our fans on the basis of the meeting. We were pleased that SpursAbility also had a rep at the meeting, helping to ensure the needs of our disabled fans are considered as part of the mainstream conversation.
7. Y Word: THST position
In the run-up to our home game against Wolves, the Club published a statement on the findings of the focus groups it had held on the so-called Y Word, along with details of its proposed WhY Word campaign. We published our own statement on the same day. We encourage all fans to read both statements carefully.
We took the decision not to provide further comment in order to avoid fuelling the media circus that has surrounded this debate, and some of the subsequent reporting underlined the wisdom of that decision.
For clarity, our position is summarised below:
- We’ve always said Spurs fans singing the word in a football context isn’t antisemitic.
- We want to see action taken against the unambiguous antisemitism directed at us.
- We recognise it’s a controversial subject, which is why we welcome recent efforts to ask fans to think about the use of the word.
- Any decision must come from the fans, and we should listen especially to our Jewish fans and respect the variety of views they hold on the subject.
- We don’t believe sanctions are the way forward. We have and will continue to defend our fans from sanction and accusations of antisemitism.
- The Club has asked for time to reappraise and reassess use of the word. We want to give our members time to do this. So we’re planning on asking a few questions in our End of Season Survey in June and we’ll then agree our next steps once we have that data and a clear steer on how our members feel about the continued use of the word.
8. Tottenham Foodbank during March
With the departure from the Board of Pete Haine, who has done so much to promote and support the work of Tottenham and North Enfield Foodbanks, we are keen to ensure that this relationship continues. Board members Rob White and Rachel Martin will be carrying the mantle forward and working with the foodbanks and THFC to help ensure that local people in food poverty are supported.
Rachel met recently with Trust member Sarah Edwards who volunteers at Tottenham Foodbank. Sarah talked about the generosity of Spurs fans who bring dried and canned food items, toiletries and sanitary products to the Foodbank collection point at Tottenham Community Centre on certain matchdays. Spurs fan volunteers collect the items and then drive them to the depot after watching the match. The Twitter accounts @THSTOfficial, @SpursOfficial @TottFoodbank and @FoodbankEnfield all publicise the matches at which collections are made.
You can see the interview with Sarah on our forthcoming video podcast and we hope that the work she and other Spurs fans do will inspire you to bring donations, or even maybe volunteer. You will certainly receive a warm welcome and know that you are making a hugely positive difference to the lives of many people. And of course, if you, or someone you know, are experiencing food poverty, foodbanks are there for you too. Please don’t decline the help that is available.
UK-based fans not attending games can still help to support the foodbanks at any time by texting COYSFOODBANK and any donation amount to 70085. To donate £10, text COYSFOODBANK 10, for example. Anything you can afford would be hugely appreciated.
Those living overseas or unable to use a text donation service are encouraged to donate via Tottenham Foodbank's crowdfunding page.
9. Antwerp Arms Trust offer for March
Our community-owned pub The Antwerp Arms, which as you will have read in our newsletters will once again be hosting our Charity Pub Quiz and our End Of Season BBQ, is continuing to offer 10% off food and drink for full Trust members throughout March. You’ll need to show your Trust badge, so if you do not have one please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to collect by arrangement at the pub.
10. THST End of Season BBQ
We are already planning for the return of our annual THST End of Season BBQ at our local community pub, The Antwerp Arms. So please put Sunday 29 May in your diary and look out for more details in our next newsletter. The barbecue is traditionally a time for us to get together to celebrate or commiserate at the end of the season, to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK and promote the Cycle On You Spurs team’s sponsored cycle ride to Amsterdam.
We have very special guests lined up, including, we are delighted to say, the honorary president of THST and the absolute Spurs legend that is Steve Perryman. It’s sure to be an afternoon not to be missed.
11. Catering at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
THST Board members Rachel Martin and Simon Sullivan will be meeting with the Club’s Catering Team later this month but, before they do, we want to know how you’ve found the food and drink offering at the stadium so far this year. Please complete our catering survey to let us know what was hot and what was not.
12. Football2Amsterdam 2022
As the grand depart of our cycling team from the London Velodrome to the Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, draws closer and the cyclists start getting out on the road for some serious training, it’s time to begin a final spurt into our fundraising.
Many of the hundreds of riders who will be leaving the Olympic Velodrome, including some in our team, have lost loved ones to this cancer; others are cycling having survived it and recovered. It’s a disease that 1 in 8 men in the UK will suffer from at some point; 1 in 4 black men. Your donation, along with all the individual fundraising of our COYS riders, will help raise the monies needed for PCUK to continue researching and making breakthroughs in diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Our cycling team has raised around £41,000 for June’s ride, our best to date and putting us firmly at the top of the London depart club teams, taking our grand total since our formation in 2015 beyond the £150,000 mark.
In addition to all the magnificent individual fundraising efforts, we have a team page which is now live and donations will be gratefully received.
13. THST Official Video Podcast
We hope that you watched or listened to last month’s video podcast from Board members Martin Buhagiar, Anthoulla Achilleos, Rachel Martin and Rob White. This month we will be joined by new Board member Simon Sullivan and we will be talking about the work we’ve been doing in February and the issues that face us in the month ahead. Thanks for the positive feedback we’ve received to date and please let us know if there is anything that you’d like us to focus on in future episodes.
You can view our February podcast on YouTube here.
Listen on Apple podcasts here and on Spotify here.
14. THST Forum
This month on the Forum we have been discussing a range of subjects including, of course, the Club’s recent statement on ‘The WhY Word’ and THST’s response to it; our most recent podcast which explored the issues raised in last month’s newsletter; ticketing; the impact of broadcasting companies on kick off times and, in turn, the impact on supporters, and lift access within the stadium. A broad range of subjects, as ever.
There’s also a thread on Board member Michael Green’s stellar analysis of Tottenham Hotspur’s Financial Statements. If you haven’t already, do give this a read and add your thoughts on the Forum.
The THST Forum is open to full and life members of the Trust. Full and life members should to apply to join through the link on our site, and set yourself up an account. We should 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.
27 February 2022
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