- Results of THST End of Season Survey 2016
- Subsidised and discounted travel for the 2016/17 campaign
- White Hart Lane station redevelopment: meeting with Transport for London - 13 July
- Stadium Community Liaison Group Meeting - 26 July
- Home ticketing at Spurs 2016/17
- Champions League at Wembley 2016/17
- SD/ FSF Supporters Summit - 16/17 July
- FSF/ Premier League structured engagement meeting - 21 July
- Battle of the Somme: Centenary commemoration
- Bring The Dons Home – extra time
- THST Board Meeting – 1 August
- THST/ THFC Board to Board Meeting – 19 September
- Yahoo Sport on Wembley ticket pricing
- The Fighting Cock podcast – 19 July
1. Results of THST End of Season Survey 2016
The results of our annual Fans’ Survey were published on 20 July, 2016 and a summary can be read here. Almost 1650 of you took the time to complete the questionnaire and share your thoughts on a wide range of subjects including ticket availability, pricing, safe standing, the stewardship of ENIC, plans for Wembley and the performance of the Trust.
Your feedback will help shape our priorities and positions for the coming season and we thank everyone who took the time to voice their opinions on some of the crucial matters affecting Spurs fans right now.
We’ll be running smaller surveys throughout the year and will roll out this major piece of research again next summer.
2. Subsidised and discounted travel for the 2016/17 campaign
As referenced in June’s newsletter, the introduction of the £30 away price cap has signaled the end of the agreement by Premier League Clubs to put £200k per season aside to benefit away fans. This was known as the Away Supporters Initiative (ASI) and was used, at Tottenham, to subsidise coaches down to £10 for any away games outside of London and to provide trains and on one occasion, aeroplanes, to away fixtures. While the ASI agreement has formally ended, many Clubs including Watford, Chelsea and Stoke City have opted to continue to offer subsidised travel as a gesture of good will and in recognition of the spiraling costs of public transport, especially with short lead times, as is often the case with football fixtures.
At present, THFC has opted to remove regular subsidised travel (apart from a coach option for disabled supporters) and coaches to Spurs’ opening fixture at Everton are currently on sale for £35 through Thomas Cook Sport. For context, that’s a £25 increase on last season, while the saving on the match ticket via the price cap is £14.
THFC has also removed the free coach per season for UK based Supporters Clubs, an initiative introduced in 2014 at the behest of THST.
We are keen to ensure any savings gained by the price cap are not eroded by hikes in transport costs and have made this view known to the Club. THFC commented that “after analysing the use of the coaches across the three year ASI period, the subsidy provided benefitted in the main, a very small number of unique users. We felt it wasn’t appropriate or sustainable to continue subsidising a small minority to such a degree.”
THFC has agreed to provide travel assistance where supporters have no public transport options open to them due to match scheduling, as confirmed in last month’s newsletter.
However, we feel strongly that regular travel assistance should be given to fans attending away matches and will continue to push this case forward to the Club. We ask any supporters who agree with our position on this make their feelings known to THFC too.
In the meantime, we have approached Thomas Cook Sport directly to ask for its help in subsidising coach travel for the coming season. We’ll let you know the response as soon as we can.
Regarding transport to home matches at White Hart Lane, Abellio Greater Anglia is offering discounted travel for Spurs fans. Full details can be found here.
3. White Hart Lane station redevelopment: meeting with Transport for London – 13 July
THST Board member Michael Green and consultant, Bernie Kingsley, who is working with THST on transport issues, met with TfL on Wednesday 13 July to hear proposals for the redevelopment of White Hart Lane station. Finishing touches are being made to formal plans which will be submitted to Haringey Council soon.
The proposals involve the construction of a ticket hall with step-free access closer to the mid-section of the current platform with entrances on Love Lane and Penshurst Road. On Love Lane, this will involve the demolition of garages and the creation of new station forecourt. The most obvious improvement for Spurs fans is that each platform will be served by two new staircases, allowing faster access to and from the platforms as well as helping to ease congestion.
Love Lane and Penshurst Road will be connected by a link through the station and under the platforms constructed by opening up one of the railway arches. This link will be open before matches to allow quicker access from the northbound platform to the High Road but will be closed after the matches to ensure queues for each platform are kept separate.
This is expected to happen during our season away at Wembley with the station ready for our expected return to Tottenham in August 2018.
The station redevelopment is to be funded by the TfL Growth Fund and the GLA Mayor’s Regeneration Fund.
The progress of the plans and TfL’s willingness to share information and discuss it with THST is welcome. THST will continue to liaise with TfL, and will press in particular for the retained staircases to be used on match-days both before and after games to ease congestion, and to offer better access to existing businesses on White Hart Lane. The presentation shared with us is at the end of this post.
4. Stadium Community Liaison Group Meeting – 26 July
THST Coard member Martin Buhagiar attended this meeting where those present were given an update on the recent progress of the new stadium build and the on-going work in the North East corner at White Hart Lane.
It was confirmed that, once the season starts, supporters will be able to access the North Stand via the West Stand entrance like last season. Those who sit in the East Stand, coming from White Hart Lane station, will be advised to walk around the supermarket due to the new scaffolding staircase that has been erected for supporters to gain access to the east side of the North Upper.
The Club’s updated West Stand entrance in the new stadium build has been given planning permission.
A new planning application will be submitted shortly to cover a new section called the Northern Terrace regeneration.
Under these plans the listed buildings on the High Road, in front of Lilywhite House and Sainsbury’s, will be refurbished.
Members of the Trust Board are meeting with THFC on Tuesday 2 August to discuss access to the Lane for supporters this coming season and to go over the Northern Terrace plans in more depth. We’ll communicate details as soon as we can after this session.
5. Home ticketing at Spurs
Spurs confirmed the procedure for the home ballots for the coming season on 13 July, including an FAQ sheet that THST helped produce. We’re of the opinion that the more information in the public domain, the better and this approach has received positive feedback from members, too.
The ballot for the opening home game against Crystal Palace on 20 August was drawn on 21 July and saw 5,031 successful applicants from a total pool of 7,390. The ballot for the Category A Liverpool match on 27 August is due to be drawn on 2 August.
THST will be monitoring the number of applications for each ballot and will observe a number of the draws being made throughout the season.
The full application schedule for home matches for the 2016/17 season can be viewed here.
6. Champions League at Wembley
Ticketing arrangements for UEFA Champions League group stage games at Wembley were announced by the Club last month, with the pricing proving particularly popular. Fans can purchase a multi pack of all three group stage matches for just £70.
THST was keen to give credit where it was due and issued a comment piece on 14 July.
We’re particularly pleased the Club has applied the principles of the progressive pricing policy for cup games to this package of matches, and we have indicated we expect to see this reflected in the general admission prices.
We’re also pleased the Club has identified blocks where our more vocal and visual support can gather, and we will be talking to the various fan groups who organise around atmosphere issues to see if we can work together to help create a ‘home away from home’ atmosphere we can be proud of.
THFC published an FAQ sheet for UCL matches at Wembley, which can be viewed here.
7. SD/ FSF Supporters Summit – 16/17 July
The annual Fans Summit took place at Wembley Stadium over the weekend of 16/17 July and Katrina Law, Martin Cloake and Kevin Fitzgerald attended from THST. Kat presented a well-received formal session on joint Trust campaigning alongside reps from Charlton, QPR and AFC Wimbledon, while Martin helped present a workshop on fan engagement at club level alongside Supporters Direct’s James Mathie. Kevin introduced the organisers of Prostate Cancer UK’s fundraising cycle rides to reps from other London clubs as part of the efforts to organise a London-wide event to follow up the successful fundraiser to Amsterdam.
The weekend also provided a welcome opportunity to network and share experience, and we were also very pleased that THFC’s Head of Supporter Services, Jonathan Waite, attended on the Saturday and contributed from the floor in a session on ticket pricing. Jonathan was the only Premier League representative to attend the event.
8. FSF/ Premier League structured engagement meeting – 21 July
Fan reps from all 20 Premier League clubs met Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and senior members of staff in central London on Thursday 21 July as part of the process of ‘structured engagement’ called for by the Government’s Expert Working Group on football. Structured engagement sounds like the kind of management-speak that sends fingernails scraping down walls, but in simple terms it’s about getting clubs and fans to communicate in a meaningful way.
Items on the agenda were the process of structured engagement, ticket pricing, kick-off times, and safe standing. There was also some brief discussion on the Independent Football Ombudsman’s role, the PL’s commitment to the Living Wage, and PL B teams in the EFL Trophy.
We’re currently waiting for the agreed minutes of this meeting to be signed off, and THST will link to them along with our own commentary. One thing fans may already have picked up on from reports in the press is that Richard Scudamore agreed to consider the request from fans to seek clarification from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport about whether the kind of rail seating recently introduced at Celtic’s ground was classed as seating and so, therefore, would not need the change in the law previously thought to have been required for clubs to introduce safe standing areas. THST has already followed up on this line of inquiry with THFC.
Co-chairs Katrina Law and Martin Cloake are the THST reps at this forum and will split attendance at meetings between them. The first meeting was attended by Martin.
Battle of the Somme: Centenary commemoration
The Trust and Spurs have been approached by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Living Memories Project requesting that we consider an appropriate event to mark this special anniversary of the First World War Battle of the Somme at some point during the 1 July to 18 November, 141 day period of the battle.
Tottenham Cemetery, between Bruce Castle Park and White Hart Lane, contains 193 WW1 graves and our friends at the nearby Antwerp Arms have begun researching these graves in an attempt to obtain details of soldiers, where they fought and so on.
Both the Trust and the Club have indicated to the Living Memories Project that we are keen to organise a suitable event. We will update you as plans become agreed.
Bring The Dons Home – extra time
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the GLA have announced they are considering overturning Boris Johnson’s decision to call in AFC Wimbledon’s stadium application and return the decision to Merton Council. The GLA is holding a two week consultation period to consider reversing the call-in decision and Bring The Dons Home campaigners have been advised that it would be helpful for supporters or well-wishers who wish to see the planning decision returned to contact the Mayor.
The Trust at AFC Wimbledon has asked for our support so should you wish to lend your name to the cause, please click here to submit a pre-populated message to Mr Khan.
THST Board Meeting – 1 August
The Q3 meeting of the THST Board is scheduled for 1 August, where learnings from the End of Season Survey and policy positions will be discussed in additional to business as usual and ongoing projects.
Martin Cloake, Co-chair of THST, was interviewed by Yahoo Sport about the Club’s Champions League ticket packages. Read in full here.
Martin also appeared on a special Fighting Cock podcast on 19 July talking about the Memory Lane film.
The film is available to view here in return for a donation to a very deserving charity.
And there’s a trailer to whet your appetite here.
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