- THST End of Season Survey 2016
- Fixture scheduling and subsidised travel for the 2016/17 campaign
- Haringey Safety Advisory Group Meeting – 9 June
- Stadium Community Liaison Group Meeting – 14 June
- Ticketing at Spurs: an update
- Football to Amsterdam – 3/5 June
- Petition for consumer protection from secondary ticketing facilities
- Football Fans Not Criminals launch event – 2 June
- Swindon Spurs AGM – 11 June
- Nightingale Cancer Support Centre fundraiser – 10 July
- FSF/ Premier League structured engagement meeting – 21 July
- THST/ THFC Board to Board Meeting – 19 September
- Ham and High: Wembley move – 2 June
- EPL feeds – 6 June
- Kat Law, Co chair of THST, on home ticketing for the Fighting Cock – 2 June
1. THST End of Season Survey 2016
Each summer, THST runs a survey to ascertain feelings among both members and the wider Spurs fan base on issues of importance to supporters. Topics range from ticket availability and pricing to safe standing to catering to the stewardship of ENIC and the performance of the Trust. The results are analysed and benchmarked alongside previous data, and are debriefed formally to the Club before being published and shared with fans, the media and other interested parties.
We urge you to participate in this survey should you not have done so already. It’s essential in gauging the mood of the fan base and ensuring we remain in touch with current feeling on key areas. To take the survey, please click here and note this will be closing at midnight on Sunday 3 July 2016.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
2. Fixture scheduling and subsidised travel for the 2016/17 campaign
The Premier League fixtures for the upcoming season, released on 15 June, saw Spurs start at Everton and finish at Hull following a specific request by Tottenham Hotspur to play away fixtures at either end of the campaign. This is to allow as much time as possible for the highly complex building programme that is now underway. This was suggested in the minutes from our meeting with the Board of THFC on 24 May and has subsequently been confirmed by the Club’s Board and by the Premier League.
The 2016/17 season sees 3 midweek rounds of fixtures. Spurs have been drawn away from home for 2 of these 3 fixtures: away to Sunderland in January and away to Swansea in April. THST contacted the Premier League for an explanation as to why our fans were being sent to the northern most ground in the country and to South Wales on Tuesday evenings. The Premier League explained that there were always compromises between their ideal scenario and the actual schedule and that every effort had been made to minimise travel around the busy Christmas period, where Spurs will play Southampton away on Boxing Day, Watford away on New Year’s Eve and Chelsea at home on 2 January.
Given there is a midweek round in December, more focus was placed on travel distances for this fixture than for the later midweek dates. Spurs play Hull City at home on Wednesday 14 December.
In light of the Sunderland and Swansea fixtures, THST contacted THFC to request a subsidised travel option for both of these matches, where fans will struggle to get home to London on public transport. The Club is exploring at present.
For information, the £30 price cap for away tickets for the next 3 seasons has replaced the previous Away Supporters Initiative, which saw subsidised coaches, trains and even aeroplanes transporting fans up and down the country. While some clubs such as Chelsea and Stoke City have opted to continue offering subsidised travel to their fans, others have removed this benefit now the ASI is no longer a formal initiative. THST is in discussions with THFC about retaining the coach option as a minimum and has received assurances that the Club will look to charter trains when fixtures leave no viable public transport alternative.
We feel strongly that travel assistance should be given to fans attending away matches and will continue to push this case forward with the Club.
TV selections for the opening weeks of the season should be announced on or around 6 July.
Finally, this article from THST Co-Chair, Martin Cloake, for the ‘Who Ate All the Pies’ website last summer may be of interest to those wondering how the fixtures are generated.
3. Haringey Safety Advisory Group Meeting – 9 June
After 3 years of lobbying, THST took its place at the recent meeting of Haringey Council’s Safety Advisory Group. We have long been of the opinion that fans should be represented in the forum where decisions that affect supporters are made and we are now one of the first Trusts in the country to secure a place on an SAG. Co-chair, Martin Cloake, attended on behalf of THST.
THST was able to raise issues around transport and match day operations, and input into discussions on issues directly affecting fans. This was very much a first meeting establishing the principle of involving fans in these discussions.
4. Stadium Community Liaison Group Meeting – 14 June
Board member, Kevin Fitzgerald, attended June’s Stadium Community Liaison Group meeting as the THST representative. The Group is a forum to report and update local residents and businesses on the Northumberland Development Project construction programme and to ensure that locals are sighted on things that might affect them such as road closures, changes to working hours etc.
Meetings are monthly, with the first meeting having been reported in the May newsletter. The second meeting of this group took place at Lilywhite House on 14 June, with representatives of THFC, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the Trust, MACE, Haringey Council local ward members and officers, local residents associations and local businesses.
Updates were received on the demolition of the North East corner of White Hart Lane stadium, and that of three of the four heritage buildings. It was reported that the Red House and pub were no more, with the old pharmacy about to follow. Care has been taken to identify and to extract parts of the buildings and numerous artefacts of historical and architectural significance; some will be displayed in the new Tottenham Experience venue, with others being offered to Bruce Castle Museum and local conservationists. The restoration of Warmington House is a longer term project.
The other two items of interest discussed were the issues of the minimum and living wage with regard to sub-contracted construction related companies and the employment and skills work of the Foundation, in seeking to maximise the employment opportunities for 16-24 year olds and local adult unemployed. The target figure is 20% and the proportion to date is running at 23%.
5. Ticketing for next season: an update
We are still liaising with the Club to ensure that full and clear information on how ticketing will work next season is made available to fans. Of course, final decisions can’t be made until all details, including those about Champions League matches at Wembley, are known and we appreciate the Club wants to present the full picture rather than a partial one. We also appreciate this requires patience from supporters, but we are confident the information people need will be available in good time.
We’ve received a lot of feedback about next season’s ticket arrangements, with the majority backing the decisions taken. We’ve also spent time explaining the reasons behind the decisions and the implications of other options, and quite a number of fans who originally objected now see why the decisions were taken. We’d urge all supporters to familiarise themselves with the details, as it’s clear from some of the conversations we’ve had that some of the objections originally expressed are based on a misunderstanding of how the system worked before and will work in future.
We’d also emphasise once again that retaining the status quo was not an option.
Earlier this week, the Club announced it had been granted special dispensation by the Premier League to reduce the number of tickets THFC is obliged to provide visiting supporters at White Hart Lane next season. The Rule states that, for stadia above 30k capacity, 3000 away tickets must be provided for each Premier League fixture and for sub 30k stadia, 10% of total capacity must be offered. Owing to exceptional circumstances next season, THFC has special permission to offer between 2,336 and 2,467 to visiting fans dependent on the category of the match and the consequent segregation requirements. This means up to 600 extra tickets will be available for home fans, which is positive news.
Finally, we’ve been contacted by a number of fans concerned that home tickets are already being advertised at hugely inflated prices on some websites. There are only three places where tickets for THFC home games can be sold legally in the UK – through the Club, via Thomas Cook Sport as part of their official “Match Break” hotel & ticket packages and via StubHub, the official ticket reselling market place. Any other site selling tickets is unofficial and illegal. Tickets on other sites are often advertised on the basis that these agencies think they might obtain tickets, and the tickets they advertise and even sell often don’t exist at all. The Club ticket office deals regularly with fans who have been given emails or code numbers as ‘proof’ of ticket sale, only to find they aren’t valid on match day.
THFC works closely with Premier League solicitors looking at the big secondary sites like World Football Tickets as a class action on behalf of 5 or 6 clubs. These sites operate outside of EU regulations, usually via websites registered in Israel or Russia, which can make it a cumbersome process and when they do get shut down, they pop up again elsewhere quickly.
If you see tickets being advertised outside of the three official channels, please contact the Club or the Trust. The more detail we have, the more chance we have of stopping these sites ripping off fans.
6. Football to Amsterdam – 3/5 June
The team of 15 Spurs riders, comprising fans and staff and headed up by Trust Board Member, Kevin Fitzgerald, cycled from the Olympic Park Velodrome to Amsterdam across the weekend of 3-5 June, raising in excess of £20,000 for Prostate Cancer. Huge congratulations to all involved and thank you to everyone who donated so generously to such a worthy cause.
Petition for consumer protection from secondary ticket facilities
Trust members will be aware that THST has long opposed the partnership between THFC and resale platform, StubHub, primarily because of our objection to the secondary ticketing market in general. We believe resale should be at face value only, preferably via an ethical or an in-house exchange. Football fans are not the only fans affected by secondary ticketing, with the practice also widespread in the music industry.
An anti-touting petition, launched last month by Mumford & Sons’ manager and online fan-to-fan ticket exchange, Twickets, has now grown to 44,000 signatures. The petition calls for Parliament to enforce last year’s amendment to the Consumer Rights Act, aimed at reining in rampant profiteering on secondary ticket websites.
More details can be read here and please take a moment to add your name to the petition should you agree with this stance. You’ll be joining Editors, Florence + The Machine, Iron Maiden, Jack Garratt, Jess Glynne, Keane, Little Mix, Mumford & Sons, Olly Murs, One Direction, Paul Potts, Royal Blood, Scouting For Girls and 10cc, along with numerous festival organisers and fan-to-fan exchanges in doing so. You can also join the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #ToutsOut.
Legislation to ensure so-called secondary ticket exchanges do not operate in a manner that drives prices up is something that will help fans of all entertainment events.
Football Fans Not Criminals launch event – 2 June
THST Co-chair, Martin Cloake, was a panellist at the inaugural Football Fans not Criminals meeting in Holborn on 2 June. Martin and fellow panellists, Amanda Jacks (FSF), sports columnist Duleep Allirajah, Peter Lloyd (author of Criminalising Football Fans: The Case Against Bubble Matches) and Sarah Ricca (a civil rights solicitor for Deighton Pierce Glynn), told of the legal problems faced by modern fans and the unfair reputation they carry.
The session, organised by the Manifesto Club, was well attended and received support from fans present from Grimsby Town, Exeter City, Sunderland, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea and Tottenham, amongst others.
The event was summarised accurately by Liverpool fan, Karl Coppack, in this article.
Swindon Spurs AGM – 11 June
THST was invited as guest speakers at the Swindon Spurs AGM once again with Co-chair, Kat Law and Board Member, Rachel Martin, representing the Trust on the morning of Saturday 11 June. Kat and Rachel summarised the previous year at THST for those present, before conducting a Q&A session from the floor on topics such as ticketing arrangements for Official Supporters Clubs next season, parking at Wembley and Safe Standing sections in the new ground.
We would like to place our thanks on record to Roman and all at Swindon Spurs for making us extremely welcome and for their continued support of the Trust and our objectives. It’s greatly appreciated.
Nightingale Cancer Support Centre fundraiser – 10 July
THST was contacted by Enfield based Nightingale Cancer Support Centre to help promote their fundraising Legends match on Sunday 10 July. Full details are here and we’d encourage as many as possible to pop along to the New River Stadium for what should be an enjoyable and very worthwhile day for all.
Events kicks off at 1pm with live music and a penalty shoot out, before the 3pm match.
Tickets are available from £5 and can be booked now online or by calling 020 8366 9674.
FSF/ Premier League structured engagement meeting – 21 July
THST will be present at the first official meeting between the Premier League and fan reps on 21 July as part of the PL’s commitment to structured engagement following the DCMS Expert Working Group recommendations earlier this year. The Football Supporters’ Federation is facilitating this session and senior Premier League staff, including Richard Scudamore, will be present. A report on this session will follow in the July newsletter.
THFC/THST Board to Board Meeting – 19 September
The date for the next meeting of the Boards of THFC and THST has been agreed for Monday 19 September at Lilywhite House. We’ll canvas members for questions a fortnight beforehand, so look out for that.
Ham and High on the Wembley move – 2 June
EPL feeds on Wembley – 6 June
Kat Law, Co chair of THST, on home ticketing for the Fighting Cock – 2 June
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