- Safe standing campaign update
- Fixtures announcement 2018-19
- Broadcast selection dates 2018-19
- Test events in the new stadium
- Secondary and Premium ticketing for next season
- Catering feedback group
- Limited edition ‘Cycle On You Spurs’ jerseys
- Away match loyalty points summary
- THST Fan Survey 2018
- Wingate and Finchley FC partnership
- Swindon Spurs AGM – 16 June
- Auction of 2 x coach travel season passes with Zeelo
THST was sad to hear of the untimely death of our former player, Goran Bunjevčević, as this newsletter went to press. Our condolences go to his family and friends at this difficult time.
1. SAFE STANDING CAMPAIGN UPDATE
It’s great to begin on a very positive note after the Club announced its intention to future-proof the new stadium for safe standing, and put forward a practical concept that moves this long-running debate on.
Safe standing has been something the Trust has pushed for over many years. We’ve worked alongside national fan organisations and spoken regularly to THFC. The Club has now come up with a concept that will hopefully deliver want so many fans want, not only at our new ground, but across the game.
We’re pleased not only that safe standing appears to be closer to becoming a reality, but also at the proof that the Club and its Supporters’ Trust can work together for everyone’s benefit. We put our case, discussed options with the Club, and the Club, together with the new stadium architects, then came up with an idea we are glad to support.
The Club’s announcement came on the day of a parliamentary debate on safe standing. In a packed session, MP after MP not only backed the idea, but also thanked various supporter organisations across the country for their lobbying work. A number said they had had their minds changed by this. That underlines the value of fans being organised and speaking up.
Simon Clarke, the MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said; “This is a day for huge congratulations to all the fans who have made that case and lobbied with such passion, thoughtfulness and commitment for many years to move the debate to the point that we have reached today.”
The debate ended with Sports Minister Tracey Crouch announcing a review of the current legislation. This has been welcomed by supporter groups and we will now be looking carefully to see what the terms of the review are, who will be running it and what the timetable is.
To be clear, THFC’s announcement provides what we think is the option for fans to stand safely. Current legislation does not allow standing anywhere at top-class football matches, so the review is still needed into the application and interpretation of existing legislation, as well as possible change. There’s still a way to go, but this is progress.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank former THST Board member Paul Head for leading our work on this area for a number of years.
The Parliamentary debate came after a well-attended meeting at Parliament’s Portcullis House on 6 June, organised by Shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan. THST co-chair Martin Cloake represented us at a meeting of over 40 fan organisations. The Labour Party announced its backing for safe standing two days later.
The Liberal Democrats also announced their support for a rethink on safe standing.
We’ll continue to update with the latest developments, and would like to say thank you to all the fans who have backed the call for safe standing over many years.
2. FIXTURES ANNOUNCEMENT 2018-19
Months of speculation finally came to an end on 14 June. With the release of the Premier League fixtures for the 2018-19 season came confirmation from the Club that our first home match of the campaign, v Fulham, would be hosted at Wembley stadium. We shared our thoughts here.
Once we’d been told the playing staff were happy with the sequence of games, our main objective was to ensure fans were treated fairly and given options. We recognised that, under existing terms and conditions, the Club did not have to offer fans anything, but we also recognised the reality that offering nothing would have been exceptionally bad customer service. We were, therefore, pleased to see the Club did decide to offer fans more than it was required to.
We did, however, ask for the option of a straight refund rather than a credit held in fans’ accounts for up to a year. The Club chose not to make that offer. We also questioned the decisions to credit fans’ with 1/19th of the cost of their season ticket rather than face value for the game, and asked for all concessionary prices to be honoured. The Club confirmed concessionary pricing would be honoured but did not move on the value of the credit. We therefore asked for the Wembley game to be priced competitively. The Club decided to charge the game at last season’s Category B price.
Finally, we asked the Club to offer a 20% discount at Club stores on the day of the game, as a way of both compensating fans and incentivising attendance. We are still waiting to hear back about this after the Club Board consults the retail team.
The Club statement can be read here, along with fixture FAQ’s.
In terms of the fixture schedule, we were pleased to see more accessible mid-week matches for the coming campaign: Southampton, Bournemouth and Watford at home, along with Chelsea away. We are, of course, scheduled to play Cardiff away on New Year’s Day, however!
We’ve also noted travel disruption across the weekends of United, Fulham and Watford in August/ September. Euston station is due to be closed for the August Bank Holiday weekend, affecting fans travelling to Manchester by train, with line closures for both Fulham at Wembley and Watford away. This is a source of great frustration for THST, considering the number of meetings we have participated in where a more joined-up approach between rail operators and the Premier League has been both advocated and agreed. We have raised our dissatisfaction with Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the Shadow Sports Minister, and the most recent host of a Premier League/ Rail company/ Fan meeting at which such commitments were made, and seemingly ignored. Dr Allin-Khan has taken the matter up with the Premier League and the Rail Delivery Group.
In the meantime, we asked that the Club offer suitable alternative transport to mitigate the impact on travelling supporters. We’re pleased the Club will be offering subsidised coach travel to Old Trafford.
3. BROADCAST SELECTION DATES 2018-2019
The Premier League has published target announcement dates for broadcast picks throughout the coming season. As this was one of the most popular questions for the Trust last season, we’ve published those dates on our website homepage. The Premier League was notoriously poor at meeting their own deadlines last time round, so we’ll be keeping an eye on those dates this coming season! For ease of reference, the announcement dates are:
Aug/ Sept fixtures - 6 July
Oct/ Nov - 7 August
Dec/ Jan - 12 October
Feb - 12 December
March - 25 January
April - 22 February
May - 5 April
MW38 - post MW37
4. TEST EVENTS IN THE NEW STADIUM
The Club has published a schedule for test events in the new stadium. This is as follows:
5 August – Operational test event at new stadium
11 August – Away to Newcastle United
18/19 August – Operational test event at new stadium
18 August – Home (Wembley Stadium) to Fulham
25/26 August – Operational test event at new stadium
25 August – Away to Manchester United
1 September – Away to Watford
1/2 September – Operational test event at new stadium
15 September – HOME to Liverpool - First PL game in our new stadium
The Club has committed to provide THST with more details as soon as they are available and we’ll communicate to you as soon as possible afterwards. For now, we have no further information on ticketing arrangements or specific plans for each of these events.
5. SECONDARY AND PREMIUM SEATING FOR NEXT SEASON
We continue to be concerned about the Club’s pricing policies for the new stadium, and at the lack of any meaningful consultation or communication over ticketing with the Trust ahead of developments.
Our view on pricing is well-documented, and our view that the 1882 offer was extremely unwise is vindicated by the fact that the Club is cold-calling widely to sell these tickets and by the continuing negative comment we are receiving. We remain willing to discuss a rethink.
We’re also aware season tickets are being offered to people way down the waiting list, and that many of those being offered season tickets are minors. We are still awaiting answers on how this fits in with safeguarding policies. The Club still seems surprised that everyone on the waiting list is not an adult member willing and able to pay for a season ticket immediately, despite our frequent attempts over a number of years to explain why people become members.
We also remain concerned about the balance between season tickets, premium tickets and match day sales. After being told the Club would sell a maximum of 40,000 season tickets, we have now been told the target is 42,000. This despite the fact that only 38,000 of last year’s 40,000 ST holders renewed. With 8,000 premium tickets and 3,000 away, that leaves fewer than 9,000 tickets for the 100,000 members – and that’s before reductions for increased media and sponsorship requirements.
We have asked numerous times for the Club to confirm how many tickets in each category are being offered and how many have been sold; and whether the 1882 offer is part of the general admission offer or the premium offer. The Club’s response has been that those figures cannot be given while sales continue. So we must conclude that the Club’s strategy is to sell as many tickets in advance of match day as possible, something which goes against its assurances that a reasonable balance between advance and match day sales is maintained. Fans will therefore have to draw their own conclusions about the value of membership.
We also remain concerned about the impact of the approach that is being implemented on our support over the next few years.
On a positive note, we are pleased the Club has finally accepted our view on StubHub by adding the so-called secondary ticketing agency to its list of outlets from which fans should not buy tickets. We fought a long campaign against the tie-up with StubHub and are delighted this has been vindicated.
After the Club told us that NFL tickets were an entirely separate operation from Premier League tickets, we were surprised to see the Club seeking to capture data on premium ticket offers for NFL games. We know of many fans unable to afford premium options who would have been interested in NFL tickets, and we remain interested to find out just how much Premier League fans are paying towards the cost of NFL facilities.
Finally, we have written to the Club asking for an explanation of the offer being made by official partner Eventmaster for games at the new stadium that appears clearly to be offering Premium-priced tickets to home and away fans in a mixed zone. We have asked whether these tickets are part of the 8,000 Premium or the 42,000 STs or the remaining match day tickets; whether those ST holders who have purchased tickets in these areas are aware they will be sitting next to or with away fans, what the Safety Advisory Group’s response to the presence of mixed zones is; and what measures are being put in place to prevent disorder at London derbies against Arsenal, Chelsea and West Ham.
6. CATERING FEEDBACK GROUP
We have continued to meet with the THFC Catering Team during our season away, as they finalise the catering provision for the new stadium. It is very clear that they are deeply committed to providing a broad range of quality food and drinks in all areas of the stadium, served in a speedy and effective manner. One of the Club’s aims is to attract supporters to the stadium before and after matches and clearly getting the catering provision and pricing right is crucial to this.
The catering team are keen to get feedback from supporters so that they can ensure they are serving the right menus and that service is excellent.
We would like to set up a regular group of supporters to provide feedback on a monthly basis via a short emailed survey. So if you are someone who generally likes to eat or drink in the stadium and you would be willing to give feedback in this way, please email Rachel.Martin@THSTOfficial.com and let us know which seating block you are in (if you have a season ticket) - we hope to have fans from all round the stadium general admission areas. We look forward to hearing from you.
- LIMITED EDITION ‘CYCLE ON YOU SPURS’ JERSEYS
Each shirt costs £44 to produce, so we are selling them at £75 each, plus £2 p&p in the UK. All profit is going to Prostate Cancer UK – neither the Club nor the Trust is making any money from this initiative. The shirts are on sale via our website on a strictly first come first served pre-order basis.
- AWAY MATCH LOYALTY POINTS SUMMARY
One interesting factual observation that may surprise people is that, while eight games required more points than they had the last time we visited, eight required fewer. You might be surprised, too, at some of the games where the points required dropped.
From next season, THFC will be allocating 13% of the total away allocation to Premium season ticket holders, up from the 9% currently allocated. The Club insists this is in line pro rata with the increase from 3,000 to 8,000 Premium season ticket holders in the new ground. However, the total away allocations remain static, so the result will be fewer away tickets available for GA season ticket holders – an indisputable fact the Club continues to dispute. To be clear, a greater percentage of the same number cannot be anything else than a larger number. The Trust has expressed concern on numerous occasions over the past two years at the further pressure this will place on the already stretched supply v demand ratio for away tickets.
We’ll be monitoring the impact of the increased Premium allocations on points cut-offs throughout next season.
- THST FAN SURVEY 2018
We opened our 2018 survey on Wednesday 20 June, with all Trust members emailed with a notification and a link. We followed up with regular prompts across social media and we closed the survey on Wednesday 27 June.
Thanks to the 3,500 fans who took the time to participate. We’re now analysing the results and producing a downloadable report, which we’ll share within the next month.
- WINGATE AND FINCHLEY FC PARTNERSHIP
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.
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.
- SWINDON SPURS AGM – 16 JUNE
- AUCTION OF 2 x COACH TRAVEL SEASON PASSES WITH ZEELO
Zeelo will continue to help Spurs fans next season, ferrying them from a wide selection of pick-up points across the Home Counties to our new stadium and back. Details of the pick-up points and the service offered for the 2018/19 season can be found here.
Early-bird season tickets for travel to 19 Premier League games are now available for £169.99 each. In conjunction with Zeelo, we are offering a 10% discount on those travel season tickets to full members who quote the code THST10. We are also offering 10% off individual tickets for all games to full members quoting the code THST10 . Please quote those numbers when you buy your tickets on the Zeelo site.
THST takes no financial benefit from this offer – it’s simply a perk we’ve negotiated for our members.
THST Media Log: June 2018
- Co-chair Martin Cloake was interviewed on Radio 5 Live about the new season’s fixture and the return to Tottenham on Saturday 16 June. Sadly, there is no link available for this
- Board member Martin Buhagiar was interviewed about fans’ view of Mauricio Pochettino on Love Sport
The Club has also set up a dedicated information portal online which answers many of the questions we are frequently contacted with. We’d urge fans to read and familiarise themselves with the details available on the portal as we continue to receive a high volume of questions asking for this information.
29 June 2018
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