A note to start: Changes at THST
Premier League Fan Engagement and £30 away price cap
Senior One Hotspur memberships
THST Fan Survey 2022
Premier League Fixture list and TV announcement dates
Football to Amsterdam 2022
Tottenham Foodbank Summer Food Collection
THST Forum update
As those of you who regularly read our website will know, the Trust Board’s three longest-serving members are stepping down this summer. Co-chairs Katrina Law and Martin Cloake will be stepping down from their positions but remaining on the Board until the AGM in February. Treasurer Adam Bailey will be stepping down from his post and the Board at the end of our financial year in August. New post holders will be announced after the Q3 THST Board meeting on 14 July.
Kat and Adam have been on the Board for nine years, Martin for eight. The three of us have been thinking for some time that it is time for fresh faces, and if it weren’t for the extended stadium move, then the pandemic, then the ESL, and then the Fan-Led Review, we would have stood down before. But the time did not seem right. Until now. There’s a full statement from the three of us on the website.
We’re proud of what has been achieved, and we’d like to thank every one of our members who has supported us in whatever way over the years. When we first got involved, we wanted to show it was possible to be ambitious and to make a difference, and we hope we’ve done that.
With all of our best wishes,
Kat, Martin and Adam.
1. Premier League Fan Engagement and £30 away price cap
The Premier League announced at the start of June that the £30 away price cap would not only remain in place for at least another three years, but that it would be written into the competition’s rules for the first time. That cements a significant achievement for fan campaigning into place. There are those who will tell you the price cap would have been introduced anyway. But calls for any kind of restraint on ticket pricing were opposed by the clubs for years before pressure from fans secured change. It took years of concerted lobbying but we achieved it. Never forget that fans acting together can achieve more than anyone imagines.
The announcement also contained reference to “an action plan for improving the League’s collective offer to fans”, a plan that included “a new Fan Engagement Standard” which would “set a new minimum level of engagement”. That is, to be honest, pretty vague. It’s obviously a reference to the fact that the Fan-Led Review has increased pressure on the Premier League and its clubs to improve the way they deal with fans, and to do more to ensure our views are acknowledged. But there is little indication as yet of what concrete moves are going to be.
The slow pace of change and the vagueness of any real commitment are just two of the reasons why we, alongside the FSA and colleagues at other clubs, continue to lobby the government to legislate to ensure the progressive measures outlined in the Fan-Led Review are implemented. We are aware, however, that there are other pressures on the government’s ability to do business right now.
It’s not encouraging that we appear to be heading towards yet another situation where the football authorities are preparing to tell us how they are going to engage with fans, rather than work with us about how best to achieve outcomes. The word’s “advice” and “advisory” seem to be appearing frequently, and we are very used to being told that our advice has been heard, but will not be acted upon. We’ve pushed for real, and realistic, influence from the start of this process, and one question we have posed that should be used as a test of whatever framework is announced is “Would this have prevented clubs taking the decision to form a breakaway league without fan consent?” That remains a key test.
At Spurs, we are still awaiting a realistic set of proposals for genuine fan engagement. We’ve been involved in detailed discussions with the Club for some time, but have not yet reached agreement on a complete framework. We’ll continue to keep you informed of progress via our website.
It's worth reminding ourselves of what a very successful person in the football industry said in 2001. He said: “There should be complete transparency within club ownership and I want UEFA to introduce tests to ensure that you are "fit and proper" to own a club.” And he also said: “I know exactly what it’s like to be an ordinary supporter”. That person was Daniel Levy, and much of what we are trying to achieve now through the reforms proposed chime with his ambition of achieving proper transparency and governance, and with giving ordinary fans a voice. Given our unanimity of ambition, things really shouldn’t be taking so long.
2. Senior One Hotspur Memberships
Shortly ahead of the One Hotspur Membership renewal window opening this summer, the Club informed us that it was withdrawing the Senior membership option for any new members, stating that “Existing seniors who renew will continue to get the senior discount, as will adults who turn 65 in future years, providing they have continued to hold their membership in the meantime. It’s just new OHMs, who are expected to make up less than 5% of our membership for the season, who will not get the senior discount.”
We asked for justification of this change and were told that the change would only affect a small number of people, and would reduce the number of One Hotspur Membership plans from 12 to eight, which would simplify THFC’s membership journey and make it easier to communicate.
We don’t think making it easier for the membership department at Spurs is a valid reason for withdrawing a discount, and if it only affects a small number then there is no monetary gain for the Club, either.
We pushed back further. We were told that the Club had added value to the members package in recent seasons, including a £10 Spurs Play discount, £15 retail voucher and this, combined with access to One Hotspur Moments, meant it couldn’t continue offering all of that to new members for £20/25 a year.
Considering how the discount (and quite probably the voucher) require additional financial outlay, and considering One Hotspur Moments are not mass participation events – and questioning how many Senior members would be interested in a Spurs Play subscription - we reiterated our view that the removal of the Senior discount for new One Hotspur Members was both disappointing and unnecessary.
It has since come to light that any new OHM joiners aged over 65 will not qualify for a membership discount should they renew for subsequent years. Only existing senior members as of the 2021-22 season will be able to access future discounts, along with existing adult OHMs who turn 65 in future years, providing they continuously renew their memberships. So, the reality is the Club has ended the Senior One Hotspur Membership for any fans who were not already members during the 2021-22 season.
This is not the first move encroaching on Senior Citizens made by THFC over recent seasons. Their concessions policy for match tickets restricts the areas of the stadium in which Juniors, Seniors and Young Adults can qualify for a discount, linking the concession to the seat not to the person. This is forcing many Seniors out of preferred areas and away from long-established communities in order to access their rightful discount.
Before the pandemic, Spurs removed all concessions from their official resale platform, Ticket Exchange, forcing every One Hotspur Member to pay full adult price for any seat purchased on TEX, regardless of their own membership category or age.
Last season, Spurs removed the Senior concession and Young Adult concession price points from home Cup pricing, again forcing those entitled to a discount to pay full adult prices.
Every time, the Trust has argued forcibly against these changes. Every time, the Club has chosen not to listen to its recognised independent fan group and not to listen to the many Seniors who have written to THST and THFC to express their disgust at these decisions. Every time, the Club has failed to provide a valid answer to why, in the midst of an enormous cost of living crisis and when they are charging the most expensive ticket prices in the country, they feel the need to make life even harder for pensioners. It leaves a sour taste and is a dreadful look for THFC.
We at the Trust will continue to lobby for a change in policy – one that respects the many years of support shown by our older fans. If you feel the same, we’d encourage you to write to SupporterServices@TottenhamHotspur.com expressing your thoughts and calling for an urgent review of the Club’s policies on Senior concessions across the board.
3. THST Fan Survey 2022
Much of the month of June was dedicated to our annual Fan Survey, which opened on 6 June and closed on 16 June. Spanning 10 sections including Season Tickets and Memberships, Home Comforts, Spurs are on the Telly, Playing Away, Football Performance, Ownership and Governance and Together THFC, the largest survey of fan opinion at Spurs is vital in helping the Trust prioritise work for the coming season, and for taking a temperature check of views across all the key issues affecting Spurs fans.
We received 6001 responses to the survey from Trust members, non-members, UK-based Spurs fans, Overseas fans, THFC Season Ticket holders and One Hotspur members from all age brackets. We’re busy reviewing the results now and aim to present the findings ahead of the start of the new season in early August.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and to everyone who helped spread the word, including our friends at The Spurs Show, Last Word on Spurs, The Extra Inch, The Fighting Cock, The Athletic, The Cheese Room, Spurs Web, THFC Flags and others. Your support was much appreciated.
4. Premier League Fixture list and TV announcement dates
For many supporters, the fixture release marks the dawn of a new Premier League season. The 2022-23 fixtures were published on 16 June, together with the Premier League’s announcement dates for the rescheduling of matches for live TV broadcast.
Tottenham Hotspur’s provisional fixture list includes one immediately challenging match: a midweek away trip outside of London to Manchester United on Wednesday 19 October. As broadcast picks are announced throughout the season, we will look out for fixture changes that are potentially problematic for travelling fans and will raise supporter concerns with the Club, broadcasters and Premier League as necessary.
We’re frustrated to see the words ‘approximate’ and ‘provisional’ accompanying the broadcast selection dates, which tells its own story about the Premier League’s dedication to punctuality.
THST continues to contribute to the FSA’s Broadcast Working Group, together with representatives of the Foxes Trust, Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust and West Ham United Supporters’ Trust, along with fan representatives from Brentford FC. The Working Group has reminded the Premier League of its commitments to announce broadcast picks at least six weeks before the relevant game weeks, and to promptly communicate any issues or expected delays. It has also reiterated the need for mitigation when games are moved into anti-social slots, lobbying for subsidised travel to be laid on by clubs where no public transport options are available, and campaigning for flexible train fares whereby supporters’ advance tickets can be transferred to a different train service when matches are rescheduled.
THFC committed to provide subsidised transport for fixtures without public transport options back in 2016, and we welcome their continuing support with this.
THST’s 2022 Fan Survey featured an extended section around broadcast, and we’ll report back on those findings over the next couple of newsletters, as well as feeding sentiment into the national Working Group.
5. Football to Amsterdam 2022
On Friday 10 June our Cycle On You Spurs team set off from the Olympic Velodrome under sunny skies and with a welcome south westerly breeze on their backs. The sun and breeze accompanied them for the 142 miles to the Johan Cruyff Arena for what the team considered the most enjoyable of its five PCUK’s London to Amsterdam fundraising events. Regrettably, PCUK has announced that this June’s ride would be the last Football to Amsterdam, due to increasing event costs.
Enjoyment and camaraderie have been intrinsic to these rides, from the team’s opening one in 2016 to the last ride in 2022. During this period around 100 people have cycled under the COYS banner, many returning time and time again. Several of these have suffered with prostate cancer and others have suffered the loss of loved ones.
Fundraising has been the paramount goal for all these cyclists. The totals raised speak volumes for their determination in reaching their targets. In the four rides prior to 2022, COYS had raised around £112,000. For the 2022 ride, so far around a further £60,000 has been raised with money still coming in. There is still time to donate.
Finally, just a word or two on the Trust’s pride in support of the event. We adopted PCUK as our nominated charity in early 2016 and have donated to the team Just Giving page annually since then. In 2016 we staged our first annual end-of-season fundraising BBQ at the Antwerp Arms. Each BBQ has raised between £1,000 and £2,700 for PCUK, with this year’s event again passing £2,000.
Many Trust members and supporters have undertaken the ride and many more have made generous donations over the years. To all of you, grateful thanks.
A short history of the Football to Amsterdam ride can be found on our website.
6. Tottenham Foodbank Summer Food Collection
As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, Tottenham Foodbank – part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks – is calling on shoppers to donate food and other essentials to this year’s Tesco Summer Food Collection.
From Thursday 30 June to Saturday 2 July, customers at the Seven Sisters and Stroud Green Tesco branches will be encouraged to pick up an extra item or two to drop in special donation trollies on the way out of store.
This support is needed now more than ever, as families across the country are facing the biggest income squeeze in a generation and many people on the very lowest incomes are struggling to put food on the table.
All food donations will be used to support people across the local area who are experiencing hardship and will be forced to use a foodbank over the coming months.
The collection has been organised by Tesco, who will generously top up customers’ food donations with a financial donation of 20% of the value of the items donated, which will support Tottenham Foodbank in the provision of emergency food parcels and practical support.
Customers are being asked to donate essential items of long-life food such as chocolate, tinned fruit, dried mash potatoes, tinned meats and soup.
The Tesco food collection will take place in every Tesco store in the UK. It is the biggest collection of its kind and a vital source of food for the Trussell Trust.
7. THST Forum update
The summer break has seen a quieter month on the Trust Forum. Nonetheless, there’s been healthy discussion on the catering offering at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the value of the 1882 Premium-lite membership and ENIC’s £150m capital injection. All full and life members are extremely welcome to join in (or indeed start) the conversation on any Spurs-related topic.
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.
1 July 2022
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