1. THFC Ticketing: Season Ticket renewal deadline/ StubHub contract renewal
2. CPO decision and Archway settlement
3. Police and safety work
4. Campaigning: Share TV Wealth demonstration
5. THST Meetings THST/THFC Board to Board Meeting – 30 March/ THST Members Meeting – May tbc
SD London Meeting – 28 March
Season Ticket Renewals 2015
Following lengthy discussions with THFC regarding the renewal date for 2015-16 Season tickets, we are delighted the deadline has now been pushed back from 30 April to 18 May. Full comment was made in our statement of 24 March, which can be read here.
We are continuing to discuss possible options around Season Ticket renewals for the 2016-17 campaign. As part of this work, Board Members are researching, with help of our Finance Expert Working Group, various options for easing the financial burden on fans while they are paying for Season Tickets. We will, of course, update our members as this work stream develops.
StubHub contract renewal
THFC confirmed renewal of the StubHub contract at the end of March for a period of a further two seasons. Changes have been made to the platform including reducing the price cap to £150 along with alterations to the marketing aspects of the contract which will remove pitch side perimeter advertising. StubHub has also agreed to support a Tottenham Hotspur Foundation project. Our reaction to the contract renewal can be read here.
Alongside the price freeze and the extension of concessions, plus progressive pricing of cup games, we believe we have secured real gains for supporters on ticketing this year. All this proves the value of constructive engagement with the Club, and that the interests of supporters can be represented and minds changed. We were, however, disappointed that the Club felt unable to acknowledge the contribution THST had made in its public statement about Season Ticket renewals.
2. CPO DECISION AND ARCHWAY SETTLEMENT
Archway Sheet Metal Works Ltd decided against appealing the High Court CPO verdict on 13 March and subsequently reached a private treaty agreement with THFC on 31 March. This means the final piece of land required by THFC to build the new stadium has now been acquired. Our statement on Archway’s decision not to appeal the High Court decision can be read here.
We were hoping, after this announcement, to be able at last to discuss stadium plans in more detail at the Board to Board meeting on 30 March. However, as we reported in the minutes and our subsequent statement, there were still outstanding issues at the time of the meeting that meant we could not have the level of detailed discussion members were pressing for. We’ve commented on this in our statement and will continue to push for the clearest possible communication and the fullest possible fan involvement in matters relating to the new stadium.
3. POLICE AND SAFETY WORK
Following major crowd management issues ahead of our match at Stamford Bridge on 3 December 2014, we have been invited to a meeting with Head of Security at CFC, Keith Overstall, on 23 April to discuss the problems on the night and how access can be improved for subsequent matches. Football Supporters’ Federation case worker, Amanda Jacks, will also be in attendance.
We made some input, through the FSF, into the police planning meeting for the League Cup Final at Wembley, and published information for Spurs fans in the run-up to that game.
Following the late changes in plans for the policing of the away game in Florence, and the problems fans experienced there, we have liaised with the Club and Supporters Direct’s European Supporter Liaison Officer. We’re grateful to THFC for its work in this area, and we’re pleased the Club has pursued a number of issues at national trans-European level. The Club and the Trust are also hoping to have input into some new policing directives that may help avoid similar problems in future.
We highlighted this area of work as a real success story at the recent Board to Board meeting, and thanked the Club for its efforts. We are currently working on gaining regular access to formal Safety Advisory Group meetings, and on taking up the Club’s invitation to observe a match day security operation.
New THST Board Member, Kevin Fitzgerald, will be taking on more responsibility in this area. We’d also like to thank volunteer member Eddie Biber for the time he has given up thus far.
Share TV Wealth Demonstration
The Football Supporters’ Federation organised a fan demonstration on 26 March outside the Premier League Shareholders meeting at Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly, demanding the distribution of wealth down the football pyramid in light of the £5.14bn TV deal.
More information can be found here.
Continuing dialogue with the Premier League around expanding the current Away Fans Fund initiative, THST was present in the pre meet with Richard Scudamore and a debrief following the meeting, also around ending away match categorisation.
That day ended with the Premier League announcing it would be putting a total of £1bn back into the game. THST, along with other fan groups, has welcomed the announcement for its recognition of the fans’ case and its recognition that Premier League clubs can act together to address issues if they put their mind to it. But we are also waiting, along with other fans, for full details of exactly how this money is to be distributed, particularly around the issue of ticket pricing. THST has consistently argued that, while the Away Fans Fund Initiative is welcome and should be built on, the issue of ticket prices for home fans also has to be addressed.
5. THST MEETINGS
THFC/ THST Board to Board Meeting – 30 March
THST met with the Board of THFC on Monday 30 March to discuss the agenda formed by THST member questions and ongoing Trust priorities, which can be read here.
Minutes of the meeting were published on 1 April, along with our commentary, both of which can be read here.
We will update members on any developments around the Northumberland Development Project ahead of our next formal meeting in July and thank members for taking the time to submit their questions once again.
THST Members Meeting - May 2015
We are organising a THST members meeting for May. We hope to have a guest speaker from THFC and we’re also hoping for a good attendance so that we can discuss our stance on ticketing and the new stadium. We hope to have final details up on the website soon, so please keep an eye out.
Supporters Direct Regional Meeting
We attended, with Trust reps from other Premier League clubs, a meeting hosted by Supporters Direct at which ongoing work around developing governance regulations and feeding into the Government’s Expert Working Group on supporter involvement at Board level was discussed. SD is looking to develop best practice for well-run clubs. We also discussed ticket pricing and disabled access initiatives, and got a report back on continuing discussions about FA Cup ticket allocations at Wembley and in the competition generally.
We’ve updated our Frequently Asked Questions section on the website to cover our positions on key issues. Please take a look at your leisure.
Concourse catering at WHL
THST met with Retail Catering Manager, Terry Buxton, ahead of the Swansea match on 4 March to discuss concourse catering at White Hart Lane. A write up from the meeting can be read here, including great news for lovers of KitKats and Beigels! Sadly for regular observers of our engagement with biscuits, we have no further updates on this area yet.
Living Wage campaign
We have raised the issue of whether the Club intends to pay all staff, including contractors, the living wage. THFC confirmed that it paid all of its’ full time staff the Living Wage. The Club has also participated in discussions with all of its third party suppliers, including cleaning and catering contractors, and has a commitment from them to move towards paying their full time staff the Living Wage. In respect of the caterers this has been achieved mid contract.
The Club said that, unfortunately, owing to the large number of contractors and sub-contractors involved in the stadium build - upwards of 800 - it would be unfeasable and impractical to ensure all are paid the Living Wage.
THST will continue to monitor the situation to ensure, at the very least, that cleaning staff are paid the living wage as promised by the Club.
We have been given a proposal for a Credit Union offering by the North London Credit Union. But we are currently taking legal advice on how, and indeed whether, we can offer such a scheme to our members under the terms of the Financial Reporting Council. It is extremely frustrating after the amount of time and effort that has gone into this, but we have to take on board our legal advice.
We hope to have an update for members as soon as possible.
New River football tournament and Spurs Legends match
On July 26th the historically famous New River venue in White Hart Lane, where Olympic Gold Medal winners and World Champions, Daley Thompson and Seb Coe trained is hosting a grand opening and community day, following the completion of a £4m refurbishment by Fusion. The highlight of the day will be a match featuring a Spurs Legends XI, preceded by an exhibition match featuring the Tottenham Ladies team. Some current Spurs team players will be present and there will be fun things for all the family.
Now, how would you like the chance to play against your heroes? New River is currently running a 5-a -side knock out tournament with the winning squad of eight being selected to play against the old Spurs boys.
The dates for the tournament matches are as follows: 12th April, 12.00; 28th April, 13.00; 13th May, 19.00; 30th May, 12.00; 14th June, 12.00. Entry is £25 per squad and more details are available from John Blasebalk or Lorcan Webb at New River Sport and Fitness Centre, WHL, N22 5QW on 020 8889 1050 or 020 8881 2323.
Look out for updates on Twitter and Facebook, too.
THST Board members have featured in interviews and comments in a number of publications including:
ESPN online – http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12448117/the-premier-experience
So Foot – Q&A on Ryan Mason NB: this article is for French speakers only - http://www.sofoot.com/ryan-mason-le-produit-du-terroir-197951.html
Foxes Trust – Opposition viewpoint ahead of THFC v LCFC - http://foxestrust.co.uk/3659/oppos-viewpoint-spurs-3
And on the Hotspur America podcast, which can be listened to here - http://www.spreaker.com/user/hotspur_america/s1ep31-katrina-law-jim-caple
We maintain regular contact with the mainstream press and independent football sites and publications, putting across the fans perspective at each opportunity.
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LinkedIn: Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust