Report from the Trust meeting with the Spurs Board
Farewell Wheel of Doom
Report from the THST Members’ Event – Who will think of the fans?
Driving to Tottenham on match days
Report from THST meeting with the Club’s catering team
THFC debt restructuring analysis
Report from the FSA Premier League Network meeting
Delays to December and January broadcast announcements
European Leagues advisory platform
Red Star Belgrade fans at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium
Advice for fans travelling to Red Star Belgrade away
Business and Community Liaison Group meeting
Meeting with Islington Council on ticket allocations for Cup games
- Studio 306 Collective Open Studios event
- Antwerp Arms Rembrance Day badges
- On the Ball campaign - update
- Tottenham Foodbank - update
- PCUK London to Amsterdam 2020 bike ride
- The Spurs Show
- Wingate and Finchley FC
- Zeelo coach travel
- Big Green Coach travel – update
- One Hotspur moments
1. Report from the Trust meeting with the Spurs Board
The latest of our regular meetings with the Club’s executive board came in the middle of a poor run of form, which always makes these meetings particularly difficult. Our remit doesn’t extend to on-field matters, but clearly part of our job is to ask strategic questions that affect the Club, and to try to give some indication of fan opinion, in a constructive manner.
We believe we got the balance right, and a full report of the meeting was published on our website. Some of the positives to be drawn from the discussions were that the Trust and Club will be working together to lobby UEFA over the away fan experience in Europe, and to lobby for the transfer window to be brought back in to alignment with the rest of Europe. Joint work also continues around a number of ticketing and stewarding issues.
On a less positive note, the Club’s inability or refusal to acknowledge or take on board some of the information it doesn’t want to hear does test the relationship. Our constructive comments about the sense of disconnect felt by many fans was largely dismissed, and once again the line that fans just expected “cheap seats and expensive players” was aired. We’ve challenged this view in pretty much every meeting and would have hoped the message would have been understood by now. We also continue to meet resistance to the idea that ticket price has an effect on attendance and choice of seat, and continue to press for aspects of the approach to stewarding in the new ground to be better. We’ll continue to make our points and marshal evidence, but it’s always helpful for individual fans to make their feelings clear directly to the Club. This helps to dispel the notion we are overstating the case.
Despite the ongoing issues, we believe we have one of the more positive relationships in the league with our Club – although the bar is sadly set quite low – and we’ll keep working to improve that.
2. Farewell Wheel of Doom
We’ve been asking the Club to introduce a transparent queuing system for match ticket booking for some time. On 28 October, the new system finally came into play, and initial feedback is that it is working very well and seen as a great improvement by fans. The system gives buyers a waiting list position, provides a unique cut and paste code to enable users to transfer to another device, and offers an email alert to notify you when you are near the front of the queue.
As well as being much more user friendly and much less time-consuming, this new system should reduce the instances of buyers logging in on multiple devices and thus slowing the system down.
We’ll monitor how this beds in, but initial indications are that it is a big improvement long requested by supporters, so credit to Ticketmaster – who we’ve been very critical of in the past – and the Club for getting this in place.
It does, of course, mean the famous - or should that be infamous - Wheel of Doom as we knew it is no more. Suggestions on how to mark the passing of this iconic institution on a postcard, please.
3. Report from the THST Members’ Event – Who will think of the fans?
We held a well-attended members’ meeting with guest speaker Kevin Miles, the chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, on 16 October. Kev gave a brief overview of the history of independent supporter organisations before outlining some key campaign areas. Issues include governance, ownership, policing/stewarding, diversity, communications and political lobbying.
The FSA has reps on the FA Council, and meets regularly with the Premier League and The Football League. THST co-chair Kat Law is one of three Premier League fan network reps on the FSA’s National Council and Proud Lilywhites co-chair Chris Paouros is a board member.
Most debate on the evening was around future plans for the campaign to change current legislation around standing at top-level football stadiums and UEFA’s plans for a European super league. We’ll keep you informed as these campaigns develop.
4. Driving to Tottenham on match days
We published an update on what’s happening with car parking around the ground on match days. It’s a subject that we get a lot of feedback on and, as always, we try to put as many facts into the public domain as possible. Key to this latest story is the commitment made by the Club as part of their Section 106 agreement to reduce car travel to the ground by over 50% and the desire by the London Borough of Haringey and the Metropolitan Police to clamp down on unauthorised car parks in the vicinity of White Hart Lane. Have a read and we’ll keep you posted as and when we have any more news on this issue.
5. Report from THST meeting with the Club’s catering team
We continue to work with the Club’s caterers, and recently published details of the latest meeting attended by Rachel Martin, who leads our work in this area.
Our October catering survey is out now. Please take five minutes to tell us about your experiences of food and drink in the new stadium. The results are analysed and benchmarked for satisfaction trends before sharing the data directly with the Club, so it’s important your thoughts are included!
6. THFC debt restructuring analysis
THST’s finance expert Michael Green drafted some analysis of the Club’s announcement on the restructuring of debt. It’s an area we know a great many fans are interested in and have knowledge of – and another example of why we are not “just interested in cheap seats and expensive players”.
Take a read if you’re yet to do so and look out for Michael’s articles after significant Club financial statements, too.
7. Report from the FSA Premier League Network meeting
Fan reps from most of the 20 Premier League clubs met for a regular FSA network meeting on Thursday 17 October. THST was represented by Kat Law. Reps discussed how VAR was affecting the fan experience in-stadia, with opinions from various fan groups across the country as to how VAR had started life in the Premier League and what improvements could be made. The continuing issue of games moved into anti-social slots for broadcast was on the agenda, with the group discussing campaign strategy moving forwards and realistic mitigation for match-going fans; amendments to the process of structured dialogue between fan groups and the Premier League were debated and approved; the European super league, FA cup competition rules, governance, aligning the English transfer window with the rest of Europe and joint work on fan experience at European games were also discussed in a busy and productive meeting for FSA members.
8. Delays to December and January broadcast announcements
The announcement of the Premier League matches selected for broadcast for December and January, due on Friday 11 October, eventually came on Thursday 17 October. That’s six days late. Six days late for the busiest period of the year and a period when fans are trying to plan Christmas travel around domestic commitments.
THST’s Kat Law has been a member of the FSA’s Kick Off Times Working Group, which has been trying to ensure the fans’ case is taken into account when TV fixtures are being picked and announced. Along with other fan reps, she’s now questioning the value of the work that has been done in the light of the latest developments. THST was one of the fan groups to comment while we waited for the announcement. The contempt for match-going fans was shown by the complete lack of communication during the six-day delay.
We’ve said before that the TV tail is wagging the football dog, and this has now been confirmed. Fan groups are now rethinking their strategy moving forwards.
9. European Leagues advisory platform
Our secretary Pete Haine represented THST at the conference on 17 October which provided a steer to the European Leagues for their general assembly the following day. The event was attended by 324 people representing 201 football clubs, 39 leagues and 34 countries. The main topic of debate was the proposed European Super League. The clear message that came out of the day was that domestic competition is most important for clubs and that clubs are firmly of the view that UEFA Club Competitions must be open competitions.
Clubs raised common concerns about the growing gap in competitive balance; and the view that all stakeholders (including fan groups) must be actively involved in the process for reforming European Club Competitions came over strongly. One of the main drivers for the conference and the conclusions above were the proposals from Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, who is also the chairman of the European Club Association.
The position of the Football Supporters’ Association on these proposals was outlined in a briefing paper issued in May 2019 which contains more detail on the shelved proposals and the potential impact on our domestic leagues.
The revised UEFA plans for the European club competitions, due to start in 2024-25, are now being considered by a working party.
10. Red Star Belgrade fans at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium
The day after a home Champions League tie brought an even higher than usual stream of communication about away fans, due to the particular circumstances around this game. General Admission Red Star Belgrade fans had been banned from attending the match as a UEFA punishment for racism so their presence in the North Upper had caused alarm and confusion to many.
We issued a statement to clarify the facts, and while this attracted the usual brickbats from people who didn’t like the facts, most people who responded seemed to find the statement useful.
We’ve made the point to the Club that it really should be them issuing these explanations directly, not the independent Supporters’ Trust.
11. Advice for fans travelling to Red Star Belgrade away
The Club has issued comprehensive travel advice to our fans travelling to Belgrade. Please read carefully if you are going to the game, and please take particular notice of the information about coaches to and from the ground.
12. Business and Community Liaison Group meeting
Our secretary Pete Haine attended the recent meeting on 15 October. The main points of interest were:
- THFC, the Metropolitan Police and London Borough of Haringey are all aware of the flashpoint around the Bill Nicholson pub with away fans walking to coaches parked in Tariff Road;
- There are ongoing discussions with local authorities around the crowd size for the women’s game against Arsenal (at the time of writing, tickets are on sale in levels 1 & 2);
- THFC is considering scaling back match day road closures to reduce the impact on local businesses and residents;
- The NFL games were seen to be a success, some learning points for next year but very positive feedback from all involved
13. Meeting with Islington Council on ticket allocations for Cup games
Reps from THST, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust and Manchester United Supporters’ Trust met informally with officials from Islington Council’s Safety and Licencing Department to discuss the thorny issue of reduced allocations for Cup games at The Emirates. We’d like to thank AST for pushing for and setting up the conversation.
The meeting was useful in introducing Council officials to fan reps, and for everyone to clearly outline their issues. We came out hopeful of making some progress, but for now we’re not at liberty to report back in detail on the discussions. All eyes are on achieving a practical solution.
- STUDIO 306 COLLECTIVE ‘OPEN STUDIO’ EVENT
More information on Studio 306 can be found on their website, Facebook account and on Twitter @StudioC306.
- ANTWERP ARMS REMEMBRANCE DAY BADGES
- ON THE BALL CAMPAIGN
The scheme was piloted at the Watford game and should be in place throughout the stadium by the time we play Sheffield United on 9 November. Please contact email@example.com if the scheme is not in place in your part of the ground.
- TOTTENHAM FOODBANK
Due to time constraints, the Foodbank is unable to run a collection in November, but has earmarked the Burnley game on Saturday 7 December for a ‘Christmas Match day Collection’.
Keep an eye on our social media accounts for more information nearer the time.
- PCUK LONDON TO AMSTERDAM BIKE RIDE, 5 - 7 JUNE 2020
Register using our special discount code COYS50 to get a £50 reduction on the registration fee. It’s a great deal: you get a ferry crossing, a Eurostar home, a night in an Amsterdam Novotel, two slap-up evening meals, two lunches, food and drink on the road… and our company. Oh yes, plus a night in Dam Square. Any questions? contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraising is under way and you can be the first to donate to the COYS team.
- THE SPURS SHOW
Now’s your chance to be at all Spurs Show Live events for the coming season with your very own Spurs Show Live season ticket and, as a THST member, you’ll get a 20% discount! Full details are can be found here.
- WINGATE AND FINCHLEY FC
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.
THST members are welcome at these matches. Keep an eye on Wingate & Finchley’s social media for latest news.
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.
- ZEELO COACH TRAVEL
- BIG GREEN BUS COACH TRAVEL
Price Reductions for Home Coach Travel
Prices have been reduced for the majority of locations in their regional coach network, in addition to every passenger receiving a free matchday programme:
£2 price reduction from: Amersham, Basildon, Bedford, Braintree, Cambridge, Colchester, Grays, Hadleigh, Hatfield, Hitchin, Huntingdon, Luton, Maidenhead, Milton Keynes, Rickmansworth, Shefford, Slough, Southend, St Albans, Stevenage, Trumpington, Watford, Welwyn Garden City and Wycombe.
£1 price reduction from: Brentwood and Chelmsford.
Same price from: Aylesbury, Dartford, Gillingham, Hemel Hempstead and Maidstone.
5 & 10 Match Travel Bundles Available
Increase your savings when you buy bundles of 5 or 10 matches at the same time. Alternatively, use a bundle for the same match when travelling in a group.
Part of the Club membership package for Season Ticket holders, One Hotspur+ and One Hotspur members is an opportunity to win money-can’t-buy experiences such as watching the UCL final screening from Poch’s seat, commentating on a match and touring the training centre. We think these One Hotspur Moments are a great addition to the benefits of membership and, after speaking with the Fan Relationship Management team at the Club, want to make more of you aware of the programme, encourage more ideas for new Moments, and let more of you know how to apply for competitions.
And don’t forget to register your interest for the stunning Heineken rooftop bar that sits above the Tottenham Experience, with the added bonus of £50 spending money. Bournemouth, Burnley and Chelsea matches now listed: Register your interest here.
Update on Naming Rights Deal
Daniel Levy on the Transfer Window
Fan anger at Premier League’s latest TV fixture delay
Rodrigo Faez with Pete Haine (en espanol) v Crvena Zvezda
1 November 2019
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