Club and Trust Board relationship
Practically implementing Safe Standing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Football Supporters’ Association elections and Premier League meeting
Catering survey: Your help needed!
Online hate and discriminatory abuse
Commemorating Club legends
Supporting Tottenham foodbank
Public transport to home games
The Antwerp Arms deal for THST members
Cycling from London to Amsterdam, 10 - 12 June 2022
Cycling to Spurs
Mental Health: Andy’s Man Club
Football Supporters Europe Away Fans Survey
Over the last month we’ve continued to press the Club Board to answer the questions fans are asking, and to improve its communication with supporters. This is nothing new, we’ve always argued the Club Board should explain what it’s doing and seek the support of fans. As concern over the apparent lack of direction at the Club grew again, we gave the Club an opportunity to explain its strategy. The Club Board declined, but after we criticised it for doing so and published the questions we wanted to ask, we received a brief response.
Our questions were greeted positively by large sections of the fan base and by the media. However, the Club’s answers were far too general to address the issues raised. We agreed to follow up in informal conversation with a representative of the Club Board the following week, but little progress was made on that call.
The Club considers it has answered the questions relating to the footballing side of the business. We don’t. It has made a loose commitment to provide more detail of the business side in the upcoming annual report and accounts. We stressed fans wanted answers on how money generated by various parts of the business is used. We await the publication of the accounts.
The Club did not want to comment on its stance towards any future iteration of the European Super League, refusing to speculate on hypothetical scenarios. And it preferred to wait for the publication of the recommendations of the fan-led review into football governance before discussing supporter consultation in any detail.
So what happens next? There’s been talk of organised protests. But while we will never deny people the right to express their opinions lawfully, the Trust is not a protest group. Our job is to influence policy and practical activity, and to focus those attempts on those who currently hold power at our Club. That’s why we have been working hard to secure real change that could increase supporter influence where it matters; at board level. We believe most supporters will be pleased that some level of dialogue has been re-established. But all of us want to see some more tangible results come from it.
All eyes are now on the recommendations of the fan-led review, and we understand these are due at the end of November. Once published, we’ll see if our members are happy with what is being suggested, and then agree where we go next.
2. Practically implementing Safe Standing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
As we reported in our September newsletter, THFC has been invited to apply for pilot status trialling safe standing areas at top-flight football. If the application is accepted by the Sports Ground Safety Authority, safe standing will be formally permitted in the rail seat areas of our stadium from January 2022.
Stadiums applying for pilot status need to show how the safe standing areas will be managed and draw up a code of conduct for those who will be in those areas. Trust co-chair Martin Cloake, shadowed by board member Stephen Cavalier, attended a special meeting of Haringey’s Safety Advisory Group at which the application was discussed.
In brief, there will be no migration between the safe standing areas and other parts of the ground, and each fan will still have a designated seat number. A common-sense approach to managing standing at moments of excitement in other areas of the ground will be maintained. And the ability of fans to sit and enjoy an uninterrupted view of the game will also be maintained. The Club will publish more details if pilot status is granted.
The return of standing is something fan organisations fought for over many years, and now it’s up to us to make it work.
3. Football Supporters’ Association elections and Premier League meeting
Ahead of their AGM in November, the FSA held elections for the two available Premier League network representative positions this month. The posts had been held by Dave Pennington of Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and Katrina Law of THST. Kat decided not to stand for re-election on this occasion and is replaced by Neil Dady of Wolves 1877 Trust, who will join Dave and Steve Moulds of Leicester’s Foxes Trust as FSA Premier League Network representatives for the next year. Best wishes and congrats to all!
The FSA also organised a meeting of supporter representatives and senior Premier League Executives at the end of September, attended by Kat among other selected fan reps. A full report of that meeting has subsequently been published by the FSA and can be read here.
4. Catering survey: Your help needed!
As readers of THST News will know, we constantly try to ensure that supporters’ voices are at the heart of every decision made by Spurs. So even during challenging times, THST Board members meet and work with Club staff on a range of issues that directly affect supporters.
This coming week we will be meeting with the THFC catering team to discuss how things have gone at the opening home matches at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium – both the successes and the areas that need attention.
This is where you come in. We really need your feedback about your experiences so far this season, so that we can prioritise the common concerns and set out what needs to be done to address them. We will also, of course, give praise where it is deserved, and again, your perspective will help us to identify these areas.
It’s a short survey – just click this link.
Thanks in advance for your help!
5. Online hate and discriminatory abuse
Footballers, public figures and others continue to be subjected to online hate and discriminatory abuse. The response of the social media companies to date has been wholly inadequate.
The government promised over three years ago to pass legislation aimed at tackling the issue. The draft Online Safety Bill has now been published, but the initial parliamentary report on the draft Bill is not expected until December.
At Prime Minister’s Questions last week, the Prime Minister promised the Leader of the Opposition that the Bill would complete its Parliamentary stages prior to Christmas, then he said it would start its journey through Parliament by Christmas, but then later last week the government back-tracked on that commitment.
He also said that the Bill would include criminal sanctions against social media bosses for failing to tackle abuse. The government had previously said it would not legislate for this, so if the PM’s promise is true, it would be a welcome change of approach, which many campaigners believe is essential to compel social media companies to take effective action. The PM had also promised in July to extend football banning orders to those guilty of online racism, but no action has yet been taken on that and the Culture Secretary has not responded to the Opposition’s requests for an update.
6. Commemorating Club legends
There’s been a lot of talk lately about more visibly commemorating Club legends in and around our stadium, and we’ve made it very clear to the Club that it needs to rethink how it was planning to mark the great people and events in THFC’s history.
We’ve also been working on a project for over a year now to establish a visible tribute to our past close to the stadium. The project has meant working alongside the Club, Haringey Council, local residents, artists and relatives – and it’s proved very challenging.
Our long-term goal is to work together, with local partners, to establish a series of tributes within reasonably close proximity to the stadium. These would help to illustrate the history and heritage of the Club, and also serve as a way of re-enforcing links between the Club, the local community and visitors to the N17 area.
We were on the verge of unveiling the project this month when a key partner changed their approach, and so we’re having to rethink what we’re doing.
The Trust is absolutely committed to publicly celebrating our great history around N17 and White Hart Lane. We hope to be in a position to share revised plans with you in the very near future.
7. Supporting Tottenham Foodbank on match days
We continue to support Tottenham and North Enfield Foodbanks on match days, encouraging supporters to drop off food at the van (bought with your ‘Charity Not PPV’ donations!) outside the Community Sports Centre on the High Road at each weekend home game or to make a donation as part of our #KickOffAgainstHunger initiative. Please check our Twitter feed for news of any particular items that are being appealed for.
UK-based fans not attending games can still help to support the foodbanks at any time by texting COYSFOODBANK and any donation amount to 70085. To donate £10, text COYSFOODBANK 10, for example. Anything you can afford would be hugely appreciated.
Those living overseas or unable to use a text donation service are encouraged to donate via Tottenham Foodbank's crowdfunding page.
We’ve been supporting and promoting the work of our local Foodbanks for well over a year now, and sadly it looks like demand is going to grow this winter, with the Trussell Trust estimating an additional 1.2 million people will be forced to skip meals in order to make ends meet should the proposed cut in Universal Credit become a reality. Sadly, your help really is needed more than ever.
8. Public transport to home games
We’ve been contacted by a number of Trust members wanting more, and earlier, information on any planned match day travel disruption. So here’s a summary of closures, alterations or suspensions for upcoming home games.
Vitesse – Thursday 4 November, 8pm
After 22:45, there is no service between Hackney Downs and Enfield Town / Cheshunt. Chingford trains call additionally at Cambridge Heath and London Fields. Replacement buses operate between Seven Sisters and Enfield Town / Cheshunt
Tube, Overground, TfL Rail, DLR & Tram status updates
Liverpool Street to Cheshunt (Local Diverions; Late Night Only)
Leeds – Sunday 21 November, 4.30pm
Due to maintenance work between Stratford and Lea Bridge, Greater Anglia West Anglia services will not serve Stratford all day. Greater Anglia West Anglia services will be diverted into London Liverpool Street via Hackney Downs. No services will operate between Meridian Water and Stratford all day.
Stratford to Tottenham Hale, Northumberland Park and Meridian Water until 1430, no service between South Tottenham and Barking. Replacement buses operate between Walthamstow Central and Barking.
Tube, Overground, TfL Rail, DLR & Tram status updates
9. The Antwerp Arms deal for THST members
Here is some great news for our members who use the Antwerp Arms, and not just on match days. For the month of November, the Annie is offering a 50% discount on all food from the menu to THST Full and Life members. Please note this excludes any existing special offers e.g. the £10 match day pie or burger-and-a-pint deal. This will be followed by further offers to our Full and Life members each month. The new landlord, Ben Abrahams, and the chef are committed to producing good quality food, so this is a great offer.
The November offer will be available from the start of the month and applies to any visit to the pub. To benefit from the offer, you need to be a Full or Life member of the Trust and to produce one of our enamel THST badges. Trust Secretary Pete Haine will be in The Annie from 4pm ahead of the Manchester United match on 30 October and from 6pm prior to the match vs Vitesse on 4 November and will be able to supply badges to members should you not already have one. If you require a badge it would be helpful if you could contact Pete in advance to give him a heads up. Email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This offer arose from a meeting held on 22 September between Trust Board representatives and landlord Ben Abrahams. Ben is a Spurs season ticket holder and wants to work closely with us on all things Spurs, community and charity related. It’s his goal to work towards creating a unique match day experience at the pub. Welcome to Ben and we very much look forward to working with him and the team at the Antwerp Arms over the coming months.
10. Cycling from London to Amsterdam, 10 - 12 June 2022
Prostate Cancer UK, one of the Trust’s two nominated charities, has now confirmed that its annual fundraising ride will leave the London Olympic Velodrome on Friday 10 June 2022 and arrive at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam on the Saturday, returning to London (on Eurostar, not bikes) on Sunday 12 June 2022. Our Cycle On You Spurs (COYS) team registered for the twice-deferred Football to Amsterdam 2020 ride is around 30 strong; the largest of our five annual pelotons to date.
New riders: COYS welcomes newcomers to join us. Once those already registered for the ride are reconfirmed, PCUK will be open for new registrations. If this occurs before our November newsletter, information will be provided on our dedicated web page and also on our Forum.
Fundraising: Our team total for F2A22 currently stands at over £22,000. This brings our grand total since COYS was formed for the 2016 ride ever closer to £150,000. We will announce the launch of our fundraising drive for the 2022 ride shortly but if you want to contribute to this vital cause in the meantime, you can do so here.
11. Cycling to Spurs
The Trust is continuing to monitor the use of cycling stands at home matches and to raise any issues arising with the Club. For the Watford game, the stands at the Tottenham Community Sports Centre (701-703 High Road N17) were fully occupied and Spurs have been notified. Use will be monitored at the Manchester United match.
It is likely that the kick off time and then the ending of British Summer Time will result in less demand, so there should be sufficient space both there and across Church Road at the St Francis de Salle school for future home games.
12. Mental Health: Andy’s Man Club
As first reported in last month’s newsletter, Andy’s Man Club mental health charity, offering free-to-attend talking groups for men and challenging the stigmas around male mental health, has contacted the Trust to promote and assist their work. Formed in Halifax by a former rugby league player Luke Ambler, they have grown in the north and are now looking to gain a significant foothold in London and the south. One of their targets is to open a club in every London borough. Each venue needs to be a quiet space, preferably free to use, where men can meet every Monday from 7pm to 9pm. We have identified a couple of possible venues to date. If anyone knows of any others that are worthy of consideration, please get in touch with kevin.fitzgerald@THSTOfficial.com
13. Football Supporters Europe Away Fans Survey
FSE runs a regular Away Fans Survey to gather information on the treatment of fans at European competition games, and is doing so again this season. Travelling Spurs fans are encouraged to complete after every European Away trip.
Those who made the trip to Arnhem earlier in the month are asked to take ten minutes to share their experiences.
14. THST Forum
This month we have welcomed your comments on our efforts to meet with the THFC Board and on the questions that we have sought answers for. These remain pertinent and only very partially answered by the executive board.
Full THST members have been discussing the take-over of Newcastle United FC and what the implications might be for our Club’s long-term plans. Also discussed are the transfer strategy under Fabio Paratici and what we can expect in January, as well as the mooted links with Standard Liege. There’s also an interesting link to Brentford’s ‘Moneyball’ strategy in light of our less-than-thrilling B team performance against Vitesse.
Concerns continue around communications and operation of the ticket exchange and ticket share, as well as the often-late issuing of away tickets. Your feedback here is useful as we continue to lobby for a better deal for fans, particularly on the inability to buy at concessionary rates on TEX. Anecdotal accounts of your experiences of using the ticket exchange are also useful – were you able to sell your ticket or did it remain unsold?
There is a thread on catering with a link to our catering survey for the opening matches of the season. Please do fill this in and let us know your verdict on any food and drink you’ve bought in the stadium. We will share this with the Club at our meeting next week.
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.
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