Half season ticket offer
Fan-led review and advisory board
Fixture changes for televised games
Frankfurt home game
Migration in South Stand during games
Marseille away game
THST Board meeting
Football Supporters' Assoc and Football Supporters' Europe
Cycling to Spurs
Spurs Reach event
Rainbow laces campaign
New Spurs app
Forum for members of THST
Tottenham and Enfield foodbanks
Men's mental health awareness
It has been a busy month for the Trust and this is reflected in a bumper newsletter updating you on what we have been up to and the issues we have been dealing with. We hope you enjoy it.
1. HALF SEASON TICKET OFFER
On 28 September, members of the Trust Board were notified by Supporter Liaison Officer Levi Harris that the Club would be inviting One Hotspur Members (OHM) to register their interest in taking one of 1200 Half Season Tickets starting from the Arsenal home game in January for the rest of the 2022-23 season, with an option of renewing for future seasons as a full Season Ticket holder.
We had asked whether OHMs wanted the option of a Half Season Ticket in our Fan Survey back in June, with 71% of respondents in support. This was not, therefore, a move we objected to in principle. It did, however, raise some important questions about the balance of the Season Ticket versus Match Day ticket ratio, concessions and the primary versus secondary ticketing markets at Spurs. As a Trust Board, we have to consider every decision holistically. How increasing the number of Season Tickets will impact on the ticket pool available for One Hotspur Members was a key concern, at a basic level.
Without going into too much granular detail, we asked the Club to explain:
- What the Club’s ideal ratio of STH to Match Day seats is, and why they felt this was the optimal balance
- Whether the 1200 tickets being made available came from new or existing Season Ticket inventory. How many STH’s had renewed in the summer and how many General Admission STH’s did we now have in total
- Where the 1200 seats were located; blocks and rows
- Why none were being offered at a concessionary price, regardless of whether the OHM qualified for a Junior, Young Adult or Senior rate. Was this because of the areas in which the seats were being offered or because the Club had decided it had reached its quota of concessionary seats in particular blocks
- Why the Club is seemingly so reliant on Ticket Exchange to service ticket demand from One Hotspur Members. TEX offers a valuable service to ST holders who cannot make home league games and gives OHM’s a second chance to purchase the odd seat if they missed out during the primary sales window. But it should not be used as a justification for further reducing those primary ticket opportunities. There are no concessions on TEX, so any junior, young adult or senior OHM’s have no chance of ever paying their rightful price point on TEX, even when a seat is within a concessionary area. The transaction fees on TEX are greater than when purchasing at primary source, also.
We are yet to receive a response to the above questions in what is becoming an increasingly common approach to communication with the Trust around ticketing matters.
We observed that the Club went ahead with its offer to One Hotspur Members on 1 October.
2. FAN-LED REVIEW AND FAN ADVISORY BOARD
There has been some speculation about the Government’s stance on the Fan-Led Review after recent events. What we know now is that the new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has previously publicly stated his support for the Review’s recommendations to be “implemented in full” and that Oliver Dowden, who has been given a senior role in the new Government, is a strong supporter of the proposals set out in the FLR.
Discussions with the Club about a new framework for fan engagement that would satisfy the aspirations set out in the Fan-Led Review are continuing. We can appreciate that yet another update just saying “discussions continue” could be frustrating for fans who understandably see the issue of contact between supporter groups and the Club as important. But, as we said at the start of the process, conducting a running commentary would not be a constructive way to carry on.
We’re really aware of the need for us to balance conducting negotiations in a responsible and constructive manner with keeping supporters informed about this important issue. Which is why we would have liked to say more and provide more evidence of progress by now. But it’s important to get any framework right. There are still some outstanding issues and we have a further meeting scheduled with the Club to discuss.
As a Trust, we are in day-to-day contact with various departments and executive board members at the Club on a range of issues. However, this does not obviate the need for consultation on a structured and regular basis, as required by the Premier League rules, and this has not taken place on a formal basis for nearly two years.
Confidence in the existing framework had been undermined after the European Super League episode, and THST had been pushing for an improved framework prior to the FLR issuing its findings. The shape of the relationship we wanted to see was clearly set out in the submission we made to the Review, and which is available to read on our website THST FLR submission
We continue to push in that same direction and hope to be able to bring positive news following further discussions with the Club later this month.
3. FIXTURE CHANGES FOR TELEVISED GAMES
This remains the bane of the lives of match-going fans. The publication of the fixture list at the start of the season is frankly of little use for planning to go to matches – home or away – until the televised fixtures have been selected and the dates and times confirmed.
Before the start of the season, the Premier League publishes the dates on which the selection of televised fixtures for the various months of the season will be notified to fans. These dates are regularly missed. This month was a particularly egregious example: the televised fixtures for December and January of this season were supposed to be published on 11 October. Nothing was announced until 24 October, nearly two weeks late, and even then it was only for the fixtures for December and the very early part of January. Fixtures for the remainder of January have still not yet been announced, and no date has been set for that announcement.
There has also been an increasing incidence of fixtures being moved more than once, the most recent example affecting Spurs being our game against Newcastle at 4.30pm on Sunday 23 October, which had previously been scheduled to be the televised game at 5.30pm on Saturday 22 October, but was swapped with Chelsea v Manchester United because Chelsea were playing in the Champions League the following Tuesday – a fact which was entirely predictable when the fixture list was first published and which was known about for several weeks in advance.
Moving a fixture once is inconvenient enough. Moving it twice is completely unacceptable. It meant that many fans were unable to make the fixture or had to make expensive changes to their travel and accommodation plans. It must be remembered that this is not just away fans: many Spurs fans also travel long distances to Tottenham for home games.
With the Football Supporters’ Association and other fan groups we have expressed our strong opposition and called for action to prevent double changes in the future.
We also continue to press the Rail Delivery Group and rail companies for flexible ticketing to ensure that fans are not out of pocket on the cost of rail tickets when the dates and/or times of fixtures change.
4. FRANKFURT HOME GAME
Following the incidents at the Champions League home game against Marseille, THST Co-chairs Rachel Martin and Steve Cavalier were invited to observe the safety, stewarding and policing arrangements for away fans for the visit of Eintracht Frankfurt to our stadium. Here is the link to their report: Stewarding and Policing at Frankfurt Match
5. MIGRATION IN SOUTH STAND DURING GAMES
During the Frankfurt game, we received complaints from Spurs fans about migration and overcrowding in the safe standing section of the South Stand, with reports of gangways not being cleared. We raised this with the Club. We received a report of the same problems occurring during the Newcastle game and provided detailed information to the Club. The issue was referred to the Safety team who focused on it in their pre-match briefings for the fixture against Sporting, to stress that tickets should be checked on first entering the stand and the appropriate action taken if someone is not in the correct location. We were pleased to receive confirmation that the situation was much better at that match as a result and we hope that this will be maintained for future games.
6. MARSEILLE AWAY GAME
THST Board members had a number of discussions with the Club and with representatives of Football Supporters Europe to both understand and input to the arrangements for Spurs fans travelling to the final Champions League group stage fixture in Marseille on 1 November. We issued information to supporters, as an accompaniment to the official Club travel communications. You can read our communication here: Travel advice for Marseille match
7. THST BOARD MEETING
Our Trust Board met in person on 18 October for an in-depth discussion across a range of issues. In particular, we discussed the current position in discussions on the Fan Advisory Board, issues regarding ticketing, broadcast times, matchday operations, transport, communications and media. We also discussed our charity and community links and plans for future events – more details to follow.
8. FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION AND FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS EUROPE AND OTHER TRUSTS
As mentioned earlier, we liaised with Football Supporters’ Europe over the proposed arrangements for Spurs fans travelling to Marseille and also had a very useful discussion with them on ticket pricing and safety arrangements generally for Champions League fixtures. We have also had a number of discussions with the Football Supporters’ Association regarding televised fixtures, rail travel and proposals for fan advisory boards across various clubs. We have also had separate discussions with other Trusts about their experience of discussions regarding fan advisory boards, the outcome of those discussions and how those arrangements are operating in practice.
THST Co-Chair Rachel Martin and Board member Simon Sullivan, met with the catering leads at THFC on Friday 30 September to share the results of our recent catering survey and to talk about the future plans for the food and beverage provision at the stadium.
We were very sorry to hear that Ray Watson has now moved on to a different role within the wider catering organisation as we have had a successful relationship with him. We wish him well in his new venture. However, we were pleased to be introduced to the new Strategic Catering Director, Andrew Taylor, who has joined the Club from Manchester City. We also met again with Stadium Venue Sales Director Andy O’Sullivan.
We are very grateful to every supporter who completed our survey and shared their matchday experiences, they give us a valuable insight into how things are going, what is working well and what the priorities for development should be.
The main findings are generally good levels of satisfaction with the range and quality of food and drink but high levels of dissatisfaction with pricing and wait times. The full report can be found here: THST Catering Report Oct 22 You’ll see that there are areas where real progress can be made and others where solutions still need to be found. There are also some very useful insights into the issues that affect levels of service, and some aspects that we can rightly feel proud of, such as the amount of food that is made on site using locally sourced products.
10. CYCLING TO SPURS… ON YOUR BIKE
Several of our members have been in touch regarding the lack of suitable, safe cycle parking provision in and around the stadium.
From our members’ experience the demand from cyclists is increasing this season, with both sites often full well before kick-off. Worryingly we have also been informed that after the Frankfurt game some cyclists returning to their bikes at the Community Sports Centre racks found that, due to mindless acts of vandalism, their helmet straps had been cut through. This information has been relayed to the Club but so far there has been no response.
When the stadium was opened back in April 2019, THFC stated that it was their aim that there would be suitable cycling provision for 1% of the total stadium capacity. This is a figure of approximately 620 cycle parking spaces.
On the Club website the say that they ‘encourage spectators to cycle to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.’ With ‘ample cycle parking’ around the stadium at the Tottenham Community Sports Centre and St Francis De Sales School, with capacity for 220 bicycles across the two sites. There is also a link to a Cycle Parking Map: Cycle Map
Back in February this year, after admitting that they were ‘shocked’ by the increase in cyclists, the Club told us that there were ongoing discussions with St Francis De Sales School to see if they would be happy to increase the bike racks on their site. Despite repeated emails politely asking for updates on this matter none have been forthcoming.
There was also the suggestion that the Club would look at putting additional racks at the Goods Yard on White Hart Lane. At the time this was felt to be perhaps in the wrong location. However, the feeling now is that if it means additional, safe cycle parking then this route is definitely worth pursuing.
As we are all aware cycling to the ground is a cheaper, greener alternative to public transport and car journeys. For a Club that is justifiably proud of its green credentials it should be a remit of THFC to ensure this relatively low 1% figure is challenged, and that subsequent increased provision makes cycling a viable, attractive alternative with people incentivised to make their match day journey by bike. It would make perfect sense to look at any means of alleviating match-day congestion in the immediate vicinity of the stadium. Surely a world leading stadium needs world leading cycle parking provision!
We would be interested in hearing from members who do cycle to matches on their experiences, and also from anyone who doesn’t as to why they don’t and what, if anything would make you consider cycling to the stadium.
10 SPURS REACH EVENT
October is Black History Month, an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the UK’s black history and heritage. We were pleased to support and attend Spurs Reach’s first in-person event, in the Beavertown Brewery inside the Stadium. There was a Q and A session hosted by Troy Townsend, Head of Development at Kick It Out. The panel session featured Ledley King, who was celebrating his birthday that day. Other guests included the Academy Head of Coaching, Chris Powell, Club presenter Rebekah Walker and Rap Artist and Spurs fan AJ Tracey. We learned a lot about their experiences as Spurs fans, their thoughts on Black History Month, and the people who they held as great role models. A particular highlight of the event was a brilliant poem featuring play on words of Spurs players names. We are sure this will be just the first of many such successful events.
11 RAINBOW LACES CAMPAIGN
We strongly welcome the Club’s support for the Rainbow Laces Campaign at the match against Newcastle United and were delighted to see our good friends Chris Paouros and Lee Johnson from Proud Lilywhites on the pitch at half-time speaking powerfully about the campaign – even if they had to brave a torrential downpour to do so!
It is so important that we continue to campaign for LGBTQ+ rights and highlight the injustices and discrimination faced by so many people across the world. This is especially so as we are about the witness the appalling spectacle of a World Cup being held in Qatar, a country which criminalises and persecutes the LGBTQ+ community. We applaud Harry Kane and his England colleagues and Ben Davies and his Wales colleagues for showing their support for the campaign by wearing “OneLove” armbands at the World Cup, regardless of whether FIFA permits this.
12 NEW SPURS APP
The Spurs App has just been upgraded and there is a lot of great content in there such as large picture galleries for every match, Spurs PLAY and news content. However, we feel that there are many ways that the app could be further developed to provide the information and services that Spurs fans could benefit from. These include making the content accessible for those with disabilities, including information about the location of water fountains and availability of menu provision, where to find live musicians etc.
We will be meeting with the Club next month to discuss these ideas and we’d love to hear if you have any other thoughts. There’s a thread on our Forum for full THST members so pop them in there, or email us at info@THSTofficial.com.
13 FORUM FOR FULL MEMBERS OF THST
This month on the Forum we have been discussing a range of topics including ticketing points, Ticket Exchange, stewarding and policing, Spurs bags, 1882 provision, local planning applications, provision of storage for bicycles, and Park Lane Square. Come and join in the conversations: THST Forum
The THST Forum is open to full and life members of the Trust. Full and life members should apply via the link on our website and set up an account. We should emphasise 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.
14 TOTTENHAM AND ENFIELD FOODBANKS
THST has a long history of proudly supporting the Tottenham and Enfield Foodbanks. We think it’s terribly sad that foodbanks are needed at all, but in the current financial climate more and more people on low incomes, are in need of the support they provide.
THST regularly tweet information about collection points and we made a special podcast promoting our local foodbank, which can be seen here: THST Foodbank Podcast
We were proud to be part of THFC’s recent promotion of the Tottenham Foodbank in which all the players wore the Foodbank logo on their match shirts for our home game v Sporting Lisbon. Prior to kick off THST Co-Chair Rachel Martin and Kirsty Johnson from Tottenham Foodbank joined Paul Coyte pitch-side, for an interview promoting the Foodbank’s purpose, function and challenges. We hope that by raising awareness there will be a big increase in food and financial donations.
The next collection will be between 12 noon and 2pm prior to the home match v Leeds. The drop off point is in the Community Sports Centre’s car park. Every donation can make a difference to someone in need – if everyone brought just one tin, a whole community could be helped. Thank you to everyone who has donated – your generosity is greatly appreciated.
November the 19th is International Men’s Mental Health Day. One of the main reasons for International Men’s Mental Health Day is to raise awareness for male suicide. The event has been running for a number of years and many charities run awareness campaigns around it.
Back in October 2021 we reported on ANDYSMANCLUB, which is a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend talking groups for men. ANDYSMANCLUB were set up with the aim of eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health and creating judgement-free,
confidential spaces where men can open up about issues in their lives.
Initially formed in Halifax by former league player Luke Ambler, they are now very well established in the north of the country, with over 100 groups nationwide. Earlier this year they got their first London group up and running in Barnet. The address is The Meritage Centre, Church End, London NW4 4JT.
We were contacted by one of the facilitators at ANDYSMANCLUB Barnet who offered us the chance to attend one of the meetings with a view to finding more about what goes on in the groups, and how we could perhaps play a role in helping to establish a group in the Tottenham area.
Trust board member Rob White recently went along to the Barnet group to find out more:
“I’m passionate about men’s mental health, so it was really fascinating for me to see how an ANDYSMANCLUB group works. At their simplest form they are a way of creating a safe space where men can come together to communicate about problematic issues that they might be facing. The attendees could be experiencing anything from suicidal thoughts, addiction, depression, relationship problems, financial worries, or just feeling the need to be heard. I was genuinely surprised and humbled by the honesty and non-judgemental nature of the meeting. As men are quite often seen as not being able to communicate, and not being able to talk about our feelings and emotions this group quickly served to disprove that notion.
The well attended session generated a really genuine shared spirit of empathy. There was no pressure put on any of the participants to speak, and it is made clear that if members of the group just want to listen then that is absolutely fine. I would advise anyone who is experiencing any kind of problem that they feel is ‘too big to share’, or just feels that they need to be heard, to go along to this group. It’s a brilliant initiative that is helping to tackle the stigma around male mental health.”
All groups meet on Monday evening at 7pm (except bank holidays). The meetings are free to attend and are facilitated by a fantastic team of volunteers who provide free tea, coffee and biscuits.
16 MEDIA LOG
Spurs players show support for Tottenham Foodbank: Spurs players show support for Tottenham Foodbank | Haringey Community Press
Why Tottenham players will be wearing special edition shirts in Champions League vs Sporting: Why Tottenham players will be wearing special edition shirts in Champions League vs Sporting - football.london
Premier League festive fixtures criticised by fans over 'lack of consultation': Premier League festive fixtures criticised by fans over 'lack of consultation' - BBC Sport
1 November 2022
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