Next meeting with the Spurs Board
Members’ Event: Who will think of the fans?
Arsenal away: follow up and meeting with Islington Council
Manchester City away: follow up
Olympiacos away planning and ticketing
THST Q3 Board meeting
Business Community Liaison Group meeting
Meeting with Spurs Women
Catering meeting with Levy Restaurants
Sanctions and banning policy, ticketing appeals policy, flag policy – update
Fans for Diversity Awards
On the Ball campaign - update
Thomas Cook Sport - update
Away coach parking – update
- Spurs Secret History walk – 5 October 2019
- Tottenham Foodbank
- Antwerp Arms AGM – 9 September 2019
- PCUK London to Amsterdam 2020 bike ride
- The Spurs Show
- Wingate and Finchley FC
- Zeelo coach travel
- Big Green bus coach travel
- One Hotspur moments
1. Next meeting with the Spurs Board – 8 October
Representatives of the Trust Board are scheduled to meet with members of the Spurs Board and senior executives on the evening of Tuesday 8 October for a planned Board-to-Board meeting. We last sat down for a formal meeting with the Club’s Board on 12 March, and a full account of that session can be found on our website.
We’re currently finalising the agenda for the upcoming meeting and, as always, welcome your input. Please send any suggestions for questions into our email account by Friday 4 October and we’ll do our best to cover in the meeting. We’ll also collate all questions into a leave-behind pack for the Club Board. We should emphasise that the Trust’s remit does not extend to addressing on-field matters in detail – which should be a relief to everyone! We will ask the Club’s board to clarify its understanding of where we currently stand with team development and performance. And we will raise the issues of continuing problems with ticketing technology and stewarding that do not deliver the experience fans paying the highest prices in Europe should expect.
All questions sent in by fans are submitted to the Club Board, and we use your questions to inform our approach and priorities at the meeting. Detailed discussions are part of our week-to-week work with the Club, so the conversation at these Board-to-Board meetings is focused on more general policy issues.
2. Members’ Event: Who will think of the fans – 16 October
We’re delighted to welcome Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, to our next Members’ Event on Wednesday 16 October at our usual home of CMS Cannon Street. Kev has represented the interests of football fans nationally and internationally to key organisations including the FA, Premier League, UEFA and FIFA for over two decades, having previously worked in journalism and broadcasting. He’ll be a familiar face to those acquainted with the work of the England Fans Embassies too.
In this meeting, we’ll be covering the key topics affecting fans both at home and on the continent, including the European Super League proposals, the latest on safe standing, European price cap, broadcast scheduling and VAR. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss fan campaigning in general.
Places are going fast so be sure to book up quickly for FREE via Eventbrite.
3. Arsenal away: follow up and meeting with Islington Council
The North London Derby delivered more than its fair share of drama at the start of September, both on and off the pitch. The tension clearly affected the home fans located at the front of the middle and upper tiers immediately above the away blocks, with several Spurs fans being hit as coins, bottles and other objects rained down from above. We followed up with Tottenham’s Safety Officers the next day, who were aware of the incidents having observed them in the control room at the Emirates. We’ve asked for confirmation about the steps Arsenal will be taking as a result of this unacceptable behaviour.
On a related note, THST representatives are due to meet with Islington Council on 15 October to discuss away allocations at the Emirates. Spurs fans will be familiar with the regularly quoted reason for not awarding full allocations in the FA Cup and League Cup, namely persistent standing in the upper tiers. We’ll be pointing out the persistent standing by the home support in the same tiers at the recent NLD and the missile throwing and looking for reassurances this will be dealt with ahead of our next visit to the Emirates, as well as lobbying for our rightful allocations at future Cup matches.
4. Manchester City away: follow up
Our dramatic draw at the Etihad in August led to some unacceptable scenes along the segregation line, including physical violence. We have been asking THFC to arrange a call with MCFC to address several concerns we have relating to supporter safety at Manchester City.
First, the Level 1 segregation line is too soft and needs increasing in both size (by further seat kill from the home section) and robustness (upping the number of stewards). Secondly, better training and briefing for the stewards and match day staff deployed on the seg lines and in the away blocks. Thirdly, a commitment from MCFC to take action against their own fans who incite or commit violence or persist in abuse throughout a match. And finally, better publicising of reporting methods to both stewards and the police should any of our travelling fans encounter difficulties.
We will also be speaking with GMP to ensure sufficient police are deployed outside the stadium to handle flashpoints, especially on egress.
As we go live with this newsletter, no date has been set for this call. We continue to push for much needed dialogue ahead of future visits to the Etihad.
5. Olympiacos away planning and ticketing
The Champions League group stage draw delivered some interesting ties for Spurs, and some interesting trips for Spurs fans. Playing away on Match Day 1 always throws up some logistical challenges and a trip to Athens just a couple of weeks after the draw was no exception.
As we haven’t played Olympiacos competitively for a good while, we spoke with our counterparts at Arsenal and Burnley for an insight into more recent experiences. There were a few red flags raised, which we picked up with the Club.
We made representations over the need to carry original passports, the writing of passport numbers on tickets and the information sharing process with Olympiacos. We also challenged the shuttle bus arrangements and the prohibition of some items, specifically phone chargers and umbrellas.
We expressed concerns with the accessible seat locations and with the lack of access to food and drink, which we referred onto SpursAbility.
After the game, we debriefed with the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer. Overall, the trip went well, but once again some of the basic arrangements were not good enough. A planning meeting held soon after the draw and attended by officials from both clubs had not been attended by either the police or UEFA, and on the day local police began to change arrangements that had been agreed at this meeting. This meant the coaches fans were strongly advised to use were escorted in smaller groups, resulting in a longer wait for some fans than necessary.
Entry went well, with THFC able to ensure the disabled fans we took with us were well looked after. Our thanks to the Club’s new disability access staff for this. Once again, despite being told ID would be checked against tickets, no such checks took place. We have told the Club that this has happened so many times, advice insisting that checks will be carried out has ceased to have any credibility. The Club is aware of this and frustrated that measures they are told will be enforced are not carried through, and agree with us that such requests are losing credibility. However, we all know that as soon as either the Club or Trust says that these checks will probably not happen, there will be 100% enforcement. It is intensely frustrating, as we all need to be able to give credible advice.
We had been advised there would be a hold back at the end of the game, and THFC officials had asked that fans be allowed to move freely between the stands and the concourse during the hold back. This request was agreed, but on the night police began to restrict movement to one in, one out until THFC pushed back. The hold back lasted for an hour, longer than advised, and the Club was told after the game that this was to avoid any problems with coaches being caught in traffic and potentially flash points with home fans. Nothing was communicated to fans or Club staff in real time on the night.
Once again we must make the point that UEFA needs to step up to take responsibility for the organisation of its own competitions, particularly around fan experience. It’s increasingly clear that any engagement UEFA does have with Clubs and fan organisations over supporter experience is little more than box-ticking. We need Fans Europe to push much harder and we need some media pressure. We’ll be looking to see those things happen.
6. THST Q3 Board meeting – 2 September 2019
The Board of the Trust met for their Q3 meeting on the evening of 2 September. On the agenda were rolling items around finance, membership, marketing, charity and community work. Specific decisions included approving funds to produce a limited number of THST badges for members, sponsorship of a grassroots football team (more info to follow) and supporting the new Tottenham Foodbank.
We also agreed to approach a market researcher to help us understand awareness levels of the Trust and our work, ultimately helping us to better target our recruitment messaging and publicity.
There was a lengthy discussion around the agenda and approach for the upcoming meeting with the Club Board and an update on key issues affecting match going supporters at our new ground, including transport, stewarding, ticketing and catering.
The Q4 Board meeting is scheduled for 25 November 2019.
7. Business Community Liaison Group meeting - 24 September 2019
Board member Rachel Martin attended this meeting on behalf of the Trust. The main focus was arrangements for the two forthcoming NfL matches, the communications shared with local residents and the impact for local residents and businesses.
The main difference between these events and THFC matches are the much longer hours that fans will be in the area, the fact that many will be fans of the sport rather than necessarily of the teams, and the large amount of attractions in the ‘welcome zone’ for fans to interact with on the day.
Representatives from NfL stressed that they want to create a long-term, sustainable commitment to the area and that they hope that even more local community groups, schools and businesses will be able to engage with the events in the future. They also detailed the thorough security arrangements and the communications that had been displayed, delivered and circulated for local residents.
Other business included discussions around TfL resident surveys around the newly refurbished station, and the arrangements for disabled parking on THFC match days. This included the impact for local residents on the Sainsbury’s car park, as well as the impact on businesses when roads are closed for small amounts of time post-match.
8. Meeting with Spurs Women – 27 September 2019
THST Secretary Pete Haine attended a meeting with the new general manager of Spurs Women, Heather Cowan, on 27 September to discuss how the Trust could help the Women this coming season. Regular readers will be aware that we sponsored the game against Sheffield United last season, and promoted several Championship fixtures.
THST is pleased to continue to support and promote the Womens’ team. If you haven’t watched them yet, their games are streamed on the FA Player. Better still, come along to one of the games. They are very family friendly!
Home matches are usually played at The Hive, home of Barnet FC. The upcoming Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Arsenal will be held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday 17 November at 3pm and the hope is we can set a new FAWSL attendance record.
Matchday tickets for home games at The Hive are available for purchase online and on the day at the gate. There is a saving if you purchase online. Full details can be found here. Tickets for the Arsenal game will be available through the Tottenham ticketing platform next month. Watch out for details.
Most of the away games are not held at the main club stadia and fans are not segregated. Links to purchase tickets will be made available through the THFC website.
9. Catering meeting with Levy Restaurants – 24 September 2019
Board member Rachel Martin met with George Robertson and Levi Harris from the Club to share feedback from the most recent THST member survey – this featured your comments from the home matches against Inter Milan, Aston Villa and Newcastle, as well as hear of new developments on the catering front.
Many supporters will have noticed a few changes including:
- A trialling of the new reusable plastic beer cups, initially on Level 5 and now, for the Southampton match, in other areas of the stadium – levels 1 and 4 within the West, North and East stands – hopefully significantly reducing single use plastics.
- Introduction of beer only queues at Tap Inns, with the aim of speeding up service and reducing queuing time for everyone
- New menu options including burrito options
- Further rolling out of the pie and pint deal to include post-match
- More mobile selling options on the concourses with staff selling beers etc from portable kit
- And of course, due to popular demand, the sale of chips on their own.
Rachel will be joining Levi and George for a tour of all the catering outlets prior to the stadium opening for the Sheffield United match and hopefully that this will give us a better understanding of what is where, and how the communications work. If you have any questions you’d like asked, please send them through @rachelvmartin on Twitter or to Rachel on email.
Thanks again everyone for your responses to the last survey and please make sure you complete the September survey now live so that we can continue to work together with the Club to ensure our world class stadium has the best catering provision in the country.
10. Sanctions and banning policy, ticketing appeals policy, flag policy – update
We continue to press the Club to complete the policies on sanctions, bans and the appeals process that we have been discussing for several months, and for a reply to our reservations about the appeals panel for ticketing offences being made up solely of Club staff. This work has been dragging on for too long and, with issues around stewarding continuing to occur, it needs completing.
As reported in the August newsletter, we had asked the Club to clarify its policy on flags after being contacted by a number of supporters.
We’ve finally had confirmation of the policy, and reproduce it in full below:
"FLAGS & BANNERS
We welcome supporters who wish to bring flags to matches at our stadium.
Flags should be no more than 250cm in size at their widest or longest section and flagpoles must be no greater than 1m in length.
Flags must not obstruct gangways, access routes, exits and entrances, health and safety signage and stairways.
In order to ensure smooth access and display of your flag we advise that you have it pre-approved. You can do this by emailing email@example.com a minimum of one week prior to bringing the flag to a match.
We reserve the right to deny permission or confiscate flags if they are above an acceptable size, compromise public safety or obscure someone’s view or a camera position.
The Club has always considered that a football match is a time to show allegiance to a football team first and foremost. A football match is not an appropriate arena to display flags of any political or religious affiliation or anything that could possibly be considered inflammatory – this can include national flags during times of political conflicts, campaigns or issues.
We shall liaise with other clubs concerning the application of our policy at away matches."
We understand the Club is in a difficult position and in general we agree that a football stadium isn’t the place for involved political debates. But we have told the Club our view is that the approach is badly thought out. THFC can’t, and shouldn’t, set itself up to pass judgement on complex international political issues. But the penultimate paragraph of the policy requires it to do exactly that, and the wording used opens the Club up to a whole series of arguments we’re sure it doesn’t want to get into.
The Club does not agree with our view, and said the policy is nothing new and that nothing has changed. And yet it took the best part of two months to get the unchanged policy clarified.
Our view is that flags of UN-recognised nations, and the UK ‘home nations’, should be allowed, and that any inflammatory or provocative use of any flag or symbol would and should obviously lead to that flag or symbol being removed. We believe that is a practical and common-sense position that prevents people using football stadiums as a backdrop for other issues.
We don’t think it is right or appropriate for us to explain or expand on the Club’s position, so any questions on that need to go direct to the Club. We will, of course, seek to ensure all fans are treated fairly and that fan views are made clear to the Club Board.
11. Accessible parking
We have received several comments on the availability and method of allocation of parking spaces for blue badge holders since moving in to the new stadium. We raised these concerns and were informed that the Club would review the process during the summer in light of the feedback.
Having received confirmation that the Club had reviewed the process, we have been waiting for them to update the website advice before commenting, which they have now done.
We are still of the opinion that ST holders should have a priority window, and will continue to lobby THFC to that end.
12. Fans for Diversity Conference
Trust Secretary Pete Haine attended the recent Fans for Diversity Conference, held at Amnesty International's HQ in London, which saw more than 200 fans, campaigners and figures from the football industry come together to discuss and share ideas about ways to promote diversity and tackle discrimination in football.
The Conference, organised by the Football Supporters’ Association and Kick It Out, celebrated five years of their joint work on the Fans for Diversity campaign.
The winners of the first Fans for Diversity Awards were Goal Diggers FC, Altrincham FC, Lady Imps Supporters Association, Proud Valiants, Villans Together, Proud Hornets and Allies in Access.
Tottenham’s Proud Lilywhites were amongst those nominated, and were featured in the annual report unveiled at the conference.
13. On the Ball campaign
We are still awaiting news of when the On the Ball initiative, flagged in previous newsletters, is going live at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The initiative to get free period products in female bathrooms at football grounds has gained widespread media and club attention. Over 100 clubs have now signed up.
14. Thomas Cook Sport
TCS went into administration in late September. We’d been speaking to THFC about the company in particular and official away travel in general since the debacle around the Champions League Final in June. We’d told the Club fans valued an official travel option, domestically and especially for European trips, and that while we did not think the service TCS offered had been good enough, we’d like the Club to press for improvements and alternative options. The Club noted our views but did not provide any specific responses until news of TCS’s collapse broke.
The news that TCS had gone under prompted some press contact about the impact on fans. We made comment expressing sympathy with those who had lost their jobs, but clarifying that with no European arrangements in place this season, there was little direct impact on Spurs fans.
We subsequently heard from THFC that it would not be arranging official travel for our remaining two Champions League group stage away games, news that will disappoint many supporters. We understand, though, that the current turmoil in the industry could make setting up a new arrangement difficult. But we will continue to press for the Club to make alternative official travel arrangements should we progress in Europe, and seek to feed in supporter views on the kind of service they would like.
We also understand a new provider for domestic away coach travel is about to be announced by THFC.
- SPURS SECRET HISTORY WALK – 5 OCTOBER 2019
Written by Spurs biographer Julie Welch, the Secret Spurs History Walk is an entertaining, informative and easy three mile walk.
We’ll be meeting at 10am outside Tottenham Hale station, ending at The Antwerp Arms in time to watch the game against Brighton which kicks off at 12:30pm. Full details can be found here.
- TOTTENHAM FOODBANK
They are planning on making these regular events throughout the season and are looking for a drop-off point closer to the stadium, as many people commented that being at the Town Hall made it inaccessible. Keep an eye out on our social media channels for news about the next collection at the Watford game on 19 October.
If you would like to offer more help, they are seeking volunteers to help out on the days of collections. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
They are now the only Trussell Trust Foodbank in the east of the Borough and want to be a big part of the local community, whether through the community supporting them or vice-versa. We make the point again, and will continue to do so, that the need for a foodbank is not something we see as a positive. But the reality is that the need is there, and with fans across the country doing their bit to support local drives, we’d like to see Spurs fans making a contribution.
Please follow @TottFoodbank @CrutchHaringey @FreedomsArkUK and @TrussellTrust on Twitter, too.
- ANTWERP ARMS AGM – 9 SEPTEMBER 2019
The last two years have seen a number of changes in committee membership and this AGM saw a new Treasurer, a professional accountant, elected along with a Secretary with experience of audit.
The pub’s manager (their third), Peter Passim, reported on his work over the last year, notably his successful efforts in bringing back locals following poor pub management after the departure of the very popular Steve Alderson. The pub once again appears to be in good hands.
Of special concern and interest to us is the issue of the Annie’s fortunes since the old White Hart Lane finale. As reported at the last AGM, the pub suffered a net loss of almost £30,000 in 2017-18 and as a consequence the committee was forced in January to cancel the free weekly community lunches for people in crisis. Since Spurs returned to the High Road, turnover almost doubled in the first quarter of 2019-20, even though that period includes the summer months.
Net profits for 2019-20 are projected at £81,000. It is planned to revive the community lunches for those in crisis. In the slightly longer term the Annie is budgeting in 20-21 to move to the London Living Wage for its seven local staff, who are currently paid significantly above the minimum wage.
Further, with another year of good trading, the Committee will look again at investigating offering a pub tenancy. This would enable the Association to provide an even greater focus on community activities. These are summarised as; improving the local environment; increasing employment opportunities; developing community cohesion.
This was a positive AGM at which it was pleasing to receive acknowledgment of the partnership with the Supporters’ Trust. The Annie looks forward to continuing to see us before and after Spurs matches.
- PCUK LONDON TO AMSTERDAM 2020 BIKE RIDE
You’ve done a bit of cycling, you have a bike (or are thinking of getting a better one), you want to get really fit, you want to support this important cause...and of course you support Spurs. Well, it looks like this is for you. And here is the clincher... you’d love to have a great time, with a massively rewarding outcome. All 50 plus of our riders who have ridden during the last four years will vouch for the fun bit and as for the rewarding feeling when you cross the finishing line at Ajax’s Johan Cruijff Arena... it takes some beating.
Just to add, for your £125 registration fee, you’ll get two pub lunches, two evening meals (including a celebratory dinner in Amsterdam), one ferry crossing, a top hotel night, a Eurostar train home... and all the fun of a night in Amsterdam. Don’t be put off by the pledge of raising £1,200 in donations. Do your best, raise all you can. If you fall short the rest of the team and the Trust’s fundraisers §boosts each of our totals.
Our 2019 total raised by our 24 riders was over £36,000.
Help build the team, help us take our grand total to date of £112,000 soaring up towards the £150,000 mark.
Any questions - contact email@example.com
- THE SPURS SHOW
The Spurs Show holds regular, intimate events in Central London with ex-players and Club legends. These entertaining and informative nights are extremely popular with fans of all ages, are always well attended and have become a cornerstone of the Spurs social calendar.
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 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
- Free Match Day Programme offer -
All fans that book an official matchday coach seat with Big Green Coach will also receive a FREE official Spurs matchday programme before the game. Programmes will be presented to fans as they arrive at our coach park and step off their coach. This offer is for all home Premier League matches as well as all domestic cup and European home matches, exclusively with Big Green Coach.
Low cost return coach travel is available from: Amersham, Aylesbury, Basildon, Bedford, Braintree, Brentwood, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Dartford, Gillingham, Grays, Hadleigh, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hitchin, Huntingdon, Luton, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Rickmansworth, Shefford, Slough, Southend, St Albans, Stevenage, Trumpington, Watford, Welwyn and Wycombe.
Adult return seats start from £14 and child prices are available. Single journeys are also available for mid-week games if you only need to get home after the match. Big Green Coach will run these services to all Spurs games held at home. Multi Game Passes are available which save extra cash.
Get dropped off in plenty of time before kick-off in the Official Coach Park – exclusively used by Big Green Coach – and enjoy all the facilities the new stadium has to offer. Coaches are timed to leave 45 minutes after the final whistle (or as soon as they are full).
Staff are on site to make sure your journey is a smooth one and a dedicated Customer Service team is available to support the service. For more information or to book click here. To sign up to hear more click here.
- ONE HOTSPUR MOMENTS
The official team photo took place last week. The Club invited five lucky junior members to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience by meeting the players and featuring in one of the official photos. If you haven’t already seen it, watch this behind the scenes footage which features the young Spurs fans meeting their heroes.
This one is a must watch! A brilliant video of One Hotspur Member Brenda being celebrated at the Palace game.
Junior members can enter a competition this month to be a matchday reporter – a money-can’t-buy opportunity. Full details can be read here.
Lastly, 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.
Champions League Ticket Pricing
Inside World Football
Thomas Cook Administration
1 October 2019
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