One of the Trust’s key priorities has been to promote greater fan engagement as well as ensuring formal consultation by the Club on matters of concern to supporters.
This is an important part of ensuring the highest possible standards both on and off the pitch. The establishment of the FAB comes after many years of campaigning and, more recently, eighteen months of negotiations with the Club.
It will, for the first time, create a binding obligation to consult with supporters’ representatives and, as such, is a major step forward for fan engagement at the Club.
It ensures that the Club will consult with fans and take on board their views in relation to the specific decision-making matters within its remit. It strengthens the voice of fans on the key issues affecting the Club and will enable supporters’ representatives to hold the Board to account. It follows on from the recommendations of the Government commissioned, independent Fan Led Review, which was established following the European Super League debacle. None of this would have been possible without pressure from fans and from the Trust.
The composition of the FAB is drawn from supporters’ groups and representatives elected by different categories of supporters. This includes two places for representatives of THST plus one place for each of Proud Lilywhites, SpursAbility and Spurs Reach and one elected position each for representatives of Season Ticket Holders, One Hotspur Members, Women’s Super League Season Ticket Holders, Domestic Supporters Clubs and Overseas Supporters’ Clubs.
The issues within the FAB’s remit include:
- the Club’s strategic vision and objectives;
- off-pitch performance updates;
- priorities and plans;
- operational matchday issues;
- proposals relating to significant changes to Club heritage assets; stadium issues and plans; the Club’s community strategy;
- equality, diversity and inclusion commitments;
- plans for broader supporter engagement.
We have been involved in extensive negotiations with the Club regarding the constitution and working of the FAB. As a result, we have secured improvements in the arrangements which strengthen the voice of fans and which go above and beyond the suggested requirements set out by the Premier League in their recently-published Premier League Fan Engagement Standard.
The Trust has repeatedly pressed the Board to set out its strategy for the Club to give fans, and the wider football world, a clear understanding of the direction and ambition for future years. Under the FAB, the Board will now be obliged to consult on its strategic vision and objectives, and on its priorities. This is a significant, and welcome, step.
Additionally, we campaigned for a fan representative on the Board of Directors. Although this was not a recommendation of the Fan Led Review, under the arrangements for the FAB at Spurs, we have secured agreement that the supporter Co-Chair of the FAB will attend four meetings of the main Club Board of Directors per year, giving supporters an important presence in the boardroom.
The establishment of the FAB complements existing arrangements between THST and the Club. The Trust will continue to represent supporters directly with the Club on off-field matters, including fixture scheduling, ticketing operations, policing and safety, catering, safeguarding, transport and fan engagement as well as community work. We will continue to campaign for, and represent, the interests of Spurs fans and the wider community of football fans.
Consulting our members
THST is an independent, democratic organisation which represents the interests of Spurs’ fans and listens to the views of its members. We are keen now to start the process of consultation with members and hear views on how we ensure the greatest possible impact for fan engagement.
Trust members are invited to an online meeting where we will discuss the FAB arrangements in more detail, answer questions and give members the opportunity to give their views. Members who cannot attend that meeting can send their comments or views to us by email prior to the meeting and we will take those into account.
View from the Trust Board
The view of the Trust Board is that the voice of fans will be enhanced by the participation of the Trust in the FAB, sitting alongside our continued direct representation of supporters. We believe our involvement will both strengthen the FAB itself as well as reinforce the Trust’s representation of Spurs’ supporters.
The FAB is a significant step forward for fan engagement at the Club. It obliges the Club to consult on key issues. It provides a mechanism for supporters’ representatives to hold the Board to account. It gives a supporter presence in the Club boardroom. It is a real opportunity to ensure that fans have a say in how the Club is run.
We believe that the THFC FAB complies with (and in several respects exceeds) Premier League requirements. Taken together with the Premier League rules and the proposals in the Government’s White Paper on the Fan Led Review, it creates a framework which would prevent THFC or other clubs from forming or participating in breakaway leagues without falling foul of the Premier League or the proposed independent statutory football regulator.
The FAB gives the opportunity, working with other groups, for the Trust to enhance the representation of supporters and influence the decisions of the Club and in doing so to complement the Trust’s role of representing supporters directly with the Club.
The updated memorandum of understanding between the Club and the Trust re-states the ongoing role of the Trust in representing supporters’ interests. It makes clear that this role is not superseded by the creation of the FAB.
Finally, if the Trust did not participate in the FAB, it would be unable to influence the discussions in the FAB and that would leave fans without FAB representation from an independent democratic organisation. The FAB will be far more effective with Trust participation. Not taking part would leave the Trust outside of the key discussions with the Club save for discussions on specific issues within the Trust’s remit that are not covered by the FAB.
Therefore, the recommendation of the Trust Board is that the Trust should participate in the proposed FAB, but that before taking a final decision, we should consult with members and seek their views.
We would encourage all members to read the details of the FAB on the attached link.
25 April 2023