Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust

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Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Board to Board Meeting


Monday 30 March 2015
Tottenham Hotspur Football & Athletic Co Ltd, Lilywhite House, 6pm

Attendees

THST Board:
Katrina Law, Co-chair
Martin Cloake, Co-chair
Suraj Sharma, Secretary
Paul Head
Kevin FItzgerald
Keith Sharp

THFC Board:
Daniel Levy, Chairman
Donna Cullen, Executive Director
Ian Murphy, Head of Ticketing and Membership
Sue Tilling, Head of Safety
Jonathan Waite, Customer Services and Supporter Liaison Manager

Apologies:
Matthew Collecott – Finance and Operations Director

Minutes

Opening
THST opened up by stating its appreciation of the regular Board to Board meetings
- Acknowledged this session was in more positive circumstances than the last meeting in November 2014
- Since our last meeting, there had been some good outcomes together with some frank exchanges of views on some issues
- A combination of the Club announcement of the Season Ticket renewal date being set back to 18 May after THST lobbying and the Premier League announcement regarding setting £1bn aside for five good causes, including match going fans, meant that we were at least facing in the same direction of travel

1.    Stadium/ Northumberland Development Project
Stadium build
- The sheer scale of the project was referenced by the Club. This is the only private sector stadium to be built in this country in the last 20 years outside of the Emirates. It is a massive project, with complexities and challenges associated
- It was impossible to confirm timescales at this stage but the working date for the new stadium opening was August 2018
- THST appreciated the size of the project ahead and urged that fans are communicated with regularly and kept as up to speed as possible with developments as there was still a vacuum of information amongst the general fan base
- Most assumed it was now full steam ahead after the CPO resolution and THFC’s announcement that the title transfer of Archway Steel’s land would be in June 2015
- THFC urged fans to be patient during this period
- The working date for moving out of White Hart Lane was mentioned as May 2017, so two more seasons in the current stadium
- Hence the provisional date for a ground share would be 2017-18

Ground share
- Regarding the ground share, at the last meeting in November, there had been four options for Spurs’ temporary home: Upton Park, Olympic Stadium, Wembley and Stadium MK. Two of those options had been removed leaving Wembley and Stadium MK as the only possible destinations at this stage. The move away would be for one season
No decisions have yet been made and discussions are ongoing over the ground share
- THFC described the situation as ‘work in progress’ as there was no certainty exactly which year this would be for at this stage
- THST stressed the need for full fan consultation before any decision is made as to venues, to which THFC agreed. However, THFC was mindful there may only be one option at the end of the day
- THFC confirmed that when an option was confirmed they would look to produce an attractive package re travel and ticketing
- Regarding the ground share season, THFC confirmed they would offer an amnesty to Season Ticket holders not wishing to travel to the temporary home
- THST suggested picking up with the Ticketing team at THFC at a separate meeting to discuss the impact an amnesty would have on the current Loyalty Point system (to be arranged under separate cover)

Stadium design
- As regards the design for the current stadium, at present THFC have planning permission for a 56,000 seater stadium and would not be drawn on much further detail at this stage
- The ‘kop’ end will stay in any redesign
Disabled access has been given due attention and thought with THFC working with both Level Playing Field and the Tottenham Hotspur Disabled Fans Association to ensure disabled fans are fully catered for in the new stadium

Safe Standing
- Last May, THST had secured support for Safe Standing from THFC. This was revisited, with THFC again confirming they had no issues with standing areas in the new stadium and would be very willing to build that in should legislation change
- DMC expressed a wish to see a demonstration of rail seating, with other key decision makers at THFC having already seen this. THST to take up with Jon Darch of the Safe Standing Roadshow and to liaise further with DMC around this
- THST also agreed to contact the local authority with the purpose of gaining support for rail seating
- THST asked if THFC would be prepared, as 17/20 Premier League clubs had now spoken in support of safe standing, to instigate discussions at Premier League shareholder level to get the clubs to push more firmly for the change in legislation required to introduce safe standing. THFC said they were happy to be supportive but mindful that they were still in midst of new stadium build/safety discussions with the Council
- THST also raised the question of singing areas in the new stadium. THFC were in favour of this

Funding and finances
- Regarding funding and financing of the new stadium, THFC explained it wasn’t possible to enter into detailed discussions as there were still so many variables
- Naming Rights was something that would be arrived at mid project similar to with Emirates  - existing deals shows it really only becomes a sensible conversation for sponsoring organisations once the construction has started
- Bank financing was a known quantity, however, with Rothschild acting as advisors and producing detailed modelling for them at present around servicing debt and cash ratios across each quarter
- Again, the size and magnitude of this project was stressed: talking hundreds of millions of pounds
- The impact of the stadium project on future transfer budgets was raised. A certain percentage would be ring fenced and impact would be minimised as far as possible

Haringey regeneration
- The timings for Haringey Council’s High Road West project were discussed – specifically the need for White Hart Lane station and the walkway to be completed at the same time as the stadium. The need for it to dovetail with the stadium was imperative. THFC was confident Haringey Council appreciated the need for aligned timings on this
- Regarding independent input into the stadium build, THFC confirmed the Heritage committee, Transport committee, Access Forum and Ticketing committee were to be reformed in the near future

2.    Ticketing
- THST requested a separate meeting with the Ticketing staff at THFC to discuss pricing for the new stadium, including any multi-year deals that the Club may be considering
- THST touched on phased payment options for Season Tickets having undertaken research amongst other Premier League clubs in terms of 0% options. It was agreed to follow up outside of this meeting
- The discussion on Loyalty points during an amnesty period was also to be followed up
- The Football Supporters Federation “Share TV Wealth” campaign and the parallel Away Pricing Initiative was discussed in the light of the Premier League shareholders meeting last week
- THFC acknowledged the concerns over pricing but it was felt there was a long way to go before there would be any cross league agreement on how this could be progressed
- THFC also stressed their view of their unique circumstances in terms of financing a new stadium and the importance of ticketing revenue to that project. There was one pot of money from which the stadium needed to be built, transfers paid and ticket pricing addressed, which all added up
- THST explained ticket prices had already increased by 700% in the past 15 years and with a share of the £5.14bn domestic TV deal, it thought any proposed rise in pricing was unacceptable
- THST asked for an update on the take out from the Focus Groups who had met at the start of the year. THFC confirmed a new company had been appointed and more research groups would start in the near future
- THST reiterated their desire to be involved in any discussions around pricing options for the new stadium
 
3.    Policing/ Safety work
- THST acknowledged the very positive work of both the Club and the Trust in this area over the past year
- Both had worked well over the MUFC allocations and the NUFC crowd management issues
- THFC’s work in Florence was also credited by THST, along with the generally good behaviour of our travelling fans at the UEL Round of 32 second leg
- The push for fan reps to sit on Safety Advisory Groups was raised, with THFC agreeing to follow up with Haringey Council
- THFC to firm up dates for match day shadowing / control room observation
- THFC to offer up dates for the next Police Safety Forum now new Football Intelligence Officer is in place

4.    Player development/ recruitment
- THFC listed several factors which had played a part in the on-going success of the Academy
- These included Academy Manager John McDermott, the right recruitment policy, the right coaches, the right facilities, the right level of opportunities to progress to the first team and having a Coach willing to give young players a chance
- It takes a brave Coach to pick a young player over an established one and Mauricio Pochettino was not scared to play youngsters
- THFC welcomed the decisive team choices MP had made over the past season
- The training centre (Hotspur Way) was also felt to have helped in providing a positive working environment
- There was a discussion around the changes to the loan system from next year which would prevent players moving to lower league clubs outside of transfer windows. It was generally felt the loan system had been of great benefit to many of our younger players so this was not a welcome move by FIFA
- In terms of player recruitment, THFC confirmed there was a group involved in recruitment from the age of 8 up to Senior players. They were ‘talent spotters’
- All would consider ‘do we need cover in that position? How good is the player?’ etc. and the ultimate decision would be made by the person responsible for that age group
- The possibility of a testimonial for Michael Dawson was raised. It is possible, however, there are difficulties in arranging a match for a player active at another club
- Regarding transfer policy, THST stressed that retaining talent was as important (if not more so) as bringing in new talent
- THFC’s transfer comfort zone was with younger players around the £10-15m price range and they would look to return to that policy
- Was felt that moving away from this strategy in Summer 2013 hadn’t worked well for THFC, however, DL was keen to stress the Club had backed the Coach and Technical Director with those purchases
- The fact our most successful teams of late have had a British spine was also referenced
- It was felt Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb amongst others had helped reconnect the fan base with the Club this season
- The praise for MP at THFC and his popularity amongst his colleagues was also expressed by the Club
- The lack of injuries was credited to MP’s fitness regime, too

5.    AOB
THST covered off outstanding questions from members in this section.
- What has happened to the Fans Forums? THFC confirmed the Junior event had been held already with the Supporter Groups Google Hangout being scheduled for April and the session with DL and MP coming up before the season end
- The Supporters Club Council suggestion was raised and it was agreed to follow up outside of this meeting to explore the viability and practicality of this initiative. There are now 116 Supporters Clubs worldwide
- The request for an online programme was raised. THFC agreed to explore an extension of eHotspur or delayed online publication of the programme due to rights issues
- The possible extension of Spurs TV to cover U21’s, U18’s and Ladies games was raised and THFC confirmed they would be happy to investigate further
- The memorial service for Dave Mackay will be held at St Stephens in Enfield – date just being confirmed with his family and will be announced shortly.
- There was a discussion around the complaints over the persistent and aggressive use of the Y Word at the recent FA Cup Youth game v Chelsea. THFC was keen to stress this was about the ‘level of appropriateness’ of the use of the word. THST maintained its position that this was not a hate word: the CPS had dismissed the cases against our fans for using the word in March 2014. THFC suggested this was more about the repeated use of the word in an ‘intimidating’ manner amongst a match demographic of predominantly families
- It was agreed to schedule the next meeting of THST and THFC for July 2015

The meeting concluded at 8pm.

Action Points
-  THFC to schedule Ticketing meeting to cover off Loyalty Points during amnesty season (Drunk, pricing in the new stadium, multi-year deals, phased payments
-  THST to follow up with DMC re: demonstration of Rail Seating
-  THST to contact Haringey Council to ascertain support for Safe Standing
-  THFC to offer dates for match day observation with Safety team
-  THFC to offer dates for next Police Safety Forum meeting
-  THFC to include THST in Focus Groups for the new stadium
-  THFC to involve THST and its members in the fans forum with MP and DL, as previously agreed
-  THST and THFC to discuss Overseas Supporters Club Council proposal in more detail
-  THST to schedule the next Board to Board Meeting with THFC for July 2015

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Ved ikke om I har læst referat for mødet mellem THST og THFC.. Har ikke fået lagt det på siden før nu..

 

Jonas - du bedes bemærke de rosene ord til Poch... Wink

 

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 Tak for link Jacob 

Spændende læsning og godt at se du er ved at åbne øjnene lidt.. respekt!! 

Our central defenders, Doherty and anthony Gardner were fantastic and I told them that when they go to bed tonight they should think of each other..... David Pleat 2004

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Jamen du tror jo ikke på det Levy siger Jacob Wink

Er alligevel overrasket over de ikke sagde at han gjorde et lorte job, samt at de regnede med at fyre ham til sommer. Men måske hænger det sammen med det du plejer at sige at INGEN udtaler sig dårligt om folk fra deres egen klub.

Mener det var sådan du formulerede det da Poch roste Ade tidligere i år Wink

Men fin læsning. Syntes der kommer meget god info ud fra de møder. Især omkring stadion og ikke mindst transfer delen, hvor Levy igen tydeligt markerer at han bakker director og coach op med de spillere de ønsker.

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Spurs answer fans questions on new stadium Membres of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust (THST) have had a meeting with club representatives and architectural firm Populous to discuss the revised plans for the new stadium.  Questions were raised about Tottenham Hotspur’s revised plans for the proposed new build and are listed below: Q: Is this the final design of the stadium or is there scope for changes following the consultation period before a planning application is submitted?  
 This is a consultation period when feedback is invited and any appropriate changes can be made prior to making the application.

 

Q: When will an application be submitted to the London Borough of Haringey?

 The aim is by early September 2015.

 

Q: Is the new stadium capable of having the capacity increased (easily) if required in the future or is 61k the maximum – how is it future proofed?  

 The capacity is 61000. This could increase by c 1800 were legislation to change and safe standing areas be approved  – this would, however, be subject to planning approvals.

 

Q: Was a retractable roof ever considered to create a full multi-use venue?  

This wasn’t considered in any detail primarily because the question must always be asked as to why it would be necessary. The number of events for which a retractable roof is needed would not be great enough to offset the cost/make it viable.

Q: Is the newly revised project likely to cost more than the original estimates which if I recall were £450m for everything (Sainbury’s stadium, flats etc)?  There certainly appears to be a lot more to this compared to the previous designs.

 

Further idea on costs will be known once the tenders for the project are received.

Q: Is full funding now in place?

 

Funding will be through a combination of bank financing, sponsorship (naming rights) and enabling development (e.g. land deals). Rothschild are progressing this.

Q: When will naming rights be announced?

 

A degree of patience is required here. These deals are normally completed only once the build process is underway.

Q: With the retractable pitch, is the seating also retractable?

 

Such is the drop to the astroturf pitch which will live underneath the regular playing surface and be deployed for NFL games, retractable seating is not required. The sight lines will be perfect without the need to remove any seating.

 

Q:  What are the plans to ensure our new stadium preserves and develops a distinct ‘Tottenham Hotspur’ personality and to protect our heritage?


THFC is reactivating the Heritage committee, which includes fans, to ensure we retain our history in an ultra modern stadium. The Museum will provide a natural place for many THFC artefacts and a showcase for the Club’s great history, also.

 

Q: Cockerels: there are none on view from the inside of the stadium? Imperative we have a cockerel. Already moved the Cockerel clock into reception at Lilywhite house and the original cockerel is now in West Stand reception. Are icons of our history only for VIPs now?

The clock was actually used to signify the Clubs offices originally so that is in line with its current use in reception at Lilywhite House. The current cockerels will be on show in the museum and accessible to all and the cockerel emblem will be sited at suitable locations in the new stadium.

 

Q: Will there be statues of Tottenham legends such as Bill Nicholson?

Yes, but these will be fully integrated into the site as opposed to being stand-alone statues.

 

Q: Of the heritage buildings on the High Road, is only Warmington House to be preserved? 

Owing to crowd flow and the significant narrowing of the pavement to 2 metres in front of three of the heritage buildings and also the Club’s desire to deliver a better heritage solution, the new scheme proposes the removal of the locally listed heritage buildings with the exception of the deeper set, Grade II nationally listed Warmington House, which will become the entrance to the Museum. Removing these buildings expands the pavement to in excess of 9m and thus improves crowd safety significantly. The decision will rest with Haringey Council and the GLA initially and ultimately with the Secretary of State. Historic England is an important consultee.

 

Q: When will stadium tours be available?

Too early to say at this stage.

 

Q:  It’s key that the desire for safe standing is stressed in the single tier stand so that we can easily respond to any potential change in legislation. As seen in Dortmund’s stadium, this would truly add an ever greater USP to the current stadium plans.

The single South tier has been designed with safe standing in mind, with the ability to introduce rail seating in the tier should legislation change.

 

Q: What are the plans for parking at the new stadium? 

There will be no parking available for General Admission fans at the new stadium. Disabled parking will be available. In addition, the CPZ is being extended into Edmonton. The push here is for fans to use public transport as part of the Green Travel Plan. White Hart Lane train station is being redeveloped, along with improvements made to Northumberland Park and better timetabling and length of trains.

 

Q: Will there be better facilities and affordable food and drink to encourage supporters to spend their time and money in the ground earlier?

Absolutely. The South stand will have a five storey atrium and a huge food court for starters. All home fans will be able to enter this section pre match before moving to their seats, regardless of where they are sitting in the ground. There will also be considerable choice throughout the stadium in all stands and a diverse offering along with numerous restrooms.

 

Q: How much legroom will there be in the seats? 

This will vary from area to area with 3 dimensions in the general admission areas: 780mm in the south stand, 858mm in the middle of the North tier and 800mm for the rest of the North upper tier.

 

Q: What are the timings for Haringey Council’s High Road West development: station and walkway? 

The current plan and timings are for the early phases of these to dovetail in with the stadium build programme.  The new White Hart Lane station should be open in advance of the Club moving back into the new stadium for the 2018/19 season.

 

Q: Will there be any dedicated web cams to show the work being done and not just time lapse?

Yes, these are in place already and first footage will be launched in the next few weeks.

 

Q: Will there be noticeable differences between East and West Stands?

Inside the stadium bowl, not so much, although each stand will have its own identity. Externally,  more so  – e.g.  the East will be facing Worcester Avenue, not the High Road, so will reflect the more sedate nature of that aspect.

 

Q:  Will we get to see the full drawings on the micro site and not just on the Council site?

A link will go up from the microsite to the Council site once plans are submitted. To post each page would be impractical as there are in excess of 60 different drawings.

 

Q: What colour will the seats be inside the stadium?

This is yet to be agreed but navy and white are strong contenders. This is something that can be decided after the consultation phase.

 

Q: What facilities are available for wheelchair users?

THFC is presented to the Disabled Supporters Association on 14 July and talked through the exact facilities in depth. There are disabled seats across the stadium, sited in all areas with excellent sight lines. THFC will also be the only Club to offer flexible seating arrangements for certain matches meaning wheelchair users will be able to sit with their families.

 

Q: Will we be allowed flags and banners on the single south tier?

Absolutely. The atmosphere is expected to be terrific with the stand designed specifically to encourage singing, vocal and visual support.

 

Q: Will the single tier become available for a permanent ‘1882’ Movement through easier seat migration and liaison with the relevant groups?

It is felt the south stand will be a natural singing zone so a dedicated space probably won’t be necessary. Indeed, the whole stadium is designed to generate atmosphere.

 

Q:  Will there be guidance notes when booking seats that the single tier stand will be ‘lively’ ?

Yes, this will be done.

 

Q: Where will the away section be if it’s not in its current corner?

The 3000 away fans for Premier League matches will be situated in the North East corner of the ground. There are moveable segregation lines to allow for varying away allocations.

 

Q: Will organised fan groups be able to hold events inside this new huge atrium space in the new South stand? 

The whole South development is designed to be a fan zone and fans will be very much encouraged to utilise the atrium pre and post match. Any pre-organised event would need to be discussed with the  Club to ensure it did not impinge on other fans attending.

 

Q: Will current season ticket holders get to pick their new seat in the new stadium? 

THFC will survey all current ST holders and those on the waiting list to ascertain preferences in the new stadium and will attempt to move people together where possible. This will be given due attention as the process moves forward.

 

Q: Will the increased corporate facilities give the knock on effect of reasonable ticket prices inside the stadium through increased corporate revenue?

THST is an advocate of the stretch pricing model whereby Executive seats are priced high and general admission prices are reduced as a result. There will be 8000 corporate seats in the new stadium and THFC is aware of the pricing policy many fans are looking for here. THFC is launching research into corporate pricing in the next weeks that will be crucial in terms of ascertaining the ball park for those packages.

Q: Will season ticket prices be frozen or reduced due to the bigger capacity/premier league TV deal/NFL deal Again, ticketing discussions between THST and THFC will take place over the coming months.

 

Q: How many season tickets will be available in the new stadium?

 The ratio of Season tickets and matchday tickets will remain roughly the same as it is now. We currently have 21.5k season ticket holders in a 36400 stadium. The same ratio will be maintained in the new ground.

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