Inside Lane: There’s a togetherness between club and fans that Spurs can build on
Martin Cloake feels the communication between Tottenham and the supporters has improved markedly as discusssions continue over ticket pricing.
These are good times at Spurs. On the pitch, a likeable, capable team playing under a hugely impressive manager has rekindled the feelgood factor - and off the pitch, too, there’s hope.
We mentioned that when the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust met with the club board for one of our regular meetings recently - the sense that improved communication between the club and the fans makes #TogetherTHFC more than just a marketing slogan.
Trusts, particularly at Premier League level, have a tricky task. The mindset of many club bosses is that they own the business, so the customers should just pay up and shut up. We say that fans, whose loyalty makes football more than just a normal business, should have a voice and should be properly consulted by the clubs they support.
At Tottenham Hotspur, the relationship between fans and club has had its ups and downs. But looking back over the three years since the trust was relaunched in the wake of the furore over the attempt to move to east London, we felt something has been achieved.
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The club still has a reputation of being tricky to deal with. But it’s a fact, perhaps a sad one, that we have more access to our club board than many other fans in the Premier League. That’s not just through the three board-to-board meetings a year we have, but in day-to-day work we do with various people at the club to ensure the fans’ voice is heard. You can read more in our annual report here http://www.thstofficial.com/agm.html
Some say that any successes have happened in spite of us, not because of us. All we can do is work steadily to show what constructive engagement with the fans can achieve.
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We don’t agree on everything. Ticket pricing, especially, remains a bone of contention. We’ve successfully argued for a freeze for the past two years, and for the club to deliver £20 and £25 tickets for cup games. But we oppose the rise the club has said it wants to impose next season, and we want to see more done to reduce the cost for away fans of attending games. Football ticket prices are too high.
The club, in turn, argues it has a new stadium to build. We point out we will pay to sit in it - and so discussion continues, on this and on a host of other matters around the new stadium especially.
We’ll never stop believing fans should be properly involved in decisions that affect us, especially in this vital period for the club. We hope more join us to help make that point, and we hope the club takes the chance to show what #TogetherTHFC really means.
Follow me on Twitter @MartinCloake and follow the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust @THSTOfficial