Whatever your view is on the drum, whether it is a nuisance with its constant assault on the ears, or a symbol of support for the club, the executive branch of White Hart Lane does what it does because they have the portentous view that they own you. Joe Lewis of ENIC International, the Board of Directors, and Daniel Levy sit around the table measuring what you, the supporter, are are willing do. Burn your tickets in protest? Convince numbers to boycott? The front office conduct themselves in a manner that even if Spurs supporters where able to mount any type of protest over the exclusion of the drum to the matches, the waiting list that is currently reportedly up to 30,000 supporters for one of the 23,500 season tickets available, and with an average attendance of 36,026 the numbers are substantial enough that they could easily replace the few hundred or so that would leave White Hart Lane in protest of losing the drum. They are confident in their policy changes of not allowing the drum, with standing up or even, god forbid; singing certain songs, because they know that in England there is no other sport to attract the handful of disgruntled supporters away from Tottenham Hotspur. Realistically what is there that would be an attractive alternative to attending a Spurs game. Cricket? Can you imagine for a moment, a loud drunken horde with a drum in tow as if it was a trebuchet invading a Cricket match? It would undoubtedly scare the living hell out of the high fluctuant, but also send them into a violent epileptic fit.
In contrast here in the States, Major League Soccer (written as such as to not confuse it with American Football) is in the midst of a popularity explosion which began in earnest two seasons back. MLS are seeing their sport climb the ladder to wrestle viewership from other American sports. American Football and Baseball being one and two respectfully in popularity, MLS is in a scrap with Major League Basketball to be number three. This didn’t happen by chance or by changing the rules of the game to be TV commercial friendly as with other sports. Owners of MLS teams knew they needed to bring the supporters into the fold and if you look at the more successful clubs in the US, you will find strong interaction between supporters and the front office. For example, Seattle Sounders have the Alliance Council with representatives of the Emerald City Supporters, and other minor supporter groups actively involved with the club’s board; working together to create an atmosphere at Century Link Field that would rival any Italian or Greek venue. Continuing with Sporting Kansas City who has the Cauldron; Philadelphia Union the Sons of Ben, and LA Galaxy locked tight with the LA Riot Squad to just name a few, but all have cultivated an intimate relationships with team owners, and their front offices to make the experience of following the team an exciting one. A keyword search of Emerald City Supporters on Youtube will provide examples of the high level interaction between Seattle Sounders and their die hard supporters.
With 20 official and unofficial Spurs supporter clubs dotted around the countryside, if you were able to somehow unify the members of the different groups and get them committed to do away with their seats unless the drum was returned to White Hart Lane, you would think minds could be changed in favour of the return.
Having only been a Spurs supporter since 2009, and only discovering The Fighting Cock community at the beginning of last season I am not familiar with the level of organisation and communications you have among other supporters. Having conducted a Google search I found nearly 20 supporter clubs in England alone and many individuals who regularly produce media about the club whether through blogging, forums, or podcast. Tottenham Hotspur is a business, and like any business, needs revenue to exist, and when the revenue stream decreases, or interrupted people begin to pay attention to the cause. But with the average attendance and waiting list combined reaching 66,000 attendees, you would think getting just 10% of that number to come together to change the minds of ENIC is insurmountable.
Read ‘Rules for Radicals’. A book written by a progressive socialist Saul Alinsky, and no matter your political view, be it; conservative right, socialist left, or communist, everyone could see that old Saul had something going and he demonstrated to get something changed it began with organization. With 20 official and unofficial Spurs supporter clubs dotted around the countryside, if you were able to somehow unify the members of the different groups and get them committed to do away with their seats unless the drum was returned to White Hart Lane, you would think minds could be changed in favour of the return. This summer break would be the opportune time to get in contact with the different groups, find the common ground that would bind everyone into that one voice, and show to the club that their view on the drum is in the minority. But this would only work if everyone has the willingness to walk away.
In the end the goal is to be able to have a meeting with the executive office, and show them that a substantial chunk of their revenue is about leave and be spent watching Highgate Cricket Club.
[author name=”Armchairgeezer” twitter=”armchairgeezer” avatar=”http://a0.twimg.com/profile_images/2063760498/DSCN1485.JPG” tag=”armchairgeezer[/linequote]