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It doesn’t have to be this way

4 min read
by The Fighting Cock

Many feel there are a number of key issues the club should address, in an ideal world, Paul Johnson would like to see the following…

A short bald man stands up…

Daniel Levy

“Ladies & Gentlemen, thank you all for coming & attending this emergency Board Meeting. As you will no doubt soon discover, the content is quite extraordinary. It will not have escaped your notice that there is growing discomfort & dissatisfaction among our fans. We seem to have created an increasing level of hostility towards us, which is unacceptable & more importantly, damaging to this great Club. I have agonised over what to do, I have sought counsel from many disparate groups, fans representatives, bloggers & respected opinion makers. I will not & cannot stand by immune to the feelings & valid concerns of our fans – let’s always remember, we are mere Guardians, they are the fabric & the permanence. Therefore I shall detail our proposed plan to re engage, re ignite & reassure the disaffected disconnected that we can do better & we will do better. Starting today. Much of what I propose in this Supporter Outreach Strategy (SOS) addresses the core issue as I see it – and that’s the tone of voice we have allowed ourselves to slip into adopting. We will not succeed without the approval & support of the fans. Steve if you could just dim the lights please…

1. StubHub – with immediate effect I have agreed with StubHub to implement a maximum resale price of all tickets sold via this system. It is slightly above face value & delivers FV back to the seller, the season ticket holder. Additionally, we have insisted on software tracking to prevent & subsequently ban any instances of flipping or multiple sales of the same ticket. Our commercial relationship with StubHub will end at the close of this season. We will reinstate the Ticket Exchange system from next season.

2. Y Word – this is complex & sensitive. However, our fans deserve our support & robust defence. Therefore the 3 accused fans have today been contacted by the Club’s lawyers to assess what level of assistance we can & will give. It is in our interests to defeat this test case. The results of the fan consultation will be released as soon as this case is concluded. Our future stance will be determined by that information & data – we will be led by the Fans on this.

3. Stadium – I have instructed the NDP architects to prepare a presentation for the Fans. This will take the form of an open meeting, available to all where the plans & a full video (illustrating seating, views & “feel”) of the new stadium will be shown. If required we will host this at WHL depending on numbers expressing an interest. Additionally we will present our proposed means of financing the Stadium & where we are now with regards to this. No confidential commercial information concerning possible partners or naming rights can be released. But we must be open & honest & present a genuine “Update”. We will set aside 2 hours after this for an open Q&A.

4. 1882 Movement – as part of our plans for the NDP we need to fully engage with this fan group & others concerning atmosphere, access to tickets & overall “match day experience”. I’d like to gauge interest from them on: interest free credit for “1st time” Season Ticket purchases for 16-25 year olds, 2 blocks set aside as “vocal, noisy, singing sections” at as many games as possible, the 1st 30 rows of the new Park Lane being allocated as a singing section, with reduced Season Ticket prices, shall we bring back the drum? It may be worth exploring an additional level of Season Ticket – cheaper & targeted at the next generation.

5. Return of the Shelf – I have today contacted the Chairman at all other Clubs who are supporting a trial of Safe Standing. With immediate effect Tottenham Hotspur joins them in campaigning for this. We would like to trial rail seating on The Shelf & all of Blocks 30 & 31. Our architects have also been instructed to accommodate the option for rail seating in the lower third of the New Park Lane – this dovetails with our proposals for 1882 / Youth Season Tickets. If rail seating is approved this area in the new Stadium will have the traditional & emotive name “The Shelf”.

6. Open training – We will host open full training sessions of the 1st team squad at WHL 4 times a year. This will be free of charge – we will engage with local schools & community groups to assist in travel arrangements where necessary.

7. Open Board Q&A – The Board will host open Q&A sessions with Members & ST holders twice a year. We need to consider numbers & venue – clearly a Q&A with 33000 is not possible. A representative group may be the way forward combined with a request for questions via email. We have to start talking to & with the Fans.

8. Statement of intent – ENIC will issue a full statement of intent with regards our long term plans for the Club. We will seek to reassure fans of our strategy for success. We will plot the road map & how we aim to get there. We will detail & demonstrate our long term commitment to the Club & the fans.

Thank you very much for listening, I won’t be taking questions as I’ve an immense amount of work to do. Come On You Spurs”.

Lights go up…

[author name=”Paul Johnson” bio=”argumentative, irritable, confrontational, hostile pedant. father, husband, fact enthusiast. park lane upper” avatar=”” twitter=”SniersMoregut[/linequote]

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.


  1. Tom Power
    04/02/2014 @ 5:54 pm

    Spot on. Highlights the root of fans current frustrations. No matter what form it is vented in I think the cause is that the club has allowed itself to become so disparate from the fans

  2. franglo
    04/02/2014 @ 6:16 pm

    Sounds like the punch line to this story……………………………………….


    The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student. The answer by this student was so profound that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

    Bonus Question:

    Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?
    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when It expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, Which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, It will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today..

    Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.
    Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.
    With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose..

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, ‘It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,’ and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

    The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct … Leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting ‘Oh my God.’



    Definitely a cold day in Hell before anything like this happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • marc hekate
      05/02/2014 @ 11:16 am

      nice story, shame it’s apocryphal ;)

  3. jim61
    04/02/2014 @ 6:17 pm

    Well done. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but that’s not the point. An open dialogue from Spurs would be really good. It’s obvious of course, doesn’t cost Spurs anything, but should vastly increase supporter satisfaction.

  4. Rico
    04/02/2014 @ 6:21 pm

    More chance of the Israel-Palestine conflict being resolved than any of this happening at Tottenham.

    “All I wanna say is that, they don’t really care about us”
    – Wacko Jacko

  5. Tottenham70
    04/02/2014 @ 6:30 pm

    Nice Article Paul. I think this captures what the majority of us are thinking.

  6. Davspurs
    04/02/2014 @ 6:35 pm

    Superb minutes of a meeting long overdue i recommend we have a vote on no confidants in the board from lack of leadership and Install fighting Cock has interim board. I would also like to see scarfs flags and our song sung before players come out Maybe getting Tony Costa to pen a rendition like you never Walk alone Glory Glory Song like Elvis style, I would also like Israel to rule if they has a Jewish nation think our fans are using a word they find offensive once and for all we will no its not just Badiel Chelsea rant. Lastly Under Amour should run a fans competition on the design of one of our shirts called the fans design , And allow open training session couple quid to go to help any of our fans in need and if stub hub stays all fans using it should go into a free draw for Ticket every week. Coys together

  7. Andy Jarvis
    04/02/2014 @ 6:39 pm

    Couldn’t have put it better myself. I can understand why people would think this would never happen but if you accept what’s happening then you deserve what you get. If this was a club in say Spain, Germany or Italy the contents of this article would be very much reality as they force the issue when hacked off with the hierarchy at the club. I do believe the clubs motto is Audere est facere!!!

    • marc hekate
      05/02/2014 @ 11:19 am

      if we were corinthians we would rush the stadium and try and break adebayors legs!

  8. BBB
    04/02/2014 @ 6:45 pm

    A good write Paul. It would be both wonderful and more sadly surprising if this occurred.

    My main annoyance like so many others with ENIC currently is a distinct lack of communication with the supporters of the club. All it is doing is widening the divide between the club and the “proper” supporters which is dangerous ground to tread indeed.

  9. koko-61
    04/02/2014 @ 7:30 pm

    Please post this to him. The look on his face would be a picture.
    Seriously though, I think it’s high time us fans started voicing our concerns.
    Look at the bloody Arses, they were vocal in their displeasure, [email protected] goes and buy Ozil, now look where they are.
    We have a multitude of issues that need addressing. So come on TFC start something, for us fans to get behind you.

  10. Clarky
    04/02/2014 @ 8:15 pm

    The reason for the apathy amongst fans like myself is not because of the team or the managerial changes or our perceived amount of success (or lack of it you could argue). I hate it when people bring this up in this debate about ENIC’s stewardship of the club. I am over the moon with the way ENIC run THFC on that part. It’s a fantastic model in how to ethically and sustainably try and run a modern day football club and get them competing against the oil money that is pumped into the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. From where we were 10 years ago, to where we are now, we have made a steady and consistent improvement and I can only see this trend continuing.

    The problem is the way they treat the fans of the club. I am not talking about our global fans, or our fans on social media or the people who buy the nice memorabilia online. I am talking about the real fans. The White Hart Lane regulars that were there long before ENIC and will be there long after ENIC (hopefully). The people who have followed and supported Spurs around England and Europe and have been the reason this very football club still exists.

    Key Issues:
    •StubHub partnership and removal of the TicketExchange (causing a myriad of problems, not just on the ethical reasons but meaning portions of the home end at WHL is now made up of rich neutral / tourist types or even worse away fans)
    •Total lack of support to the fans on the Yid fiasco and most recently trying to criminalise our fans for chanting it (apparently already banned the 3 fans for life who are up on trial and then posted a telephone number for other ‘fans’ to grass up people who chant the word at WHL)
    •Stewards / Steward Agencies employed by the club actively trying to discourage any attempts from fans to stand up, sing and support the team resulting in numerous people being kicked out of the Lane (probably the most disgusting betrayal of all from ‘our’ club)
    •Actively trying to sanitise the Park Lane lower by making Under 16 tickets available there for Category C matches and Cup matches and advertising it is a family friendly zone for some Cup fixtures
    •Lack of any concession prices for 16-20 year olds
    •Ever spiralling ticket prices season upon season driving away the working class fans
    •Once again actively courting another red sponsor to sell our heritage to an Asian company in a shameless act of whoring out the club’s soul
    •Silence on any support for bringing in Safe-Standing or implementing it in the new stadium

    The fact that these problems do exist in the first place prove that the people running the club do not share any of the views or worries held by the average fan or even care. Any attempts by the club to sort any of these problems will only be done to appease the fans if it meant that these issues would negatively effect their revenue generated from us.

    We have only seen 2 League Cups in the past 22 years. Yet we remain one of the best supported clubs in Europe, with sell-outs every week at 36,240 and over 35,000 on the Season Ticket waiting list. ENIC have realised that Spurs have always had this tremendous following despite years of perennial underachievement. And they use this blind loyalty to their advantage.

    As Keith Burkinshaw said after departing White Hart Lane in 1984 on the back of a UEFA Cup win, 30 years ago “There used to be a football club over there”. We are no longer Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. The ‘club’ don’t even mention the “Football Club” part in our name anymore. We are a corporate brand and organisation run by the English National Investment Company with the sole purpose of generating money for the owners. Any fan consultations or decisions made in the supposed interests of the fans are done to appease us and make us shut up – not because they believe in them.

    In short, they have the club’s best interests at heart in the sense they want the club to succeed on the pitch (because that will make them money), but they do not have any genuine concerns towards the fans, White Hart Lane or our history. And any argument that says “well that’s modern football for you mate” or “we’re not much different to most other clubs in these respects” hold no weight. Just because lots of other clubs have the same issues doesn’t make it right. In fact it makes it even worse. The most infuriating thing about all this is a lot of these changes can be made by ENIC with little effort and it would turn White Hart Lane into the most feared stadium in the country.

    • Stewart the steward
      05/02/2014 @ 12:02 am

      To be fair Clarkey, the club would no doubt love to have a few blocks for standing- would mean they could squeeze another couple of thousand in there.

      Those rules – the ones the stewards are enforcing – are dictated by other bodies such as the police and the Premier league.

      • Clarky
        05/02/2014 @ 8:11 am

        I know this Stewart but there are simple ways around this until safe-standing becomes legal. All the club need to do is tell the stewards to turn a blind eye to standing in the Park Lane Lower and Blocks 30 & 31 of the Shelfside. 99% of the people who buy tickets for these areas do so because they want to stand, sing and generate an atmosphere. The 1% who don’t and moan about the standing are people who are probably going to their first game and/or don’t know the parts of the stadium well. So to counter this the club should stop advertising these areas as family friendly and stop allowing U16 concessions there. They should advertise these as ‘singing blocks’ which is basically the legal way of saying this is a standing terrace. Man Utd and Cardiff have both proven this route to be a success.

        Out of interest Stewart are you a steward at the Lane yourself? And if so, has this solution ever been brought up by anybody there?

  11. Spurgatso
    04/02/2014 @ 8:30 pm

    Seconded Clarky !

  12. Andy Jarvis
    04/02/2014 @ 9:45 pm

    Can I just say that the term real fans annoys me. I admire anyone that can give the time and money to go week in week out but not all of us are in that position. I’ve supported spurs for over 30 years and been a member for as long as I can remember. Live in Yorkshire and would kill to be there week in week out but can’t although I have been to my fair share of games over the years. A fair few of those some of the worst in living memory and have stopped to the end singingwhilst being humiliated at the likes of notts county and Bolton at the old burden park. Are those fans who have season tickets who leave before the end when the going gets tough real fans! Rant over. With regards enic we do seem to be financially well run although is that enough. We need to push on from the nearly club of the past few seasons and cement our place in the top four and hopefully consistently challenge for the title. We also need stability and that ain’t happening with the constant change if manager. The fact that this subject keeps coming up on here and other sites speaks volumes as to how we as spurs fans are feeling about the lack of communication and lack of respect from the board. Tottenham till I die!!!!!

  13. AnythingButPenalties
    15/02/2014 @ 2:20 pm

    Very sensible points. These are all simple things ENIC could do that wouldn’t cost them much but would show they did care what the fans thought. We can’t expect them to spend millions more on players or Spurs to win the league but we can expect them to respect the fans opinions.

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