tottenham hotspur supporters trust

 

MATT STONE writes about the Supporter's Trust - a way of getting fans some real voice at the club.  This way forward is for all fans and regardless of your views, should you be interested in taking part, then please contact the Supporters Direct Office at the end of the article.  MEHSTG supports this initiative and hopes that all fans will get together to make it happen.  Should details of meetings come to MEHSTG we will make them known for fans to attend.

 

Thirteen years I ago I co-founded the first Tottenham fanzine - The Spur. That's a bloody long time ago - pre-Hillsborough in a time where football fans were treated as idiots who knew nothing about the game by the media and hooligans by the government.

We started the fanzine to provide a forum for fans to prove they were far more knowledgeable, opinionated and interesting than they were given credit for. We printed any letter which made sense and wrote many articles which didn't. I like to think that the fanzine movement helped to change attitudes. You certainly didn't have 6-0-6 in 1988, but you didn't have David Mellor either - but I still think that overall we're ahead.

Since the late 80s Spurs have gained and lost a messiah, seen the best years of the most talented player England produced, diced with bankruptcy, changed managers God knows how many times, and seen Arsenal and Chelsea surpass us in London. Up and down, but slowly on the descent. The constant throughout these years is the lack of real influence we've had as fans. Anyone could buy or sell our club at any time.

We've had many fans organisations since 1988 - some based around a single issue, some more broad. Sadly Spurs fans continue to be characterised in the media either as extremists who publish Sugar's phone number or as the most fickle fans in football - a charge which has never remotely rung true in my experience.

What I've always wanted is the fans to have real power, real influence in the running of the club. It's fairly easy to kick up a fuss about one issue, but what about shaping the future - our way. What about making sure that whenever a major decision is taken the views of supporters are taken into account. In a PLC like Spurs this needs a stake in the club bought by the fans.

No millionaire backing? That doesn't have to hold us back. For a start there are thousands of fans who hold small shareholdings in Spurs. If our home gate gave £2 a week (I can hear it now - Don't buy the programme, buy Spurs!) to a Spurs trust, we would raise £3m a year to buy shares. Coupled with the small shareholdings people already own, we could quickly reach the 10% needed to call an emergency general meeting whenever we needed to. If we'd started in 1988, we'd now have more money than the club is actually worth!

This is not a charter for chaos, just the means to ensure the club is run with the fans in mind rather than an irritant to the task of making money. And if you think it would never work, look at the example of Bournemouth, Lincoln and other clubs.

The government even believes in it - they've set up Supporters Direct, a group which helps supporters set up trusts to gain influence on their clubs. Taking over the club is a pipe-dream most of us have had a one time or another. Bonding together to secure a real influence in the future of Spurs could be a reality.

If you are interested in becoming involved, in any way, with a Spurs Trust, or even if you just want to register your support for the idea, please write to Supporters Direct, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. You can also e-mail to enquiries@supporters-direct.org. Please make clear that you are contacting them about a Spurs Trust - and donít get disheartened if you donít receive an immediate reply!

Matt Stone

Following a meeting on February 8th, Steve Warby from Supporters Direct writes about the way forward for the Trust

 
By Steve Warby, Supporters Direct
 
A packed meeting held in Central London on Thursday 8th February heard how Spurs supporters plan to set up a Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust. "Supporters' Trusts are a chance for fans to become more involved in the running of their clubs" said Brian Lomax, Chairman of Supporters Direct, at the meeting.
 
Supporters Direct was set up last year to give advice and support to groups of football supporters looking to set up trusts at their clubs. Trusts have been set up at clubs as diverse as Manchester United, Celtic and Northampton Town, and used by fans to pool shareholdings and band together to seek more of a voice in the way their clubs are run.
 
Around 75 Spurs fans turned up at the meeting to find out more about trusts and how Supporters Direct can help. The meeting voted unanimously to pursue the idea of setting up a Tottenham Trust, and around 40 people volunteered to join a working party looking at ways and means.
 
Please contact the Trust site at

http://www.tottenhamtrust.org

if you want to join up.

 

Click here to find out what the Trust is all about.

Click here for the minutes of the Trust Steering Committee's inaugural meeting.

Click here for the Trust's views on the season ticket price rise.

Click here for a report on the Trust's meeting with David Buchler.

Click here for the 22.1.2002 update on Trust actions.

Click here for a report of the Trust's activites of 12.4.2002

Back to homepage