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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please make clear that you are contacting them about a Spurs Trust - and
donít get disheartened if you donít receive an immediate reply!