Tottenham atone for Super League saga with plans for fan representation on board

Tottenham fans stage a protest outside of their club's stadium
Tottenham fans stage a protest outside of their club's stadium (PA Wire)
18:59pm, Tue 11 May 2021
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Tottenham have “unreservedly” apologised for their part in the European Super League and will have an elected fan representative on the board going forward.

Spurs were one of the six English clubs who announced they were joining the breakaway league, only to withdraw 48 hours later after widespread condemnation from administrators, politicians and even royalty.

The club say they regret their involvement but mitigate it by adding they joined under the impression that the format of the competition would evolve over time.

A Tottenham statement read: “We have seen football fans around the world come together to show their strength of feeling regarding the future of the game we all feel so passionately about, with strong views expressed on the proposed establishment of a new European Super League (ESL).

“It’s important to underline that we entered the ESL with the expectation that the format, rules and structures would evolve through dialogue with key parties, namely the Premier League, FA, UEFA, FIFA and, crucially, fans.

“It should never have been conveyed with certainty when it was in fact a framework agreement for consultation going forward.

“We should have challenged and reconsidered the annual access system. We wholeheartedly regret that we involved the club and that the legal process itself meant we were unable to consult our fans early on – we apologise unreservedly.”

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) has been outspoken in its protests against Spurs’ involvement, calling for the club’s executive board to resign.

That will not happen but an annually elected chairman of a newly formed ‘Club Advisory Panel’ will join the non-executive board, and have full voting rights.

We should have challenged and reconsidered the annual access system. We wholeheartedly regret that we involved the club and that the legal process itself meant we were unable to consult our fans early on – we apologise unreservedly.

“We have all learnt lessons from recent events and have reviewed fan engagement as a priority,” the statement added.

“As a result we shall be liaising with key stakeholders and establishing a Club Advisory Panel, comprised of elected representatives from the different constituencies of our fanbase, inclusive and reflective of our fans’ diversity.

“The chair of this panel will be appointed annually as a full non-executive of the club board. We believe this provides for authentic, genuine representation and will ensure fans are at the heart of club decision-making, something we greatly welcome.

“The selection criteria, mandate and constitution will be developed by independent advisors in consultation with fan groups to ensure it is truly representative of our supporter base.

“Further details will be released in due course. Going forward we shall constantly look to review and improve these new lines of consultation. We shall also fully support the government review into football governance.”

The club say they are “disappointed” by THST’s decision to so far reject meetings with the club.

Tottenham fans have been protesting at the club's involvement in the European Super League (PA Wire)

The supporters group have said it cannot be “business as usual” and have appointed the Football Supporters’ Association to mediate in any possible talks.

The club added: “We are disappointed that the board of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) has not yet met with the club.

“The THST, with whom we have worked and, indeed, promoted, for 20 years has called for the resignations of the executive board over the ESL – individuals who have lived and breathed this club for the best part of two decades.

“We have offered on several occasions to meet board-to-board and discuss an open agenda – excluding a change of club ownership and the resignation of the board. Our door remains open on this basis.”

Spurs have been hit harder than most financially by the coronavirus pandemic as they have lost huge revenue streams from the use of their new stadium.

The club insists the £1billion arena, which opened in 2019, will provide funds for investment in the first team.

“Our stadium will hopefully soon reopen to full attendances and non-football events will return,” the statement concluded.

“Like many clubs, we shall need to recover from the loss of substantial revenues. The still-new stadium is the gamechanger in our progress – it will deliver the revenues for investment in the first team.

“Be assured, we are absolutely clear that the heartbeat of the club is success on the pitch and our fans.

“It’s important to now get behind Ryan (Mason) and the team as we look to finish the season as strongly as possible and strive to retain a European spot.”

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