It has been said often that there is no such thing as bad publicity and yet I am a great believer in trying to ensure that there is fair balance in the reporting in relation to this club’s activities.
I do not believe this has been the case in a few areas over the last week or so.
It is, however, important for the club to ensure that the supporters have a clear understanding of what is correct and incorrect and in that respect I thought I would mention a few items.
1. It is wholly incorrect that the stewards will be paid less during the course of this season then they were last season. The club paid an hourly rate of either £4.50 or £5.50 an hour and this year has increased the hourly rate by £1 to either £5.50 an hour or £6.50 an hour.
At the same time it has withdrawn the ‘time-and-a-half’ payment for Sunday matches. This rate brings this club in line with any other club in the Premier division and the £6.50 an hour is the highest bracket of payment made to stewards out of all the London clubs.
The number of Sunday matches this year is estimated at no more than four or maximum five, last year it was one. The club has usually at least 22 home matches, most of which will either be on a Saturday or midweek.
The advantage to the stewards is that they will be paid at an increased rate for all of the matches and this will far outweigh any loss that they might suffer as a result of the ‘time- and-a-half’ being withdrawn on the very few Sunday games that take place.
Calculations show that on average stewards should be between £100-£150 better off at least.
2. Stories have also appeared regarding the players’ bonuses, making out that the club is being miserly over its treatment of players and the bonus system.
It is true that there have been discussions between the club and the players’ representatives and these discussions will continue. And indeed the club captain has already made comment about this on this website.
However this is in the normal course of trying to agree a new bonus system for next year and the system which is in place ranks among the top three or four bonus payments of any club in the country.
3. It has been reported that the whole catering system in the club is in disarray. I can confirm that at last Sunday’s game against Southampton our new caters Crown Catering experienced certain difficulties, particularly in a few Boxes and in the Centenary Club.
The club has taken these difficulties very seriously indeed and, as a result, offered a free meal to all Centenary Club members and some of our hardest hit Boxholders.
The feedback from the changes that were made for the match yesterday against Torquay was outstanding and I am sure that this huge effort to put right what was clearly wrong last Sunday will continue this Sunday and in future matches to come.
If there are any problems this club will not hesitate to ensure that we treat our fans and supporters properly and resolve any issues.
4. It has been intimated that this club is not treating its former players correctly and has withdrawn all their facilities. This is wholly incorrect.
For a number of years the club has run a Legends Lounge where corporate patrons were able to dine with a past Spurs player.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, only four or five players have participated and have been prepared to be part of this.
Indeed last year we offered the players the ability to bring a guest in the hope that each of the players might bring another player to increase the numbers in the Legends Lounge.
This did not succeed and Legends this year has been turned into the Golden Cockerel Club and become a different corporate hospitality suite.
For this year we have written to all our previous players, particularly those that have shown a willingness to occasionally come to the club, and invited them to the games offering them a free match ticket, a lounge pass and a seat in the Golden Cockerel Club.
This does not entitle them to a full lunch before the game; it does entitle them to tea, coffee, biscuits and a full buffet at half-time and after the game.
We hope that as many players as possible will take up this offer and they will be most welcome at the club.
Bearing in mind that we have thousands of ex-players the only request that we have made to our players is that they notify us of their requirements for the whole season for tickets so that we can plan seating and availability on a match by match basis.
5. Reports still seem to fester that the club has decided to move premises and change the name of its stadium.
I think I have made it clear that your Board has to consider every option in ensuring the club’s future and security and this we will do.
It is without question our preferred option to remain at White Hart Lane. However, in order to do so the ground over the next five or 10 years has to have a larger capacity with transport facilities and other facilities to match.
A number of other clubs, including our closest neighbours Arsenal, are building all-purpose brand new stadiums with all the facilities to match and we must not be left behind in trying to ensure that we can compete properly in the new era of football, particularly European football, that we hope to enjoy in the years to come.
There is a huge amount of co-operation therefore that is required from lots of different sources to ensure that White Hart Lane over the next five or 10 years can be turned into the sort of ground that we can all be proud of.
The partnership required with the local authority and others, particularly on transport, will be a key to ensuring the success of this. I cannot pre-judge what others views are as to where they might wish to place this club in the years ahead.
Your Board can only plan for where we want this club to be placed in the years ahead and then find the strategy that will enable us to achieve that goal.
I hope you will understand therefore that at the moment it is far too early to say what and where the future of the club is likely to be. This is a process that is likely to take a number of years.
I have also been quoted as having taken the view that we might as a club be prepared to re-name our stadium.
Frankly I have no doubt that, if this club can achieve a huge return on the renaming of its stadium then we should consider this seriously.
I hope you have found the above helpful as a guidance to the club’s position on a number of the issues that you might have, or might in the future, be reading about.
David Buchler, Vice Chairman.
As a club we should be grateful that the press take such interest in our affairs.