Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) has criticised the club’s handling of ticketing ahead of the move to Wembley Stadium, accusing Spurs of “stumbling from one bad decision to another” over the summer.
On Tuesday, the club announced the parameters for reselling tickets in the upcoming campaign at the national stadium, weeks after the 40,000 or so 19-game season tickets sold out.
The club has cut ties with third-party ticketing partner StubHub but supporters wishing to sell their season tickets for individual games can do so using the club’s new in-house exchange system.
But despite THST lobbying, individual match tickets will only be put up for sale if Wembley’s 90,000-seat capacity sells-out, and comes with a £7.50 “booking and administration fee per ticket.”
THST argues that the stadium will rarely, if ever, sell out and has suggested that reselling is managed by blocks, describing the club’s proposed system as unfair. They added that Spurs should consider revising it immediately to avoid the “embarrassment of empty seats.”
“Such is the impact of TV that over half of Spurs’ fixtures are rescheduled for broadcast across any given season. That’s before games are displaced due to European commitments,” a THST statement read.
“This means season ticket holders are essentially buying 19 games ‘blind.’ There will be occasions when real life gets in the way of football and matches will be missed.
“The resale platform should enable fans who can’t make a match give others the opportunity to attend in their place while recouping their money. It’s a simple premise.
“We believe the ticket exchange announcement is the latest in a series of mistakes made by the club this summer; mistakes that will have a negative impact on supporters and the club itself.
“Every action has a consequence, and the club has seemingly stumbled from one bad decision to another, increasingly boxing itself in.”
Spurs hit back, saying the system is what’s traditionally been in place at the club.
“We have historically always operated a system where the ticket exchange system only becomes active when the stadium is sold out, however we do reserve the right to open or close the exchange at our discretion at any stage during the sales process,” said a Spurs spokesperson.
THST also criticised the club’s decision not to allow a one-year season ticket amnesty, in effect forcing supporters to renew their season tickets or miss out a seat at the club’s new 61,000-seater stadium, due to be ready for the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
It also said that pricing season tickets in isolation from match-day tickets is not a policy “designed to fill a 90,000-seater stadium.”
Spurs say the club reserves the right to alter the criteria that triggers the exchange opening, and the THST urged them to do so.
Meanwhile, Wembley struggling to sell out Wembley for Saturday’s friendly against Juventus, which has already been dramatically repriced by Relevant Sports, the PR company organising it.
Sources told ESPN FC that no more than 20,000 tickets had been sold for the game, as of Wednesday.