War of words continues as THST calls club 'destructive'

Updated / Wednesday, 12 May 2021 10:54

Both sides are accusing the other of being unwilling to meet

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust have labelled the club’s public criticism of them "destructive" as their war of words continues but insist they do want to meet for talks.

The relationship between the two parties is at rock bottom after Spurs’ involvement in the ill-fated European Super League and the subsequent fallout.

THST have previously called on the executive board to resign and rejected the chance to meet with the club, before appointing the Football Supporters’ Association to mediate in any possible talks.

Tottenham released a statement on Tuesday saying they would appoint an elected fan representative on the board while also apologising "unreservedly" for their part in the ESL.

But they also used it to express their "disappointment" at the supporters’ group for not yet meeting them.

THST hit back in a statement of their own, saying: "The timing came as a surprise as we were still engaged in independent mediation designed to bring about a meeting between the Trust and THFC; mediation that was activated by THST after the Club’s repeated refusal to specify terms for a meeting.

"We are very willing to meet with the Club to discuss the mechanics of genuine supporter representation at board level.

"Those discussions would be conducted alongside the conversations we are already having with Government officials and with the Premier League in order to deliver the changes needed.

"We have said we are willing to meet, we have made it clear to the club directly and to the mediator that we are willing to meet, and we have made clear what the basis for that meeting should be. We will take the results of any discussions back to our members.

Spurs fans at the recent Carabao Cup final

"What cannot go unquestioned is the club’s decision to publish a statement that misrepresents the position and attacks a volunteer fan organisation at a time when the club is facing sustained criticism over its relationship with the fanbase and for its decision making.

"It is simply destructive. To do so while we were pursuing a mediation process via the Football Supporters’ Association in good faith is regrettable in the extreme."

Following huge criticism for their involvement in the ESL, Spurs announced they would set up a 'Club Advisory Panel’, comprised of elected representatives from the different constituencies of their fanbase, with an elected chairman sitting on the board.

THST say that announcing such a move without consulting them does not bode well.

"The dogged stance of the Trust and the wider supporter base has forced the club to concede the principle that fans must be represented at board level, and to adopt some of our specific suggestions.

"But announcing this without consultation on detail is not a promising start. And the measures set out in the club’s statement do not give fan representatives any real power.

"It is vital the Club Advisory Panel has the support of the fans, including the Trust, if it is to be a credible vehicle for fan representation."