The online community of Tottenham Hotspur supporters has joined forces to protest against Spurs’ partnership with secondary ticket service StubHub.
In the last couple of months we have witnessed a growing disgruntlement among Spurs fans about the club’s commercial partnership with secondary ticket marketplace StubHub.
As previously reported by Total Tottenham, tickets are being offered at massively inflated prices via StubHub.
Despite claims by the club that tickets were being sold at around or even below face value, tickets listed on StubHub have barely been offered at face value. Even if they were, the 15% pick-up fee that StubHub charges to buyers means it is virtually impossible to get a ticket at face value, which was standard practice in the old Ticket Exchange system where tickets would be re-sold at fixed, face value price.
In an effort to rally all Spurs fans to join the protest against Tottenham Hotspur’s partnership with StubHub as the club’s official secondary ticket marketplace, some of the top Spurs bloggers, podcasters and authors have come together to draft a letter to outline the reasons why Spurs should end its partnership with StubHub.
To establish an as broad as possible support for this campaign, the group reached out to the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust to let them know about our efforts. They acknowledged our concerns and therefore have also pledged their support.
We are Tottenham Hotspur supporters who believe the club’s deal with StubHub is not in the best interests of fans buying or selling tickets, and has serious implications for football supporters in general.
With a growing backlash against ticket pricing at the top level of the English game, a deal which best serves the interests of those wishing to make a profit from their fellow fans damages the reputation of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC).
The way StubHub works is intrinsically against the best interests of supporters. The absence of restrictions on pricing has led, in some cases, to tickets being listed at up to 1,000% of face value. The average list price for a ticket on StubHub vastly outweighs the ticket’s face value. THFC and StubHub actively encourage supporters to list tickets at high prices, emphasising the seller’s freedom to determine a ticket’s list price is a benefit in publicity for the service.
We would like to have seen an upper pricing limit introduced, in line with MP Sharon Hodgson’s attempt to introduce legislation in Parliament to restrict the resale of tickets to 10% above face value. THFC has an ideal opportunity to set an example by aligning itself with this initiative, therefore gaining respect and goodwill.
We note that secondary ticket agencies have been described as “legalised touts” by Malcolm Clarke, the chair of the Football Supporters Federation. Furthermore, we note that the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust has called for tickets to be sold at face value.
After the Swansea game, the first game for which tickets had changed hands via StubHub, we received reports of supporters having to wait for over an hour at the StubHub pick-up point, with some missing up to 35 minutes of the first half because they were still waiting to be handed their tickets.
We have concerns about the effect this deal has on the value of existing membership schemes because of the number of tickets that will be made available to members. We also have concerns about a number of security issues.
We believe the club’s deal with StubHub should be terminated at the earliest possible opportunity. It should be replaced with a scheme in which the club buys back and sells tickets at face value, possibly through an existing ethical ticket exchange. We would also like to see resale to existing club members prioritised.
We would like to see THFC work with fans’ organisations and other clubs to create an ethical, fair and safe secondary ticketing system, possibly looking to shape legislation to regulate the market.
This deal was agreed without consulting the supporters it directly affects, and has been implemented without their consent. Such actions undermine the efforts of everyone trying to build a constructive dialogue between the club and its fans. We therefore ask that, in future, proper consultation – which means more than informing fans after the event – takes place over any measure that directly affects fans.
The Fighting Cock
Dear Mr Levy
Alan Fisher – Tottenham on my Mind
Mel Gomes @ The Substantive
Chris Miller – WindyCOYS.com
Martin Cloake, author and fan
Supported by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust
We want you, the Tottenham faithful, to join this protest.
Let your voice be heard and tell the club you don’t want fellow Spurs fans to pay over the odds for tickets to see their beloved team play.
Tell them you want an honest and fair secondary ticketing system, which doesn’t charge outrageous additional fees.
Let them know you want your club to end its partnership with StubHub.
Spread the word. Link to the petition on social media, your favourite Spurs forum or wherever you interact with fellow Spurs fans by using using http://www.change.org/stopstubhub
Have your say using #StopStubhub on Twitter.