ottenham supporters’ groups have written to the club asking them to push back their deadline for season ticket renewal, suggesting the current date portrays a lack of confidence in Antonio Conte’s future and his side’s chances of Champions League qualification.
Spurs fans have been set a deadline of April 29 to renew their tickets for next season, well before the end of the current campaign.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Proud Lilywhites and SpursAbility have penned a joint request asking for the deadline to be extended until May 31, also claiming that though season ticket prices have been frozen, the proximity of the April date “shows a worrying disregard for the economic realities” facing fans amid a wider cost-of-living crisis.
“Financially, supporters have time and again demonstrated their loyalty and commitment to the Club, with arguably diminishing returns,” the letter read.
“With the highest levels of inflation in over 30 years, increasing interest rates, a 10% rise in National Insurance contributions, increasing costs of diesel and petrol, the annual above-inflation rise in train fares and the upcoming increase in home fuel bills, fans’ finances are going to be stretched like never before.
“This means that budgeting becomes even more important, and whilst some fans will have saved to be able to pay for the extremely expensive Season Tickets, others will now be faced with a choice of utilising those funds for their Season Ticket or just to heat their home.
“Therefore, to only allow potentially a ‘2 pay-day’ period in which to pay for Season Tickets shows a worrying disregard for the economic realities facing many of your customers.”
There has been constant speculation over the future of Conte, who has cut an exasperated figure at times since taking over from Nuno Espirito Santo last year.
The Italian is under contract until the summer of 2023 but has refused to guarantee that he will see out his full term and as recently as last month’s defeat to Burnley was suggesting he could walk away.
Spurs are currently locked in a race for the fourth Champions League spot, sat seventh in the Premier League table but with games in hand on West Ham and Manchester United above them and, crucially, still to play fourth-placed Arsenal at home.
“In the view of many, the Club is asking fans to commit to next season before they know what competitions we are in, who the manager is or who will be in the team,” the letter continued. “You may say there is a never a guarantee of any of this, but the Club’s decision is being widely seen as a signal that it is not confident the answers to these questions will be positive.
“And while, as you have pointed out, cup tickets are no longer included in the package, fans do sign up to Gold membership, which commits them to buying tickets for cup competitions. So knowing what competitions they may be watching is part of the equation.
“Not only do we believe that adjusting the deadline is an appropriate move in the broader circumstances, we also believe it will be an important step in strengthening relationships between the fans and the Club Board.”