Tottenham fans 'understand' stadium delay but want clear communication - Supporters Trust
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 14/08/18 4:25pm
Tottenham fans "understand" the delay in moving to their new stadium, according to Supporters Trust (THST) co-chair Martin Cloake, but they are calling for clear communication over what happens next.
Spurs apologised and issued ticket refunds for two games they have been forced to switch to Wembley after fire safety issues were discovered at the new build on Monday.
Cloake, who was part of a conference call with the club's board on Tuesday, told Sky Sports News that the apology has gone a long way to calming anger, but there remains a number of unanswered questions, with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium's official unveiling postponed until at least the end of October.
"I think everybody at the club is frustrated that we're not going home when we thought we were going home - that's the main thing," Cloake said.
"I think there is also frustration among supporters at a perceived lack of communication. I think people understand that the club can't necessarily be as open as we'd like with a project as complicated as this.
"But expectation has been raised by the fact that ticket prices are very, very high for the new stadium - people have bought into that - and, of course, when people pay the amount of money that they'd paid, they expect something back for that.
"So I think there's frustration on two levels but also an understanding that projects of this complexity can run into problems.
"Nothing especially new came from today's conference call. I think there has been an improvement since yesterday. I think fans have acknowledged that getting a refund for the two games that are going to be moved is the right thing to do.
"The apology has also gone a long way to assuaging some of the anger that was swirling round yesterday. We're still talking to them about some of the details of the whole package, because obviously there are a lot of things to be confirmed, so once those discussions are concluded we can come out and say a little bit more about what's happened there.
"On the one hand you could think, 'How do you not know?'. If you're in charge of a project, you're going to be all over the detail of it, and whether there's an issue.
"But what we've been told, and what's in the statement, is that it's a fire safety issue. So there is always going to be a first time that you discover a problem with something. Obviously safety is something that they can't compromise on - so it is entirely plausible that the first time they found out about it was yesterday."
Tottenham took up a contingency option with the FA last year to play "a small number of games" at Wembley in the first part of the new season, while reports in the national press on Tuesday claimed the club have paid the FA to play at Wembley until the New year.
Meanwhile, Cloak said: "I think it's a little bit unfortunate that it came out just after the FA confirmed that there was a contingency, but you would expect there would be a contingency for the club to continue playing at Wembley, if it couldn't move into its new ground.
"There is not really a precedent for a project of this size, and the complexity of what's gone on. So I think there's an understanding that there can be problems that the club can run into, but what people always look for is clear and open communication to the paying customers and the fanbase."