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Tottenham accused of ‘hitting families hardest’ by hiking cost of match tickets

Spurs have increased ticket prices for individual games – just months after freezing season ticket costs due to the cost of living crisis

Tottenham have been accused of pricing out supporters and committing a “PR own goal” after announcing that matchday ticket prices for members will increase next season.

The cheapest ticket for an adult supporter for a “Category A” fixture (typically the most in-demand matches) is now £65 – up from £52 last season. Those lower prices are only relevant to two blocks in the entire stadium, whereas most tickets have gone up by between £13 and £15.

The changes were implemented weeks after the membership renewal date and were revealed on the club’s website, rather than being publicised on social media.

The most expensive tickets are now £103 and concession prices for seniors, young adults and junior fans have also risen. The number of “Category A” fixtures has also increased from five to six, with Newcastle now considered to be a top-tier opponent after finishing fourth in the Premier League. The home game against Nottingham Forest has been given “Category B” status.

Spurs confirmed in April that the cost of their season tickets, which are among the most expensive in Europe, would be frozen for the 2023-24 campaign. That move was widely praised as the club acknowledged “everyone is currently impacted by the cost of living”.

However, according to the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, that sense of goodwill has now been “ruined”.

After riding the wave of Ange Postecoglou’s appointment and James Maddison’s £40m signing from Leicester, the Supporters’ Trust’s chair Martin Buhagiar, says Spurs have “shot themselves in the foot” at a time when they ought to try and “keep fans onside”.

“We have been inundated with messages from supporters,” Buhagiar tells i. “Many are extremely upset because they were looking forward to the new season, but with increases in mortgages, utility bills, the cost of food and much more they cannot justify paying more money to watch football.

“These increases will hit families hardest first and families taking children already struggle to access the limited seats within concessionary areas in the stadium. A family of four would need to pay between £200 and £400 for four tickets to watch us play Newcastle at home in the south stand. [It’s] Ridiculous.”

He added: “The club chose to say openly when freezing season tickets that they understood the financial pressures people were facing during these difficult times. With that in mind, I cannot understand the logic for increasing match day tickets so excessively.”

That the ticket hike has occurred following a particularly miserable season has further angered fans. Spurs secured their lowest Premier League position in 14 years, finishing 8th in the table, and thus failing to qualify for Europe. They also had three different managers over the course of the campaign, ending with interim boss Ryan Mason after the sackings of Antonio Conte and Cristian Stellini.

Supporters have also grown increasingly frustrated by the team’s negative tactics under a succession of managers, although it is expected that Postecoglou will look to implement a more attacking style of play.

“It is my opinion that had we enjoyed a successful season and finished second, third or fourth, our season ticket prices would have been increased [as well],” Buhagiar says.

Amid escalating tension towards the board, Spurs announced the launch of a fan advisory board in April with a view to gaining “significantly greater engagement” with supporters.

According to Buhagiar, though, the THST were not consulted by the club about the ticket price rises and were only informed about the changes hours before they were made public.

In a statement, Spurs said: “We are fully aware of the current rising cost of living – and as such are one of only three Premier League clubs to freeze season ticket prices for the coming season. Our match ticket prices are comparable to other London clubs, with a wide range of price points available for fans to choose from.

“The constant comparisons with other London clubs are disingenuous when our ticket prices remain amongst the highest in Premier League and indeed Europe,” Buhagiar said in response. “This is a PR own goal.”

Some fans are already mobilising on social media for a protest at the start of the season, which could even take place before the first competitive home game of the Postecoglou era against Manchester United on the weekend of 19 August.

“The club has unnecessarily added huge pressure to Ange Postecoglou’s task,” Buhagiar says. “And it will see us kick off the new season with yet another cloud created entirely by the Spurs board.”

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