Opinion: How the Spurs board can save its relationship with the fans

Image: SpursWeb

In light of the recent events of the European Super League and the decision of Daniel Levy and the board to join it, many Spurs fans around the world have been outraged and disgusted by the controversial decision.

This has resulted in the THST (Tottenham Hotspur’s Supporters Trust) coming out with a statement on Friday the 23rd of April – ‘calling for the immediate resignation of the Executive Board, we are calling for the owners to work with us to appoint a new board that has elected and accountable fan representation on it.’

A significant statement that begs the question, what next for the board and owners of Tottenham Hotspur?

The Super League decision has highlighted, more than ever, for us loyal spurs fans that the board is simply not good enough and hasn’t got the best interest of the fans at heart.

The board were given a real test with regards to the Super League, an opportunity for them to show their intent as owners, but they sold the club’s soul at the first glance of a big payout. That is why so many Spurs fans are infuriated.

The board has clearly made a mistake following the decision to join the Super League, so after the commendable efforts of all the fans, the pressure mounted and they decided to rescind their decision.

However, there was no heartfelt apology, or a recorded message like some other boards did, but just a small sign of ‘regret for any anxiety and upset caused’. This surely only further infuriated the fans, burning a wider gap between the board and supporters.

A positive relationship between the board and the fans is now becoming rarer within football.

I would argue that, when a board take over, they have a small period to win over supporters, and the relationship they gain can soon fall away over an incident or a series of decisions. Levy and ENIC have had a nightmare of late.

Firstly, the sacking of a beloved coach, Mauricio Pochettino, which was seen as harsh by many in the manner of which it was done.

I would argue that we had an opportunity ripped away from us following the boards lack of investment in the time that Pochettino was at the club, especially with there being an entire summer without a new signing.

These sorts of events do not go unnoticed by the faithful fans and they soon accumulate and start to deteriorate the relationship.

Once that relationship has burnt to its core, it is simply a case of the owners using the fans for business, and that’s when we start to see protests and a messy situation.

Therefore, it’s in ENIC and Daniel Levy’s best interests to fix this relationship quickly.

So how will, and how could ENIC and the board go about salvaging this reputation if they want to remain the owners of the football club?

  1. Spend large in the summer transfer window – Levy and the board would have become aware of the situation with the team and the fans and may take a decision to try and kill two birds with one stone by spending large amounts of money in the summer on exciting players. This would help the team improve, which is highly required and, by spending big, it would also earn many fans approval and start to build this relationship back up.
  2. Appoint a new, exciting and respectable manager. The appointment of Jose Mourinho seemed a slightly odd one, with many fans being split on opinion over the Portuguese manager. With things going pear-shaped, Levy will be keen to pick his successor carefully, so recruiting someone like Ten Hag or Rodgers would be seen as a massive positive amongst the fans, and once again be a possible way to improve the relationship between the fans and the board.
  3. Make a public apology to the fans. The statement made by THST earlier this week has offered Levy and ENIC the chance to explain and apologise to the fans for their decision regarding the Super League, and possibly even a chance for Levy to win over fans in his plans for the future. An apology is something we have very rarely seen from Levy so if he did so it could win over a few amongst the fans.

Overall, there are a variety of options for the board and Levy to opt for if they do wish to salvage their reputation and relationship with the fans, which I think they will try to do.

However, it will most likely be in the form of PR stunts and doing small community gestures, which are obviously great but not quite something big enough to turn the tide for the relationship between the board and the fans of Tottenham Hotspur.

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