The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust (THST) have voted for the resignation of the Spurs executive board, following the protests by fans holding an ENIC out banner in front of the stadium in mid-week.
THST called a meeting on Friday following the European Super League fiasco, after the board had offered a meeting with the Trust which was rejected.
Over Zoom, 90% of members voted in agreement to the following statement: “We call for the immediate resignation of the Executive Board of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and for the owners to work with us to appoint a new board that has elected and accountable fan representation on it.
“That representation must make key decisions about the running of the club dependent upon fan approval, and we would expect to see that made a legal requirement across the game.”
ENIC Out: Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust Vote Calls for Resignation of Executive Board
ESL Another Flashpoint in Fans Disgruntlement
A tenth of the scale of the Kroenke out protests at Arsenal, a small demonstration outside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium numbering 100 fans called for ENIC out and for the club owners to sell up on Wednesday evening.
The ENIC Group (English National Investment Company) is owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis, and its subsidiary ENIC International Ltd owns 85% of the club chaired by Daniel Levy.
ENIC have had shares in the club since 1991 and began to take over the club from Alan Sugar’s reigns in 2001.
Since then, Spurs have built a world-class stadium and training facilities.
But apart from the lone league cup win in 2008, the club have nothing to show for their work in the past two decades.
As a result, discontent has been growing amongst Spurs fans, especially surrounding lack of investment in players, as well as the general running of the club concerning the commercialisation of football.
This culminated in the proposed move to east London and the Olympic Stadium. This was massively unpopular with fans.
But the key flashpoints in the last 12 months were the u-turns on putting Spurs staff on furlough, followed by signing up to and then backing out of the ESL.
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust Wants More Accountable Board
In a statement, THST said: “We believe the immediate resignation of the current Executive Board is in the best long-term interests of the Club.”
“The responsibility of the Club’s Board is to always act in the best interests of THFC. The current Board clearly has not acted in the best interests of the football club. In fact, its action could still lead to outcomes that are in the worst interests of THFC.”
“So, in addition to 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.”
“To be clear, we are calling for effective, elected and accountable fan representation at Board level and not for members of the current THST Board to be that elected fan representative.”
What Does This Mean for the Future of the Club?
Despite the vote, the Trust note that even if the board resigns, the owners will not ‘resign’ and will likely appoint a similar board.
Another observation made was that the Trust cannot yet force Joe Lewis or Daniel Levy to sell the club on with this vote.
But Levy is under some pressure to shake up the board. Nevertheless, he is likely to have at least some power at the club since Levy and his family own a significant share in the club.
For years the THST has worked to give a voice to Spurs supporters, but in their statement they claim they have been largely ignored in key moments by the club.
If the power of the owners is properly filtered by a representative board, then it could finally bring back a voice to the football fan in the modern game.
In a closing comment, THST fired a warning shot to Lewis and Levy: “If the Owners do not make the changes we demand, we will then have to consider how we practically encourage new buyers to take over and work with the fans in the best interests of the football club.”