Tottenham admit time has come for change and target better engagement with fans

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Tottenham have admitted that “sometimes disruption is needed to create change” after the board finally met with the supporters’ trust.

The two parties had been at loggerheads since the club’s decision to be part of the ill-fated European Super League, with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) calling for the resignation of the executive board.

THST also initially refused to meet the club’s board, and appointed the Football Supporters’ Association as a mediator, with Spurs publicly criticising them.

However, the strains have eased and the board, including chairman Daniel Levy, met with the supporters group on Tuesday, without the need for an independent mediator.

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They discussed the club’s plan to introduce fan representation on the board and how it would work.

Minutes of the meeting, released by THST, read: “The meeting acknowledged that the events of the last month had damaged faith in existing relationships, and that the best interests of the club and its supporters would be served by creating something new.

“The trust and the club have both put forward ideas for how fans could be more involved in decision-making, and these proposals were the focus of the meeting.

“Both sides acknowledged that any detailed plans may need to consider the framework set down by the Government’s fan-led review.

“THST asked the club why it was bringing these proposals forward now, and whether it acknowledged that there would be widespread scepticism about its commitment to fan engagement at board level.

There have been protests against Daniel Levy and the club's owners in recent weeks
There have been protests against Daniel Levy and the club’s owners in recent weeks (Adam Davy/PA)

“THFC said that sometimes disruption was needed to create change, and that it was seeking to create a better framework for the future. The only way people would be convinced that framework was working was to see it working successfully, and that was the responsibility we all carried.

“THFC said it was approaching the exercise from a positive perspective and wanted to achieve a framework that set the standard, while recognising that the report from the Government’s fan-led review would set the baseline.”

The Trust also asked the club about Harry Kane’s future, amid speculation the star man wants to leave this summer. But Spurs did not give anything away.

“Once discussion on the main focus of the meeting finished, we departed from normal practice as an organisation that deals with off-field matters to ask for a comment on the reports that Harry Kane wanted to leave the club,” the minutes read.

“THFC said it was focused on the final two games of the season and backing the squad for a strong finish. It was not prepared to offer any further comment on Harry Kane or indeed on any other player while two games of the season remained. That is their only focus.”

It certainly looked as if Kane was saying goodbye as he did an emotional lap of honour after a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa which dealt a likely terminal blow to Spurs’ Europa League hopes.

Harry Kane gave a lap of honour at the end of the game against Aston Villa
Harry Kane gave a lap of honour at the end of the game against Aston Villa (Paul Childs/PA)

Spurs now have to win at Leicester on Sunday and hope that West Ham lose at home to Southampton to have any chance of making the top six. A defeat could see them finish as low as ninth.

Interim boss Ryan Mason said: “We have got another game at the weekend. We are disappointed with not only tonight but also the season. It is not where we want to be, it’s no secret, we have said that, everyone has said that.

“It has been a disappointing campaign, but we have to try and get a positive result at the weekend and see what happens from there.”

Villa were by far the better team and could have won by more.

Ollie Watkins, who scored the winner after Sergio Reguilon’s own goal cancelled out a Steven Bergwijn opener, said on the club’s official website: “I think we should have punished them, and it could have been more.

“I think I could have got one more, but I was a bit unlucky. I’m loving it – especially when we play like that and we push forward and create chances.”

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