Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tottenham Hotspur Ticket Swindle: Sit Where You're Told!

Okay, I emailed the Box Office yesterday as jolsgonemental alerted us to the fact that the facility to select your own seat was no longer available online. I posted my email in the 'Song For Benty' comments.

Here is 'Tim's' reply:

I can confirm that under the new system supporters will not be able to purchase an exact seat within a block when purchasing tickets on line. I appreciate that some will see this as a potentially negative change to the process but it is an alteration made with good reason.

On our old system, where people were allowed to go in and select specific seats we were almost always left with a large number of single seats to sell
before a match was completely sold out.

Quite understandably, supporters would not necessarily think to make sure that they did not leave odd seats on their own when they were making their booking. However, it did leave us with issues where people would not bring children because they would obviously not want them to sit alone. All in all it was proving to be a poor experience for supporters who only managed to purchase a ticket towards the end of a sale.

Additionally, it is clear that the ability to select specific seats was lengthening the purchase time on the Web while supporters 'shopped' around for the seats they preferred. This situation undoubtedly contributed to some of the system issues that were experienced in the past in terms of speed and robustness. T

he new Ticketmaster system that we now have in place is the same as that used at many of other Premier League clubs and our process in regard to this specific point is now consistent with them. J

ust to clarify, some supporters who have contacted us have suggested that seats are allocated randomly to them. This is not the case. The seats that are allocated to people booking via the Web are those that are deemed 'best available' at the time they are making their booking.

Best Available is defined by the Ticket Office as being back row first and then moving forward in the lower tiers, and front row then moving backwards in the upper tiers. The best seat in a row is always the seat nearest the centre of the pitch.

Obviously, in the event that a supporter does have a need or a desire to have a particular seat they are able to call to book, and in the event that the seat(s) that they want are available they will be able to book them, or as near to it without leaving single seats unsold.

I hope this clarifies this issue. I am sure that supporters will get used to the change as the season progresses.

Rgds Tim.

Well I think it sucks.
And that's my considered opinion.
Here are my niggles in no particular order..

a) You anticipated how unpopular this would be so didn't discuss it with ... YOUR CUSTOMERS...

b) At the class of money you're charging I want to make my own choice of seat.

c) If fans want to bring children/get seats together it their responsibility to book early, not the job of the many to sacrifice choice in order to facilitate the few.

d) The issues of speed and robustness in relation to the Ticketmaster end of things is your business. Spend more money and make the software better, quicker. Dumbing it down doesn't improve it for the end user... YOUR CUSTOMERS.

e) I don't agree with 'the club's' interpretation of 'best seats'. What if you want an end of row seat? Sod it, this comes back to free choice. I want it back!

f) If I have a 'need or desire' to be in a specific seat I can call?
Are you taking on more staff to answer the phones?

Yeah, right, and when will you answer this call, exactly, three or four days after the seats go on sale to members?

Over to you......................


jolsgonemental said...

and presumably the tickets we have been 'allocated' will be displayed BEFORE we have to enter payment details? Or do we pay 60quid and hope for the best? how about a lucky dip system, or maybe a raffle?

I dont understand why you are making it hard for the 35950+ fans each game who are happy with the system to make it easier for what must be the (very) small minority who leave it late and are surprised the best seats are gone and so cant sit holding hands.

would it not have been easier to code the booking system to not allow the booking off of seats such that would leave the odd individual seats in between. The Odeon website manages to do this quite comfortably, if their popcorn addled brains can figure out how to do it then cant be hard, surely?

I can see another 'member tier scheme' brewing to squeeze an extra few quid for us mugs, that allows choosing of seats......

jolsgonemental said...

From: JGM
Sent: 04 July 2007 19:54
To: Ticket Office
Subject: Seating


Your online booking system doesnt seem to be working. I cant select the seat I want to sit at. And I certainly dont want to end up sat next to that bloke at the paxton end with the rattle.

I assume this isnt in preparation for some sort of scheme to make fans pay more for the privilege of sitting somewhere where they can actually get a decent view of the pitch? Although I am in a particularly highly paid job, and can easily afford it, I refuse to be bent over and taken up the arse when I have already paid up my members fee.


DannyMackay said...

I'm all in favour of this.

Fans get to know full well where in the ground they will be sitting - just not the exact seat.

and those who want to take young spurs fans - often for their first game - are more likely to be able to with two or three seats together.

Frankly its quite remarkable the lack of give and take some fans are willing to countenance for the benefit of their fellow fans.

Anonymous said...

I too am disappointed by this. Very much so infact. As a 6'3 bloke I would look for certain seats that would give that extra bit of leg room, a featur ethat I was very grateful for. Also I knew of one or two seats that fell under restricted view that really weren't that restricted and being 10 quid cheaper, was also very nice. So swapping from getting a cheaper seat with more comfort, to being situated god knows where is really annoying. Disappointed with the club for a lack of consideration of supporters feelings on this before changing aswell.

Anonymous said...

I agree. This is taking the p*ss. My preferred seats in the lower tiers are 1) As close to the pitch as possible, and 2) as close to the aisle as possible, so I have an outside chance of watching most of the first half, and still getting served at the bar (we all know what the queues are like) before the second half starts.

How dare they make this choice for us? Based on whose opinion? I don't remember being asked, having been a member for around 8 years.

Once again, very poorly handled by the club.

phil said...

danny - the location details only extend to which block... that is a huge variance.

I wholly support kids coming to The Lane, but surely it is the customer's responsibility to organise themselves...

The mail from the club there even says it's the ones booking late in the sale of tickets they are thinking of...

Anonymous said...

About time the club brought online ticket sales into 21st century, I have tried to book online many times and as described in club letter was only ever offered single seats when I wanted a pair (any pair!). Having given up 2 season tickets held for 18 years due to family commitments/"watching hoddle's team" madness the chance to meet up with my brother and catch a game is now a long shot. Managed to get 4 tickets for torino in 2 minutes with no drama whatsover which makes a change. Having not got the chance to see spurs much over the last few years other than on tv hopefully this new system may make more tickets available for non members like me who don't give a f**k where I sit.

Anonymous said...

Price we pay for watching a big successful club! Seats are gold!

Can afford an empty one this season after forking out 16.5M on Bent

Anonymous said...

I don't know what all the moaners are on about. The old system was crap, slow. Many a time have I searched in vein for two or three seats together to no avail, and not necessarily when booking late.

You have to remember that there are no that many seats for non-members so the seats on their own get left quite early.

As a spurs fan, a full WHL is better than a WHL with loads of empty seats!!

Anonymous said...


It's the club's responsibility to purchase more sophisticated software...

Availability is a capacity issue...

Admittedly, if you take the Ars* @ home game at the end of last season for example... the seats available to members at 09.31 where limited.. but even if you bunched them all together you wouldn't have had two dozen...

And that ain't enough reason to tell me where to sit, sorry but it ain't. The club needs more seats full stop, that's what's behind this bollocks!!!!!!!!!

jolsgonemental said...

anon 5.57

are you the fucking queen or what? why should you not pay membership and expect as good a seat as a paying member (ie me)

I/we didnt pay our membership fees for the shitty keyrings and clocks(I quite like the clock) you know, if gettign membership and making a note to get on the website at 9.30 ticket day is too much hardship for you to watch your club then tough shit mate. I make the effort and have never struggled to get a couple of seats together for ANY game.

Why should the club pander to lazy gits who are above making the effort?n Pay your dues and get out of your fucking bed a bit earlier LIKE I FUCKING WELL DO.

same applied to 'dannymackay'. it was never that hard mate.

G said...

I had noticed that problem in the past and I think that this is a pretty reasonable arrangement for the present.

All the moaners are pretty selfish and unthinking of others. So there!

COYS, ciao all.

jolsgonemental said...

AND has anyone booked yet? did you get told before or after payment where your seats would be?

will the auto allocation best seats first(front middle seats then out) policy take account of the restricted views in east stand? i think not.

a fucking liberty.

Lloyd said...

Well folks, there is another perspective. I'm going to guess that this change has to do with the WHL expansion project. With all this talk lately of playing at Wembley in the not-so-far future, the current seating configuration at The Lane will soon become invalid. Wherever we play during the construction phase of the New WHL the seat configuration will be different. Licensing Ticketmaster software to handle this change is the simplest approach. Also, it could be true that the Ticketing office may consider the opinions of the customer when the new and stable seating configuration has been decided for the new stadium.

Harry Hotspur said...

Go on the JGM!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe people think this is a bad idea. As a 6'4 (5:48) die hard with a job that shifts me round the country, its a pain in the arse to sit by yourself when you meet up with friends for a game.

Its plain selfishness to pick and choose 'your seat' so there are 100's of single seats, which must be a pain in the arse for the club to fill. Its not about 'lateness', some of us don't have the financial/professional benefit of knowing when we are going to be available for a game.

You don't have a divine right to any seat, just because you run a popular blog/been going for donkey years. I'd be there every game if I could, but some things, i.e. putting food on the table, are more important. Don't get me wrong, i don't begrudge a single penny i give to the club these days either, wherever i sit. I ignore the temptations of a sky subscription so i can get down the Lane at least once a month.

This whole article stinks of prawn sandwiches. I personally expect better from spurs 'fans'.

Anonymous said...

I take my young son to matches and, as he's short, sitting in the front row allows him to enjoy the game. Having the computer system allocate us seats means he will probably be sitting behing an adult so i've paid far too much for him to start at some bloke's back. Thanks Spurs.

Harry Hotspur said...


Prawn sandwiches - how very dare you..

Selfish not shellfish.

Yes I bloody well am.

I pay a membership and am still tossed into a lottery?

What a joke....

My lack of success is my own business..

There are other webmeisters out there that think they are owed a living due to long service etc ie Spurs Odious and I ain't one of 'em sunshine.

HH is a NON season ticket holding, burger off the van holding punter.

And as for putting the word fans in inverted commas, you can knock that on the head for starters...

Keep it Tottenham.


dannyboy said...

Personaly I think it's a good idea, sorry HH. At the end of the day, the club must be run as a business and corporate people make corporate decisions. If we, the paying customers, were consulted, do you think it would have made an iota of difference? Think not.

I tried to take my 9 year old daughter to her first game on numerous occassions last season, only to be faced with the choice of single seats only.
If it brings us in line with the rest of the prem clubs, is that a bad thing?

The obvious point to make, is that the stadium simply isn't big enough.


Harry Hotspur said...


I can't argue with you mate, the answer is ultimately a greater capacity.

It will give us all freedom of choice.............

Anonymous said...

this is bullshit.





Anonymous said...

Typical spurs fans always fucking moaning with no good reason, jolsgonemental get a life, there are loads of hardcore spurs fans who due to house prices in london forcing them to work all hours/weekends, family commitments, extortionate ticket prices can't go to the games they used to. I used to go home/away for years when we were continually shit. I can even remember when we were winning in Europe and travelled far & wide following the mighty spurs. While the new system might not be perfect, so what! it is better than the old system and when we eventually get a decent ground capacity it will allow more of the old fans who can't now afford to go every week a chance to see spurs and bring their kids. we as a club need these kids as they will be vital source of income to ensure we can compete in the future with the likes of arse,manure & chelshit

sidyid said...

I think you've got this spot on harry!!

I don't get over for many games but I feel the membership fees I pay ought to count for someything!!

It's a Spurs thing!

jolsgonemental said...


what are you talking about, you dick. whats with the sob story. go and tell simon bates.

cant afford it, house prices in london blah blah; pound doesnt go as far as it used to etc etc..i used to hike 50miles just to watch them train..yawn.

what the fuck has that got to do with anything? I totally agree that the prices at spurs are a complete extortion and I also work, believe it or not, which is exactly why i myself cant afford and dont go to every game or have a season ticket. All the more reason when i pay my money I want my choice.

if you want to join my debate please try and keep it relevant and avoid the temptation to wallow in self pity. lifes a bitch for us all, I am sure we all have families and jobs.

Anonymous said...

My eight year old son and myself come over from Belfast a couple of time a year to worship at the lane.
We always sit at the back of the stand, so he can stand on his chair and watch the match without ruining other people's enjoment.
We can't even see the feckin jumbtron. BUT IT WORKS FOR ME,I WANT TO PICK MY SEAT.

Anonymous said...

Will we be able to get our own seats if we buy them at the ticket office?

Anonymous said...

The many sacrificing for the few sounds a noble gesture imo and the bedrock of any civilized society.

I think Harry might be a Tory by instinct.

Anonymous said...

we should just bring back standing areas, I could have a piss without missing the game like the good old days on the shelf

under the table you must go

knees up muther brown

Anonymous said...

beggars can't be choosers

Anonymous said...

to make more seats available why don't we fuck those brain dead wankers who reside in the west stand in the car park with their cars and let some real fans use their seats for starters.

then take the season tickets off the cunts who leave the ground early just to miss the traffic wankers

sidyid said...


My mother just rang and the shirt arrived!!

Top man!!

Look forward to me the boy wearing them!!

Cheers mate you're an absolute saint!!

£41.20 for two shits!!


It's a Spurs thing!

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I think this will be a good thing, there are obviously alot of people that want to watch a quality team. Spurs are the most exciting team in the premiership at the moment, and I fully expect us to have sell out crowds for every game. The easier it is for more people to get in, the better. Until we move to Wembley, this will be our best option.


Robben for spurs anyone... :)

Ian said...

H, You are on the mark son, lack of choice is bollocks and they never asked us 'cos they knew it was gonna get a refusal..

By the way, I don't mind your silly Berbatov stories off them Bulgarian websites .. nor should any real fan, you've got a great little blog going here keep it up now.


Anonymous said...

Stupid idea! I had NO problems last season! I booked on the day of the tickets when on sale (SEE WEBSITE!) the only day that I had a slight issue was the arses game and some how got tickets! :-)

All in all it's a poor solution, bigger stadium should have been thought about years ago not NOW!


Anonymous said...

I had no problem getting tickets last year for any game. JGM is right, if you can be arsed to be pro active getting them they are there to be taken. On the single seat issue, i got some tickets last year for a mate and his son ( both non members)they were 4 seats apart and he just asked people if they would move aross one seat. Which they duely did with no problems.

jolsgonemental said...

anon 10.30pm

what, proper fuck?

EL said...

I'm finding it hard to believe how many Spurs fans on here are ok with having their right to choose taken away by a club which could use the 'odeon' system, thus solving their single seat problem but leaving us to choose and which charges us obscene prices for the privilage. I would be somewhat placated if I found that the seat you do get is made available for you to see when it is first allocated and not when it arrives in the post. That would be a low quality system for a high priced product. People in groups should sort this shit out themselves and not at other peoples expense.(I've never had an problem buying more than one seat in 30 years) Some of you seem almost keen to take it up the arse. I find it outrageous at best and a fcuking piss take at worse. This is Tottenham Hotspur at it's most cynical and selfish. I'd hoped we'd seen the last of this sort of 'take them for granted' rubbish when Sugar left.

Would love to see someone(who could I mean Harry?) set up one of those website pages where a pre-written letter can be signed by anyone who agrees with it's content and then by clicking on the send button it is automatically sent to the club. I'd do it but I'm computer illiterate.

I find the ease with which many of you accept this sort of corporate contempt for high paying customers quite shocking.

I'm really fcuked off with them and I'm not getting off my high horse until they change this fcuking contemptuous policy.


Anonymous said...

I dont get down the Lane too often these days, so when I do make it down, I want to choose where i sit, not have a computer analyse and decide for me what I like.

Anonymous said...

Our reputation as the biggest moaners is totaly unjustified

PG said...

Totally agree with you Harry. They've made the change to suit their IT department - not us fans. This flies in the face of everything that Mr Levy has done so far for the club. Since he took over he's had a real sense of what we've wanted - and by and large delivered. Now some IT nerd has begun treating us like cattle again. Can we begin a campaign on this?

Anonymous said...

A little annoying definately but at least it ensures more seats are taken up on game day. I've often wanted to take my younger brother but due to only single seats being left I've had to leave it. That's even more annoying.

Anonymous said...

I'm just as sceptical about the clubs 'we know which seats are better' policy. I agree: sort the seat booking system on the Spurs site, but just make sure that fans booking seats don't leave gaps so at least more fans can come and the Lane is full.

Harry Hotspur said...


I will look into it mate. I do recall an online guest book/ petition thingy existing.

It wouldn't do any harm.

I agree with you. I expected a fiercely positive reaction to this piece and got a whimper. Serve up less half price shirts and you get carried shoulder height. Try to motivate 'em to better their status as consumers long term and you get apathy!

I respect the likes of Dannyboy - not just because he's a sound bloke - but because the club MUST facilitate parents bringing children. My dad took me to a game and he may as well have been handing me an A class substance.

But do feel that the onus has to lie with the club in order to meet the demands of individual customers with a tailored service.

I want us all to get a level of service that befits both our needs and not some cobblers whereby the punter side of the equation is compromised out of existance because no one had the foresight to push the IT boys bit harder.

Why shouldn't Dannyboy (for example ) be able as a member, be able to get an advantage over non members AND be able to choose his seats?

Is that asking too much?

No it bloody well isn't.


Alcatrazz (Weapons aimed at Levy)


Anonymous said...

Harry - Stone Island just went 40% off mate!

Top man!

dannyboy said...


sorry mate, but can't see the club changing its mind, so can see your arse getting sore, stuck forever on your high horse !

Anyhow, let's move on; my wife is going shopping and wants to know if the Littlewoods scheme will work on her clubcard ?!


Anonymous said...

And the pic of the day is:
Berbatov's return!
Yes, mates. It's today. He has to go to WHL and say: I'm back, gents!
Then I bet he'll go the gym...

Harry Hotspur said...

HH will be supplying virtual cushions for all High Horse riders!

EL said...

Dannyboy, I disagree that it's all over on this issue. Plenty of businesses have been made to change their ways through customer pressure. Even huge multi million pound/dollar corporations, so i'm sure Tottenham FC ing Hotspur are susceptible to some degree. It's surely just a matter of how hard they're pushed and for how long.

They'll receive at least one e-mail, letter and phone call from me for starters. I'm not dismounting in a hurry.

Colonel Quiteseriousaboutthis.
Tunbridge Wells.

Paul - West Stand Season Ticket Holder said...

This really is a fuss about nothing.

This is to remove the tendancy we english have of not wanting to sit next to anyone so we will leave a one seat gap before booking our two seats together with one of our friends.

There will be no significant change, I am one of those season ticket holders who will sit where they put me and I for one am just happy to be able to watch some of the best football to be seen at the lane for a great number of years.

Can we stop the whinging please. We are getting a bad reputation for being the club with the fans that moan about everything.

Is everyone happy with darren Bent now?

Anonymous said...


Top man

Totally agree. If people weren't so selfish in leaving a space between themselves and someone else. This would never be an issue.

If you want a gauranteed seat, buy a season ticket, otherwise stop whinging!

Tracey Crouch said...

The old system was a bit outdated but at least you knew where you were with it. At the end of the day it was my choice to sit alone or several rows away from friends and for a good game it would be worth the money. And as a woman who doesn't really mind going to the game alone, it is always nice to have a little bit of control over where I sit.

Plus how can anyone else determine what is best available for me? I might be short sighted and need to sit at the front or might feel nervous about sitting in the middle of a row and want to sit on the aisle? Tsk Tsk. This is a poor decision by the Club and I am very disappointed.