It is my honour and privilege to be able to write to you as Chairman with a summary of our first full season as a Supporters Club. When I first arrived in India a few years ago I thought I was the only Spurs supporter around. To my delight, on founding India Spurs we started finding each other and now we are several thousand strong. We are able to boast a whole string of achievements, some of which I refer to below. Our Club is a not-for-profit organisation and is run entirely on a voluntary basis, this makes all we have achieved even more pronounced.
Administration & Membership
Our club has been run by a team of volunteers this year who have each taken responsibility in ensuring our progress. I give thanks to all of them but must make a particular mention to Ashwin Nair and Karthik Venkat for putting in a sterling shift and to Club Secretary Akshay Sud. The post of Treasurer remained problematic for a while however I am grateful that Sal Syed stepped in and took control of our finances.
This season we introduced a more formal, paid Club membership in order to strengthen the Spurs network and build upon the work done previously. The members pack including flag, membership card and badge was funded by members donations and membership prepayments.
Communication & Engagement
Our social media channels continue to strengthen and have proved to be an effective way to communicate with members. As a result we now have over 25,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter. Our reputation for providing fresh and original content is extremely high and a number of our posts have gone viral this year. We owe a thanks to Mikow who has helped contribute throughout the season and to Janhavi Namshikar who has done a fantastic job at keeping us all up to date with the latest from our academy.
One of our objectives from last season was to launch our own website. IndiaSpurs.com went live in August 2013 and since then we have attracted contributions from noteworthy writers, such as Martin Cloake and of course our own resident India Spurs columnist, Keith Harrison. We are all indebted to Keith for his insightful articles and features. Keith also had an exclusive Q&A interview with celebrity fan, Marina Sirtis from Star Trek. The website is updated often and I recommend you all visit regularly.
To help create a more interactive forum for our members we established a number of WhatsApp chat groups. These have been extremely popular and there is now a group in almost every major city. The Members group is usually where news is found first and the reason why the phone needs charging several times per day!
Interactions with Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
As a team of administrators we were regularly bombarded with emails requesting information on where fans could purchase official Spurs jerseys in India. Of course they were not available and supporters had no option but to purchase them online from the Spurs Shop and pay 50% extra for shipping. We contacted the Tottenham Hotspur Merchandising section and arranged the importation into India. We also struck an agreement with an online retailer, Funatic.in who could provide the service of listing, delivery and receiving payments for the items. Funatic also provided our members with an exclusive discount code which allowed us to make further savings on purchases from the online store.
The end of season grand finale was an incredible affair. By this I hope you know I am not talking about the football. Our Supporters Club was invited to the Annual Spurs Supporters Club Awards held at the Spurs Training Centre in North London and invited to participate in a once in a lifetime experience of playing at White Hart Lane in a match between Asia Spurs and ‘Rest of the World’ Spurs. We are thankful to our new club sponsors AIA who organised what was truly a memorable experience and highlights can be seen on our website.
Match Day Experiences
During the season the Supporters Club facilitated a number of visits to White Hart Lane for pilgrims from India. On our website you can read and share in the experiences, some of which were quite noteworthy to say the least! Our flag has been visible at the stadium throughout the season as well as making appearances in several corners of Europe.
Back in India we have held screenings in more cities than ever. Mumbai and Bangalore are our stronger cities but we have also seen growth in areas such as Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Goa and Hyderabad. Most recently we welcomed fans from Shillong who have begun mobilising, we hope this continues to spread.
Going forward we remain ambitious. As well as continuing to grow our member base we hope soon to be able to announce our Honorary Club President, a Spurs legend who will need no introduction.
This season saw the formation of two football teams amongst our supporters - Mumbai Spurs FC and Bangalore Spurs FC. We look forward to arranging inter-city matches between our supporters’ teams and all are encouraged to get involved or start your own local team. We have also been invited to take part in international tournaments between Spurs Supporters Clubs. We hope to see our football teams taking to the field next season in brand new AIA sponsored India Spurs kits.
The news of Tanvie Hans becoming the first Indian to join the ranks at Spurs helped further strengthen our ties with the club. Tanvie’s story has been truly inspirational and you can follow her progress as we bring you regular updates on our website.
We shall be hosting our AGM via Google Hangout on 21st June at 14:00 and details will be sent out shortly. In the AGM we hope to fill a number of positions. All five board seats will be up for election and members are encouraged to send their applications, nominated and seconded by two other members by 7th June.
The club also needs other volunteers. If you are able to assist in organising events such as match screenings, help with social media, assist with merchandise or anything else then we would really appreciate your help.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Founding this Club however for those who do not know, I returned to England last summer and shall be stepping down from my role as Chairman. I shall remain close to the new Board and offer my support where needed. I shall remain your host at White Hart Lane and hope to see more of you next season.
In February this year I was elected on the Board of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporter's Trust, THST, the official body representing the voices of Spurs fans across the world. One of my first initiatives has been to introduce a programme to help strengthen the Trust's ties with Supporters Clubs. The Trust is in regular contact with the THFC board and it's list of wins is very impressive. I have attached a summary for your review and hope you will support the motion for India Spurs to join THST. The cost is £25/ yr and India Spurs will get a vote in Trust matters. As a member of the THST, it was an honour to also represent India Spurs when I was asked to present Ledley King with the Darren Alexander award for Outstanding Service to THFC at his Testimonial Match on 12th May at White Hart Lane.
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude and heartfelt thanks to all of you for the huge support you have shown for India Spurs and look forward to continued growth across all parts of India. On the field, the season didn’t quite pan out the way we all had expected it to but I am optimistic that with a new manager and a stable & fit squad we can go on to achieve success next season. Likewise, I am optimistic that our Supporters Club will continue to grow and attract new members across India who understand and appreciate what Tottenham Hotspur FC stands for. Collectively, we now need build on all the hard work that has gone into laying down the foundation and promote our club in positive ways. I truly believe the future is bright for Spurs in India!
Founder & Chairman: India Spurs
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