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Transfer Rater: Luka Modric to Tottenham

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Tottenham fans angered by increase in new season ticket prices

Tottenham fans are being priced out of a season-ticket at the club's new stadium according to an influential supporters' group, which has branded the club's pricing policy 'a missed opportunity.'

This week, Spurs announced season-ticket prices for their new 62,000-seater home, which is expected to be ready for the start of next season, with the cheapest seat £795 and the most expensive £1,995.

The £795 option is a £30 increase on the cheapest seat at White Hart Lane but the priciest is a £295 increase on the equivalent at Tottenham's former home.

After consulting its members, the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust (THST) released a statement warning the club that many fans would not be able to afford to retain their seat.

"Some fans are facing increases of 25, 40 or 50 percent in their usual seating areas which, even taking into account the improved facilities, will be beyond many, whether they are longstanding season ticket holders or whether they signed up for the first time for the year at Wembley," the statement reads.

Spurs' new 62,000-seater home is expected to be ready for the start of next season.

The stadium project, which will cost the club over £850 million, includes over 60 food and drink outlets and the longest bar in the UK at 65 metres, among other attractions.

"The vast majority of fans go to football for the football, not for the facilities," the statement continues. "There are 15 different price points, an over complex system that allows attractive headline claims to be made but which mask the price rises many will now face. Fans are genuinely worried about the availability of tickets at prices they can afford in the later priority windows.

"The club believes it will fill the stadium with this pricing policy. That may well be the case in our first season with a successful, entertaining team but the novelty may wear off after the first season, particularly if performance on the pitch falls short.

"With fans already contacting us saying they are priced out, we cannot view this as anything other than a missed opportunity."

Tom Hayward, a Spurs season-ticket holder, told ESPN FC: "I'm a little bit disappointed but not surprised. They've gone up because demand has gone up, so I get it. If you don't take your ticket, someone else will.

"It's just a bad platform. They've got a lot of goodwill in that it's still home but it's just another nail in the coffin for me. I love Spurs and love what we've done but I don't see myself going for more than one more season. I feel like I have to do a season in the new stadium but I can't justify [coming back the following year] and a lot of people are saying the same thing."

Former Tottenham and England striker Gary Lineker warned his former club that without full stadiums, the appeal of the game would decline: 

"We're seeing more and more empty seats at grounds. Given the vast sums received from TV rights, ticket prices should be falling not rising. The game needs full stadiums otherwise its appeal will slowly decline, even to rights holders. Avarice will only damage the game and clubs."

In response, Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City captain, explained why full stadiums are so important to professional players.

"Less empty seats leads to a better TV product (money) but also better atmosphere, which in turn affects testosterone levels and territorial behaviour in players, therefore increasing home advantage. There's financial value in every added league point too," Kompany said.

"The PL is unique, financially dominant and global. I imagine that a general decline in stadium atmosphere can damage the value of that product. Link to ticket pricing, seating location and safe standing is almost inevitable. Long-term gains vs short-term profits, eternal dilemma."

Meanwhile, Spurs have apologised for a marketing survey sent to supporters in the United States in which one of the questions asked if a women's place should be in the home.

"The survey questions were compiled by a third party on behalf of the club," a club spokesperson said. "The inclusion of this question in a club survey was wholly unacceptable and a regrettable oversight. It has been immediately removed from the survey for any other fans now looking to fill this out. We sincerely apologise to anyone offended by its initial inclusion."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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