On the pitch (continued)
At youth level, three more academy players, David Button, Jake Livermore and Danny Rose made their debuts during the season, building on the four from the previous season. These First Team appearances are invaluable experiences at such young ages. Behind the scenes the endless development hours for the younger players come in the form of training and friendly game experience with the First Team, plus acquiring playing experience in the Football League. This is a result of the Club’s strategy to withdraw from the Reserve League and allow players to accumulate senior appearances in the Football League. Last season 17 players under 21 years of age played an average of 22 games each, whilst still training regularly back at the Lodge and playing in midweek development games for Tottenham Hotspur. We feel this combination of technical development at home with added coal-face experience in the League is the best way of bridging the gap from youth football to the Premier League. The feedback we receive about the level of professionalism and conduct of our young players on loan is particularly pleasing and they are a credit to our Club. Additionally, 16 players competed in international football for their respective Under-16 to Under-21 sides, 13 of whom played for England. We attended 28 tournaments as part of the continuing strategy of preparing young players to compete against the different football styles and cultures which make up the Premier League.
Our Club channels continue to grow and our official website, despite the ever-increasing number of generic sports websites, broke the one million unique users (visiting monthly) and peaked at 1.5m. Spurs TV continues to attract the highest levels of subscriptions of any comparable Premier League club channel and content regularly drives additional media coverage in the wider football arena. The Club’s Facebook page and Twitter account were planned within this period and launched in the summer. The challenge for the Club on the new media front is to adopt and innovate those streams and channels which not only deliver accessibility and information to our supporters, but which keep up with growing demand and requirement for content.
We had a busy year with our three well established partnerships, namely Supersport United FC (South Africa), South China (Hong Kong) and San Jose Earthquakes (USA), and were delighted to agree a new partnership with FC Internacionale (Brazil). All these partnerships have been developed to provide relationships that can facilitate the development of players and the exchange of coaching and academy methodologies. As a result we have seen players visit us from all four clubs and we have made several visits to our partners. We have also jointly participated in international tournaments with our partners. The very visible, immediate gains of these partnerships have been the signings of Sandro from FC Internacionale and a pre-contract agreement with Khumalo Bongani to join us from Supersport in January 2011. At Academy level we continue to monitor players at all age groups and are excited about the future potential.
This year saw the continuation of several commercial agreements and time was spent preparing for their renewal at the end of their terms. One contract which ended at the end of this period was our shirt sponsorship agreement with MANSION. We should like to thank them for their support and involvement with the Club over the past four years. We were delighted to announce two new shirt sponsors in a ground-breaking innovative split of the shirt sponsorship inventory. Autonomy, the world’s largest pure software company, became our sponsor for all Premier League matches and Investec, the specialist banking and asset manager, became our sponsor for all cup competitions. Both companies are blue-chip international organisations, listed on the London Stock Exchange. We look forward to working with them both at this key stage in the Club�