Chelsea Football Club has announced a change to ticket restrictions for younger fans.
The club announced that from the 23/24 season, all ticket holders must be over 16 years old to gain entry into the stadium [previous age U14] and that those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Chelsea FC communicated that these changes have been made following careful consideration for the safety and wellbeing of all supporters and have been introduced with “the aim to create a secure environment while still providing an opportunity for families to enjoy matches together.”
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust received a significant number of enquiries and messages from members following this announcement. The overarching message is one of frustration over this decision. Many have questioned the motivation behind the decision and the apparent lack of a coherent rationale.
Dissatisfied with the club’s initial messaging, the CST asked for further clarification.
Chelsea FC Response:
- Historically the club required U16s to be accompanied by an adult to matchdays, although in recent seasons, this was lowered to U14.
- The club made the decision to raise the age to U16 following conversations with the matchday safety, ticketing, and safeguarding teams, alongside the Premier League and clubs within the league.
- In recent seasons, the club has seen an increase in the numbers of unaccompanied children attending matches (in both the home and away end).
- Attending matchdays without a parent/guardian and/or carer creates both safeguarding and safety/security risks and concerns.
- To help ensure matchdays are a safe environment for all, the decision was made to raise the age, bringing it in line with many other Premier League clubs.
A Chelsea Supporters’ Trust spokesperson said:
“The CST is frustrated that another hurdle has been placed in front of the next generation of supporters wanting to support their team, but we accept that this change brings our policy in line with many other PL clubs.
“We are pleased that the club has provided some further clarity on this issue.
“The Trust has suggested to club officials that much of the frustration and anxiety experienced by supporters could have been avoided had CFC communicated the reasons behind this change in the initial announcement.”
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has asked Chelsea FC to keep this policy under review.
CST members with any feedback are encouraged to contact the Trust: [email protected]