The results of the recent Chelsea Supporters Trust Board election and the voting on each CST Motion, as proposed in the AGM of 14th October 2023 have now been released. Here are the results
The election to the board of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust was contested with 13 candidates standing for 9 positions. A full election was required rather than an affirmative vote.
The following have been elected to the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board 2023/24:
- Cliff AUGER
- Gillian BROMFIELD
- David CHIDGEY
- Debs COADY
- Paul HAY
- Mark MEEHAN
- Dominic ROSSO
- Dan SILVER
- Ben WILLIAMS
Mark Meehan & Dom Rosso have been elected by the new board to serve as Chair & Vice-Chair for the 23/24 season.
The following have been co-opted to the CST Board:
- Clayton BEERMAN – Secretary
- Stuart KINNER – Treasurer
N.B – Additional co-opted members are yet to be confirmed and will be announced in due course.
The CST is run on a day-to-day basis by an elected board of supporters. All board members & co-opted members are volunteers and are not paid for their work. To preserve CST’s independence, board members receive nothing for the work they do or the time they give.
Motion 1. Approval of 2022/23 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) accounts for the year ended 31/5/23 are approved. Provided revenue remains below £100,000 p.a., in line with accepted practise the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board should continue to appoint an independent examiner at the end of each financial year, rather than an auditor.
Motion 2. Chelsea Supporters Trust Affiliations
The CST should continue to affiliate to the Football Supporters Association (FSA), working with the FSA, and other FSA members / supporters’ trusts, as appropriate, to further the interests of Chelsea supporters and football supporters in general, taking part in national and local campaigns as deemed appropriate by the board.
Motion 3. Fan Advisory Board
The creation of a “Shadow Board” was a recommendation from the Fan Led Review of Football Governance. The CST communicated to the new owners in 2022 that the creation of a Shadow Board would be necessary.
The CST Board welcomed the creation of the Fan Advisory Board in Summer 2023.
The FAB is a ‘board’ comprising a number of diverse supporter representatives which discuss the business and strategy of the club in more detail than other forms of engagement. Issues covered include:
a. The club’s strategic vision and objectives;
b. Short, medium and long-term business plans;
c. Operational matchday issues of concern to supporters;
d. Any proposals relating to club heritage items;
e. Marketing, merchandising and sponsorship plans and performance;
f. Stadium issues and plans; and
g. The club’s plan for broader supporter engagement.
The CST Board is mandated to work with the members of the Fan Advisory Board to ensure that it operates effectively in line with its objectives.
Motion 4. Implementation of other FLROFG Recommendations, including ‘Golden Share’
The CST Board proposed to the bidding consortia that there should be in place a legally-binding and irrevocable ‘Golden Share’, which would give supporter representatives a right to veto decisions made on items such as; the location of the club’s stadium, badge, kit colours, name, continued support for Chelsea FC Women and any proposal to join a new competition such as a European Super League, and so enable supporters to protect their club’s heritage. The CST board is mandated to work with the new Chelsea board to implement this proposal.
Motion 5. Composition of Chelsea Supporters Trust Board and Co-optees
The CST strives to be a voice for all its members and the CST Board is mandated to take steps to ensure that it is able to do so effectively. The CST Board will review its structure and composition to ensure it effectively represents the diversity of the CST’s membership. This review will include formal consideration of how to ensure the views of Chelsea FC Women supporters and our diverse membership our captured, and consideration of term lengths and limits for Board members. Upon completion of the review, should any change to the CST constitution be recommended, the Board will seek formal agreement from the membership for these changes by means of a formal motion at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).
Motion 6. Stamford Bridge Redevelopment
The CST Board notes the clear, stated intention of the owners to redevelop/rebuild Stamford Bridge, though details and timescales are understandably vague at this stage. The CST Board is mandated to work with the club, CPO and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a commitment is given that supporters are at the centre of discussions regarding the future of the stadium and that supporter opinion is properly, openly and effectively taken into account, particularly with reference to catering and other facilities, future ticket pricing and the match day experience.
Should Stamford Bridge remain open with reduced capacity during redevelopment, the CST Board is mandated to work with club representatives on issues such as ticket allocation. Should the plans involve moving to a temporary stadium, to whichever location and for whatever duration, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust board believes that such a move presents significant opportunities with regard to the implementation an attractive ticket pricing structure, including the opportunity to attract significant numbers of young supporters. Given this, in these circumstances it is mandated to press the club for such a structure to be implemented.
Motion 7. Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners
The CST Board re-affirms its support of and commitment to the aims and importance of the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) in the continuation of Chelsea Football Club at its home, Stamford Bridge. The CST Board actively encourages all members of the ‘Trust’ to buy shares and become a Chelsea Pitch Owner, to safeguard its long-term future. It is mandated to continue to work with the CPO Board, and other appropriate bodies, to ensure that the CPO remains relevant to future generations of supporters and to encourage the increasing accessibility of shares to supporters of all ages and backgrounds to expedite this.
Motion 8. Safe Standing
The CST Board welcome the initiative during the 2021/22 to introduce Safe Standing in two areas of the stadium, and are pleased, in general, with how it has gone. It is mandated to work with the club to identify ways to improve the supporter experience for those occupying these areas, and also to potentially expand Safe standing to other parts of the stadium.
Motion 9. Ticketing and Matchday Issues
The CST Board is mandated to pursue the issue of fair ticket pricing and ticket allocation for home and away, as well as matters including, but not limited to, rearranged fixtures, away fan travel and stewarding/policing, through whichever channels they deem appropriate. These channels include, but are not necessarily limited to, Chelsea FC; the Premier League; the Football Association; relevant television companies; other Supporters Trusts; the Football Supporters Association.
Specifically, the CST Board is mandated to press the club to keep season ticket and individual match ticket price increases to a minimum in the coming years, reflecting the impact the ‘cost of living crisis’ and high inflation is having on supporter pockets.
The CST Board is further mandated to continue to work with the club and other supporters groups looking to improve the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, as appropriate and to encourage the club to continue dialogue with supporters in respect of ‘singing sections’, flag and banner displays and other supporter driven initiatives to encourage atmosphere in the ground.
Motion 10. Fixture Scheduling
Due to the increasing cost and inconvenience to match going supporters caused by the short notice of Premier League games rearranged to suit the television companies, more notice needs to be given for such rearrangements, published announcement deadlines need to be strictly adhered to and the potential for away supporters to use public transport should be a key consideration when compiling fixtures and anomalous fixtures (e.g. midweek trips to the other end of the country) need to be minimised or eradicated. The CST Board is mandated to continue to work with the FSA, other trusts and appropriate bodies, inside and outside football, to vigorously campaign for supporter impact to be a key criterion when Premier League fixture schedules and television picks are drafted.
Motion 11. Membership of Safety Advisory Group
The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is a statutory council-led committee set up under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975. The Chelsea SAG has representation from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Metropolitan Police Service. British Transport Police, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, London Ambulance Service, St John’s Ambulance Service, the Sports Ground Safety Authority and Chelsea FC. It meets twice a year to discuss relevant issues with regard to Chelsea Football Club. After representations to the local council in late 2015, the CST have the opportunity to review the SAG agenda, submit items for discussion and review the meeting minutes.
Further discussions with the Council have resulted in the Trust being invited to attend these meetings going forward as full members, however, the previous Chelsea FC regime held up this process by pursuing their own review on whether or not supporters should be allowed to attend SAG meetings. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board believe there is no valid reason whatsoever why Chelsea FC should object to the CST attending SAG meetings, especially having been invited by the Council. Full membership should be granted immediately, and we are mandated to press the new Chelsea FC board for this to be given. The Chelsea FC SAG Terms of Reference can be downloaded here.
Motion 12. Supporter Liaison Officer
In the UEFA Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) Handbook, the SLO role includes the following responsibilities: being a bridge between the fans and the club; informing supporters of club decisions and communicating the fans’ point of view to the club; and building relations with fan groups and initiatives as well as with police and security. At many Premier League and Football League clubs the role is independent and effective, seen as representing the supporter perspective in dialogue with the club.
The CST Board firmly believes that a fully-independent SLO, with no conflict of interest, representing supporter interests and no other, is essential in properly fulfilling the UEFA remit and optimising effective supporter dialogue. This was not the case at Chelsea under the old regime, where the Chelsea FC Ticketing Manager, in a clear conflict of interest, occupied that role. The CST Board is mandated to press the new Chelsea Board to actively look at making the SLO position independent in line with other Premier League clubs.
Motion 13. Stakeholder Engagement
The CST Board has made progress since its inception in terms of building relationships with relevant stakeholders at a local and national level. The board is mandated to build on this work and to develop relevant effective working relationships with Chelsea FC; Hammersmith and Fulham Council; Local Members of Parliament; Metropolitan Police Service; British Transport Police; Premier League; Football Association; relevant broadcasting organisations; the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and other bodies as deemed appropriate. Where deemed to be more effective (e.g. with the Premier League, FA, broadcasting organisations and DCMS), these relationships are to be built through working in conjunction with other supporters trusts or other appropriate organisations.
Motion 14. European Super League and Similar Competitions
The 2021 European Super League debacle underlines the importance of maintaining existing competitive structures unless there is widespread support endorsement of any change. The Trust Board is mandated to oppose, using all means available to it, any future attempts by the club to exit existing sporting structures without engagement of key stakeholders, with supporters at the forefront.
Motion 15. Football In The Community
The CST Board is mandated to participate in, and support, appropriate activities designed to promote football, Chelsea FC and its supporters in the community local to Chelsea FC. This could, for example, take the form of charitable work or through supporting specific supporter based campaigns as they arise.
Motion 16. Fair Treatment of Supporters
In the interests of fairness and natural justice, the CST Board believe there needs to be consistency and transparency around the Club’s banning procedures. They are mandated to press the Club to make the terms of their ‘Ground Regulations’ and ‘Breaches of Ticketing Terms & Conditions’ clearly visible and accessible to all supporters. They are further mandated to encourage the Club to make their banning process more transparent, equitable and to use independent arbitration in the appeals process with an Appeals Committee independent from the Club.
Motion 17. Club Heritage
Building on the Brompton Cemetery Chelsea Graves project and the online Chelsea Heritage initiative involving other relevant stakeholders with an interest in club history, the CST Board is mandated to work with the club, club historian Rick Glanvill, Chelsea Heritage Partnership, and other appropriate bodies/individuals to identify appropriate projects to reflect and enhance the club’s heritage.