Statement re Ticket Pricing – 10 March 2016

Chelsea Supporters Trust – 10 March 2016
Ticket Pricing – Statement of the Chelsea Supporters Trust

The Chelsea Supporters Trust board welcomes Chelsea FC’s recent announcement with regard to ticket prices for the 21016/17 season – frozen home ticket prices for the ninth time in eleven years, a Premier League-wide cap of £30 on away tickets and a continuation of Chelsea’s subsidy of away travel.

The belated recognition by the Premier League (PL) of the importance of away supporters is particularly welcome, especially as the price cap means an end to the pernicious practise of categorisation, whereby supporters of Chelsea and other ‘top’ PL clubs currently pay far more for away tickets than supporters of other clubs. Praise is due to all the Supporters Trusts, the Football Supporters Federation and the other organisations who have campaigned nationally on this issue for some years.

Of course, what the cap means is that home supporters will pay more than away supporters for similar seats, and campaigning on ticket pricing will continue. While we acknowledge and recognise that ticket prices in the past decade have stabilised at Chelsea, this is against a backdrop, pre-Abramovich, of many years of prices increases far above inflation, pricing out thousands of loyal supporters and limiting opportunities to build up young match-going support.

The extra television money coming into PL clubs with the impending television deal means the clubs have the financial reserves to reduce all ticket prices, particularly for groups such as young supporters, who are the future lifeblood of the game. Everton’s price reductions for next season prove this. Although Chelsea’s 2016/17 prices have been finalised, we believe the real opportunity for a change in the club’s home ticket pricing strategy presents itself in 2017/18 and beyond.

It is currently planned that Chelsea move to a temporary home from the 2017/18 season. We believe that this temporary move presents both challenges and opportunities to the club. Whichever stadium becomes Chelsea’s temporary home, the potentially larger capacity, allied (for many supporters) to less convenient travel and extra travel cost means a price-sensitive approach to both season-tickets and match tickets is likely to be needed to fill the stadium. It also means that there is the opportunity to offer a significant number of attractively-priced tickets for young supporters, which would have the added benefit of enhancing atmosphere in Chelsea’s temporary home. We have pointed out these and other, related issues in communications with the club, and will be looking to reiterate and build on this dialogue in the coming months.

The redeveloped Stamford Bridge, of course, presents another set of significant challenges and opportunities when it comes to ticket pricing and, at the appropriate time, we will be looking to hold positive dialogue with the club on this issue.

Regards
Tim Rolls, Chair
On behalf of the Chelsea Supporters Trust board

Chelsea Supporters Trust
Making your voice heard

Email: enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com
Twitter: @ChelseaSTrust
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Website: www.chelseasupporterstrust.com

A pdf version of the statement can be downloaded here:

Chelsea Supporters Trust Statement on Ticket Pricing 10 March 2016