Category Archives: News

BOARD ELECTION AND MOTIONS VOTE RESULTS

The results of the recent Chelsea Supporters Trust Board election and the voting on each CST Motion, as proposed in the AGM of 17th August 2019 have now been released. Here are the results

Motion 1: Board Elections

The election to the Board of the Chelsea Supporters Trust is uncontested as there are 7 candidates standing for up to 9 positions. An affirmative ballot will therefore take place

As a result of the ballot, all 7 candidates have been duly elected, having all received over 50% in the affirmative vote.

Therefore the board members will be :

David JOHNSTONE, Nick STROUDLEY, Cliff AUGER, David CHIDGEY, Paul HAY, Dan SILVER, Dominic ROSSO

We are pleased to welcome Nick Stroudley and Dominic Rosso as new board members.

The positions of Chair and Secretary will be confirmed at the first meeting of the new board.

Motion 2. Approval of 2018/19 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner

The Chelsea Supporters Trust accounts for the year ended 31/5/19 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.

ANSWER RESPONSES
YES 100.00%
NO 0.00%

Motion 3. Chelsea Supporters Trust Affiliations

The Chelsea Supporters Trust should continue to affiliate to the Football Supporters Association, work with this organisation as appropriate to further the interests of Chelsea supporters, and football supporters in general and take part in national and local campaigns as deemed appropriate.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 100.00%
NO 0.00%

Motion 4. The Future of Stamford Bridge

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board notes that the Stamford Bridge redevelopment project has been put on hold indefinitely. The CST board is mandated to continue to work with the club and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a commitment that supporters are at the centre of any further discussions about the future of the ground and that supporter opinion is properly and openly taken into account, with particular emphasis on the continued enjoyment of the match day experience, facilities and ticket pricing going forward.

 

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 99.49%
NO 0.51%

Motion 5. The Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust 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. With recent developments relating to the postponement of the development of a new ground on the site of Stamford Bridge, the ‘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.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 100.00%
NO 0.00%

Motion 6. Safe Standing

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board congratulates the work of the Football Supporters Association in the developments around the introduction of safe standing this year. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to continue to support and contribute to the united effort of fans groups to see the introduction of safe standing in the top three tiers of English football. With particular emphasis on Chelsea the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to press the Club to take a leading role in the support of safe standing and to introduce safe standing sections at Stamford Bridge as soon as is practicable, in line with national developments on the introduction of pilots for safe standing.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 94.92%
NO 5.08%

Motion 7. Atmosphere Concerns

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is 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.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 98.46%
NO 1.54%

Motion 8. Ticket Pricing and Availability

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust 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.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 98.98%
NO 1.02%

Motion 9. 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 Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to work with the Football Supporters Association, other supporter’s 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.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 99.49%
NO 0.51%

Motion 10. 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 Chelsea Supporters Trust 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, Chelsea FC are holding 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 push for this as a matter of urgency.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 98.46%
NO 1.54%

Motion 11. Ticket Touting

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to use its involvement with the relevant authorities with a view to reducing the activities of ticket touts in the Fulham Broadway area before Chelsea home games and to participate in campaigns designed to achieve this. It is also mandated to work with organisations represented on the SAG to assist in educating potentially vulnerable groups in the perils of purchasing tickets in this way, or through using unofficial on-line ticketing organisations.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 97.94%
NO 2.06%

Motion 12. Stakeholder Engagement

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board has made some 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 working in conjunction with other supporters trusts or other appropriate organisations.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 98.97%
NO 1.03%

Motion 13. Football in the Community

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust 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.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 98.97%
NO 1.03%

Motion 14. Club Heritage

Building on the Brompton Cemetery Chelsea Graves project, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to work with the club, club historian Rick Glanvill and other appropriate bodies/individuals to identify appropriate projects to reflect and enhance the club’s heritage.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 99.48%
NO 0.52%

Motion 15. Supporters Club Ticket Allocations

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board has a mandate to represent supporters clubs in the UK and abroad with regard to the perceived unfairness of the ticket allocation by the club to different categories of supporter’s clubs. They are mandated to work with affiliates, and other supporter’s clubs to pursue a fair allocation of tickets for both UK and Overseas Supporters Clubs.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 96.92%
NO 3.08%

Motion 16. 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 Chelsea Supporters’ Trust 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. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to continue dialogue with the club, and other appropriate bodies, to encourage Chelsea FC to look at making the SLO position independent in line with other Premier League clubs.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 98.46%
NO 1.54%

Motion 17. Supporter Safety & Access to European matches

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to engage in dialogue with the club to ensure that the safety of our supporters traveling abroad is adequately considered and of an appropriate level. By doing so we hope to allow shared experiences from other supporters’ trusts, the Football Supporters Association and Football Supporters Europe from their trips to similar locations so that lessons can be learnt on issues such as travel arrangements, ticket collection, policing, stewarding, security, as well as access and egress of stadium.

In addition and in light of the experiences of Chelsea supporters in the Europa League Cup final in Baku, we are mandated to lobby the Club and UEFA working with other supporters’ trusts, the Football Supporters Association and Football Supporters Europe to ensure that travel costs and logistics; ticket allocations and distribution and the location of European finals do not place unreasonable difficulties and burdens on supporters wishing to travel to support the team.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 99.48%
NO 0.52%

Motion 18. Fair Treatment of Supporters

In the interests of fairness and natural justice, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust believe there needs to be consistency and transparency around the Club’s banning procedures. We 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. We 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.

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
YES 98.44%
NO 1.56%

As you can see every Motion proposed by the Board has been backed positively with each motion being passed by over 90 % of the votes cast

This gives the new Board a very strong mandate from the membership going forward on the supporter issues that affect them most.

To all of our members who took part in the AGM, the election of the Board and for voting on the Motions, many thanks. This democratic process is exactly what sets the Chelsea Supporters Trust apart in that we are answerable to the membership and we work on the issues mandated by the membership.

 

The Big Stamford Bridge Sleep Out

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust with the full co-operation of Chelsea Football Club are delighted to announce that we will be holding a charity sleep out at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, November 16th.

The event will raise funds for two homeless charities; our neighbours at the Oswald Stoll Foundation and the Glass Door Homeless Charity, based on the Kings Road in Chelsea.

Chelsea fans will have the opportunity to sleep out for the night in one of the stands at Stamford Bridge to help these charities tackle homelessness in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Participants must be Chelsea season ticket holders or members, be aged 18+ and will need to pledge to raise at least £100 in sponsorship.

There is space for up to 200 people to sleep overnight, so please get involved.

To book your place please click this link :

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-big-stamford-bridge-sleep-out-tickets-70122928567

On the evening of Saturday November 16th, those that are registered should turn up with a sleeping bag and pillow, stay overnight and go home in the morning. That’s all there is to it!

We are working on how we can use a mechanism such as Justgiving to help people raise the money by setting up their own individual sponsorship page . That way it goes straight to the charity and you do not have to collect it. We are still sorting out a few admin bits and pieces but will then get in touch with all the attendees and explain what can be done.

If you have any questions, please email enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com

Foodbank collection at Sheffield United game

Chelsea Supporters Trust are pleased to announce that our next collection for the Hammersmith and Fulham Food Bank will be on Saturday 31st August before the Sheffield United game.

The collection point will once again be adjacent to the cfcuk stall which is situated opposite the Fulham Broadway Centre, next to the old Fulham Town Hall and on the corner of Fulham Road and Cedarne Road.

The stall will be manned from approximately midday and donations can be left until roughly an hour before kick off (2pm). We are extremely grateful to Chelsea FC once again for allowing us to store the donations at Stamford Bridge before being collected by the food bank staff.
Cash donations are always gratefully received too!

The following items are urgently needed,

  • Long life/UHT milk and juice
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Small bags of rice
  • Tinned rice pudding
  • Other puddings e.g sponge, angel delight, etc.
  • Small jars of instant coffee
  • Washing tablets, small boxes of powder

At the moment they have plenty of

  • Feminine hygiene- pads and tampons
  • Baked beans
  • Pasta
  • Tea

Further collections will be made at the Liverpool, Brighton and Newcastle home games.

Time for UEFA to take action on managing the Champions League and Europa League finals

The fan experience at UEFA finals must be improved, say fan groups of last year’s four finalists.

Ahead of tomorrow’s draw in Monaco for the Champions League and Europa League 2019/20 tournaments, supporters of last season’s four finalists are calling for changes in how UEFA manage the finals. ​

A joint statement by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Spirit of Shankly and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust reads:

Reaching a UEFA Champions League or Europa League final should be a wonderful experience for a club’s supporters. Instead, they can face a struggle just to attend the match. ​Problems range from inadequate numbers of tickets being awarded to the finalists through to all-but-impossible travel arrangements. Too often fans who had supported their clubs in every round up to the final were left out of pocket or not able to attend the final at all. 

We have drawn up a six-point action plan to improve the supporter experience. It has been referred to the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) and Football Supporters Europe (FSE). We now call on UEFA to engage in meaningful dialogue with supporters and address these points.

1. Allocation: 80% of tickets should be made available to the two competing finalists. with the remaining 20% for sponsors, the football family, key stakeholders and small general sale.
 
2. Capacity: only stadiums with large capacities should be selected to ensure maximum ticket availability. We suggest 60,000 or greater for the Europa League final; 75,000 for the Champions League final.
 
3. Affordability: ticket pricing for the final to be fair and affordable. There should be a stretch pricing policy allowing choice for fans. 
 
4. Accessibility: the final venue must have the highest standards for accessibility for people with disabilities, including travel access to the stadium; sufficient food, drink and washroom facilities; and have not been subject to a UEFA charge for the treatment of fans for at least 24 months prior to the final.
 
5. Infrastructure: the location of the final venue to be a city with excellent transport links, including the capacity to deal with additional charter flights, and ideally good rail links to nearby cities and airports; bed-space capacity to deal with the large number of visitors.
 
6. Equality: the host country must abide by a human-rights and equality policy that ensures no discrimination or denial of right of entry is applied to any player or supporter travelling to the final.

Tomorrow’s much hyped draw will involve everybody from the football family except the very people without whom there would be no European Football – its supporters. We call upon UEFA to strengthen its dialogue with fans and request that they start by engaging with groups like ourselves to discuss the proposals we have put forward to improve arrangements for fans at the final stage of the Champions and Europa Leagues.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust
Spirit of Shankly, Liverpool Supporters’ Trust 

Foodbank collection at Leicester City game

Chelsea Supporters Trust are pleased to announce that our collections for the Hammersmith and Fulham Food Bank will re commence on Sunday 18th August before the Leicester game.

The collection point will once again be adjacent to the cfcuk stall which is situated opposite the Fulham Broadway Centre, next to the old Fulham Town Hall and on the corner of Fulham Road and Cedarne Road.

The stall will be manned from approximately midday and donations can be left until roughly an hour before kick off (3.30pm). We are extremely grateful to Chelsea FC once again for allowing us to store the donations at Stamford Bridge before being collected by the food bank staff.
Cash donations are always gratefully received too!

The following items are urgently needed,

  • Long life/UHT milk and juice
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Small bags of rice
  • Tinned rice pudding
  • Other puddings e.g sponge, angel delight, etc.
  • Small jars of instant coffee
  • Washing tablets, small boxes of powder

At the moment they have plenty of

  • Feminine hygiene- pads and tampons
  • Baked beans
  • Pasta
  • Tea

Further collections will be made at the Sheffield United, Liverpool, Brighton and Newcastle home games.

CST VAR Education Visit

Representatives from the Chelsea Supporters Trust attended education sessions regarding VAR at the Stockley Park HQ last week.

Video Assisted Referee (VAR) was voted in unanimously by Premier League clubs to be introduced for the 2019/20 season and until they vote against it, it is here to stay.

VAR philosophy is “minimum interference, maximum benefit,” which, of course remains to be seen!

The system has been tested extensively over nearly three years and the Premier League now believes they are ready to go live. The system has been shown and explained to football club staff, players, journalists, media pundits, commentators and supporters representatives.

The words “open” and “transparent” were used a lot during the session.

Who is the referee? What happens when there are lots of games going on at once?

Every match has its own dedicated team featuring a VAR , an Assistant VAR and a Technical Expert. Therefore if 10 games are played simultaneously such as happens on the last day of the season, there will be 10 VAR teams each monitoring their game.

The assistant keeps watching the game in play while the VAR is reviewing a decision. The VAR is a fully qualified Premier League referee; next season when the match day referees are announced for the coming round of PL games, they will announce the VAR for each game at the same time.

If the system breaks down (for example there is a communications failure somewhere breaking the link between the VAR Control Centre and the ground), there should be an announcement inside the ground letting everyone know that VAR is not in operation, and another when it is back on again. This is apparently the protocol for the goal line technology we already have in place.

What does use of VAR cover?

The VAR system covers ‘clear and obvious errors’ and ‘serious missed incidents’ in relation to goals, penalties, (straight) red-cards and cases of mistaken identity. The Premier League are pushing the message “minimal interference maximum benefit”

‘Clear and obvious errors’ is probably the most misunderstood or misinterpreted part of this; one of the most contentious uses of VAR is for marginal offsides, how can being an inch on or offside be considered a clear and obvious error? It was made very plain in the presentation that, because they can measure to a high level of accuracy, it is considered a matter of fact and will always be checked – like the goal line technology we have got used to in recent years. You may not agree but that is the way it is treated by the authorities.

When it comes to determining whether a player should receive a red card for a dangerous tackle however, the ‘clear and obvious error’ test does apply. During the briefing we looked at a tackle from a game last season when a late tackle from a defender was given a yellow card, the referee judging it to be reckless but not dangerous; whilst we almost all felt that it was a dangerous tackle worthy of a red, it was also agreed that this was not sufficiently clear cut to overrule the referee’s decision. However another example was shown where it was right to intervene and a red card was issued after VAR intervention – a blatant sending off.
VAR can also be used if it there is a potential case of mistaken identity when a player has been given a yellow or red card.

Doesn’t slow motion make everything look deliberate?

When reviewing incidents of handball or foul play, the review is first conducted in real time to get the sense of the incident, before viewing in slow motion. Handball guidelines will continue to operate to PL standards.

Are all penalty saves going to be retaken?

No, they are not going to forensically examine every penalty save to see if the keeper moved an inch off the line, as seemed to be the case in the recent Women’s World Cup but they will still check for obvious offences – if the goalkeeper is a yard off the line they can expect to be punished.

The interpretation for encroachment seems a bit odd. If defenders rush in, it is only retaken if an encroaching defender clears the ball and not if the striker misses; however if a forward encroaches and the penalty is scored directly, the penalty will be retaken even though the encroaching forward had no direct involvement.

What will the fans in the ground know? Can we see the review?

It was made clear that we will not see reviews being conducted. There are a number of reasons for this: The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body in charge of setting the guidelines at a global level, will not allow it nor will they allow referees microphone conversations being broadcast; the game in progress is constantly under review; and even when play has stopped and a review has not yet completed, it is felt that it will slow things down – once again this remains to be seen. TV viewers will not be seeing the review either, although they will have more opportunity to look at the incident as they would today in normal play.

What should happen in the ground is that the scoreboard will display a message with the type of review while play is paused, something like “VAR CHECK RED CARD DECISION”. When the review completes the message will change to “VAR COMPLETE” if the decision stands. However if a decision is overturned by VAR then the screen will announce this and a clip of the incident in question will be shown on the scoreboards in the ground. There are at least a couple of grounds in the Premier League where there is not a screen, in which case the review and result will be announced over the PA system. At the moment no advertising or sponsorship will be allowed on the VAR screen.

When does the VAR review incidents? Can players ask for a review?

This is definitely not well understood. The game is being constantly reviewed by the VAR and his assistant from the first kick to the last. Teams do not get ‘appeals’ to ask for reviews because the VAR team is continuously reviewing the game and all incidents within their scope. The only situation we could come up with when a player could ask for a review is an off the ball incident which no one has spotted in real time.

Players will have to get used to this – and if they run after the ref making huge TV screen gestures telling him or her to review the massive injustice they have just witnessed, they will get booked. However it is fine to ask the ref have you checked such-and-such and make a small TV gesture whilst doing so. In this respect it is the same as the situation today when asking if a player should be carded being OK or waving imaginary red cards at all and sundry being a bookable offence.

Are we going to see the ref running to review incidents four or five times a game?

That is not supposed to happen, although the referee always makes the final decision. There will be situations where the ref will want to make a call after reviewing it on screen, but generally it is expected that the on field ref will trust the VAR and only use the Referee Review Area (RRA) for unseen incidents or when the VAR information is outside the matchday referee’s expectations. It was also felt that referees consulting in the RRA would only add to the time taken for the decision to be made and would only be used as a last resort.

Will we get the time back spent waiting for a VAR review?

Yes and No. The time added on at the end of each half will be the time added by the referee as is the case today plus the time spent waiting for a review advised by the VAR team. All well and good, but if an incident occurs, say a penalty offence is missed by the referee and action continues for another two minutes before the ball goes out of play or goes quiet enough for the ref to stop play, and we then go back to award the penalty, the two minutes of playing time following the foul that has been ruled ‘dead’ is not added back on. A penalty that should have been awarded in the 85th minute finally gets taken in the 88th minute after 30 seconds additional review, only the 30 seconds is added on. The assistant VAR will be keeping a record of the time taken for reviews and will pass on the figures to the match referee at the end of each half.

How is offside judged?

The practical session using VAR was really helpful for this. We had a series of video clips with various situations from last season, with the full range of camera angles to support the process. As in a real game, the technician was there to support us as we acted the role of VAR. It was our job to conduct the reviews, spot incidents, check goals etc whilst the ‘live game’ continued on the big monitor in front of us.

This cleared up one of the big questions, as it had never been entirely clear which frame should be used to freeze play for offside as contact can last several frames. The very first contact with the ball is the key point in time. So checking a decision, you first roll back and forward a frame at a time to establish the kicking point. All the other screens (you have 4 showing different angles when conducting a review) are synchronised. Having established the precise point of contact, you then zoom in on the players in question, find the rearmost point of the defender that can play the ball and the system uses 3D to drop a line down to the pitch and thus across the field. You then repeat that for the forward. If the attacker’s red line is closer to goal than the defender’s blue line, it is offside.

This was fine for a clear decision when a player was obviously offside by say 3 inches, but when trying to judge the top of the forward’s shoulder to work out if a player was offside by less than an inch it felt extremely uncomfortable.

With practice this should be done quickly – the Harry Kane penalty incident in the League Cup last year should not have taken 4 minutes… nor should the linesman have stopped as though about to flag. Linesmen are having to be retrained not to flag immediately if the decision is close; we can only hope they learn quickly when doing it every week.

A goal results from a corner which should have been a goal kick. Will the VAR overrule it?

No. The system is not there to re-referee the whole game, only to look at the phase of play that led to the goal. What defines the relevant phase of play is something that a lot of time has been spent on to trying to reach agreement on… and not all players or coaches appear happy with the result! Particularly when an example used to illustrate the point featured their team conceding a goal 30 seconds or more after a striker should have been flagged for offside…

In a nutshell, the phase of play might be defined in reference to factors such as:

– the point where a team gains possession;
– the last point at which the defence was able to ‘re-set’
– when the defence last had a chance to clear the ball

There was agreement with the principal but it can be foreseen that this leads to a lot of arguments; the decision on when to start the VAR review will no doubt cause a few discussions next season. This is, to steal a phrase form the late Douglas Adams, one of those “rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty” to which we will have to get used to in the coming season.

In conclusion…

Don’t shoot the messenger! We still have reservations about the introduction of the system but feel through the programme of education that is underway, we finally have some clarity on how it will be operated. Having experienced sitting on the hot seat, albeit in a training situation, it gave us a great insight into how hard the VAR job can be; apparently one of the VAR technicians commented that at the end of game they often could not tell you the final score, so intensive is the process. It should also be noted that the technicians are not allowed to work on games involving the team they support!

The joy of seeing a goal go in will be somewhat tempered once we have gone mad for 60 seconds only to see it wiped out – the current system is quick but as we know not always right. If VAR was as quick to make a decision for offside as the current technology for determining whether the ball has crossed the line, it would be very welcome. There was still a feeling that fans in the ground should be able to witness the reviews when play has stopped and a review is in progress.

On the plus side, some of the atrocious tackles that are missed by refs will be picked up and punished immediately. We think this is great as it will benefit the team whose player has just been two-footed, rather than a small advantage to the next few teams that their opposition play as that play may be suspended following the games. Also unlike the current system, whereby the level of media attention can determine whether the FA charge any given player, this should always be dealt with on the spot to an fair standard for all.

Hopefully decision making on key incidents will improve, and although they acknowledge that they will never get to 100%, an improvement on the current Key Match Incident accuracy of 81% must be welcomed. We are about to find out.

CST Statement on Supporter Bans

The news that Chelsea have banned one supporter for life and five others for between one and two years for behavior relating to the abuse of Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge last December, whilst understandable is disappointing.

The Crown Prosecution Service stated in April that there was not enough evidence to prove racist abuse or public order offences. However, the Club have taken an alternative view, without the burden of proof needed to establish whether any criminal offences had occurred.

Abusive behaviour is abhorrent, whether in the febrile atmosphere of a football match or in society as a whole and racism is unequivocally no subject for semantics or ‘whataboutism’. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust will always support the Club in taking action where racist abuse is proven.

However, the crux of this matter is that the Club are entitled to enforce any disciplinary action they deem fit if a supporter breaches their ticketing terms and conditions. Simply put, the club are not a public body and they can enact whatever policies they like in respect of supporters’ behaviour.

While we respect the Club’s right to do this, we do find their procedures troubling.

In the interests of fairness and natural justice, we believe there needs to be consistency and transparency around the Club’s banning procedures. Currently it seems that the Club are acting as ‘Judge and Jury’. When a supporter’s ability to support their team is at stake or worse, their employment and reputation, we believe it would be more equitable to use independent arbitration in the appeals process or an appeals committee independent from the Club.

Football, like society has changed. Clearly some behaviour is simply unacceptable at football in the modern age with violence and racist and abusive behaviour top of the list. Given what is potentially at stake for supporters, we believe the Club should make their policies relating to unacceptable behaviour and breaching conditions of ticket use far more accessible and visible than they currently are.

It would seem sensible for supporters to acquaint themselves with exactly what the club considers to be behaviour that would put you in breach of their conditions and lead to a ban. The Club’s policy document can be downloaded here.

We will continue to support the Club taking action against racist and abusive behaviour from both Chelsea supporters and supporters of all clubs, but we will also challenge the Club when we believe that their procedures and rationale for banning supporters is unfair.

Advance Notice of Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2019-20 and Notification of Board Elections

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Advance Notice of Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2019-20

  1. By order of the Chelsea Supporters Trust (CST) Board, notice is hereby given, that it is the intention of the CST to hold an AGM and an election for the board of the society for the 2019/20 season.
  2. The AGM will take place on Saturday 17th August 2019 starting at 2pm. The venue for the AGM will be the Tambling Suite, level 2 in the West Stand, Stamford Bridge.
  3. The agenda for the meeting, along with motions to be voted upon, will be announced no later than Monday 12th August 2019.
  4. A number of motions will be put forward by the Board. There is also an opportunity for members to propose motions from the floor. A person wishing to propose a floor motion must:
    1. Be a fully paid-up member of the Chelsea Supporters Trust;
    2. Send the motion in writing by email to secretary@chelseasupporterstrust.com by no later than 23:00 BST on Friday 9th August 2019;
    3. Ensure that the motion is seconded by two (2) paid-up members of the CST. The names and email addresses of the proposer and the seconders must be included in the email;
    4. All motions from the floor must be in accordance with the aims and objectives of the CST and must not act to the detriment of the CST.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Notice of Election

  1. The Board Election will coincide with the CST Annual General Meeting which will occur on the same date.
  2. Voting for the election will commence in the form of an online poll following the close of the AGM and will continue for two weeks thereafter.
  3. The election will be overseen by an independent Electoral Management Group (EMG) consisting of the CST Secretary, a member of the CST and an independent representative. For details on election policy, please contact the Trust Secretary by emailing secretary@chelseasupporterstrust.com.
  4. There will be nine (9) positions to be elected onto the Trust Board. Candidates will be elected without portfolio and the Board, once elected, will decide on the positions to be held by each elected Board Member.
  5. A person wishing to stand for election must:
    1. Be a fully paid-up member of the Chelsea Supporters Trust;
    2. Be nominated by one other fully paid-up member of the CST;
    3. Complete a nomination form correctly and accurately, following the guidance outlined on the form;
    4. Submit a candidate statement which will serve as a manifesto and be circulated to all members of the CST eligible to vote;
    5. Return the nomination form and candidate statement no later than 2300 BST on Friday 9th August 2019. Any nomination forms returned after this time will not be admitted.
  6. Decisions over the validity of nominations shall be a matter for the EMG. Any decision by the EMG not to accept a nomination as valid will be notified to the candidate as soon as practicable, whereupon the candidate may, if appropriate, take steps to rectify the situation.
  7. The decision of the EMG is final. Any complaints made to the EMG concerning the result of the election must be made no later than three working days after the close of the poll. Any complaint after this time shall not be admissible.

Completed nomination forms should be returned to the Chair of the EMG via

email : secretary@chelseasupporterstrust.com

or by post to :

Chair of Electoral Management Group,
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust,
C/O 11 St. Catherine’s Road
Winchester
Hampshire SO23 0PP

No signatures are required if emailing, but name and email address of both candidate and nominator must be stated and it must be sent from same email address as the one registered on the candidate’s CST membership record.

By order of the Committee
Signed

Paul Jeffrey
Secretary
secretary@chelseasupporterstrust.com

Related downloads

CST election nomination form 2019-20
Election-Policy-2019

 

European Club Finals #ForTheFans

 

CST Statement on European Super League discussions

Chelsea Supporters Trust, in common with other Premier League Trusts and supporter organisations, have deep concerns about stories of a possible UEFA European Super League which have received media coverage in recent weeks.  

As a result the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust sent a letter (click here to read the letter) to Chelsea FC expressing our opposition to the idea of a European Super League being discussed by the European Club Association. The full statement by the United Football Supporters Organisation can be read here (http://www.fsf.org.uk/blog/view/six-reasons-to-oppose-a-european-super-league), outlining our opposition in detail.

CST board members met with Chelsea executives Bruce Buck and Graham Smith to discuss the matter. They confirmed the club position, and that of the Premier League, which is one of opposition to the idea, as reported in the media.  The club is working with other Premier League clubs to counter the idea, which they see as detrimental to both Premier League and European domestic football in a wider context.  

The parties will continue dialogue on the issue going forward.