Category Archives: News

Statement on FA Cup Late Kick Off Time

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust is extremely disappointed to hear that the 4th Round FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday or Luton Town has been scheduled for 18.00 on Sunday 27th January, due to the match being televised live by the BBC.

While the FA Cup may be losing its appeal among some clubs and supporters, this is definitely not the case at Chelsea where FA Cup matches sell out match after match, year after year.

However, we wonder how long this exceptional support will continue when the FA, in thrall to the Broadcasters, has sold the soul of football’s most prestigious tournament and in doing so shows nothing but contempt for supporters with inconvenient kick off times and the inherent transport difficulties and costs that ensue.

A 6.00 pm kick-off on a Sunday evening will be particularly hard on Sheffield Wednesday supporters, should they beat Luton Town in the replay, with travel back up to Yorkshire late on a Sunday night especially difficult. But it’s not just the away supporters who will find it difficult, whether from Sheffield or Luton.

Many Chelsea supporters also travel long distances to watch Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge. For reasonably priced FA Cup ties, many supporters take their young children, possibly for their first match.  With a kick off time of 6.00 pm those plans may now change and many kids will now be disappointed. At a time when the clubs and the game should be doing everything they can to encourage the next generation to attend football matches, it seems obtuse to deny access through a late kick off time to the very same people.

Presumably they’ll be able to watch it on TV, which is where the game seems to be heading; a game no longer for supporters watching in stadiums, but for those in the comfort of their armchair.

Supporters have already expressed frustration and anger at the lack of traditional 3.00 pm kick off times and the number of early, late or Friday night kick offs, due to broadcast demands in this season’s FA Cup. This follows on from the extortionate ticket prices charged by the FA for the Semi-Finals and FA Cup Final last season, a point we made vociferously at the time.

If the FA Cup wishes to retain its pre-eminence as the most loved tournament in football, then the FA would do well to heed the concerns of the very people who make it what it is and ultimately who it serves: The Supporters.

 

 

 

 

 

Experiencing Anti-Semitism at Stamford Bridge

The issue of anti-Semitic chanting at Chelsea matches has received widespread coverage in the media recently. The Club and the Trust have both publicly condemned such chanting. While it is true that the majority of Chelsea supporters do not behave in a racist and anti-Semitic manner, a minority continue to chant words that are offensive to Jewish Chelsea supporters and indeed our owner, Roman Abramovich.

What is often overlooked is the impact this has on those who hear it in and around the stadium on a match day. We were contacted by a mother and son who experienced this at first hand and gave us permission to share their experience of anti-Semitism at Stamford Bridge. The following account exemplifies what it means to our own Jewish supporters who hear anti-Semitic chanting during matches.

Mother and son Karen and Jack are lifelong Chelsea supporters. On Saturday 22 December, they attended the Chelsea v Leicester match at Stamford Bridge. (Names have been changed).

Karen: My Dad was born in Worlds End, Chelsea. He lived in Parsons Green, and had a season ticket. His father was a supporter when they created the club in 1905. So my family have been supporting Chelsea since the very beginning.

I’ve been going since the late 70s. So when my kids were born there was no question about who they would support. We are all members – that’s how we buy tickets. Alternatively we sometimes use friends’ season tickets when they can’t go.

For the game against Leicester, we sat in the Matthew Harding Lower – on the East Stand side. It was a friend’s season tickets. The majority of the people who sit around those seats are really friendly.

Chelsea is a big part of my family’s life. We’re British, and we’re also Jewish. But we are very much a Chelsea family and ethnicity should not be relevant to our love and support of our beloved Chelsea.

 Jack: I’m at university in the Midlands, and I try and get tickets for games nearby. I went to the Wolves game recently – I was in the home end! So I had to remain quiet the whole game.

I went to West Brom when we won the league. Even though it was impossible to get tickets we went to a Chelsea pub close to the ground to soak up the atmosphere. It was a great night.

But there were people in that pub – Chelsea fans – singing about Spurs fans, and how they don’t have foreskins. People from my age into their 50s. That’s out of order. There is ignorance there, but why would you make a statement like that?

Karen: Against Leicester there was somebody behind me and Jack, and he was chanting a lot. He was really loud: one of those people that want to try and get everyone singing.

He started chanting ‘we hate Tottenham’.

And then he suddenly shouted ‘We hate Y-ds’. It was a white guy in his 40s. His mate told him: “Be careful” and he stopped.

Jack: It happened about five or six times. He was screaming it – him on his own. I was close to turning around, but I just felt that I didn’t really want that confrontation. My whole mood changed after that. You’re at a game of football, and you don’t expect to hear any of this. I was so disappointed. I just thought: ‘Why on earth is that relevant to a game of football?’

Karen: I thought: ‘These are not my seats. I’m sat next to someone who I don’t really know, and I wasn’t sure how they might react if I made an issue of it. Later, when I mentioned it, they said: ‘I would have reported him’.

I just felt really uncomfortable. Disturbed, I would say. I was so disappointed. I just thought: ‘Why on earth is that relevant to a game of football?’

I know this happens, but it was so close by. It felt like an assault.

I don’t like what Tottenham call themselves. I find it uncomfortable, and it certainly isn’t helpful. It is meant to be an offensive term. But whatever Tottenham call themselves, it doesn’t ever excuse people shouting about hatred for Jews.

I was left feeling: ‘What have I done to him? Why would that man, or anyone, not like us – simply because we are Jewish?’ They don’t know me or Jack.

Jack: It has definitely got worse in recent seasons. I think social media has a bit of a role to play in it. It is a bit stupid and short-sighted though, especially as our owner, Roman Abramovich, is Jewish. It is ridiculous that it is that aspect, with Tottenham or whoever, that someone would pick on.

Karen: Should anyone not understand: the word is a derogatory word about Jewish people. Whoever you might be directing it at: if Jewish people are present, then it us who are hurt by it.

But what I don’t understand is this… If you know that ‘Y-d’ is a bad word, but you don’t know what it means, then how could you possibly think it acceptable to shout it out in public?

There has been so much in the media about this, and about stopping it, and people are surely well aware that it’s not acceptable. There is maybe some testing of the boundaries going on here.

Jack: There are a million things you can sing about football. You don’t have to bring in race, religion, whatever. It’s not relevant to sport at all. It is really upsetting for anyone – for any race or religion – to receive targeted abuse. Even if it is not calculated to directly hate those people.

Karen: As I said, I’m British, and I’m Jewish. But I’m proud to be British, even though there are times when it just makes me ashamed of some people who are the same nationality. Like a lot of Jews, I do have a family link with the Holocaust – relatives who escaped and some who were exterminated.

If you said back then, in the 1930s, that things would end up as they did – then a lot of people would have been insistent that it couldn’t happen. It did happen.

Little things have the potential to become terrible things. Shouting abuse about any race or religion is dangerous.

Jack: I think the club’s Campaign against Anti-Semitism is brilliant. I think they should try to educate and reform people. Teaching people about why this is a problem, for us as Jews, is important. I think there needs to be a wide understanding of that.

 

 

FOODBANK COLLECTION AT FOREST GAME

 
 
 
 

Items that they urgently need are :
• Juice (long life)
• Long life sponge puddings
• Long life milk
• Tinned vegetables
• Tinned meat
• Rice pudding
• Coffee
• Toilet roll (and other toiletries

Please note they already have plenty of beans, tea and pasta

Thank you for your generous support.
For further information about Hammersmith and Fulham Food bank, visit their website or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

H&F Food Bank – Thank you !

A huge thank you to all who donated to the Chelsea Supporters Trust collection for the Hammersmith and Fulham Food Bank before the Leicester game on Saturday.  Your generous donations meant we were able to fill up 3 trolleys of much needed food and toiletries. This be will much appreciated by those in need this Christmas. Aside from all the items there were some very generous cash donations too.

Well done to Trust board member, Cliff Auger, who is the driving force behind this great initiative.

Thank you also to Sainsbury’s in Fulham Broadway shopping centre for letting us borrow their trollies, and Chelsea FC for enabling us to store the collect food inside the ground.

Please look out for our next collection which will be before the FA cup game against Forest on Jan 5th

For further information about Hammersmith and Fulham Food bank, visit their website or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Chelsea FC Statement by Bruce Buck

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust welcomes the clear and unambiguous open letter published by Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea FC, today.

The Trust wholeheartedly supports the club’s stance and confirms its commitment to working with Chelsea FC to promote inclusion and eradicate all forms of discrimination.

The full statement by Bruce Buck can be read here

Foodbank Collection at Leicester game

Chelsea Supporters Trust are really pleased to announce that our very successful collections for the Hammersmith and Fulham Food Bank will recommence before this Saturday’s home game against Leicester.

If you are coming to the game on Saturday, the collection point for donations will once again be at the CFCUK stall which is opposite the Fulham Broadway Centre and next to the old Fulham Town Hall, please bring any donations there by 2.00pm.

Our thanks go to Chelsea FC who are kindly providing us with a storage facility for the donated items.

We hope you can give generously from the list of items below or if you can spare any amount of money that is also welcome.
Items that they urgently need are :
• Juice (long life)
• Long life sponge puddings
• Long life milk
• Tinned vegetables
• Tinned meat
• Rice pudding
• Coffee
• Toilet roll (and other toiletries

Please note they already have plenty of beans, tea and pasta

Thank you for your generous support.
For further information about Hammersmith and Fulham Food bank, visit their website or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Chelsea v Man City – Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Statement

Chelsea Supporters Trust logoThe Chelsea Supporters’ Trust notes that the Club and the Metropolitan Police are investigating a specific incident that occurred during Saturday’s match against Manchester City.

The Trust condemns all racist abuse whether it is aimed at players or supporters. There is no place for it in the game.

Clearly due process needs to be followed and we will comment further after the conclusion of the investigation in to the incident.

Newsletter – Autumn 2018

Welcome to the ‘Autumn 2018’ newsletter. We hope you are enjoying the season so far. It certainly looks like Maurizio has hit the ground running, and long may it continue. This edition highlights some of the good work that has been carried out by the Trust, particularly the important meetings with the club and the Premier League. Of course, we also reflect on the great response to our annual survey.

You can download the newsletter and read it here:

CST Newsletter Autumn 2018

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust meets with the Premier League

Supporter representatives from every top-flight club, including the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust recently met with Premier League executives to discuss a range of issues impacting match-going fans.

The meeting took place under the auspices of the Football Supporters Federation on 11th October and was attended by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and other league officials.

Fan representatives from every Premier League club attended the meeting, drawn from the FSF’s network of democratically structured trusts and supporter groups, as well as some fanzines and activists. Supporters Direct also attended.

This was the fifth meeting between fan organisations and the Premier League which followed Government recommendations on fan engagement. The first took place in July 2016.

Future meetings will take place on a bi-annual basis with the next one due to take place in Spring 2019.

CST Annual Survey 2018 – Results

The results of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Annual Survey are now available and can be downloaded here.

We’d like to thank all of you who participated in the survey held between Mid-April until the end of May this year. It is arguably one of the most important activities the Trust is involved with on your behalf. It is an important barometer of our concerns, issues and views on the Club and in addition the results feed in to the motions you vote on at the AGM which in turn become CST policy for the year ahead.

We will be meeting with the Club in November to discuss the survey results in detail and any concerns and issues arising.

The key points and highlights are as follows:

  • There was a great response this year with nearly 3,000 responses received.
  • It was very encouraging to see a growth in the number of 16-25 year-olds participating in the survey. These are the supporters that represent the future of the Club’s support and it’s great to see them getting involved
  • The survey came out before the Club’s announcement regarding the postponement of Stadium redevelopment. However the views expressed regarding the temporary stadium mirror last year’s: roughly speaking Twickenham 50%, Wembley 40% and Stratford 10%.
  • One of the strongest messages coming through in the Survey was the support for the introduction of Safe Standing. We asked in the context of a new build stadium but it was referred to regularly throughout the survey, particularly in response to any questions regarding atmosphere. It is our belief that the Club should now push forward with the introduction of rail seating i.e. Safe Standing at Stamford Bridge in its current configuration as soon as possible.
  • It will come as little surprise that the supporters still find prices too high and many are put off attending or attending as often as they would like as a consequence.
  • A recurrent theme was the need to provide for the fans of the future with more availability and options for younger supporters. This was not just for junior supporters but also for young adults; we are probably all aware of the crippling costs associated with living or working in London and the transition from buying ‘child’ tickets to paying full adult price is brutal.
  • This would also assist in the issue of improving atmosphere; the combination of safe standing and increased young adult attendance can only lead to a better atmosphere in the ground.
  • Kick off times remain a point of contention, with Mondays and (sadly for this year) Thursdays seen as particularly unpopular.
  • It is also clear that most supporters feel that more notice should be given before moving games; more than 50% supported a minimum of 6-8 weeks’ notice. While the TV companies tend to meet their target of 6-8 weeks early in the season, as the season goes on they often revert to short notice causing chaos for travel and planning for both UK and Overseas supporters.  
  • Supporters were in favour of a winter break by roughly 2 to 1, preferring a single weekend break for all clubs over a staggered one (which was subsequently announced)
  • As is usually the case after a less successful season, significant dissatisfaction with some aspects of the running of the Club was evident. Particular areas of concern were a lack of footballing knowledge on the Board and poor recruitment/operation in the transfer window.
  • The Supporter Liaison Office role at Chelsea continues to be performed by a full time employee of the Club, whereas three quarters of supporters feel that this vital role in representing supporters interests to the Club and liaising with the Club should be done by an independent supporter.

Once again thanks for your support.

David Chidgey

Chairman, Chelsea Supporters Trust