Category Archives: Statements

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.

FA Cup Ticket Price Protest

We are The Shed and the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust are planning a visual protest at The FA Cup Final to show our disgust at the ticket prices. 

When The Chairman of The FA is presented on the pitch, shortly after ‘Abide with Me’, to shake hands with dignitaries and officials, we urge all supporters turn their backs on the pitch until he has left the pitch.

We urge supporters of both teams to take part and spread the word, to help create a powerful visual protest against FA Cup Final ticket prices and show that collectively we can collaborate, make a point and take action.

This year has seen a substantial increase in ticket prices compared with last season’s final, with the largest allocation of tickets (category 2) increasing in price by 35%.

We urge all those attending the game to take part and help get the message across to The FA that, as football supporters, we are against blatant profiteering at the expense of the supporters and treating us contemptuously as cash cows.

We have had enough and it needs to stop.

FA Cup Final Ticket Pricing

Chelsea Supporters will be looking forward to the FA Cup Final on May 19th; a competition in which we have been very privileged to be at the conclusion of many times over the last 20 years.

However, while the team may have fought long and hard to get there, the supporters have had to dip their hands in their pockets repeatedly during an arduous season, arguably an even greater commitment.

Coupled with season ticket renewals in the middle of May to the tune of (on average) £800, the prospect of paying up to £145 for a FA Cup Final ticket is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

While we certainly do not hope that this is Chelsea’s last visit to a FA Cup Final for the foreseeable future, this must be the last time the FA gets away with such extortionate ticket prices.

In April, the FA met with Supporters’ Trusts from all four semi-finalists and agreed a number of concessions for the Final including reductions in prices for concessionary tickets; a commitment to review the pricing of tickets behind the goals and introducing an accessibly priced family area going forward and keeping future ticket prices in line with inflation.

However, we believe that this is too little, too late and does not go far enough.

The FA Cup Final remains a very special occasion for football supporters, as a chance to see their team triumph in the most historic club competition in football. While demand always exceeds supply; no supporter able to go should be priced out of the Final.

The FA’s specious argument that the pricing reflects the fact that it is one of the most prestigious events in the sporting calendar and that every penny of profit is reinvested in to the grass roots of the game is subterfuge for blatantly profiteering from the very people whose interests they should serve: the loyal supporters who support the game week in, week out.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, together with the other Supporters’ Trusts, vows to keep the pressure on the FA by any means possible, until the FA agree to change their pricing policy and make ticket prices affordable to the long suffering and ordinary supporter.

We have been taken advantage of for long enough and it’s time for this to stop.

David Chidgey, Chairman, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust

FA RESPONDS TO FAN REPS CALLS OVER CUP PRICING

Following the meeting last week between senior FA executives and fan representatives from the teams competing in this season’s FA Cup semi-finals regarding ticket pricing for the semi-finals and final, the FA has confirmed a number of changes to its previous approach.

  • Concessionary tickets will now be charged at £25 off the full adult rate for categories A and B for this year’s final. Concessions for categories C and D remain at £10 off the full adult rate.
  • The FA has committed to review the price bandings behind the goals in Level 1 of Wembley stadium, in collaboration with fan representatives, for the 2018-19 semi-finals and final in recognition of the contribution fans in those areas make to the spectacle and atmosphere.
  • There is a commitment to evaluate the feasibility of introducing a more accessibly priced family area for the 2018-19 semi-finals and final.
  • The FA has committed to keep prices in line with inflation until 2021.

The movement on concessions for this year’s final is to be welcomed, as is the commitment to address the wider issues we raised ahead of next year’s competition. We are obviously disappointed that the other decisions taken for this year’s competition will stand, meaning fans face significantly higher costs. And while the pledge to keep future price increases below RPI until 2021 is progress, we still believe tickets are priced too high and that ticket price inflation has been too steep. The FA’s income from sponsorship and broadcasting linked to the FA Cup will increase significantly from 2018-19 and we expect to see some of that invested in loyal fans whose support is vital for the spectacle that those sponsors and broadcasters are investing in.

Football ticket pricing is not an ordinary competitive market. It is a monopoly and the FA, as the game’s regulatory body, should be setting an example by rewarding fans’ loyalty.

What we are encouraged by is the FA’s acknowledgement that this year’s decisions should not have been taken without proper consultation with supporters. And so we welcome the commitment to discuss pricing for subsequent competitions properly with supporter groups.

The test of that commitment will come as discussions play out. The FA now has the chance to set the standard for genuine consultation that enhances the reputation of the FA Cup, a competition fans continue to hold dear.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust

Manchester United Supporters’ Trust

Southampton Fan Groups

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust

FAN REPS MEET WITH FA EXECUTIVES OVER CUP PRICING

On Monday 9 April, fan representatives from the Clubs competing in the FA Cup semi-finals along with FA Council supporter representative, Katrina Law, met with FA CEO, Martin Glenn and senior FA executives to discuss the increase in pricing for this season’s FA Cup semi-finals and final.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Southampton fan groups and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust had previously released a joint statement questioning the need for the increases on the back of record broadcast and sponsorship deals and calling for a rethink.

The opportunity to meet with FA decision makers for a constructive and frank discussion was welcomed, as was the acknowledgement that future dialogue should ideally take place before decisions directly affecting fans are made, where possible.

The fan reps have asked that the FA consider a number of measures to reduce the impact of ticket price increases on supporters at this season’s final. With sales already concluded and tickets already printed for the semi-finals, there was no opportunity to revisit the pricing policy for the games scheduled for the 21 and 22 April at this stage.

The FA has committed to explore the viability of those measures and to respond within the next ten days. We’ll make further comment after receiving that response.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust

Manchester United Supporters’ Trust

Southampton Fan Groups

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust

FA Cup Ticket Pricing

The decision to raise prices for the FA Cup semi-finals and finals to the highest levels ever defies belief.
 
The FA has secured record broadcast rights for the competition, there is a lucrative sponsorship deal in place, and attendances throughout the competition have been higher than in recent years. The FA itself is in better financial health than ever. So we cannot see the rationale for hiking prices.

The FA could have tried to explain the reasoning to fans, but once again the people who are the lifeblood of the game, the paying customers, were not consulted or even given advance notice. Like it or lump it is the clear message.
 
Supporters of all four clubs have already spent a fortune following their teams from round three onwards. Our reward for reaching the last four is price rises 10x the rate of inflation. The FA has taken this decision at a time when, by contrast, the Premier League has reduced the cost of away tickets to a maximum of £30.
 
Freezing the lowest ticket price category is a token gesture that will benefit only a small minority of supporters. These price increases further illustrate the longstanding issue we have with the FA as both the regulator of the game as well as the worst offender when it comes to excessive ticket prices for fans. A concession discount of just £10 further compounds the issue.

 
The price of football at the top level is already extortionate. This latest decision is nothing more than opportunistic exploitation of fan loyalty. We expect better from a body that claims to be the guardian of the game, especially in the oldest and most famous cup competition in world football.
 
We wonder, too, how the FA’s commercial partners feel about being associated with such naked opportunism.
 
The FA still has time to rethink. It should.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Southampton fan groups
21 March 2018

FansBet Sponsorship completes Shrewsbury Town’s Safe Standing Crowdfunding Campaign

In an historic achievement, Shrewsbury Town Football Club are one step closer to being the first club in England & Wales to introduce safe standing at their Montgomery Waters Meadow stadium, following the successful completion of their crowdfunding campaign thanks to a considerable contribution from FansBet.

FansBet, whose ambassador is former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, said of their contribution to the campaign “We know exactly how important the issue of safe standing is to fans in helping generate the correct environment to enjoy watching football for supporters young and old.”

The campaign, spearheaded by the Shrewsbury Town Supporters’ Parliament in partnership with the Club and sports fanfunding specialists Tifosy, raised more than £65,000 through contributions from almost 1,000 fanfunders.

Reflective of the national demand for safe standing, the crowdfunding campaign drew in support from fans and supporters’ groups up and down the country, transcending traditional club loyalties. 

Speaking of the achievement, Roger Groves of the Shrewsbury Town Supporters’ Parliament said “This is a remarkable achievement by the hundreds of fans and sponsors, especially FansBet, who have paved the way for the thousands more to bring standing back to matchdays at their clubs. I am very proud that Shrewsbury Town has been at the heart of this”.

Brian Caldwell, Shrewsbury Town CEO, added “We are delighted that Shrewsbury Town will be the flagship club in addressing this issue, which is so important to so many fans. We will now continue the process to introduce rail seating in the Salop Leisure Stand at the Montgomery Waters Meadow, and we hope to have supporters watching home games from the safe standing area before the end of the season”.

Safe standing has been something that fans nationwide have campaigned to see introduced for many years, as government policy currently prohibits many clubs from offering supporters the chance to stand. As one of the few clubs with an all-seater ground able to introduce a rail seating section, Shrewsbury Town will now lead the way in making the case for a change in policy and adding a standing option to the matchday experience for all clubs and fans.

Supporter groups say NO to Christmas Eve football

Football supporters know all too well the impact that changes to the fixture schedule have. Often plans are rearranged and expense incurred when a match is moved to accommodate cup football or for TV scheduling. We have very little, if any say, despite being the most put upon stakeholders in the game. Representatives from the Premier League Fans Group have recently started to meet with Sky Sports and BT Sport to put forward supporter views on these changes and to look at ways we can mitigate this impact.

 

However the news that has broken this week, that Sky plan to fill their ‘Super Sunday’ TV slots, despite this falling on Christmas Eve, is hugely disappointing and frustrating for supporters. Whilst the discussion has been dominated by the likelihood of an Arsenal v Liverpool fixture on 24th December, choices have not yet been finalised and any club is still available to be chosen for a televised game.

 

This is wrong and no fixtures should be scheduled for that day. Supporters would be faced with the unenviable task of deciding between family, friends and loved ones and any pre-existing plans for that time of year or continuing their loyalty and support for their club.

 

Club staff would also face similar difficulties. Public transport shuts down early on Christmas Eve and travel may be at a greater expense. Made to work, their plans and priorities are challenged in pursuit of a TV programme. These staff aren’t the well paid millionaires, but the catering, hospitality, stewarding and security personnel required to fulfil a fixture. This extends further to police, local authority and others who will have to work to facilitate such a change. 

 

None of these, like supporters, share in the Premier League riches or have Premier League style lifestyles and wages. This would be more take, with little given back.

 

This must not be allowed to happen, not this season and not in future seasons. We are more than willing to work with the broadcasters and the league to avoid such pitfalls for the benefit of all. After all, we don’t want this to be the ghost of Christmas future.

 

Now though, the decision makers must show this is indeed the season of goodwill after all. Sky, the Premier League and the clubs have to recognise that whilst there is a TV slot available, football on Christmas Eve is unacceptable and is a step too far.

 

Supporters should clearly be included within any decision-making process in relation to such drastic changes and this is not something that is being taken lightly. We have already successfully campaigned for cheaper away tickets and will continue our work to ensure that match-going fans are treated as fairly as possible.

 

Supported by:

 

Spirit Of Shankly, Liverpool Supporters’ Trust

Spion Kop 1906

Arsenal Supporters Trust

Chelsea Supporters Trust

Manchester United Supporters Trust

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust

Black Scarf Movement

Watford Supporters Trust

Burnley FC Supporters Groups

Swans Trust

Newcastle United Supporters Trust

Huddersfield Town Supporters Association

Stand Up For Town

Stoke City Supporters Council

Cherries Trust

West Ham United Independent Supporters’ Association

Annual General Meeting 2017

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2017

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Chelsea Supporters Trust will be held at 14:00 on Sunday 13th August 2017 in the Hollins Suite, Millennium Reception, West Stand, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS.

All members are welcome to attend the AGM but we must have confirmation that you will be attending no later than 10.00 pm on Thursday 10th August as Chelsea FC require us to provide a list of attendees for security. If you turn up without having confirmed your intention to attend by the time above you will not be admitted to the meeting.

To attend the AGM Members need to have paid their annual membership subscription. If you are unsure whether you are paid up or think that your membership has lapsed please check by emailing membership@chelseasupporterstrust.com

Light refreshments will be provided.

Directions to the Hollins Suite can be downloaded here.

The agenda is reproduced below and can also be downloaded here.

The standing orders for the AGM can be downloaded here.

The draft accounts and annual report will be circulated to members by email in advance of the meeting and are available to download here

Following on from the AGM, and after a short break, Dan Levene will once again host our Chelsea-centric quiz, which was keenly contested last time with the winner’s trophy up for grabs for the victors!

Chelsea Supporters Trust 2017 AGM

Registered office 11, St. Catherine’s Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 0PP

Registered with the FSA: 31940R

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Chelsea Supporters Trust will be held at 14:00 on Sunday 13th of August 2017 at the Hollins Suite, West Stand, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS.

AGENDA (please see accompanying notes for further information)

        1. Welcome and apologies
        2. Chairman’s Report – overall report on Trust issues and accounts (to be circulated, with accounts, to members by email in advance of the meeting)
        3. Secretary’s Report
        4. 2017 Annual Survey – summary of results
        5. Board Elections
        6. Motions from the CST Board
          6.1 Board Elections
          6.2 Approval of 2016/17 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner
          6.3 Chelsea Supporters Trust affiliations
          6.4 Stamford Bridge Redevelopment
          6.5 Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners
          6.6 Temporary Stadium
          6.7 Atmosphere Concerns and Safe Standing
          6.8 Ticket Pricing and Availability
          6.9 Kick-Off Times
          6.10 Membership of Safety Advisory Group
          6.11 Ticket Touting
          6.12 Stakeholder Engagement
          6.13 Football in the Community
          6.14 Club Heritage
          6.15 Supporters Club Ticket Allocations
        7. Any Other Business
        8. Close

Following the success of last year’s quiz, organised and compered by Dan Levene, a similar event will be held after the AGM (at c16:00), in the Hollins Suite. 

By order of the CST board

Paul Jeffrey, Secretary 

ACCOMPANYING NOTES TO THE AGENDA

Voting

No voting will take place at the AGM itself. Instead, voting for both the board elections and motions raised at the AGM will take place in the two weeks following the conclusion of the AGM.

The voting will take place online through SurveyMonkey. On the next working day following the AGM (Monday 14th August 2017), members will receive an email containing a unique link to SurveyMonkey where they will be able to vote in favour or against motions raised at the AGM .

Elections

The board elections will not be contested as there are 9 candidates standing and 9 positions available. The board election will thus take the form of an affirmative vote of each candidate in accordance with rule 8.3 of the CST Election policy (noted below).

Motions from the Chelsea Supporters Trust Board

Motion 1. Board Elections

Elections to the Board of the Chelsea Supporters Trust are uncontested as there are 9 candidates standing for 9 positions. As such, election to the Board shall take place in accordance with Rule 8.3 of the CST Election policy which states:

‘If there are as many or fewer candidates than there are places, an affirmative ballot shall be held at the AGM. Each successfully nominated candidate will be put before the meeting for the approval of members. Any candidate not receiving the support of more than half of those present in person and by proxy shall be deemed to have not been elected. The exception shall be that should the failure to elect any of the validly nominated candidates leave the Board below the minimum required under the Rules for them to act, all validly nominated candidates shall be deemed elected by the EMG and this declared at the AGM.’

The prospective Board Members are as follows (in alphabetical order):

                      • Cliff Auger
                      • David Chidgey
                      • Henry Fowler
                      • Charles Jackson
                      • David Johnstone
                      • Chris Rayburn
                      • Ramzi Shammas
                      • Dan Silver
                      • Richard Weekes

 

Motion 2. Approval of 2016/17 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner
The Chelsea Supporters Trust accounts for the year ended 31/5/17 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 3. Chelsea Supporters Trust Affiliations

The Chelsea Supporters Trust should continue to affiliate to Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation, work with these organisations 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.

Motions 4-15 are submitted to the membership following issues which arose in the 2016/17 season and/or were raised in a review of the results of the June 2017 membership survey. The background to a number of these issues, and details of progress in the past twelve months, will be contained in the 2016/17 Chelsea Supporters Trust Annual Report, to be circulated to voting members in advance of the AGM.

Motion 4. Stamford Bridge Redevelopment
The Chelsea Supporters Trust Board notes with approval the progress made by the club owner with the plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge. The CST board is mandated to continue to work with the appointed consultants, the club and other relevant stakeholders to help ensure supporter opinion is properly and openly taken into account with regard to issues such as facilities and ticket pricing as the process moves forward.

Motion 5.  Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners
Regardless of the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Supporters Trust board believes that the retention of the CPO in its current role is an essential safeguard for Chelsea supporters with regard to the long-term future of Stamford Bridge. It is mandated to continue to work with the CPO board, and other appropriate bodies, towards fulfilling this aim.

Motion 6.  Temporary Stadium
Regardless of when Chelsea move to a temporary stadium, to which location and for whatever duration, the Chelsea Supporters Trust board believes that such a move presents significant opportunities with regard to the implementation of an attractive ticket pricing structure, including the opportunity to attract significant numbers of young supporters. Given this, it is mandated to press the club for such a structure to be implemented.

Motion 7. Atmosphere Concerns and Safe Standing 
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. The results of the specific Safe Standing survey carried out among Chelsea supporters in 2014 and subsequent surveys indicate overwhelming support for Safe Standing. The Board is mandated to continue to campaign for standing sections to be introduced as part of the Stamford Bridge redevelopment and at other football stadia, as part of the wider national ‘Safe Standing’ campaign co-ordinated by the Football Supporters Federation. We will press the club to take a leading role to support Safe Standing.

Motion 8. Ticket Pricing and Availability
In the light of the extra TV money received by Premier League clubs, 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 Federation and Supporters Direct.

Motion 9.  Kick-Off Times
The number of Premier League games rearranged to suit the television companies, and the short notice given for such rearrangements, causes both inconvenience and increased cost to match going supporters. The Chelsea Supporters Trust board is mandated to work with other supporters trusts and appropriate bodies to push the TV companies and Premier League for more notice to be given for such rearrangements, for published deadlines to be strictly adhered to and, where appropriate for supporters to be compensated for the extra cost.

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 the club. 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 now have the opportunity to review the SAG agenda, submit items for discussion and review the meeting minutes. The Chelsea Supporters Trust board believe that, though this is progress, there is no valid reason whatsoever why full membership should not be granted and are mandated to push for this.

The Chelsea FC SAG Terms of Reference can be downloaded here

Motion 11.  Ticket Touting
The Chelsea Supporters Trust board is mandated to use its involvement with the Safety Advisory Group 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.

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.

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.

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.

Motion 15. Supporters Club Ticket Allocations
The Chelsea Supporters Trust board has had representations from supporters clubs in the UK and abroad with regard to the perceived unfairness of the ticket allocation by the club to different categories of supporters club. They are mandated to work with affiliates, and other supporters clubs, to identify a potential fairer solution and present it to the club.

Premier League Trusts lobby on Russian visas for travelling supporters

The new season is almost upon us and for those in European competitions, supporters will be looking at their potential opponents. Not just to weigh up the opposition, but also to work out any potential and no doubt costly travel arrangements.

The likelihood is that at least one English team will be drawn against a Russian team, which will mean the cost and inconvenience of a visa application.

With the requirement to now attend the Russian Visa centre in person for Biometric collection, (not ideal for any supporters, especially those based outside of London as the two centres are in London & Edinburgh) not only is the cost a major issue, but for most supporters an extra day’s leave from work is required.

Spirit of Shankly, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Manchester City’s 1894 group, Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Everton’s Supporters’ Trust and Blue Union call upon UEFA and their respective clubs to work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure that a supporters’ ticket is sufficient as a visa should any English teams be drawn in Russia.

It is evident that this is more than a possibility due to the relaxation of the requirements for the Confederations Cup that was hosted in Russia earlier this year. With a valid match ticket supporters were able to apply for a fan ID, which in effect became their visa. We see no reason why this cannot be applied for UEFA competitions.

Similarly, we call for the British Government to apply the same sense for Russian fans visiting England.

Each Supporters’ Trust/Group will be lobbying their relevant club to ensure this happens.