Safe Standing Roadshow Report
Last Saturday 19th April, the Chelsea Supporters Trust, in conjunction with the cfcuk fanzine, hosted the Safe Standing Roadshow on Fulham Road before the Sunderland game. This roadshow was privately presented to the club a couple of months ago and we thought it important that the most important people at any club, the supporters, should have a similar chance to enhance their understanding of the Safe Standing initiative, especially given the current Safe Standing survey open to Chelsea supporters.
We are pleased to say that over a period of nearly five hours, hundreds of Chelsea supporters took the opportunity to see for themselves what ‘rail seating’ looks like, to test it out and to engage with Jon Darch of the Football Supporters’ Federation, who co-ordinates the roadshow and expends a huge amount of energy as an ambassador for Safe Standing. There were some excellent discussions and it is clear that many supporters now have a much clearer understanding of what Safe Standing is (and also what it is not, for example it is not a return to 70’s style terracing).
For those unable to attend the roadshow, there is more information on Safe Standing here.
|The roadshow in action on the day.
At some point in the future, it seems pretty likely that either Stamford Bridge will be redeveloped or (and the CST hopes this is not the case) Chelsea Football Club move to a new ground. In either case, we believe that the provision of rail seating in designated parts of the stadium would improve atmosphere. By having designated standing areas for domestic games (for Champions League matches the rail seating can quickly be turned into seats) it would also be easier for the club to prevent ‘persistent standing’ elsewhere in the ground.
It is a shame that the Fans Forum were not invited by the club to see the roadshow at one of their meetings, as Safe Standing would arguably seem to be of more strategic importance than purely housekeeping issues covered in the latest minutes such as smoking in the Shed End toilets or the availability of matchday food in the MHU.
The roadshow at Chelsea is part of a wider engagement process involving many clubs and their supporters, with a view to influencing them, and the Premier League, of the real benefits Safe Standing would bring. It is clear that some clubs, for example Aston Villa and Manchester United, have shown a real interest in installing Safe Standing in parts of their grounds. The Fans Forum minutes state that “the club doesn’t consider itself to be leading a campaign for this change” but that doesn’t mean they are overtly negative on the issue.
|Rail Seating as installed at Hannover 96’s HDI-Arena
It is to be fervently hoped that the Premier League discusses the issue at a forthcoming meeting and, as a result, give the green light for such facilities to be installed at grounds. It is a mistake to believe that legislation is needed before it can be used in football grounds – Jon Darch advises it is a only change in regulation that is actually required.
Many thanks to Jon for bringing the roadshow to Stamford Bridge and for his energy and enthusiasm in engaging with so many Chelsea supporters.
The Safe Standing survey for Chelsea supporters, endorsed by 20 supporters groups, websites, fanzines etc, is open until this Friday evening, 25th April. It takes five minutes to complete and you can do so at:
Please share the survey link with your Chelsea supporting friends and family.
We will keep our members informed of developments as the Safe Standing initiative gains momentum across English football.
‘Making Your Voice Heard’
Minutes of the 3rd Fans’ Forum meeting for the 2013-14 season, held on 5th April 2014 (before the Stoke home game).
Topics covered included: Safe Standing, Loyalty points, away tickets, Viagogo and the Club’s satisfaction survey.
The minutes of the meeting can be read here.
Safe Standing Roadshow confirmed for Sunderland Game – Saturday 19th April
The Chelsea Supporters Trust, in association with cfcuk fanzine, is pleased to announce that the Safe Standing Roadshow will be present on the Fulham Road before the Sunderland home game on Saturday 19th April from 1pm.
Rail Seating as used in Germany
Organised by Jon Darch from the Football Supporters’ Federation, the Safe Standing Roadshowwill enable Chelsea supporters to see ‘rail seating’ up close and in person. There are a lot of mistruths about what ‘safe standing’ means – for example it would not mean a return to 1970’s style terracing – and this is a chance for you to see it for yourself and ask any questions you may have. Representatives from Chelsea Football Club have already seen the Roadshow and we know it is a subject of interest to many supporters.
The Safe Standing Roadshow will take place near to the cfcuk stall (see in Google Maps) opposite the main entrance to Fulham Broadway tube station from 1pm until shortly before kick off.
More details on Safe Standing can be found here.
Due to the forthcoming Roadshow it has been agreed with the participating organisations to extend the deadline for the Safe Standing Survey for Chelsea Supporters (a joint enterprise between twenty Chelsea supporters’ organisations, websites and podcasts) until Friday 25th April.
This survey can be filled in by anyone at www.safestanding.co.uk
‘Making Your Voice Heard’
Update on meeting with CFCTickets concerning Secondary Ticket Exchanges
Following the news that a representative from Chelsea FC had contacted CFCTickets and asked them to cease offering their free ticket exchange service, the CST Board met with the organisers of CFCTickets last week to discuss potential ways forward.
It is clear from feedback received that many Chelsea supporters see the benefits of a not-for-profit “face value” ticket exchange, have significant reservations about Chelsea’s relationship with Viagogo and are hence frustrated by the club’s actions. Arsenal run their own not-for-profit ticket exchange and it would seem logical for other PL clubs to follow a similar model.
The CFCTickets organisers shared their experiences, frustrations and ideas with the CST Board and a fruitful and interesting discussion followed. As a result, CFCTickets and the CST Board are together evaluating possible ticket exchange options with a view to developing a workable, fully costed model which would we aim to propose to the club before the end of April for their consideration.
‘Making Your Voice Heard’