Minutes of Chelsea Supporters Trust Annual General Meeting held at 14.00 on Sunday August 9th 2015 in Attenborough Suite, Stamford Bridge
The CST Board motions, candidate manifestos and CST Annual Report referred to below can be found on the CST website, links at the foot of this document.
The meeting was declared quorate by the Chelsea Supporters Trust (CST) Secretary Paul Jeffrey, and commenced at 14.00.
1. Welcome and Apologies
Apologies were received from CST Board members David Johnstone and Stuart Kinner.
2. Chairman’s Report
The chairman went through the Chelsea Supporters Trust 2015 Annual Report which had been distributed to members electronically in advance of the meeting and is available on the CST website. The following additional points were made by members, both physically at the meeting and from those participating via the internet:-
2.1 The Future of Stamford Bridge
There was a lively discussion on the ‘broad brush’ plans shown to supporters over the summer.
The need for a ticket pricing structure to allow attendance by young supporters, and those supporters priced out by the current structure, was stressed. The amount of corporate seats in those plans (c15,000), and the value of the new Premier League TV deal, should give plenty of opportunity for such affordable pricing to be introduced in the new stadium. Concern was expressed with regard to the siting of away supporters in the plans and surprise raised that there plans featured no walkway to West Brompton.
Charles Rose, a Chelsea Pitch Owners director, but attending in a personable capacity as a CST member, made the point that the current provision for disabled supporters was unacceptable, and urged the CST to help ensure that the new stadium gave disabled supporters and their carers appropriate facilities. He also pointed out that the stadium consultant had stated that there would be c5,000 seats for young supporters and locals.
The point was raised was raised that ticket pricing at whichever temporary home Chelsea relocate to, should take into account the extra costs many supporters will incur in travelling to that stadium, be it Stratford, Twickenham or Wembley. The club were praised for making it clear up front that a temporary move would be necessary, and that it was a case of ‘short term pain, long term gain’.
Further, updated, consultation is scheduled for early September.
2.2 Safe Standing and Atmosphere
Representations were made to the club that the trophy presentation at the last game of the season was mishandled, in that most of the presentation action took place at the Matthew Harding Stand end of the ground and spectators elsewhere could see very little. They accept that improvements would need to be made at any future trophy presentations.
There was a general feeling that the atmosphere initiatives had significantly improved things last season, and those individuals and groups involved, such as the ‘We Are The Shed’ group, were congratulated.
2.3 Ticketing / Supporter Issues
The point was made by several members that the new TV deal gives a real opportunity for Premier League clubs to reduce prices, and that the CST needs to work with other trusts to help achieve this. Concern was raised that a focus on cheaper away tickets (the ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign) could lead to away ticket priced being reduced but home supporters getting no benefit.
The Chelsea away ticket/travel subsidy of c£450k in 2014/15 and c£500k this season was praised.
2.4 Safety Advisory Group Membership
The point was made that street touting (see 2.5) is an ideal topic to be discussed at the SAG
Wembley have a ‘dispersal order’ process in place for touts and Hammersmith & Fulham Police are investigating whether such a process could work at Stamford Bridge. The CST board were asked to raise with the club whether all cup tickets could be put on season tickets, reducing considerably the number of paper tickets in circulation at such games.
3. Secretary’s Report
No questions were raised.
4. Treasurers Report
No questions were raised.
5. 2015 Membership Survey
A high level analysis of the results was presented. Full results will be sent to members in the next few weeks.
6. CST Board Elections
There are 11 candidates for nine board positions. The candidate manifestos are available on the CST website. Voting opens tomorrow (members will be sent an email with the appropriate link) and is open for two weeks. Results will be announced within two weeks of the vote closing.
7. Motions from the CST Board
The Chairman went briefly through the various motions submitted by the board, including the Annual Report and Accounts. Voting on these motions follows the same process as the board elections and the email will contain the appropriate link.
Charles Rose of the Chelsea Pitch Owners board outlined the importance of the CPO given the proposed stadium redevelopment. He stressed the criticality of the next few months, the role of the CPO board in establishing a case for the retention of the CPO in its current form regardless of redevelopment and the need to consider the very long term should the club make any offer to CPO shareholders.
8. Any Other Business
8.1 Members expressed verbal support for the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust in their campaign calling for a public inquiry into West Ham’s planned move to the Olympic Stadium.
8.2 The board were asked to discuss ways of improving engagement with local residents groups.
8.3 Members raised upcoming anniversaries – 20 years since the death of Matthew Harding, 10 years since Peter Osgood and (in Sept 2016) 50 years since the naming of The Shed. The board were asked to raise these with the club.
8.4 The recent sad passing of CST member Karim Kassam was noted.
8.5 A member asked the board to discuss their view on Chelsea FC’s partnership with Uber.
8.6 The next Special General Meeting is likely to be on Saturday 21st November, after the Norwich home game.
8.7 Departing CST Board members Stuart Kinner, Theresa Magee and Ross Mooring were thanked for their efforts over the past three years, since the formation of the CST.
The meeting closed at 16.00.
Chair, Chelsea Supporters Trust