Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Statement – West Ham United v Chelsea 26th October 2016

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust note with disappointment the events surrounding the West Ham United v Chelsea EFL Cup tie on the evening of Wednesday 26th October 2016.

Clearly we would not wish to condone the behaviour of a minority of fans involved in unsavoury incidents.

Many Chelsea supporters, including young children, were subjected to coins and other missiles being thrown at them during the game and an intimidating and confusing walk back to various public transport hubs after the game.

In addition, procedures for the stewarding and segregation of opposing fans within the stadium appeared to be less than adequate, particularly given the nature and history of this fixture.

Issues of this nature were reasonably foreseeable given the number of well documented problems with stewarding, policing and the segregation of opposing supporters at the ‘London Stadium’ since West Ham took residency and it is clear that in failing to address this, those responsible for crowd management and safety continue to fail in providing a safe environment for football supporters.

We are currently collating an evidence based report from supporters caught up in any pre and post-match and segregation related incidents.  We will be meeting with representatives from Chelsea FC together with the Chelsea Supporters Group, and we will also meet with the Football Supporters Federation and the Metropolitan Police to determine how these issues might be resolved going forward.

In the meantime if you were at the game and wish to share your experiences with us, good or bad, then please email: enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com and we will include them in our report.

A PDF copy of the above statement can be downloaded here.

Chelsea Supporters Trust SGM 23/10/2016 with Kerry Dixon Q&A

 

After the wonderful win against Man Utd the Chelsea Supporters Trust held their first Special General Meeting of the season to discuss the new Board; the new Working Groups and to reveal the key points in the results of the annual Members Survey.

sgm-7-mediumAfter all that we wrapped up proceedings with a Q&A session with much loved Chelsea legend Kerry Dixon.

The agenda for the meeting was as follows:

Chelsea Supporters Trust – Special General Meeting

Sunday 23rd October 2016 at 18.30

Atlas Pub 16 Seagrave Road London SW6 1RX

Agenda
1. Introduction (David Chidgey) (5 mins)

2. Working Groups Report (25 mins):

• Atmosphere (Richard Weekes)
• Supporter Issues (Cliff Auger)
• Stamford Bridge Redevelopment (David Johnstone)
• Affiliations (Cliff Auger)
• Community (Cliff Auger)

3. Membership Survey (Celia Mindelsohn) (20 mins)

4. Questions (10 mins)

5. Any Other Business

6. Kerry Dixon Q&A and Book signing (45 mins)

A special guest for our Special General Meeting

Our next Special General Meeting (SGM) will take place on Sunday 23 October 2016, 6.30pm upstairs at The Atlas PH, 16 Seagrave Rd, London SW6 1RX, immediately following our home game against Manchester United.

We plan to kick off proceedings promptly at 6.30pm and to conclude official business by approximately 7.30pm. At the meeting we aim to bring news of recent Trust activities, including our latest membership survey results. An agenda should be available nearer the time.

The meeting will be recorded and posted as a podcast shortly afterwards by the Chelsea Football Fancast, and we are also hoping to broadcast the event live, technology permitting!

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We are also extremely delighted to announce that Chelsea legend Kerry Dixon will be joining us for the meeting, and for an hour or so afterwards to chat about his exploits and to sign a few copies of his new book Up Front, available to buy on the night.

Please come along and find out what’s happening with the issues that matter to you. And to meet Kerry of course!

This is a Chelsea Supporters Trust members only event. You can sign up on the door, or join us through our web site here.

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The continued search for Chelsea FC’s heritage

Our firmly established Brompton clean up group reconvened on 8 October 2016 during another international break.  The intrepid gardeners gathered at the Fulham Road gates of Brompton Cemetery and did the rounds of the final resting places of Messrs Janes, Kirby, Maltby and Mears, tidying up around the plots and leaving them clear and accessible for visitors and fans of Chelsea FC interested in learning about our heritage.

But before leaving Brompton Cemetery we headed to an area near to the main entrance where we found the unmarked common grave of former Chelsea player Jack Whitley, Here we worked on marking the plot for further work to be carried out at a future date.
Jack was very loyal to the club, he first played as a goalkeeper in 1907 then worked as a trainer, dedicating over 30 years to Chelsea FC. Jack specifically requested to be buried near his beloved Stamford Bridge when he died in 1955.

Satisfied our work was done at Brompton, three of us headed off to a small village church in Hampshire, invited to tend to the grave of Chelsea ‘godfather’ Frederick Parker, the man who came up with the initial idea to create Chelsea Football Club.

A satisfactory days work, an ongoing project to keep our heritage alive so that fans present and future can learn about our club’s roots.

Our grateful thanks to gardening stalwarts Steve, Adrian and Debs, Cliff for his dedication to the project and Rick Glanvill for the research and the inspiration.

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Playfair Qatar Weekend of Action 15 October 2016

Over the weekend of October 15th, Playfair Qatar be holding  actions up and down the country to give fans a chance to show that they want FIFA to make Qatar play by the rules. From top flight league games to kickabouts in the park, fans will be making their voice heard about what’s being done in the name of football.

The Chelsea Supporters Trust has added its name to the Weekend of Action by organising a photo opportunity for fans attending the Chelsea v Leicester game on Saturday 15 October.

Join us adjacent to the cfcuk stall, opposite Fulham Broadway station, at 11.45am (remembering that the game is a 12.30 kick off!).

Stephen Russell, campaigns organiser at Playfair Qatar told us:

“Since our action outside Fulham Broadway Station [in April 2015], Qatar has been dragging its feet over reforms. A promise to abolish the kafala system that keeps workers trapped ended up being practically worthless, while a new law to guarantee payment of wages has already been shown to be failing. Qatar, and FIFA, need to be made aware that opposition to their current human rights policies is not going to go away, and fans – particularly through groups like Chelsea Supporters Trust – can have a big part to play in making that clear. “

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Jack Whitley – in search of a loyal past Chelsea player

As part of our ongoing Brompton Cemetery clear up sessions and club heritage work, Rick Glanvill, Chelsea FC’s historian, has been finding out more about one particular past Chelsea player:

  • 11 April 1878 • Born Seacombe, Cheshire, England
  • Joined Chelsea aged 29 in 1907, having previously played for secretary-manager David Calderhead at Lincoln City.
  • Goalkeeper who kept a clean sheet in our first ever top flight victory. (Home to Newcastle 23 Sep 1907.)
  • Near omni-present for three seasons until the arrival of Jim Molyneux.
  • 138 appearances; 39 of them clean sheets.
  • Joined backroom staff as first team trainer in 1914, aged 36.
  • Travels with rest of team on ground-breaking South America tour as trainer and emergency goalkeeper.
  • Father-figure to generations of players over 25 years. When an injury occurred, his was the familiar figure running onto the pitch to treat them, his suit jacket tails flapping.
  • New manager Billy Birrell finally dispensed with Whitley’s services in May 1939 (along with fellow veteran trainers Jack Harrow and Charlie Harris).
  • Whitley served the club loyally from the age of 29 to 61.
  • In summer 2015 a chance rereading of the Albert Sewell book ‘Chelsea Champions!’ led official club historian Rick Glanvill to discover that Whitley was buried at Brompton Cemetery, a few months after the club won the league title for the first time in 1955.
  • Whitley had died in Hertfordshire aged 77, but had specifically requested to be interred next to his beloved Stamford Bridge. He was buried at the north end of Brompton Cemetery in an unmarked grave on 11 July 1955.

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We would love to track down next of kin. We know that Jack married twice: firstly to Ellen ‘Nellie’ Edwards in 1897; secondly, in 1942, to Winifred Jessica Farrington. He had at least three children from the first marriage: Nellie (1902-1983), Ruby (1915-2002) and another child who died young. Nellie married twice (first to tennis star Donald Butcher, then Chelsea footballer Albert Thain) but does not appear to have had children. Ruby also married twice, to Sidney Upton, then Leslie Keeble, and likewise appears not to have given birth.

Perhaps someone out there knew the Whitley family, or descendants, and has information to the contrary? We would love to hear it. Please contact us at enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com if you can add to the story.

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Newsletter – September 2016

Apologies for the lack of a Newsletter in August but we were somewhat pre-occupied with the AGM and subsequent elections.

AGM

Our third AGM was held on August 13th at the Copthorne Hotel. We had a good turn out at the meeting both in person and also with those listening in to proceedings on Chelsea FanCast’s mixlr channel. If you wish to listen to the AGM in full you can do so here.

At the meeting Tim Rolls, Chair, delivered the financial statement and the annual report (which can be viewed here) before moving on to the Motions for the coming year.

This was Tim’s last official meeting before standing down as Chair. IMG_4029The Board, on behalf of the membership would like to thank Tim for his tireless and committed work as our first Trust Chairman. It is fair to say that he has left us in a very healthy position and we have a strong foundation to build on and take the Trust forward in the future.

After the AGM most attendees stayed to compete for the second Chelsea Supporters Trust Quiz. Dan Levene was the quizmaster and the Chelsea Pensioners led by Tim Rolls pipped last years winners, Chelsea FanCast to the winners post. A more detailed review of the Quiz can be found here.

Elections

The election of the new Board and voting on the Motions presented in the AGM have now been completed.

In an affirmative vote all 9 candidates were elected to the Board and they are:

Cliff Auger; David Chidgey; Debs Coady; Charles Jackson; David Johnstone; Celia Mindelsohn; Chris Rayburn; Dan Silver and Richard Weekes. We extend a warm welcome and congratulations to new Board members Chris Rayburn and Dan Silver and thank Neal Beard, Jules Beattie and Iain Rodgers, who did not seek re-election, for their efforts on the Board over the last few years.

All the Motions were passed and we now have a mandate to work on them over the next year. Full details of the motions can be found here but in summary they include issues such as  CST Affiliations; Stamford Bridge Redevelopment; Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners ; Temporary Stadium; Atmosphere Concerns and Safe Standing; Ticket Pricing and Availability; Kick-Off Times; Membership of Safety Advisory Group; Ticket Touting; Stakeholder Engagement; Football in the Community; Club Heritage; CST Annual Membership Renewal Date; Supporters Club Ticket Allocations.

David Chidgey
David Chidgey

In the first meeting of the new Board held on 1st September, we elected a new Chairman – David Chidgey and a new Treasuer – Charles Jackson. Paul Jeffrey continues as Secretary. Over the coming weeks we will be setting up a number of working groups to ensure that we deliver on the motions passed in the recent elections and also to allow more accountability and responsibility. We’ll have details of the progress with this in the next newsletter.

Membership Survey

We are still collating the results of the membership survey released at the end of last season and hope to have this available to the membership in October. We will also have the opportunity to present this to the Chelsea FC board. This is one of our most important meetings of the year as it means we can directly present our members views on a wide range of supporter issues to those who run the Club.

Affiliate Meetings

Tim Rolls represented the Trust at a recent Premier League meeting with Richard Scudamore in attendance. Although nothing substantive came out of the meeting, it is a good opportunity to get the membership’s views across to the people running the game. Tim also presented a detailed analysis of the issues around Kick-off times – a topic of great frustration to our members.

Brompton Cemetery 

bromptonmilland8-10-16-36-mediumAnother successful morning helping to tidy Chelsea related graves in Brompton Cemetery was held on the weekend of the international break. We’ll be planning another morning, most probably during the next international break, so do come along – its great fun as well as for a worthy cause.

The next SGM

The next Special General Meeting will be held at the Atlas Pub 16 Seagrave Road London SW6 1RX AT 6.30 pm on Sunday 23rd October – after the Man Utd game.

As always we will be broadcasting the meeting live from www.mixlr.com/chelsea-fancast and a podcast of the meeting will be available to download shortly after.

Top of the agenda will of course will be the results of this years Members Survey carried out over the summer and we also have a very special guest lined up…

Chelsea Legend Kerry Dixon will be in attendance and after the _91631874_kerrygoal_gettymeeting will be signing copies of his new biography “Up Front” and doing a short Q & A.

Numbers will be limited and its a members only event so make sure you’ve paid your membership fee!