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
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
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
Welcome to the ‘winter’ newsletter. We hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year and are managing to keep warm in the bitter winter weather. Mind you, if you read the press at the moment it might make you hot under the collar with Chelsea apparently in crisis and about to part company with Antonio Conte, in spite of being 4th in the league, in the FA Cup and with Barcelona to play in the Champions’ League (correct at time of writing!). Crisis, what crisis?
You can download the newsletter and read it here:
CST Newsletter Winter 2018 Final
This Saturday, 10th March, marks the 113th anniversary of the founding of Chelsea Football Club. To mark the occasion, Chelsea Supporters Trust has organised a guided tour of Chelsea F.C. related graves with club historian Rick Glanvill, followed by wreath laying at the Mears family memorial.
The tour is open to all Chelsea Supporters Trust members. If you’re not already a member, please take a look at our Membership page to find our more about which levels of memberships are available or sign up on the day. If you’d like to attend, please meet at the Visitors Centre at 12.15pm (this is located near the West Brompton station end of the cemetery).
If you’re not able to join us on Saturday, you can download your own walking guide of the Chelsea F.C. related graved located in Brompton Cemetery from the Official Website. Chelsea Supporters Trust also organises regular visits to the cemetery to maintain the Chelsea graves – information about when these take place are posted on Twitter and Facebook, so make sure you follow us if you’re interested!
Last year, Chelsea Supporters Trust launched an initiative to assist supporters using subsidised transport, which Chelsea F.C. generously provides, to reach home. Many supporters have significant journeys to make when coaches or trains arrive back at Stamford Bridge or mainline rail stations and this can be particularly difficult following evening games, where connecting rail or tube services may be unavailable.
Using Twitter, CST would like to help facilitate contact between supporters who may be able to share lifts or taxis to their homes. To take part, we suggest supporters use the following hashtags:
Those on the club train: #cfctrain then add their preferred destination
Those travelling on club coaches: #cfccoach then add coach number and preferred destination
For example someone on the club train looking to share transport towards Sutton after the Huddersfield game could tweet “#cfctrain Sutton”. People travelling towards nearby locations can then connect via Direct Message (DM) to arrange to meet up. Please note it is necessary for both people to follow each other on Twitter to be able to DM each other.
Hopefully use of these hashtags will help facilitate communication and will make supporters journeys home from the point club transport ends less costly and inconvenient. We appreciate any feedback supporters have of ways to improve this service! Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @ChelseaSTrust
A big thank you to supporters who have donated food and money at our collections for Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank at the past two home games. Chelsea Supporters Trust will be continuing to collect donations before the Chelsea v Southampton game on Saturday 16th December and the Chelsea v Bournemouth game on Wednesday 20th December.
The Foodbank gives three days of emergency food to local individuals and families in crisis. As well as receiving 3 days supply of food, clients who attend any of the 3 foodbanks in the local area also received professional advice and a listening ear. They anticipate to provide 80,000 to 100,000 meals to local residents this year.
If you are able to, we would be grateful if supporters could consider donating to the collection, which will be located at the cfcuk stall, before the match, opposite the Fulham Broadway Shopping Centre on the Fulham Road. Whilst all donations will be gratefully received, the Foodbank is in particular need of the following items:
- Tinned Fruit
- Tinned Vegetables
- Tinned Meat
- Long Life Milk
- Long Life Juice
- Tinned Rice Pudding/Sponge Pudding
- Tinned Tomatoes/Pasta Sauce
They have also politely requested that donations of baked beans, tea and pasta are avoided as these items are in good supply at the Foodbanks.
For further information about Hammersmith and Fulham Food Bank, visit their website or find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Full recording of the Pat Nevin Q&A at the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust SGM held in October…
After the recent Chelsea Supporters’ Trust SGM, we were delighted at have former Chelsea player, Pat Nevin as our special guest.
Pat Nevin is one of Chelsea’s most loved former players and graced the Stamford Bridge pitch with his style and flair in the 1980’s.
Pat is now a respected and insightful football pundit working predominantly with BBC Radio 5 Live and many Chelsea supporters will have read his erudite blogs in ChelseaFC.com.
Pat talked about his career with Chelsea and gave us his thoughts on the current Chelsea side, modern football and working in the media.
The full Q&A can be heard here:
Full recording of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Special General Meeting held in October…
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust held their first SGM of the season in the Atlas Pub recently.
The Agenda covered subjects uppermost in Chelsea Supporters minds including the issue of Kick-Off times and their re-scheduling for TV covered by Tim Rolls. In addition Ramzi Shammas discussed the recent Annual Survey and plans for the survey next year; Cliff Auger discussed supporters issues and the recent unveiling of the Jack Whitley Memorial and plans for further work with Brompton Cemetery and Henry Fowler presented an update on our efforts with the campaign for Safe Standing.
Charles Rose, Chairman, Chelsea Pitch Owners also presented an update of the CPO’s recent activities.
CST members were also given the chance to ask questions to the board.
The meeting was recorded and can be heard in full here: