Tag Archives: Chelsea FC

CST Statement on Supporter Bans

The news that Chelsea have banned one supporter for life and five others for between one and two years for behavior relating to the abuse of Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge last December, whilst understandable is disappointing.

The Crown Prosecution Service stated in April that there was not enough evidence to prove racist abuse or public order offences. However, the Club have taken an alternative view, without the burden of proof needed to establish whether any criminal offences had occurred.

Abusive behaviour is abhorrent, whether in the febrile atmosphere of a football match or in society as a whole and racism is unequivocally no subject for semantics or ‘whataboutism’. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust will always support the Club in taking action where racist abuse is proven.

However, the crux of this matter is that the Club are entitled to enforce any disciplinary action they deem fit if a supporter breaches their ticketing terms and conditions. Simply put, the club are not a public body and they can enact whatever policies they like in respect of supporters’ behaviour.

While we respect the Club’s right to do this, we do find their procedures troubling.

In the interests of fairness and natural justice, we believe there needs to be consistency and transparency around the Club’s banning procedures. Currently it seems that the Club are acting as ‘Judge and Jury’. When a supporter’s ability to support their team is at stake or worse, their employment and reputation, we believe it would be more equitable to use independent arbitration in the appeals process or an appeals committee independent from the Club.

Football, like society has changed. Clearly some behaviour is simply unacceptable at football in the modern age with violence and racist and abusive behaviour top of the list. Given what is potentially at stake for supporters, we believe the Club should make their policies relating to unacceptable behaviour and breaching conditions of ticket use far more accessible and visible than they currently are.

It would seem sensible for supporters to acquaint themselves with exactly what the club considers to be behaviour that would put you in breach of their conditions and lead to a ban. The Club’s policy document can be downloaded here.

We will continue to support the Club taking action against racist and abusive behaviour from both Chelsea supporters and supporters of all clubs, but we will also challenge the Club when we believe that their procedures and rationale for banning supporters is unfair.

CST Statement on European Super League discussions

Chelsea Supporters Trust, in common with other Premier League Trusts and supporter organisations, have deep concerns about stories of a possible UEFA European Super League which have received media coverage in recent weeks.  

As a result the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust sent a letter (click here to read the letter) to Chelsea FC expressing our opposition to the idea of a European Super League being discussed by the European Club Association. The full statement by the United Football Supporters Organisation can be read here (http://www.fsf.org.uk/blog/view/six-reasons-to-oppose-a-european-super-league), outlining our opposition in detail.

CST board members met with Chelsea executives Bruce Buck and Graham Smith to discuss the matter. They confirmed the club position, and that of the Premier League, which is one of opposition to the idea, as reported in the media.  The club is working with other Premier League clubs to counter the idea, which they see as detrimental to both Premier League and European domestic football in a wider context.  

The parties will continue dialogue on the issue going forward.

The Europa League Final in Baku

The Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal on May 29th is presenting unprecedented challenges to supporters who wish to be there in the hope of witnessing Chelsea winning another European trophy.

It is clear that, whilst a pleasant place to visit for a group stage match, Baku is a totally unsuitable location for a major European final. The combination of cost, complexity in regard to travel arrangements and time off work has massively reduced the travelling support, including those who loyally and ordinarily go to all home, away and European matches.

None of this is the fault of the people of Baku. The blame lies predominantly with UEFA who, yet again, re-affirm their contempt for match going supporters.

Due to UEFA’s choice of Baku, the supporters who do manage to make the trip face a late finish of the game (potentially after 01.30 if it goes to extra-time and penalties) causing potential problems for travelling supporters returning to hotels or travel hubs. But before supporters get this far, the issues faced in actually getting there are insurmountable for many.

These issues are exacerbated by the inadequacy of airports in terms of handling large numbers of extra flights, the lack of direct flights and high cost of indirect ones and the complexity of journeys from Tbilisi or Kiev by overnight train or minibus for example.

With the difficulties supporters face in getting to Baku, it might not seem unreasonable that UEFA have only allocated 6,000 tickets to both Chelsea and Arsenal out of a capacity of 68,000. However, this is potentially a worrying trend for future seasons. UEFA notoriously provide an inadequate allocation for supporters in finals, instead favouring the ‘UEFA family’ and may use the understandable but likely unsold allocation by both clubs as a barometer for future allocations.

In addition, the political situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia means that Arsenal player and Armenia Captain, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, feels unsafe to visit the country and now misses out on the chance to play in the biggest game of his career. There have also been reported cases of supporters of Armenian extraction who have been refused a visa to enter Azerbaijan. Choosing a location where there are issues with political conflicts and human rights abuses makes a mockery of UEFA’s claims of inclusivity.

On the subject of inclusivity, UEFA and the stadium’s provision of facilities for disabled supporters is inadequate. The sightlines for some of the wheelchair spaces in the stadium are compromised by poor pitch visibility. In Baku itself, there is limited accommodation and infrastructure accessible to disabled supporters. Awarding a final to a City and Stadium which cannot adequately provide for disabled supporters due to poor views and inaccessibility is a damning indictment of UEFA’s #equalgame campaign.  

Rather than arrogantly pushing back on recent criticism, once both English clubs had reached the Quarter Finals, surely a round table discussion between UEFA, Azerbaijan and the two clubs on details, logistics and airline capacity should have taken place. Better still, a fall-back venue could and should have been identified.

We are extremely disappointed that Chelsea FC have been unable or unwilling to help Chelsea supporters overcome the travel, expense and logistics in order for them to support the team in a European final. This, in spite of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust’s suggestions as to how the club could offer material help to supporters wishing to go to Baku.

We suggested providing a subsidy for travelling supporters, having calculated the negligible financial impact on the club given the revenue earned from the competition this season. This is pertinent when considering that Chelsea FC’s travel partner, Thomas Cook, is charging an extortionate £979 for the official package for the day trip to Baku. Furthermore, the late notice of the UK airport to be used for both departure and return means it is hard for travellers to plan.

The price for Thomas Cook’s package is more expensive than most season tickets, and again it is disappointing that the club did not feel they could offer supporters an extension for season ticket renewals, as they have done before when Chelsea supporters faced additional expense due to the club’s participation in a European final. Tottenham Hotspur for example have extended their season ticket renewals to help supporters cash flow.

Chelsea is the only club of the four English European finalists insisting all of their supporters collect their tickets from a designated ticket pick-up location, even though tickets are clearly freely available. To compound things, supporters cannot take advantage of the free travel in Baku until they have their match ticket. Surely Chelsea could have re-thought their policy in lieu of the exceptional circumstances of the trip to Baku?

The lack of a statement from Chelsea FC is also disappointing. Arsenal FC, issued a statement expressing frustration and disappointment on behalf of their supporters; acknowledging the unsuitability of the venue, the challenges faced by supporters travelling to Baku and the need to ensure more care by UEFA in future venue selection. While this may not make any difference to UEFA’s immediate decision making, at the very least it sent out a message to their supporters that they were concerned about the difficulties they face and were on their side.

A similar statement from Chelsea would have engendered some much-needed goodwill from the supporters.

And, given the large numbers of Chelsea supporters who are extremely disappointed in not being able to get to Baku to support the team, we believe that Chelsea FC have missed a great opportunity to benefit from another gesture of goodwill by facilitating a ‘live broadcast’ or ‘beam back’ of the match, at Stamford Bridge or another suitable venue.  

This would have been very well received and while never able to replace the experience of being in Baku, it might have mitigated some of the disappointment.

Chelsea FC Statement by Bruce Buck

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust welcomes the clear and unambiguous open letter published by Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea FC, today.

The Trust wholeheartedly supports the club’s stance and confirms its commitment to working with Chelsea FC to promote inclusion and eradicate all forms of discrimination.

The full statement by Bruce Buck can be read here

Annual General Meeting 2018

 Chelsea Supporters Trust logo

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Chelsea Supporters Trust will be held at 14:00 on Sunday 19th August 2018 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 16th 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.

Candidate manifestos are available to download here.

The draft accounts and annual report will be circulated to members by email in advance of the meeting.

Chelsea Supporters Trust logo

Chelsea Supporters Trust 2018 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 19th of August 2018 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. 2018 Annual Survey – summary of results
        5. Board Elections
        6. Motions from the CST Board
          6.1 Board Elections
          6.2 Approval of 2017/18 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner
          6.3 Chelsea Supporters Trust affiliations
          6.4 The Future of Stamford Bridge
          6.5 The Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners
          6.6 Safe Standing
          6.7 Atmosphere Concerns
          6.8 Ticket Pricing and Availability
          6.9 Fixture Scheduling
          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. 6.16 Supporter Liaison Office
        8. 6.17 Supporter Safety
        9. Any Other Business
        10. Close 

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 20th August 2018), members will receive an email containing a unique link to SurveyMonkey where they will be able to vote in the Board elections, and in favour or against motions raised at the AGM. Voting will close on

Elections

The board elections will be contested as there are 10 candidates standing and 9 positions available. Individual positions on the board will be agreed by the board following completion of the election process. Voting will take place online in the 2 weeks preceding the AGM. By agreement of the candidates, the contents of a candidate’s manifesto are their sole representations. The candidate manifestos can be found at appendix 1 to this document and here [LINK]. They will also be available online for the duration of the election process. The manifestos will not be read out at the AGM, however, should a candidate wish to clarify any of the contents of the manifesto, they will be given the opportunity to do so.

Motions from the Chelsea Supporters Trust Board

Motion 1. Board Elections

As per paragraph 8.2 of the CST Election Policy, the highest placed candidates in terms of total votes as equal to number of places available for election declared by the Board shall be deemed elected. There are 10 candidates standing for 9 positions on the Board. The 9 candidates to receive the most votes will be elected.

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

  • Paul Hay
  • Theresa Magee
  • Chris Rayburn
  • David Chidgey
  • Robert Palmer
  • Henry Fowler
  • David Johnstone
  • Isabella Hislop
  • Cliff Auger
  • Dan Silver

Motion 2. Approval of 2017/18 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner
The Chelsea Supporters Trust accounts for the year ended 31/5/18 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 4-17 are submitted to the membership following issues which arose in the 2017/18 season and/or were raised in a review of the results of the April 2018 membership survey. The background to a number of these issues, and details of progress in the past twelve months, will be contained in the 2017/18 Chelsea Supporters Trust Annual Report, to be circulated to voting members in advance of the AGM.

Motion 4. The Future of Stamford Bridge
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board notes that the Stamford Bridge redevelopment project has been put on hold indefinitely. The CST board is mandated to continue to work with the club and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a commitment that supporters are at the centre of any further discussions about the future of the ground and that supporter opinion is properly and openly taken into account, with particular emphasis on the continued enjoyment of the match day experience, facilities and ticket pricing going forward.

Motion 5.  The Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board re-affirms its support of and commitment to the aims and importance of the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) in the continuation of Chelsea Football Club at its home, Stamford Bridge. With recent developments relating to the postponement of the development of a new ground on the site of Stamford Bridge, the ‘Board’ actively encourages all members of the ‘Trust’ to buy shares and become a Chelsea Pitch Owner, to safeguard its long-term future. It is mandated to continue to work with the CPO board, and other appropriate bodies, to ensure that the CPO remains relevant to future generations of supporters and to encourage the increasing accessibility of shares to supporters of all ages and backgrounds to expedite this.

Motion 6.  Safe Standing

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board congratulates the work of the Football Supporters Federation and other Supporters Trusts in the developments around the introduction of safe standing this year. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to continue to support and contribute to the united effort of fans groups to see the introduction of safe standing in the top three tiers of English football. With particular emphasis on Chelsea the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to press the Club to take a leading role in the support of safe standing and to introduce safe standing sections at Stamford Bridge as soon as is practicable, in line with national developments on the introduction of pilots for safe standing.

Motion 7. Atmosphere Concerns
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 and to encourage the club to continue dialogue with supporters in respect of ‘singing sections’, flag and banner displays and other supporter driven initiatives to encourage atmosphere in the ground.

Motion 8. Ticket Pricing and Availability
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.  Fixture Scheduling

Due to the increasing cost and inconvenience to match going supporters caused by the short notice of Premier League games rearranged to suit the television companies, more notice needs to be given for such rearrangements, published announcement deadlines need to be strictly adhered to and the potential for away supporters to use public transport should be a key consideration when compiling fixtures and anomalous fixtures (e.g. midweek trips to the other end of the country) need to be minimised or eradicated. 

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to work with the Football Supporters Federation, other supporter’s trusts and appropriate bodies, inside and outside football, to vigorously campaign for supporter impact to be a key criterion when Premier League fixture schedules and television picks, are drafted.

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 Chelsea FC. 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, while 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 relevant authorities 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.

Motion 16. Supporter Liaison Officer

In the UEFA Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) Handbook, the SLO role includes the following responsibilities: being a bridge between the fans and the club; informing supporters of club decisions and communicating the fans’ point of view to the club; and building relations with fan groups and initiatives as well as with police and security.  At many Premier league and Football league clubs the role is independent and effective, seen as representing the supporter perspective in dialogue with the club.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board firmly believes that a fully-independent SLO, with no conflict of interest, representing supporter interests and no other, is essential in properly fulfilling the UEFA remit and optimising effective supporter dialogue. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to continue dialogue with the club, and other appropriate bodies, to encourage Chelsea FC to look at making the SLO position independent in line with other Premier League clubs.

Motion 17. Supporter Safety

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to engage in dialogue with the club to ensure that the safety of our supporters traveling abroad is adequately considered and of an appropriate level. By doing so we hope to allow shared experiences from other supporters’ trusts from their trips to similar locations so that lessons can be learnt on issues such as travel arrangements, ticket collection, policing, stewarding, security, as well as access and egress of stadium.

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

Chelsea FC invites fans to a Club organised trip to Auschwitz

Chelsea Supporters Trust logo

As part of the Club’s ongoing ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign, Chelsea FC are inviting fans groups to join the Club’s trip to Auschwitz on 5 June.

The trip is free of charge and open to all members of the Chelsea Supporters Trust. However, please note that due to the layout of the site there is limited accessibility at the Auschwitz Museum.

The Club would particularly welcome applications from fans aged 18-30 and all attendees would need their own valid travel insurance. The Club will also be extending the invitation to members of Chelsea staff.

Timings are to be confirmed however the trip will depart from Gatwick early on the morning of the 5th returning to Gatwick from Poland the same evening. The Club can arrange transport from Stamford Bridge upon request.

The trip is an important part of the Club’s work tackling Antisemitism. Space, however, is limited and in the event of oversubscription the Club will allocate spaces accordingly. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 15th May.

Should you be interested in participating in this trip please contact Simon Taylor at Chelsea (simon.taylor@chelseafc.com) and copy in membership@chelseasupporterstrust.com to confirm you CST membership, with your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number

Club to Host Say No To Antisemitism Event

 
As part of the Chelsea Football Club’s ongoing Say No To Antisemitism campaign, the Club is hosting a Holocaust survivor at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 27th March to meet supporters’ groups. The Club is delighted that Mala Tribich MBE has agreed to share her experiences, followed by a question and answer session.
 
The event will be held in the Champions Club from 6pm to 8pm and the Club would like to invite members of fan groups to the event. Food and a drink will be provided.
 
If you would like to attend, please email enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com with all requests for tickets no later than Thursday 22nd March at 5pm. Please include the name of any guests you are bringing as well as any dietary or accessibility requirements. Those who are allocated tickets will be contacted by representatives from the Club.
 
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Pat Nevin Q&A

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:

JACK WHITLEY MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED

On Saturday 30 September a short service will take place to mark the placing of a memorial stone on the grave of Jack Whitley at Brompton Cemetery. The grave for Whitley, who died in 1955, was previously unmarked and funding for the stone was raised by a crowdfunding campaign organised by the Chelsea Supporters Trust.

Before the unveiling ceremony, there will be a guided tour of Chelsea related graves at 11.00 am held by  Chelsea Historian Rick Glanvill.  If you want to go on the tour meet at the North Entrance to the Cemetery (nearest to West Brompton tube).

The ceremony to unveil the memorial and inscription will be held at at 12.00 pm at the grave. Everyone is welcome to attend both the tour and ceremony.

Jack Whitley’s grave can be found at the north-east corner of Brompton Cemetery and is a 5 minute walk from West Brompton station. The  74 and 430 bus’ stop just outside of the cemetery entrance.

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of Chelsea supporters – and those of other clubs, including Everton and Manchester United –  the target of £5,500 was raised within weeks.

Descendants of Jack were traced and several family members will be present at the service, as well as the match later that day against Manchester City, the special guests of Chelsea FC.

For almost half of his life Jack was a wonderful servant of Chelsea FC. He signed as a goalkeeper from Lincoln in 1907 and kept a clean sheet on his debut against Newcastle United 110 years ago this month – the new club’s first win in the top flight.

After retiring as a player in 1914 he became “Mr Chelsea”: the first team trainer, responsible for all areas of coaching and fitness, with a big role in player liaison and transfer negotiations. He was also trainer of the England team on several occasions – the de facto manager of the national side.

After 32 years at the Bridge, new manager Willie Birrell decided to freshen up the back room staff and Jack was let go in 1939. He eventually moved to Hertfordshire, where he was to die in 1955 – a few months after his beloved Blues won the league championship for the first time. Having committed so much of his life to the Stamford Bridge club it was fitting that he should be buried just across the tracks from the stadium – a fact that only came to light recently as a result of new research by official Chelsea historian Rick Glanvill. 

Jack has earned a unique distinction in Chelsea history. Not only did he serve the club for more than three decades, but he is the only known footballer to be buried at Brompton Cemetery.

The Royal Parks green-space, adjacent to Stamford Bridge, is also the final resting place of former directors, supporters, a chairman, and a manager of the club. All the graves there are tended by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust’s cemetery clean-up group, run by Cliff Auger, and the Trust has overseen the process of placing a stone on the Whitley grave in conjunction with Glanvill.

Chelsea Supporters Trust Chairman, David Chidgey said: “We are proud to be associated with the campaign to provide a fitting memorial to Jack Whitley, a loyal servant of Chelsea FC. Furthermore we are very grateful for the generosity of Chelsea supporters who donated to the campaign so readily. It proves unquestionably that the bond between supporters and players remains as strong as ever.”

We would like to thank all those who kindly donated money towards the fund, whatever the amount, and express our gratitude to Milestone Memorials, Royal Parks, the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, and Chelsea FC, for helping to make this happen.

Click here for a breakdown of how the £5,500 was spent.