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
We have received the following key messages and advice from the Metropolitan Police Football Unit ahead of both FA Cup semi finals this weekend:
Saturdays game is a sell out with 90,000 supporters travelling to Wembley for a 5.15pm kick off. The majority of tickets have gone to Tottenham and Chelsea but there is a proportion that are reserved for corporate boxes, sponsors and the FA football family. Sundays game is also a sell out with a kick off scheduled for 3pm. I have attached a list of pubs that have been allocated to each club. Chelsea have been allocated the West of the stadium and Tottenham the East. For Sundays game, Arsenal are in the East and Manchester City in the West. Please note that Moore Spice which is traditionally in the East has been allocated to Manchester City as the coach park containing a large number of Manchester City coaches is situated immediately next to the venue.
The Wembley Safety Officer has asked me to advise supporters that flags must not exceed 2.5 metres and must not cause obstruction or annoyance to other fans. They must of course meet the required fire safety standards and fans should have the appropriate certificates with them should they be required. He has asked me to remind supporters that Wembley is an all seater stadium and persistent standing could lead to ejection form the stadium. Please be mindful that this is not Wembley Stadium being difficult but is a requirement under the Safety Regulations.
There will be a full search programme at the Stadium following the recent events in Germany and elsewhere. Most supporters will already be aware that security and searching at football grounds has increased this season. Wembley is no different but due to the large numbers of fans attending, searching may take longer. Please do not turn up at the last minute and expect to walk straight into the stadium. It probably wouldn’t happen at your own stadium so there is a very good chance it won’t happen at Wembley!
If there is anything that supporters consider suspicious then please report it to either police or stewards. There is never a bad call and if something is highlighted to us in good faith then you will never be criticised.
I know that this may sound repetitive but please advise your supporters not to bring flares and smoke devices to Wembley or surrounding areas. Supporters found in possession of flares/smoke devices will be arrested and banning Orders will be applied for. I appreciate that this sounds as though police are being Killjoys but there is a real risk that surrounds igniting flares and smoke devices off in confined spaces. Apart from the obvious fire issues, many devices contain harmful substances that may affect other supporters around you. Igniting devices in confined spaces causes panic amongst some supporters so please leave the flares behind and let everyone enjoy the day.
The Police Commander – Ch Supt Jon Williams hopes that all supporters have a fantastic day. He will however deal with criminality and Anti-social behaviour in a positive way so that those law abiding fans who want to travel to the game do not have to tolerate the bad behaviour of the minority. Wembley Stadium prides itself on organising events for the whole family and the MPS will be supporting stewards who have to deal with supporters intent on spoiling the day for others.
Those supporters who are drunk are likely to be refused entry into the stadium. I’m not going to lecture supporters on what they can and cannot do in terms of the amount of alcohol they drink but all we ask is for fans to drink responsibly and accept that, if they overdo things then they may be refused entry to the Stadium.
There are likely to be ticket touts in operation around the area of the stadium. Please do not buy tickets from these people as it is very likely that they will be forgeries. Wembley Stadium will not facilitate any supporters who have bought tickets from touts and subsequently find that they are fakes. Supporters should report any tout activity to police who will deal accordingly.
To my knowledge there are no planned works on the rail network over the weekend. Supporters travelling across London on Sunday should be aware that the London Marathon is taking place on the same day so tubes and trains are likely to be busier than normal across central London. There will also be some road closures especially south of the river throughout the day.
Finally, Wembley Stadium, MPS and BTP hope that all supporters have a brilliant and trouble free day. If there are any issues that will affect supporters travelling to Wembley on either Saturday or Sunday we will make every effort to get information to them as soon as possible through our respective Twitter accounts. Please follow @MPSFOOTBALLUNIT for any updates throughout the weekend.