Tag Archives: news

Fans Forum – 19 April 2017

The third and final of the season Fans’ Forum meeting took place at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 19 April 2017.

The main topics of discussion were the club’s own annual fans’ survey, the temporary and new stadiums, and a mix of points raised by the various assembled representatives.

The minutes can be downloaded as a PDF here.

A summary of the CFC annual survey can be downloaded as a PDF here.

Good Sense Prevails

Many Chelsea fans, and the wider football community, will have read about the case of an autistic lad, a passionate Chelsea supporter, who was recently caught in possession of two flares on his way to see Chelsea play at West Ham. More of the background to the story can be found here.

David Hislop QC, acting for the young lad, has asked us to pass on his thanks, as the next stage of the process continues….

Good Sense Prevails

The support from Chelsea fans all around the world in answer to a plea for assistance by an autistic Chelsea fan who faced a Football Banning Order was immense. Hundreds of emails, over two thousand tweets. Together with that support, the support of the Chelsea Supporters Trust and the Football Supporters Federation the court today was persuaded to conditionally discharge our young fan for six months and the Police and Crown Prosecution Service were further persuaded to withdraw their application for a Football Banning Order on the basis of a voluntary agreement to counselling from the Football Supporters Federation and an agreement to supervision at future matches. Our fan and family are overwhelmed by the support from the Chelsea supporters community. A special thank you.

The battle now continues to deal with the ban the CFC have imposed pending further investigation and representations. We hope that ‘good sense’ continues to prevail.

David Hislop QC

KTBFFH

Next Fans Forum Meeting on 19 April 2017

The final Fans’ Forum meeting of the season will take place on Wednesday 19 April 2017.  It is a general meeting and all topics are open for discussion, bearing in mind that on-pitch subjects do not fall under the Forum’s remit.

If you wish to raise an issue, please let us know by Friday 7th April so that agenda items can be included. Questions and issues can be sent to our Fans’ Forum representative Debs Coady at enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com or debscoady@chelseasupporterstrust.com or via our contact form.

 

West Ham away game on 6th March 2017

Representatives of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust recently attended a briefing meeting at the ‘London’ stadium ahead of our Premier League fixture on Monday evening 6th March 2017, following the well publicised events of our League Cup game there back in October 2016. We were joined by staff of West Ham United and Chelsea FC , LS185 (responsible for stewarding), Police including the Matchday Commander, and supporter reps of West Ham.

We were generally satisfied that many actions have been implemented by WHU, LS185 and the Police to ensure that most of the issues seen in the previous game are unlikely to reoccur.

Chelsea FC have issued guidance for match going supporters.

We are hopeful the event will pass without major incident, and we are happy to receive feedback from traveling supporters attending the game, negative and positive. Email at enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com or via our contact form.

Newsletter – February 2017

Welcome to our first Newsletter of the Year, and indeed our first one for far too long, for which I owe you a huge apology. As a result this might be a longer newsletter than usual as we have a lot to catch up on.  I promise to keep them a little briefer in the future!
~ Chairman

You can download and read it here:

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Newsletter February 2017

West Ham EFL Cup Game – Follow Up Meeting

Following on from our EFL Cup game against West Ham at the London Stadium, Amanda Jacks, Caseworker at the Football Supporters Federation facilitated a meeting between parties involved with game management; stadium operators LS185, Met Police Football Unit and British Transport Police plus representatives from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust and West Ham supporter organisations.

The meeting took place on 9 November 2016 and with the agreement of all present, the following notes have been drawn up by Amanda and address many of the issues and concerns raised by our supporters who attended the game.

We would like to thank Amanda for her involvement and work in getting all parties together, and we look forward to a safer and more enjoyable experience when we return for our Premier League game in March 2017 (assuming we aren’t drawn there in the FA Cup beforehand).

We would also like to thank the many Chelsea supporters who sent us  reports of their experiences at the London Stadium on 26 October 2016. Significantly, the reports were consistent in their accounts of the evening’s events and were used to form the basis of our complaints to the relevant authorities.

Amanda Jack’s notes:

“Following the recent West Ham Utd FC v Chelsea FC EFL Cup Game, I asked the Met Police if they would facilitate a meeting to discuss the fixture.  They agreed to this and together with the interim Chair of the newly reformed WHU Independent Supporter Association, two Board members of the Chelsea Supporters Trust, a representative of the WHU fansite Claret & Hugh and an individual WHU supporter invited by the clubs dedicated football officer, we all met on Wednesday, 9 November the earliest day after the game all parties were available.  Also in attendance were the Heads of Safety & Security and Commercial from LS185 the London Stadium operators, the clubs (very new) Supporter Services Manager and a Sergeant from BTPs Football Unit.

After introductions, I opened the meeting by stating the obvious; that all supporter representatives in no way condoned the behaviour of those whose actions were well publicised and that we were all there to raise genuine concerns raised by many of our members. The common themes in communications from both home and away supporters included policing and stewarding and whether or not it could have been more effective in reducing anti-social behaviour and possible criminality.  The concerns were balanced by a recognition that individuals must take responsibility for their own behaviour but equally the legitimate question was asked – could more effective policing and stewarding and overall match day operation reduced the likelihood of disorder and anti social behaviour.  A candid discussion by all parties followed.

Broadly speaking the Met Police were happy with their operation but acknowledged, as did LS185 that the stadium and the vast surrounding areas present unique challenges. The design of the London Stadium does not afford natural segregation meaning there is freedom of movement inside that is relatively unusual.  Unfortunately, while the vast majority of fans stayed in their designated seats a small number took advantage of the freedom and came together for no other reason than to take advantage of closer proximity to the away fans.

Supporters around the table said that they’d observed behaviour in the first half of the game (goading, gestures etc) and questioned why those responsible weren’t spoken to or even ejected at half time which is more or less common practice elsewhere.  Many of those who’d contacted their respective fans reps had said they’d also witnessed stewards not taking swift action to deal with ASB.  There was a admission from LS185 that in some instances the stewarding was not as proactive as it could have been and this is being addressed. Fans could expect to see more stewards in the future although it was suggested it wasn’t the number of stewards that mattered, it was their quality and competence that was important.  This wasn’t disagreed with by LS185 but the reality is there isn’t a limitless pool of stewards to recruit from. 

LS185 said it should also be taken into account that they have a duty of care towards stewards and they will not send stewards in to remove supporters whilst the game was ongoing to prevent them (stewards) becoming a target and consideration also needs to be given as to whether or not intervention could cause an escalation of behaviour.  

Externally, numerous supporters raised concerns as to the lack of sufficient signage a lighting.  While this was acknowledged as being an issue, the reality is given the land around the stadium straddles three different Boroughs and with many organisations (such as Thames Water) having lawful access and rights over the land, identifying one party responsible practically and financially for the provisions isn’t easy.   This is frustrating to say the least and I committed to write to the Mayor of London to ask him if he can assist in cutting through “red tape” and work towards ensuring facilities that assist towards health, safety and security are provided. 

One specific issue raised by the Chelsea Supporters Trust was to ask about a number of their supporters who had been escorted from Highbury & Islington to Hackney Wick station and thereafter the stadium by the police.  Some had been issued with dispersal notices whereas others had been allowed access into the stadium but not in time for the first half of the game. 

The Met went into some detail about this aspect of their operation and explained that the group were all known to them, that they were ‘risk’ supporters and the intention was to ensure they did not cause disorder before, during or after the game.  CST explained that while this may well have been the case, within the group were fans caught up in this operation who had no intentions of doing anything other than supporting their team and were targeted unfairly.

With regard to the holdbacks that fans from both sides were subjected to pre and post match, these were imposed by the police as part of the ‘risk’ group/fan management and it was acknowledged by the police that their communication (with loudhailers, perhaps) to those innocent fans caught up could have been better and that they resolved to improve this for future such incidents, where appropriate.

The Met acknowledged that sometimes innocent fans may well be inadvertently caught up in such escorts and were sorry if that was the case on this occasion.  However, they explained that the officers managing the escort are able to exercise discretion and will always make a case by case decision if fans ask them if they can make their own way free from an escort.  Equally, the police will proactively pick fans out of the escort if they’re not known to them – for example pensioners or those with young children with them – and let them leave of their own accord.

The meeting drew to a close after a discussion lasting over two hours.  All questions and points raised by supporter representatives were addressed with total transparency and there was no shying away from difficult subjects.    Ultimately, the stadium operators have to work with the stadium as it stands and likewise the police have a vast area to manage externally.   Each game presents different challenges and while there may have been healthy debate on some aspects and some questions raised more issues than answers, we were all broadly reassured that while solutions may not be immediately found, both LS185 and the Met are in no doubt as to fans legitimate concerns and are working hard to address those, so as far as is reasonably possible the ‘match day experience’ for all is a positive and safe one.”

 

Next Fans’ Forum meeting on 7 December 2016

The next Fans’ Forum meeting to be held with Chelsea FC is set to take place on Wednesday 7 December 2016.

The main topic of discussion is scheduled to be about ticketing. However, we are also due to be joined at the meeting  by senior representatives from Hammersmith &Fulham Police and the  Central Football Unit. 

If you have any questions or comments for the police or on ticketing please submit them to us by Friday 25th November to ensure that your issue can be raised. (For your information, the police can’t discuss the West Ham away match in detail.)

Please send your questions and issues to us at enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com or direct to our Fans’ Forum rep Debs Coady at debscoady@chelseasupporterstrust.com

West Ham Away Follow Up Statement

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West Ham Away – Follow Up Statement

We met with senior club representatives last night to share our membership’s views and experiences from before, during and after the West Ham game.

We believe that the Club did everything within their power prior to the game to mitigate the issues that arose during the evening, but it should be noted that as the away side they were limited in terms of what they could realistically do to manage the situation.

Thank you for your feedback which culminated in a report to the club which they have taken on board and will consider going forward.

We will also be sharing that same information with West Ham and the Met Police.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust

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. “

Playfair-2BQatar-2BLogo

 

CST Motions & Mandate 2016-17

During the election process of the Chelsea Supporters Trust the Board submit to the membership a number of issues which arose in the 2015/16 season and/or were raised in a review of the results of the June 2016 membership survey.

The background to a number of these issues, and details of progress in the past twelve months, can be found in the 2015/16 Chelsea Supporters Trust Annual Report.

photo-21The membership then vote on each motion and they become the stated policy of the board for the next 12 months and provide us with a mandate to work towards achieving these aims on behalf of the membership.

These are the motions which were all successfully passed in the recent CST elections.

Approval of 2015/16 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner The Chelsea Supporters Trust accounts for the year ended 31/5/16 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.

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.

Stamford Bridge Redevelopment

The Chelsea Supporters Trust Board notes with approval the continued clear desire of the club owner for Chelsea to remain at Stamford Bridge, and the work that has taken place towards achieving this. The CST board is mandated to continue to work with the appointed consultants, the club and other relevant stakeholders to help ensure supporter opinion is properly and openly taken into account with regard to issues such as facilities and ticket pricing as the process moves forward.

Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners

Regardless of the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Supporters Trust board believes that the retention of the CPO in its current role is an essential safeguard for Chelsea supporters with regard to the long-term future of Stamford Bridge. It is mandated to continue to work with the CPO board, and other appropriate bodies, towards fulfilling this aim.

Temporary Stadium

Regardless of when Chelsea move to a temporary stadium, to which location and for whatever duration, the Chelsea Supporters Trust board believes that such a move presents significant opportunities with regard to the implementation an attractive ticket pricing structure, including the opportunity to attract significant numbers of young supporters. Given this, it is mandated to press the club for such a structure to be implemented.

Atmosphere Concerns and Safe Standing

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. The results of the Safe Standing survey carried out among Chelsea supporters in 2014 indicated overwhelming support for Safe Standing. The Board is mandated to continue to campaign for standing sections to be introduced as part of the Stamford Bridge redevelopment and at other football stadia, as part of the wider national ‘Safe Standing’ campaign co-ordinated by the Football Supporters Federation.

Ticketing / Supporter Issues

The £30 cap on away Premier League tickets shows what can be done by concerted campaigning, especially in the light of the extra TV money received by Premier League clubs. The Chelsea Supporters Trust board is mandated to pursue the issue of fair ticket pricing and ticket allocation 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 4 Premier League, the Football Association, relevant television companies, other Supporters Trusts, the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct.

Kick-Off Times

The number of Premier League games rearranged to suit the television companies, and the short notice given for such rearrangements, causes both inconvenience and cost to matchgoing supporters. The Chelsea Supporters Trust board is mandated to work with other supporters trusts and appropriate bodies to push the TV companies and Premier League for more notice to be given for such rearrangements, for published deadlines to be strictly adhered to and, where appropriate for supporters to be compensated for the extra cost.

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 the club. 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 that, though this is progress, there is no valid reason whatsoever why full membership should not be granted and are mandated to push for this.

Ticket Touting

The Chelsea Supporters Trust board is mandated to use its involvement with the Safety Advisory Group 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.

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, Andy Slaughter (MP for Hammersmith), 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.

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 5 to Chelsea FC. This could, for example, take the form of charitable work or through supporting specific supporter based campaigns as they arise.

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.

CST Annual Membership Renewal date

To simplify administration and enable a more effective renewal process, the Chelsea Supporters Trust board recommends that there is a single annual renewal date for memberships. To implement this, the board recommends that the next renewal date for those whose memberships were current on 31 May 2016 is set to 1 June 2017 and annually thereafter. Those making automatic payments via Paypal can either continue payment on anniversary date of joining or adjust their payments to be made on 1 June.

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, to identify a potential fairer solution and present it to the club

Agreed Purchase of  Kingsmeadow from AFC Wimbledon

The Trust should liaise with Chelsea Football Club to ensure that an open and transparent dialogue is conducted with Kingstonian FC in preparation (and for the aftermath) of the agreed purchase of Kingsmeadow from AFC Wimbledon.