Supporter representatives from every top-flight club, including the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust recently met with Premier League executives to discuss a range of issues impacting match-going fans.
The meeting took place under the auspices of the Football Supporters Federation on 11th October and was attended by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and other league officials.
Fan representatives from every Premier League club attended the meeting, drawn from the FSF’s network of democratically structured trusts and supporter groups, as well as some fanzines and activists. Supporters Direct also attended.
This was the fifth meeting between fan organisations and the Premier League which followed Government recommendations on fan engagement. The first took place in July 2016.
Future meetings will take place on a bi-annual basis with the next one due to take place in Spring 2019.
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
Supporter representatives from every top-flight club met with Premier League executives recently to discuss a range of issues – including TV impact on the fixture schedule.
The meeting was attended by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and other league officials.
Tim Rolls was the Chelsea Supporters Trust representative and he was joined by supporter representatives from every Premier League club drawn from the network of democratically structured supporter trusts.
This was the third meeting between fan organisations and the Premier League which followed Government recommendations on fan engagement. The first took place in July 2016.
Future meetings will take place on a bi-annual basis with the next one due to take place in March 2018.
The Premier League will also be producing its own notes from the meeting – these will be published shortly.
The new season is almost upon us and for those in European competitions, supporters will be looking at their potential opponents. Not just to weigh up the opposition, but also to work out any potential and no doubt costly travel arrangements.
The likelihood is that at least one English team will be drawn against a Russian team, which will mean the cost and inconvenience of a visa application.
With the requirement to now attend the Russian Visa centre in person for Biometric collection, (not ideal for any supporters, especially those based outside of London as the two centres are in London & Edinburgh) not only is the cost a major issue, but for most supporters an extra day’s leave from work is required.
Spirit of Shankly, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Manchester City’s 1894 group, Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Everton’s Supporters’ Trust and Blue Union call upon UEFA and their respective clubs to work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure that a supporters’ ticket is sufficient as a visa should any English teams be drawn in Russia.
It is evident that this is more than a possibility due to the relaxation of the requirements for the Confederations Cup that was hosted in Russia earlier this year. With a valid match ticket supporters were able to apply for a fan ID, which in effect became their visa. We see no reason why this cannot be applied for UEFA competitions.
Similarly, we call for the British Government to apply the same sense for Russian fans visiting England.
Each Supporters’ Trust/Group will be lobbying their relevant club to ensure this happens.
On Wednesday 14th June 2017 the much anticipated Premier league fixtures for the coming season were announced, but at what cost for travelling fans?
CST board member Tim Rolls along with other team’s Trust board members Kat Law of THST, Anna Burgess of Spirit of Shankly, and Amanda Jacks FSF Caseworker, a working group set up under the auspices of the Football Supporters Federation, have worked tirelessly for many months compiling analysis of the fixtures as evidence of the difficulties match going fans face.
“Packed stadiums and a vibrant atmosphere are key parts of the ‘product’ the Premier League sells to broadcasters. But anti-social kick-off times, midweek journeys the length of the country when no public transport is available and short notice rearrangements for TV purposes are making it increasingly difficult for fans to get to games.”
On behalf of the CST, Tim also works tirelessly along with other team’s Trust boards on a range of issues that affect our members, including TV fixtures
, plus many other topics as part of the Premier League structured dialogue
meetings. We are grateful to Tim for his important contribution to our work.
In November, Tim Rolls representing the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, along with representatives of Spirit of Shankly, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’Trust and the Football Supporters’ Federation met with senior Executives from Sky Sports to discuss the impact of the rescheduling of Premier League matches for broadcast on match going fans, particularly away supporters. A further meeting was held on 22 February, with comment to follow.
Ongoing dialogue surrounding the scheduling of Premier League fixtures for TV took place at the latest meeting between supporter groups and representatives from Sky Sports.
The meetings were set up to give consideration to supporter groups and the impact on fans, particularly travelling fans, of fixture schedule changes when making TV selections, while at the same time outlining the requirements and considerations that have to be taken into account from a broadcast perspective.
Sky Sports is always mindful of the impact of their selections, taking this into consideration where possible on TV picks to minimise the impact on fans. The company also recognises that its customers and match-going fans are one and the same.
Fan reps now a have a greater understanding of the complexities of fixture scheduling, particularly the various contractual obligations broadcasters must meet.
Kat Law from the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, said: “We were encouraged by Sky’s enthusiasm to continue to build a working relationship with supporter representatives and the desire, from the top of the organisation, to consider travelling supporters when scheduling matches for live coverage.”
Gary Hughes, Sky Sports Head of Football, said: “We welcome this conversation with supporters about travelling to away matches and understanding the issues they face. It has also been helpful to outline the process we go through to select live fixtures, and the contractual obligations that ensure every club and every ground is featured regularly across the various slots we can schedule matches in. We have listened to the feedback, will continue to do so and widen this dialogue in future.”
While broadcasters have an influence on the match schedule throughout the season, the ultimate responsibility for fixture scheduling rests with the Premier League, and supporter groups are renewing the call for representatives from the Premier League to engage in these discussions as positively as Sky have done.
The supporter reps will now seek meetings with the Premier League, BT Sport, the train operators and individual clubs as they look for a joined-up approach to ensuring fixture rescheduling for broadcast purposes has minimal impact on travelling fans in the future.
Our co-opted representative Tim Rolls attended the meeting and provided the following update:
Members surveys by Premier League supporters organisations including Chelsea Supporters Trust have clearly shown that rearranged kick-off times at the demand of Sky or BT Sport are a significant frustration for match-going supporters, particularly but not exclusively travelling ones. The impact on cost, work arrangements and family life of these rearrangements should not be under-estimated.
The recent meeting I attended with Sky, following on from a meeting of supporters representatives with the Premier League in July where the matter was discussed, was a necessary step in heightening stakeholder awareness of the impact of rearranged fixtures on match-going supporters. It is, however, by no means the end of the process. Further stakeholder dialogue needs to take place, involving PL, Sky, BT Sport and supporters representatives sitting round the same table. Only by doing this is there a chance that supporters needs are effectively taken into account when PL fixtures are rescheduled.
We would like to thank Tim for his ongoing work in this area, along with other Premier League Trust representatives. This is an important and frustrating issue for many of our members. Thanks also to the FSF for facilitating the meeting as we look forward to some positive progress.