Tag Archives: The FA

Statement on FA Cup Late Kick Off Time

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust is extremely disappointed to hear that the 4th Round FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday or Luton Town has been scheduled for 18.00 on Sunday 27th January, due to the match being televised live by the BBC.

While the FA Cup may be losing its appeal among some clubs and supporters, this is definitely not the case at Chelsea where FA Cup matches sell out match after match, year after year.

However, we wonder how long this exceptional support will continue when the FA, in thrall to the Broadcasters, has sold the soul of football’s most prestigious tournament and in doing so shows nothing but contempt for supporters with inconvenient kick off times and the inherent transport difficulties and costs that ensue.

A 6.00 pm kick-off on a Sunday evening will be particularly hard on Sheffield Wednesday supporters, should they beat Luton Town in the replay, with travel back up to Yorkshire late on a Sunday night especially difficult. But it’s not just the away supporters who will find it difficult, whether from Sheffield or Luton.

Many Chelsea supporters also travel long distances to watch Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge. For reasonably priced FA Cup ties, many supporters take their young children, possibly for their first match.  With a kick off time of 6.00 pm those plans may now change and many kids will now be disappointed. At a time when the clubs and the game should be doing everything they can to encourage the next generation to attend football matches, it seems obtuse to deny access through a late kick off time to the very same people.

Presumably they’ll be able to watch it on TV, which is where the game seems to be heading; a game no longer for supporters watching in stadiums, but for those in the comfort of their armchair.

Supporters have already expressed frustration and anger at the lack of traditional 3.00 pm kick off times and the number of early, late or Friday night kick offs, due to broadcast demands in this season’s FA Cup. This follows on from the extortionate ticket prices charged by the FA for the Semi-Finals and FA Cup Final last season, a point we made vociferously at the time.

If the FA Cup wishes to retain its pre-eminence as the most loved tournament in football, then the FA would do well to heed the concerns of the very people who make it what it is and ultimately who it serves: The Supporters.

 

 

 

 

 

FA Cup Ticket Price Protest

We are The Shed and the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust are planning a visual protest at The FA Cup Final to show our disgust at the ticket prices. 

When The Chairman of The FA is presented on the pitch, shortly after ‘Abide with Me’, to shake hands with dignitaries and officials, we urge all supporters turn their backs on the pitch until he has left the pitch.

We urge supporters of both teams to take part and spread the word, to help create a powerful visual protest against FA Cup Final ticket prices and show that collectively we can collaborate, make a point and take action.

This year has seen a substantial increase in ticket prices compared with last season’s final, with the largest allocation of tickets (category 2) increasing in price by 35%.

We urge all those attending the game to take part and help get the message across to The FA that, as football supporters, we are against blatant profiteering at the expense of the supporters and treating us contemptuously as cash cows.

We have had enough and it needs to stop.

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

FA RESPONDS TO FAN REPS CALLS OVER CUP PRICING

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