Tag Archives: ticketing

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

Take Part in the Chelsea Supporters Trust Annual Survey

The sixth annual Chelsea Supporters Trust survey is now available online.

In order for the Trust to operate on a mandate that is a true representation of Supporters’ views, we need to know how you feel about the core issues affecting the Club. By carrying out this survey every year, the Trust is able to track supporters’ concerns. Where appropriate, questions have been dropped and new ones included.  In addition to regular topics, subjects this year include safe standing, VAR, and the proposed winter break.

Members have been emailed a link to the survey (please check junk mail folders if you have not received it). You can also access the survey on the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CST_Survey2018

As in previous years, the results will be presented to the Club. Your opinions really do make a difference! You can read about responses to previous surveys in the survey section of our website.

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

FAN REPS MEET WITH FA EXECUTIVES OVER CUP PRICING

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

Fans Forum – 7 December 2016

The second Fans’ Forum meeting took place at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 7 December 2016.

The main topics of discussion were ticketing and policing, where members of the Metropolitan Police, local and football unit, were invited to take part.

The minutes can be downloaded as a PDF here.

Statement re Ticket Pricing – 9 February 2016

Chelsea Supporters Trust – 9 February 2016

Ticket Pricing – Statement of the Chelsea Supporters Trust

The issue of Premier League (PL) ticket pricing has, rightly, hit the headlines in recent days. Television money is not being used to cap or reduce ticket prices, as many supporters hoped, but to further fill the wallets of players and agents. For certain clubs to increase prices of tickets at this time shows an arrogant disregard for their supporters that is breath-taking to behold.

There are supporter-related issues which affect Chelsea supporters specifically, and the Chelsea Supporters Trust will continue to campaign on those. The future of Chelsea Pitch Owners, the proposed move to an as-yet-unspecified temporary stadium and the proposed redevelopment of Stamford Bridge are all enormously important issues to Chelsea supporters that we shall seek to influence club thinking on.

There are also wider issues where Chelsea are one of a number of clubs involved and pan-club campaigning is clearly more effective. Ticket pricing is obviously one of these. Discussion at the Chelsea Fans Forum is never going to be remotely as effective as a cohesive and motivated campaign involving supporters from a host of PL clubs.

The CST board wrote a letter to the club two weeks ago asking, among other things, for the following:-

  • A freeze on all ticket prices in all categories for the three years of the new TV contract
  • New money to be set aside to allocate every club a one million pound per season Away Supporter’s Initiative fund, an end to away match categorisation and a cap on away ticket prices
  • Price reductions for 18-21 year-old fans – the future generation of supporters

A similar letter was sent by a number of other PL trusts to their clubs. As a result of that letter, representatives from the CST board were invited to a discussion with senior Chelsea executives. The points made in the letter were reiterated to the club executives as part of a wider discussion on ticketing and related issues. This meeting took place the day before last week’s widely-publicised Premier League shareholders meeting where ticket pricing was discussed. The Chelsea announcement on season and match ticket prices is usually made in late February or early March and it will be very interesting to see what stance Chelsea take.

To their credit, Chelsea have frozen Stamford Bridge ticket prices for most of the past decade, albeit from a very high base, and spend more than double the allocated £200,000 on the Away Supporter’s Initiative. The extra money coming into the game, though, gives them more flex to be imaginative with regard to pricing initiatives, as it does every PL club. Pricing strategy at the temporary home, wherever that is, will be both a challenge and an opportunity for Chelsea. It will be a challenge to ensure crowd optimisation and an opportunity to nurture young supporters.

The publicity generated by 10-12,000 supporters leaving Anfield on 77 minutes last Saturday shows that supporter-driven protest can work and praise is due to the organisers for making this happen. Liverpool are now clearly on the back foot after their ill-advised pricing strategy announcement. To his great credit Jamie Carragher has publicly spoken out against exploitative ticket pricing and Jurgen Klopp has asked that the issue be resolved. If influential figures within the game are actively saying enough is enough and the exploitation of supporter loyalty has gone too far, then the tide is clearly turning. The challenge is to effectively utilise this changing mood to try and effect a sustained reduction in prices for all Premier League matches.

The torrent of television money coming into the game should not be allowed to disappear into the pockets of players and agents, what Alan Sugar once called ‘the prune juice effect’. Why should the loyalty and commitment of the lifeblood of the game, match-going supporters, be continually abused? It seems clear that more and more supporters, across all PL clubs, increasingly feel this way. The trick now is to build on and utilise that dissatisfaction to make a difference.

Supporter Trusts are organised, have effective media relationships, ongoing member dialogue and talk to each other. The sports media in general seem less patronising and more supportive of legitimate supporter concerns than at any time in the past and this clearly helps getting messages across to supporters and the wider public.

It is clear that there is a wide desire to build on the publicity generated in recent days and the CST will be active participants in forthcoming discussions as to the most effective way to nationally campaign on PL ticket pricing in the weeks, months and years ahead, building on existing initiatives. It is too early to say what form future campaigning will take, but we will aim to keep CST members and the wider Chelsea supporter base fully informed and engaged.

Download the above Statement re ticket pricing 9 February 2016 in pdf format.

Regards
Tim Rolls, Chair
On behalf of the Chelsea Supporters Trust board

Chelsea Supporters Trust
Making your voice heard

Email: enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com
Twitter: @ChelseaSTrust
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