Minutes, 2nd meeting, season 2014-15
Attenborough Suite, Millennium Hotel, Chelsea FC
Saturday 31st January 2015, 1.30pm
Attendees (Constituency represented/ role)
Buck, Bruce – Chairman, Chelsea FC
Hayden, Lisa – Non-ambulant season ticket (“ST”) holder
Hayes, Tim – Non-ambulant match supporter member
Law, Matthew – Honorary committee member
McGeever, Timothy – Ambulant ST holder
Piggott, Diane – Disabled Liaison Officer and Supporters’ Clubs Manager, Chelsea FC
Powell, Mick – Ambulant match supporter member
Regan, Andy – Independent Chair
Smith, Graham – Head of Ticketing and Head of Supporters’ Liaison, Chelsea FC
(Action points are underlined.)
MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
There were no changes to the last minutes.
The Club has ensured there are extra boxes of capes available at relevant points. In bad weather it ensures sure there will be enough.
The Club also reiterates that it welcomes further website feedback.
STANDING AT MATCHES
One supporter raised the fact that away at Crystal Palace all our fans were standing which hindered some disabled supporters from getting a clear view. The Club responded that it works with supporters at home matches to deal with persistent standing although sometimes they stand here as well. This is a problem for all clubs and capacities can be cut as a sanction by local authorities. We try and ensure disabled supporters are near the front. Good stewarding is key but at our away matches we know our supporters tend to stand.
One supporter commented that stewarding was bad at Crystal Palace generally, for instance non-disabled fans were standing in the disabled area. Stewards seemed disinterested to help when approached. This prevented some in wheelchairs from being able to see the pitch. Stewards didn’t break up a fight either. Most stewards were told to wait outside the ground apparently.
The Club will contact Crystal Palace about the problems.
The Club commented that the problems last time were well highlighted. The Club has contacted those who went to the away match last year and we will be in the same part of the stadium but there will be extra stewarding. Graham Smith and John Cotton, one of Keith’s colleagues, will help at the match as well. Once all arrangements are in place all away fans for this match will be contacted detailing arrangements. There is a reconnaissance visit before the match to Paris, which is part of the process carried out before every away match in Europe.
One supporter asked if the rumour is true that our fans can’t wear colours there. The Club said it’s not yet in a position to confirm arrangements but it has rejected the offer to move away fans within the stadium. Disabled fans being in front of PSG fans was a major problem last time and there will be extra stewarding generally.
It was also mentioned by a supporter that our disabled fans were directed towards the PSG and Chelsea fans who were leaving the ground, which didn’t help. The Club commented that fans will have the option of going the other way round.
FEEDBACK FROM DISABLED FANS
The issue was raised of obtaining feedback from disabled fans specifically about facilities for the disabled. The Club responded there is an annual survey that’s sent to all fans which doesn’t currently cover disabled issues.
The Club will look into obtaining feedback from disabled supporters.
TOILETS FOR THE DISABLED
In answer to a question, the Club commented that within the West Lower, there are three by the Shed and one towards the Matthew Harding Stand. The Club said it has started a refurbishment programme which includes tiling, mirrors, hooks and flooring. Not surprisingly the older disabled toilets are more in need of refurbishment, such as mirrors not being at the right height for wheelchairs. One fan commented that the toilet he uses is totally refurbished and the flooring in particular is a big improvement.
It was raised that some non-disabled fans use the toilets for the disabled.
The Club will try and ensure non-disabled fans don’t have access.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Capital One Cup Final
In answer to a question the Club said Wembley is well aware of the rivalry between the clubs and the police will have sufficient numbers.
There are over 100 seats for the disabled available. The number available to members will be known when the ST allocation has been sold for the match. There are definitely enough for all ST holders.
There are two or three car parks which are usually booked through NCP. The Club will publicise the details once they’re finalised. It’s usually closed for an hour after the match.
Tickets range from £100 downwards which is the same price range as for non-disabled fans. Our disabled supporters will have a choice of level (1 or 5) and price range, which represents a change for our Wembley matches. We have 43 tickets in category 2 and 52 in category 3. There are no category 4 tickets and we have 12 in category 5 and 9 in category 1. The division of ticket prices is different at Wembley to most stadia.
Personal assistants obtain a free ticket. The view for non-ambulant disabled fans is usually good. The map is on the website now and shows the various price categories and levels.
In addition to the c.63,000 tickets going to the two clubs, the rest go to Club Wembley members and the rest, about 10,000, go to sponsors and the wider football family. In an FA Cup Final we only get around 25,000. It is possible to buy some tickets from the Wembley website as well. There are TV and sponsor competitions. In an ITV competition our supporters won a couple of STs.
The Club was asked if specific items for the disabled could be sold such as heating bags, wheelchair items, ponchos.
The Club would appreciate an email with suggestions from any CDSA members and will put the idea forward.
Spacing of wheelchair fans
One supporter suggested having personal assistants behind wheelchairs to maximise numbers. The Club commented that it is reviewing the disabled area.
Height of serving bars
The Club commented that there are low serving bars already in place in the West Lower.
App/ payment methods
The Club is looking at the possible introduction of an app to help supporters which may include an option for delivery of food and drink to your seat.
Faster payment options are also being considered using payment facilities on the ST card. Coventry tried this and the facility is used in Germany. It should speed up service. The Club already sells beer tokens to speed up the process. Half time is a particular problem. The Club receives a lot of complaints in the hospitality area regarding supporters who leave early and return late in order to obtain food and drink.
One supporter commented how impressive the CDSA website is, particularly articles about personal accounts of matches. The Club commented there are links in place between that website and the official website.
The Club will assist with the set up of a Facebook site for CDSA.
The meeting finished at 2.10pm.