CHELSEA FC ACCESSIBLE SUPPORTERS FORUM

3rd MEETING MINUTES, 2018-19 SEASON

 

1905 Club, Stamford Bridge

Monday 25th March 2019, 4.00pm

 

Attendees                             Group represented/ role

Collins, Eamon                     CFC Disability Liaison and Supporters Club Supervisor

Cornwall-Jones, Linsey      Non-ambulant member

Courage, Jason                    Wheelchair Member

Flatau, Bob                           Assistant Facilities Manager and Disabled Officer

Hayden, Lisa                         Wheelchair season ticket (“ST”) holder

Hayes, Tim                            Member

Law, Matthew                       Honorary – CDSA

Morse, Barry                         Ambulant member

Piggott, Diane                       CFC Disabled Liaison Officer and Supporters’ Clubs Manager

Regan, Andy                         Forum Chairman

Smith, Graham                     CFC Head of Ticketing and Head of Supporters’ Liaison

 

Apologies

McGeever, Timothy Ambulant ST Holder

 

 

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

 

There were no changes to the last minutes.

 

Disabled fans’ representation at other clubs

 

The Club has contacted some clubs to find out how their disabled fans arrange their own supporters’ association but there is no one template that appears to be used.  The Forum Chairman recapped that there was a separation of organisations earlier in the season:   this group has been renamed the Accessible Supporters Forum, which is the Club-run consultative group, whilst the Chelsea Disabled Supporters Association (“CDSA”) is for disabled supporters to run without Club involvement.

 

There isn’t any additional information the Club can provide as to how fans here could run the CDSA.  The problem is that Matthew is being left with a lot to do.

 

Matthew added that there is a meeting outside London on 8th May for disabled supporters’ associations, but he won’t be able to attend.  Any offers from other disabled fans to attend would be appreciated.  The Club suggested he contact other disabled fans via the CDSA website to request others’ involvement.  The Club tells our disabled fans about the CDSA initially.  Matthew should speak to other disabled supporters’ associations about how they run their associations, should he have time.

 

A representative commented that he hasn’t been contacted by other disabled fans whilst on the Forum, despite having an email link on the Club website.  The Club commented that the lack of response may be a good thing as disabled fans may be largely happy with what the Club offers.  The Club can’t set down how CDSA should operate as the Association should be independent.  Cardiff Disabled Supporters Association has a few officers and a set structure, for instance.  Other associations are contactable. 

 

Matthew commented that others may not volunteer to help.

 

The Club is happy to contact Level Playing Field and ask them to contact Matthew to assist him.

 

Food and drink sellers in the East Lower

 

The Club responded to a question by commenting that there used to be a seller going to fans in that area, but the facility wasn’t utilised much.  There is now the App which is popular.  A representative commented that someone came to our disabled fans at Fulham offering to bring food and drink to them.  The Club said it did that here for a number of years prior to the App.  The Club will look to reintroduce this for disabled fans.  The Club is also happy to show representatives how the App works.  Pre-orders have to be made 9 to 60 hours before, with cheaper prices and a wide variety of products available.

 

Another representative commented that the App works well.

 

 

AGENDA TOPICS SUBMITTED

 

Safety stewards

 

A representative commented there was a serious altercation between our fans and Spurs fans at a recent match, with supporters being pushed by the Bovril Gate and a potential bottleneck appearing.  A chief steward was very helpful in extricating him and his son, bringing them away from the trouble spot.  On other occasions too they have been helpful.

 

East Stand screens

 

It was raised by a representative that we previously discussed whether small screens could be introduced in the East Lower, where the large screen can’t be seen clearly.  The Club said there are parts of the West Upper as well where the large screens couldn’t be seen.  It would be ideal to introduce new, smaller screens in the East Lower, but these are in the “wish list” category f-at present.  If introduced, they would be at the front and, due to the overhang position, would be at an angle.  There would probably be one per two bays.

 

Demand for disabled spaces

 

A representative commented that there are still many unused disabled positions.  The free ticket policy could be continued.  The Club responded that it will increase marketing next season for these positions but intended price increases will take place as planned.  Only one club has sold out the away section for disabled places this season.  Numbers using the home areas are similar to last season but the intention is to increase this next season.  We charge the same for away club disabled fans as we do for our home disabled fans.

 

As the Club announced in the press release on the website a few weeks ago, next season is the last free season for existing ST holders.  Those who hold a season ticket in 2018/19 will pay 50% of the full ST price for season 2020-21 and full price will be charged from 2021-22.  For new ST holders from next season, full price is paid.

 

This is in order to fall in line with other non-disabled ticket pricing. 

 

Current non-disabled ticket prices are £595 in the East Lower, £900 in the West Lower and £770 in the Shed Lower.  The Club can’t be sure how many will take up positions for disabled areas.  When a current ST holder doesn’t renew, those fans with the highest number of loyalty points are offered an ST, irrespective of whether they are disabled or not.  The Club won’t offer free tickets for new ST holders next season, and then charge them the season after.  For cup games next season, those renewing their ST from 2018/19 will receive them for free and those starting their ST will pay for them. 

 

Racist chanting

 

It was raised by a representative that a ST holder in the West Lower was reported for racist comments and swearing to Kick It Out due to their behaviour at the Spurs league game.  The Club said it can’t comment on individual instances that are being investigated.

 

 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

 

East Stand stewarding

 

A representative commented that stewards in the south end let all fans through at half-time so disabled fans can’t get in or out.  The Club will follow this up to ensure barriers are being used appropriately.

 

Change of representatives

 

The Forum Chairman thanked Barry and Lindsey for completing their two-year terms and confirmed that we would love to see them back if their places aren’t taken by new applicants in the summer. 

 

All representatives were thanked for their time and input this season, as our meetings are very helpful to the Club.

 

Ticket office

 

Representatives thanked the ticket office for their efficiency and helpfulness.  One commented that he approached Manchester United to take his godson to a match there some years ago.  They had a ticket office based overseas but the service provided by ours is more personal.

 

Improving facilities

 

The Club commented that it always welcomes suggestions for facilities that could be improved.

 

Catering

 

The Club requested review forms to be completed for the catering samples on offer today and welcomes requests for new items to include on the App.  There are 12 vegetarian options and 5 vegan options available.  The Club is happy to arrange tasting for any item.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meeting finished at 4.35pm.                           .