2nd MEETING MINUTES, 2016-17 SEASON
Vialli Suite, Chelsea FC
Wednesday 7th December 2016, 4.00pm
Attendees (Group represented/ role)
Carey, Steven ††††††††† Ambulant season ticket (ďSTĒ) holder
Collins, Eamon ††††††† Disability Liaison and Supporters Club Supervisor, Chelsea FC
Daine, Nav††††††††††††††† Club Head of Concessions
Flatau, Bob † Disabled Access Officer, Chelsea FC
Hayden, Lisa† ††††††††† Non-ambulant ST holder
Hayes, Tim †† Non-ambulant match supporter member
Powell, Mick Ambulant match supporter member
Regan, Andy ††††††††††† Independent Chair
Smith, Graham ††††††† Head of Ticketing and Head of Supportersí Liaison, Chelsea FC
Gray, Jamie Head of Facilities, Chelsea FC
Law, Matthew ††††††††† Honorary committee member
Moody, Rich Ambulant Rota supporter member
Piggott, Diane ††††††††† Disabled Liaison Officer and Supportersí Clubs Manager, Chelsea FC
MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
There are no changes to the minutes.
The Club has investigated two areas for changing rooms in the West Stand Lower and East Stand Lower respectively, and has worked out what equipment would be needed.† The East Stand Lower could be available on non-match days.† Costings will be established but if planning consent is granted there will be limited spending in the ground.
The Club made a complaint to Watford further to the representativeís comments.† The positioning of disabled supporters there was temporary. The representative concerned said Watford apologised for the incident.
Swansea away transport
The Club has investigated the accessible vehicle issues regarding the Swansea away match and vehicles now receive positive feedback.
The Club introduced a range of food products and sauces for representatives to try at the end of the meeting and requested feedback.
DISABLED TICKETING POLICY
One representative raised the issue of transfer of tickets citing non-disabled fans as being able to transfer their tickets.† The Club responded that only one disabled ST holder had transferred their ticket to a non-disabled individual in ten years and the sanction is generally a suspension.†
As regards touting, representatives commented that the problem is still all too apparent.†
About 4,000 memberships are suspended each year by the Club and the same touts congregate both for our matches as well as at other sports grounds and entertainment venues.† Those touts outside tend to sell real tickets but online sales are often complete scams. We have warnings round the ground and on tickets but ultimately itís difficult to police effectively.† The police concentrate on safety and disorder.† We work with Fulham Broadway and so thereís video evidence of touts but the law isnít that strong on it.† If we really tighten the procedures then we may not sell out every game so tickets would go on general sale which leads to more problems.† There is a dedicated anti-touting team at the Club.† Itís relatively easy to use different addresses via friends for touts to obtain tickets.
The Club added that copies of membership cards are now sold by touts and PINs are given out instead of tickets.† A barcode can be photocopied many times.† If we upload to tickets to membership cards then seat details wonít be visible so stewards would need card readers.† The best way to counter touting would be photos on cards but that slows entry.
The Club commented that it doesnít have anything printed in braille due to the cost but is happy to explain any of the disabled ticketing process at the ticket office or by phone.†
The policy is very detailed and has been developed over twelve years.† Itís not particularly attractively formatted but demand to read all the details by fans is limited.
In response to a question the Club explained that AA matches are loyalty point games, A matches are generally other London derbies and more established Premiership teams, with B games being the others.† We donít make the last game of the season an AA match for the sake of it, for instance.
The Club confirmed that in the new stadium all supporters will be charged the same price. Personal assistants will remain free of charge.
NEW AND TEMPORARY STADIA
In response to a question the Club has no new information regarding a temporary stadium.†
West Ham away
West Hamís ground is showcased for its accessibility but it clearly had other problems when we were there.† A representative commented that wheelchairs werenít searched and that stewarding was poor.† The views were great for fans.† The Club had meetings with fan groups after.
New stadium sponsorship
In response to a question, the Club has no announcement to make.
The Club hasnít decided whether this would apply at a temporary stadium.
LIVERPOOL MATCH PROBLEMS
One supporter commented that in the West Stand towards the Shed End there was constant bad language from one Chelsea fan.† The Club commented that CCTV should help identity the culprit.† The Club welcomes texts, phone calls or other communications identifying trouble spots.† Security are aware of the incident complained of.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
A representative said a wheelchair carer was told by a steward there not to sit near the wheelchair she was assisting.† Also around ambulant disabled fans, other supporters were standing up and spoiling the match for them.† The Club said that ambulant disabled fans donít have seats specifically grouped together.† Itís possible that stewards werenít checking that carers should have specific seats.
A representative said that stewards donít tend to step in enough at Stamford Bridge, not least in policing abusive language.† The Club said that there arenít generally many complaints sent in about abusive language but there is a text line for reporting this if fans want to avoid confrontation in the ground.† Details are in the ticket wallet.† Stewarding scores very well in our annual survey.
Another representative commented that some stewards stand and chat which can result in blocked views.† It was also commented that the big flags waved by the West Stand can sometimes block views and the Club has looked at their positioning.
The meeting finished at 4.40pm.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† .