CHELSEA FC ACCESSIBLE
1st MEETING MINUTES, 2019-20 SEASON
1905 Club, Stamford Bridge
Wednesday 11th September, 5.00pm
Attendees Group represented/ role
Collins, Eamon CFC Disability Liaison and Supporters Club Supervisor
Lambert, Tania Ambulant member
Law, Matthew Honorary
McGeever, Timothy Ambulant season ticket (“ST”)
McLean, Gavin Ambulant member
O’Shaughnessy, Marc Wheelchair ST
Piggott, Diane CFC Disabled Liaison Officer and Supporters’ Clubs Manager
Regan, Andy Forum Chairman
Sigurdsson, Gudjon Wheelchair member
Smith, Graham CFC Head of Ticketing and Head of Supporters’ Liaison
Courage, Jason Wheelchair member
Hayes, Tim Member
Reilly, Peter Ambulant ST
MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
There were no changes to the minutes.
The Chairman welcomed representatives, in particular those who are new to the Forum. Representatives introduced themselves.
The Chairman informed representatives that meetings are recorded in order to produce the minutes. The Forum was asked to respect any issues that the Club states are being discussed in confidence. The minutes constitute the official record that representatives are welcome to share with fellow fans.
Issues brought to this Forum should be with the purpose of assisting disabled fans rather than to discuss general supporter issues. Operational aspects that aren’t working on a match day can be fed back to the Club at any time rather than waiting for our next meeting.
Chelsea Supporters Disabled Association (“CDSA”)
The Chairman clarified that our Forum is run by the Club to exchange ideas with disabled fans whereas the CDSA is a supporter-led organisation run separately to the Club.
Matthew confirmed that Level Playing Field came round to see him. There are no further developments as regards other supporters running CDSA and assistance/ involvement from others would be welcomed. Matthew no longer wants to run the organisation.
Assistance in disabled areas/ food and drink in East Lower
The Club stated there is a regular assistant, Augusto, working between the South Stand platform and East Stand family area who can help bring food and drink or process payment for those who request it. He has a pager so can be contacted easily.
A representative asked why kiosks are closed for the second half. The Club responded it’s a security-led issue. However, any queues in place at the start of the second half are served before kiosks close.
Barriers in the East Lower
The Club confirmed that the barriers were checked so disabled fans can move at half-time. The doorframe and sensor are in place.
AGENDA TOPICS SUBMITTED
Baku/ Istanbul re disabled fans
A representative said that disabled fans in particular would have benefitted from better facilities and assistance in travelling to these matches. The Club responded that it came to a decision not to subsidise the match. Qarabag was subsidised previously as far fewer fans travelled. Neither Arsenal, Spurs or Liverpool subsidised their fans for their respective finals.
The representative added that Turkey and Azerbaijan have poor human rights records. The Club responded that UEFA choose the venues a couple of years beforehand so planning is well advanced by the time of the match. Moscow built a new platform for disabled fans and Baku facilities were very good but the Club can’t influence these aspects. The Champions League final this season is in a different stadium in Turkey to the one that hosted the Super Cup.
Redevelopment/ ticket pricing
The Club was asked about plans for ticket pricing. It responded that new ST holders pay the full price. Existing ST holders have this season for free and next season for half price, then pay full price the season after. Carers are still admitted free.
The Club was asked why part of the platforms can’t be sectioned off for disabled fans to access carriages at Fulham Broadway, as happens at Wembley. It responded that it will pass this on to London Underground but fans should approach London Underground about the issue directly as well. The platforms at Wembley have a lot more space than we have at Fulham Broadway. London Underground is upgrading stations to make them more accessible.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Club was asked about facilities for the disabled at Kingsmeadow and responded that there are wheelchair and ambulant disabled STs who attend matches there so sufficient facilities are in place. It’s not our stadium and is run by Wimbledon but facilities can be considered afresh when the Club takes it over.
Timing of meetings
The Club was asked if it could better consider disabled fans in setting or moving times for our meetings. It apologised for the change in timing which was due to a reconnaissance trip to Lille for the forthcoming Champions League match.
(In a show of hands, half the representatives requested a 4pm rather than a 5pm start to meetings and the other half expressed no preference.)
The Club announced the date of the next meeting - 11th November. We always give the maximum notice prior to our meetings. Last year was harder to plan meeting dates given our Thursday night matches.
The Club was congratulated for prosecuting touts. It still requests that supporters report incidents of touting.
One supporter stated he’s been in the West Stand for years and hadn’t heard racial abuse there. Another said they had done.
The meeting finished at 5.25pm. .