CHELSEA FC ACCESSIBLE SUPPORTERS FORUM

1ST MEETING MINUTES, 2018-19 SEASON

 

1905 Club, Stamford Bridge Stadium

Wednesday 12th September 2018, 4.00pm

 

Attendees                             Group represented/ role

Collins, Eamon                     CFC Disability Liaison and Supporters Club Supervisor

Cornwall-Jones, Linsey      Non-ambulant member

Flatau, Bob                           Assistant Facilities Manager and Disabled Officer

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

Law, Matthew                       Honorary – CDSA

McGeever, Timothy             Ambulant ST Holder

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

White, Terry                           CFC Senior Project Manager

 

Apologies

Courage, Jason                    Wheelchair Member

Hayes, Tim                            Member

 

 

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

 

There were no changes to the minutes from the final meeting of last season or from the additional meeting over the summer.

 

Matters arising from the last two sets of minutes were as follows:

 

Mobiloo

 

The Club confirmed it has provided photos of the new Mobiloo to Matthew for publication on the CDSA website.

 

Disabled fans’ survey

 

The Club confirmed that no one from the committee asked to complete the disabled fans’ survey.

 

Additional meeting

 

This was held in the summer to show the committee the new facilities and present the survey results.

 

West Stand scooter use

 

The Club confirmed the issue raised is no longer a problem.

 

AGENDA TOPICS SUBMITTED

 

Ejection for bad behaviour

 

A representative complained about bad behaviour in specific seats over recent seasons.  Those particular attendees drank a lot and their language was terrible.  A long statement was taken by the police to help take action against the transgressors and CCTV was checked.  The behaviour was unacceptable. Details were passed to security.

 

Mid-season seating change policy

 

A representative sent in a copy of the policy at Watford to manage the process of a personal assistant continuing to attend once the disabled supporter dies or can no longer attend.  These are questions that Level Playing Field (“LPF”) are considering widely. 

 

The Club responded that when someone passes away then a refund is provided (where applicable).  If they want a name change the Club will approve this too – all cases are looked at on a case by case basis.  The personal assistant will have watched for free in the past but if they want to keep watching there will be a cost.  They couldn’t sit in exactly the same seat though, given the new disabled fans’ configuration.  Every case will be different so needs to be looked at on its own merits and the Club is as helpful as possible. 

 

The ticket doesn’t stay in the name of the ST holder who has passed away.  That is our one official policy in that regard.  We have various ways of assisting those whose friends or family have died, including letters of condolence, the Shed Wall for a memorial and a message in the programme.   There is a cost for the Shed End memorial bricks but fans can visit them at any time of year once the memorial is in place.  It is covered over if there are away fans in that area just in case of bad behaviour.  The Facilities Department has an information pack about the options.

 

CDSA responsibilities/ liaison with the LPF

 

Matthew asked if the Club could take over the position of CDSA representative as the volume of work is excessive for one individual.  At times it appears that representatives on that body are being asked for Club policy to which Matthew does not have easy access.

 

The Club responded that, without seeing the requests from LPF to Matthew, it cannot respond on the work load he is receiving.  When Matthew is requested for policy details by LPF, it’s happy to provide them as they are on the Club’s website. LPF has the Club’s contact details and asks for policies and views directly from the Club sometimes.  Likewise, when a fan representative asks for policy details, the Club provides them.  When writing to CDSA representatives, it’s more likely that LPF are asking representatives for their opinion.  The Club wouldn’t expect to be copied in to general correspondence that the LPF has with fan representatives.

 

The Club already has meetings with the Premier League and with safety committees and has one scheduled with LPF.  The Club added that many clubs have a number of fans working together as the disabled representatives.  It may be much easier if a group of fans get together to split the various roles, just as supporter groups, supporters’ clubs and the Trust tend to have committees that share responsibilities.

 

The Club is happy to approach other clubs as to how they split responsibilities amongst disabled fans, if requested.

 

West Stand facilities

 

The Club was asked if family members can sit by wheelchairs with the new configuration.  It replied that a lot of new facilities have been introduced included shelving, toilets, increased number of places and access.  However, the new places are for the disabled fan and their personal representative so there is little room for additional family members.  The Club has been in contact with the supporter who raised the issue.

 

The Club holds thirty tickets per game for family members but it can’t guarantee those seats will be directly next to their fellow family member.

 

Additional accessible toilets in the East Stand

 

In response to a question the Club confirmed there are the right number of toilets there on the basis of the prescribed 1 to 15 ratio in the East Stand.  A representative added that access can be tight there for a wheelchair but there is an ambulant toilet in the East Stand that could be used. 

 

The Club said at the Shed End a further toilet is being constructed.  The Shed away section disabled toilet has been altered too for better access.  The Mobiloo will be retained at least for the start of the season.  Changes are ongoing and an access guide for this season will be published in the next fortnight which contains a map of facilities.  The Premier League guide will go live soon too.

 

 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

 

Belorussia away match

 

In response to a question the Club confirmed there won’t be a subsidised trip for this match.  The Club has been told everyone will stay in Minsk then travel to the stadium so it’s taking care over the ticket distribution location.  It is proving difficult to obtain Thomas Cook travel for any of the Europa group matches.

 

West Stand wheelchair views

 

In response to a question, the Club said that the view is raised in line with the first steps this year, so it should be an improvement.

 

Ambulant disabled spaces

 

A representative raised the issue of a relative lack of space for ambulant fans.  The Club confirmed that each wheelchair also has a personal assistant position, with the other seat alongside being available for purchase.  Spaces are measured out to comfortably fit the UK wheelchair size but the problem may be those using wheelchairs who sit at an angle.  The Club is happy to be contacted if an ambulant fan wants to move.

 

New stadium/ ownership

 

In response to a question the Club commented that there are no plans to sell the Club. A representative commented that the new stadium project is of importance to disabled fans in particular given the planned improved facilities.  The Club responded that the stadium project is currently on hold.

 

Stadium work to date

 

The Club was congratulated on the work undertaken to date with the Shed End platform in particular being fantastic.  The Club responded that there is more work to complete and any feedback is very welcome.

 

Forum name

 

The Club confirmed that the title of this group is now the Accessible Supporters Forum so the CDSA can clearly be viewed as a separate organisation just for fans.

 

Website

 

The Club thanked representatives for providing photos which are now on the website as are the contact links for representatives.  The Chairman reminded representatives that they only need bring matters to our meetings that are raised regarding disabled fans. 

 

 

 

 

 

The meeting and tour finished at 5.25pm.                                   .