CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND XMAS FIXTURES!
Chelsea Football Club has one of the most comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes in the world of sport.
The policy covers, amongst other things, the clubs work in environmental areas, football in the community and social inclusion schemes. The club recently introduced the Chelsea Foundation which now oversees the CSR, community and education work. A lot of the work that is done within this area is almost completely ignored by the media and goes largely un-noticed by the vast majority of Chelsea supporters.
The United Nations advises major companies to invest 0.7% of turnover to CSR, Chelsea FC in 2006/7 invested 2.3% and in 07/08 2.62% or just under £5.6 million. Huge amounts of money by anyone’s standards and something that the club should rightly be proud of.
The work does not, however, stop there and in a recently released news item it was announced that Chelsea’s players took part in more community and charity activities than any other Premier League club last season – 465 more than the second-placed club and almost three times the league average.
If any of these facts were printed in the newspapers or broadcast on the TV or radio then it must have passed us by? Proof, indeed, that good news is no news, certainly in the case of Chelsea Football Club!
Through the Fans Forum and a sub committee firstly set up to deal with environmental issues and now all CSR activities, supporters can have an input into the club’s future policy. The annual supporters’ football tournament, held at Cobham, can hopefully be extended and improved further within the CSR and recently Simon Taylor, head of CSR at Chelsea, was very helpful in arrangements for a supporters match against a team from Spartak Moscow, again something we hope can be expanded further in the future.
With the pre Christmas snow forcing the Man Utd game to be cancelled, is there any point in the club having the under pitch heating on and making the pitch playable when the outside area is deemed unsafe for supporters resulting in the local authority and police advising the game be called off? In some ways it was good the match was called off the day before, enabling supporters to not have to start their journeys to Stamford Bridge on the day of the game and then for it to be cancelled while they were on route.
However there are sure to be many fans who will have been inconvenienced by the cancellation, not least those who were planning a Christmas drink with their mates!!
The Arsenal away game being moved (for TV) from Boxing Day to the next evening is a blessing for those travelling to the match by public transport as tube and bus services will be, at least partially, running on the new date. With the Chelsea supporters having extra time in the pubs of North London, it is expected that, once again, the scousers of the south will be comprehensively out sung on their own patch!
Bolton and Aston Villa complete the Christmas and New Year fixtures making for a good period for the travelling supporters. The Bolton game has now completely sold out so the only chance left for supporters to get tickets over the Festive period will be for Villa.
Thankfully the first away game, against Wolves, in the New Year is not too far to travel and then with the cheap prices on offer for the FA Cup game with Ipswich, it offers financially suffering supporters a relatively comfortable start to 2011.
With Ipswich only taking up to 3,000 tickets for the game there is a good chance of getting some decent noise from the home supporters in the Shed End with this game.
Surprisingly with the majority of home cup games the MH Lower is one of the last areas to sell out with most of the normal occupants choosing to sit elsewhere in the ground. Unfortunately with their re-location the MHL supporters do not always take their normal noise making with them! If you have moved for this game why not try and get supporters going in your new area, you never know some of them may join in with you?
A very happy trophy winning New Year to all Chelsea supporters from us all at the Chelsea Supporters Group.
Cliff Auger CSG Juvenile rep