Latest cfcuk Fanzine Article (122) from the CSG

Ticket Prices 2011-12

The recent announcement regarding season ticket and match day prices contains some nasty shocks for supporters who attend all the matches at Stamford Bridge. At first viewing the season ticket price increases do not appear too bad especially when you factor in the VAT increase of 2.5%, however supporters who go to all the Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup matches will also have to pay a lot more for the privilege.

When it comes to the knockout phase of the Champions League there is the double whammy of Category A prices for the round of 16 and then the newly announced Category AA prices for the quarter and semi finals if the team progresses that far. For AA games season ticket holders in the Matthew Harding Lower will have to pay £56 for their tickets representing a rise of over £16 on their season ticket prices and for Shed Upper sth’s the rise will be over £12 plus, of course, the Chelsea tax of £1.50 per ticket!

The reduced ticket prices for domestic cup games have been increased by £5 per match and for the Champions League group games an astonishing £10 per game. Quite often the last group match for the Champions League is a “dead rubber” so it will be interesting to see if that game sells out.

If Chelsea progress to the later stages of all the competitions supporters face a huge increase in the prices that they have paid this season. With the increase in season ticket prices AND increases for the games just mentioned the extra amount could be the final straw for many loyal and long standing Chelsea supporters.

Certainly at the CSG, we have heard of many supporters who will think long and hard about renewing their season tickets, quite a few who have said they will not bother and many, many more who will pick and choose the games they attend in the 2011-12 season.

A slight chink of good news was contained within the ticketing policy for next season in that the age for Juvenile concessions will be raised next season to 17 and for the following year to 18. However this allowance from the club will only benefit very few of our fan base and the CSG will continue to campaign for concessions to be allowed for young people up to the age of 21.

Next season also has the prospect of fans in the West Upper having to pay an eye watering £87 (plus booking fee) for their ticket for AA games. Arsenal have recently announced they will have non corporate tickets available at the Emirates Stadium for well over £100, sadly it appears that Chelsea will not be too many seasons behind them!

We are awaiting clarification from the club that young supporters who purchase tickets for away games will not be able to buy them within the different age range price schemes that some other premier league teams offer. This means that there will be only adult or junior (under 16’s) prices available to them.

If the club confirms that this is the case the CSG will take up the case with the Football Supporters Federation, who in the past have successfully intervened on behalf of young Chelsea supporters, and if we still are not happy then we will go to the Football Ombudsman who has the power to intervene if he feels there is a good enough case.
Following recent meetings with the club it has become apparent that for reduced capacity Champions League knockout games they receive no financial compensation from UEFA for this loss. Aside from the fact that, arguably, our biggest games of the season are often played in front of our lowest crowds, meaning that fewer of our supporters can get in, why should the club lose money because UEFA want extra TV vans at the back of the Matthew Harding Stand or lager than normal advertising boards that block the view from the first few rows of the lower stands?

Seemingly the club appear to be happy to swallow this loss and are unwilling to look at different ways of moving the TV vans to different areas even outside the boundaries of Stamford Bridge. Unfortunately with the club accepting this loss of earnings and other avenues of increasing income not becoming available to them, then it appears they will continue to squeeze extra money out of hard pressed match going fans.

Following a few seasons of frozen ticket prices are we now to expect year on year price increases form them. Ron Gourlay has now been in his job for two year and we have had two lots of ticket price increases, so it appears that this will be the case for the foreseeable future.

Cliff Auger CSG Juvenile Rep

Article from the latest edition (122) of the cfcuk fanzine

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