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Latest cfcuk Fanzine Article (129) from the CSG

JUSTICE FOR ALL!!

Following the recent decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to instruct the Metropolitan Police to formerly charge John Terry with a criminal offence it was heartening to see the club issue a statement giving their full support to JT regarding this matter, after all everyone is entitled to a fair trial in this country and is innocent until proved guilty.

Can we now expect a U turn with club policy regarding supporters who are facing criminal charges and they will now face no sanctions from the club until they have been found guilty of football related offences in a court of law?

For those of you that are not aware the club at present bans anyone from Stamford Bridge when they have been charged with an offence and, indeed, ban supporters when they have been accused of non criminal offences like “persistent standing” or passing on match or season tickets to others. The first that many such supporters know of their ban is when they are refused entry at Stamford Bridge at the next game after their “offence” has taken place thus not even allowing them the chance to put across their side of events.

The Chelsea Football Club justice for supporters seems to be “guilty unless proved innocent” and no offer of clear guidelines on how they should go about trying to prove their innocence to the powers that be within the club. While all Chelsea supporters are behind JT in his efforts to clear his name will there be a three year banning order from all football grounds in the UK imposed upon him if he is found guilty?

This is the normal punishment for supporters found guilty of football related offences at the West London Magistrates Court that John is due to stand trial at.

The club have recently announced that they will be running a “subsidised” train to Swansea for our match their on Tuesday, January 31st at a cost of £40 per person. The general reaction from supporters is that the cost is too high and for groups of three or more supporters it will be far cheaper to travel by car. Last season Chelsea arranged for four trains to away games at Wigan,

Bolton, Liverpool and Sunderland, all were priced at £35. Three of the trains were cancelled due to lack of interest with the only one running to Liverpool with approximately 200 people on board.

The CSG appreciates the fact that the club tries to help supporters with these trains but surely they must realise that pricing them at too high a price will not lead to them selling out.

This season the first team players were approached and agreed to fund a train for the supporters free of charge but were refused permission to do so by the club management. Why the club took this course of action is anybodies guess but surely it would have given great publicity to our players while also giving something back to those supporters that follow the team up and down the country?

There have been lots of complaints regarding the sales of tickets for the match at Norwich with the season ticket allocation selling out very quickly on the first morning of sales. Whether games like this should be added to those that are already sold on loyalty points is open to debate, but there is never any complaint about not being able to get Wigan or Blackburn tickets (two of the cheapest in the Premier League) and, after all, it is Chelsea we go to see? The answer is, of course, to join the away match ticket scheme whereby you are guaranteed tickets for every domestic away game.

The scheme has been going for a number of seasons now and is still open for home season ticket holders and members to join. The number has been capped at 1000, which includes 200 members. At present there are approximately 500 supporters in the scheme.

At the time of writing there are quite a few tickets left for the Portsmouth FA cup game and with Pompey having already sold out their surprisingly small take up of 3000, there is a real risk of lots of away fans being in home areas for that particular game.

This is surely something that Chelsea stewards need to be aware of, but having seen the latest invader gaining access to the pitch at the Villa game with no trouble at all it seems the standard of stewarding, especially around the pitch perimeter, is not what it should be?

Posted by Cliff Auger – CSG Juvenile Rep

Article from the latest edition (128) of the cfcuk fanzine

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