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Fans Forum – Ticketing Policy

26010_10151255534296347_2021005722_nThe next Fans Forum which we be held on February 9th before the Wigan game will be totally dedicated to the ticketing policy for the 2013/14 season.

It is very important to ensure your voice is heard as when the policy has been agreed the club will not amend/change it for the whole of the season.

The ticketing policy dictates how Chelsea FC manage the selling and distribution of home and away ticket allocations. Pricing will also be discussed.

The Chelsea Supporters Group will obviously be advocating a freeze on all ticket prices given the current economic climate, the ever rising contribution of Sky TV to the Premier League and so to the football clubs and due to the fact that we already believe that ticket prices are too high and have and will continue to drive the average fan out of the game.

One of the most contentious aspects of the ticketing policy is the way that away tickets are distributed. Specifically when it comes to the season ticket holders/members split and the loyalty points required to secure a ticket.

The CSG understands that there is no process/arrangement which will please all – equally the club have to try and implement a system which rewards loyalty but also gives as many fans as possible the opportunity to attend away games.

It is difficult to balance the requirements of both season ticket holders and members in this regard – and we are looking for feedback from match going individuals in ways in which the club can best accommodate both groups.

When looking at this issue, it is important to keep in mind not what is simply best for you whether you be a member, season ticket holder or away ST holder – but what is also best for the ongoing support of the club. Many site loyalty as the only way to distribute tickets and although this should form the basis for any policy, it cannot be the only criteria used as we all view loyalty differently.

Taking into account previous discussions it seems that the most contentious items seem to be the current 60/40 split for away tickets between season ticket holders& members and the loyalty points required for members once the allocation of season ticket holders tickets have sold out.

Some have suggested that members should only have access to away tickets once all season ticket holders have a ticket if they want one; we feel this is unfair and would make the membership worthless for the majority – something which will not be considered by the club purely on commercial grounds.  Also there are many reasons why some fans are members rather than ST holders – it does not make them any less loyal.

Perhaps what should be discussed is tweaking that split – the CSG committee discussed this aspect and decided that perhaps 70/30 would be more acceptable – thoughts?

Also, we thought that perhaps the loyalty points required for games should be the same for ST holders and members – i.e. if ST holders allocation sold out at say 80 points – then the membership allocation should only go to that level too (although an adjustment would have to be made to allow for the fact that ST holders get 47 points up front at the beginning of the season); once that level is reached tickets would go back on sale to ST holders and members either on an agreed loyalty point level – or on a first come first served basis – thoughts?

When mulling these issues over, it should be noted that this issue only ever flares up for a particularly popular game or where we have an unusually small allocation – less than a handful of games a season.

Let us know what you think about only 5% of tickets being sold over the phone/personal callers, how loyalty points are awarded, junior/juvenile prices and any other aspect of the ticketing policy that you would like input into.

Please use the comments section below – or alternatively e-mail us on info@chelseasupportersgroup.net (please put Fans Forum in the subject field) – we will then collate all the information we get and put it before the club.

CSG Committee

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Its unfair to punish members by changing the current 60/40 split,not everyone can afford a ST or like me attend every game due to the amount of weekends I have to work.

    The loyalty point scheme needs to be looked at, I am on the UEFA Away Scheme this season due to missing out on a CL Final Ticket despite going to all the CL aways except Valencia, and one LP for Sparta Prague is a disgrace when you can get more points for spending less money and attending a home league game against one of the less attractive teams

    Garry Sparks (CFC Member)

    Posted by Garry Sparks | January 22, 2013, 9:06 pm
  2. The split for members should be reduced slightly because there isn’t enough demand from them for away games to warrant 40% of the tickets. Loyalty points need to be sorted for games such as Sparta Prague, 1 loyalty point for that is ridiculous.

    Posted by Ed | January 22, 2013, 9:19 pm
  3. I feel that the current system does not fairly serve the interests of ST holders, and would feel happier that either the split is more like 70/30 OR a system is introduced as described whereby ST holders get a second chance on an equitable basis once the members have had first shout.

    For me though the biggest fault is the short term approach to loyalty points. I would question whether the scheme is fair to loyal supporters in that points are wiped every year and would be in favour of a system where points were retained for say 3 or 4 years – a much fairer reflection of longer term commitment. You could even weight them so that this and last seasons’ points are worth twice the 2 preceding…

    If this approach were instigated, I think it would also reduce the ‘conflict’ between ST holders and members in that fans who support the team regularly will get the same credit from previous years whether ST or member – it shouldn’t be too hard to establish a set of
    rules.

    I would be interested to know how other feel about this idea.

    (ST Holder)

    Posted by Ramzi | January 22, 2013, 9:21 pm
  4. People need to understand the 60/40 split first. It is NOT 60/40 of all tickets. It’s 60/40 of the tickets left after 1,000 away season ticket holders have had all they want and 200 Corporates get their dibs.

    Away season ticket holders are capped at 800 for home ST holders and 200 members. Last I heard the member allotment sells out but the ST share doesn’t currently.

    So from a 3000 away allocation, 1800 are available for a 60/40 split = 1080/720.

    Add back in the members from the Away ST split and members get 920 total 30.67% (for 70000 members). STs get 1880 (for 23500 home ST holders) = 62.67%. Corporates get 6.67%.

    So the split is already as near as dammit 70/30

    If the allocation is nearer 1500, using the same method, members will only get 120+200/1500 = 21.33% – a 79/21 split

    For Brentford there were 1831 tickets. The split means 200 corporates, 1179 STs, 452 members. 10.9%/64.4%/24.7%

    60/40 is never 60/40. It’s 21.33-30.67% at best.

    There just aren’t enough tickets for some games. That’s all.

    Posted by Harry Sideras | January 22, 2013, 9:31 pm
  5. I do feel that season ticket holders should get a greater share – they are the ones paying every week – and in most cases up front. However what concerns me greatly is HOW the internet service works. If you log on at exactly 7.00 am you don’t get a ticket. Is there a proper queuing system? Do you need to log on at 6.00 am then be in a first come first served system – or is it a complete lottery?
    We all want tickets – so any selling system needs to be fair to all

    Posted by Peter East | January 22, 2013, 9:51 pm
  6. I think the split should be 75/25
    When I was a member I always appreciated the fact that those who had put their money up front should get priority. I am seriously considering not renewing my ST after approx 20 years because I really don’t feel that there is any benefit in paying up front anymore.

    Posted by Farnborough Blue | January 22, 2013, 9:56 pm
    • Well mate you should be lucky to have a season ticket i cant afford to go to any game now at £100 a time i cant even afford a season ticket i been a supporter all my life and its a real shame they price us loyal supports out

      Posted by Tim Mullane | February 13, 2013, 8:12 pm
  7. How many more tweaks to the split do you want seeing as it was only reduced from 50/50 a couple of years ago?

    It wasn’t that long ago that tickets for the bigger away games were pretty much sold entirely to season ticket holders. What happened? Our away support went massively downhill back then.

    Quite simply if you want to keep a healthy away support, as many people as possible need to be in the habit of regularly going to away games. That won’t be achieved by making the exclusive club ever more exclusive.

    Harry has got it spot on above.

    Posted by Darren | January 22, 2013, 11:01 pm
  8. ST holders complain about the 60/40 split,what about the ST holders that flog their tickets for the unattractive fixtures then expect to get a ticket when a big game comes along,loyal fans that are ST holders then have the possibility of missing out due to less loyal ST holders jumping the queue, there will never be a scheme in place at CFC that keeps everybody happy

    Posted by Garry Sparks | January 23, 2013, 12:28 am
  9. Can I just ask as a member and not a S/T holder. Are the CSG and in particular your members rep Simon Lister pushing for a 70/30 split ? Have you already decided on this ?

    In view of the fact that its only for a “handful of games I think the 60/40 split should remain until……

    Before the club decide on adjusting the ticket split perhaps they should start docking loyalty points from those season ticket holders who persistently whore their tickets on Viagogo and still receive loyalty points. There have been upto 800 tickets available on their website for some of the “smaller” games (808 v Soton recently). Loyalty points should be docked for anything over 3 games missed. There would be more chance of STHs getting the Brentford away tickets then.

    Loyalty points should be taken into account according to the competition. Some don’t attend cup games until later stages. Reward those that do. Surely it can’t be that difficult in this day and age.

    How can Fulham away be 3 loyalty points, Brentford 5, when Prague away is only 1. This is unfair.

    I think the CSG should call for price reductions with all the extra TV money due and not a price freeze. You say prices are too high and I agree.

    I can’t think of anything else at this time of writing.

    Thanks.

    Posted by Rob (Pie) | January 23, 2013, 12:33 am
  10. I had a pretty bad experience with ticketing in 2011.

    I live in New Zealand but went to England on holiday to visit family and do a very brief tour of Europe.
    I was very keen to watch a Chelsea game and bought a membership with months to spare.

    It was impossible to get a ticket through Chelsea, and the only option I could have found were very expensive tickets through Viagogo, that wouldn’t allow my family to sit with me.
    Communication with the club was slack and prices are too high.

    I watched the game from Frankies bar at Stamford Bridge and managed to sneak into the bridge to see Drogba’s last goal of the game in the last 5mins.
    It would have been incredible to be able to watch the game from inside the bridge from start to end.

    Posted by Mike | January 23, 2013, 1:07 am
    • You must have applied too late Mike because tickets for all home games, inc Man Utd, are on sale to members for at least 1 week before it sells out and most games upto 3 weeks.

      Posted by Rob (Pie) | January 23, 2013, 11:10 am
  11. With regards to away tickets the answer as I see it is simple.

    All away games should be sold via the loyalty system to members and ST holders simultaneously.

    If ST holders had the points allocated to their accounts as games went on sale to members then both sets of suppporters would be on an equal footing in terms of points accrued.

    Posted by James Goodden | January 23, 2013, 8:39 am
  12. I think the current split is actually one of the smaller issues.

    Far more focus needs to be applied to the points issued for certain games. How can a game such as Brentford which is under 15 miles away be worth 5 loyalty points yet a trip to Shakhtar Away be worth less?

    There needs to be a format set where London games are not rewarded hugely as the effort involved is far less than those further afield particularly for those who regularly travel to Europe Away at huge financial cost to themselves.

    The club in the past have also been guilty of upping points for certain games as a marketing tool e.g 8 points for certain Champ League group games. This is not right and should never be exploited by the club in this manner.

    My personal major gripe is the fact that with Away games once Members with points have had their chance, they then go on sale to Members with 0 points. How can this be fair to those Season Ticket holders who may have just missed out with a high tally of points?

    I personally believe the split should be done away with and all Season Ticket Holders and members viewed equally. The club should apply STH points for games paid for weekly perhaps with an additional 10 point bonus at the start of the season for paying up front.

    Very tough to get something that is going to be viewed as fair by all but the current system has huge flaws and has done for years that need to be addressed.

    Posted by Kieran Smith | January 23, 2013, 10:47 am
    • For me, this is the ideal.

      In addition, points should roll over on a five yearly basis (Arsenal for example are on a lifetime basis) and the amount of points awarded for certain games needs to be revised and be dependant on location and team played.

      Posted by Dale Gibbons | January 29, 2013, 1:00 pm
  13. Feel the split should be 70/30 with ST being able to apply minus the none played points being awarded, so points only put on once tickets go on sale, but for me main thing is loyalty is more than 1 season, I would like to see the points done on a rolling 5 year period, so if you have been going for more than 1 season your loyalty is rewarded on time not just how many games you’ve been able to attend in one season, may encourage more members to renew, just for record I’m a ST for a number of years who attends all away games & at least 3 euro sways as well, not including finals, I get tickets currently when required on points cos I have them but think the loyalty should be spread over number of years not just 1.

    Posted by Dave austin | January 23, 2013, 3:16 pm
  14. Agree with the comment regarding Members with Zero LPs having the chance to get a ticket,any total less than 10 and you have to wonder that that fan is not a regular supporter and ST holders should get another chance at getting a ticket, also I agree that a rolling LP total should be brought in

    Posted by Garry Sparks | January 24, 2013, 2:19 pm
  15. Members with less than 10 loyalty points shouldn’t be offered away tickets over a season ticket holder. It is wrong that someone with zero points can get a ticket although this only happened for a handful of games.

    I tend to agree with a rolling loyalty point system but won’t the same people be at the top all the time ? We all know that if you don’t go to a game you claim the ticket still and pass it on to a mate.

    Posted by Rob (Pie) | January 25, 2013, 11:46 am
  16. Man City away tickets on sale to season ticket holders tomorrow with 60 ( they start with 47) loyalty points. The members ( they start with 0 or 5 depending when they buy) equivalent being 13-18. It’s only the matches where there is short supply that fans complain.

    Posted by Rob (Pie) | January 31, 2013, 4:59 pm
  17. 12 noon shortly and any season ticket holder with no extra loyalty points, other than the 47 you started with, can buy a Man City away ticket.

    Posted by Rob (Pie) | February 1, 2013, 11:12 am
  18. I am a Chelsea member and have been for several years. I would love to have a season ticket however I don’t think the loyalty points system is fair I think it should be retained every season then u get offered a season ticket based on loyalty. I go to majority of home games and cup matches but it is very costly however I do it to build my loyalty. What’s frustrating is I am a loyal fan but find it difficult to attend every game without a season ticket I worked out that if I go every home game and some cup matches I will still not accumulate enough points for a season ticket. I have been a member for years now and have been a lot of games I feel a season ticket should be rewarded for loyalty over a period of years not just one season because if your not rich it’s very hard to get the loyalty points in one season for the average family man.

    Jason Nichols

    Posted by Jason Nichols | September 7, 2013, 8:30 am
  19. I like the idea of running a pints system over a number of seasons. That makes a lot of sense.

    For me as big an issue is games that are not sold on loyalty points at all. London derbies for example. I have well over 100 points this season and yet due to the lottery of the internet and phone lines I didn’t get a ticket for Palace this season. My son in law is a Palace season ticket holder and I’m gutted to miss out. And on the loyalty points.

    Without knowing what the detailed figures are for member’s home and away attendance how can a meaningful discussion on the split be achieved? The one thing we know for sure is that ST holders commit to all league home games well before a ball is kicked.

    Phil K

    ST holder.

    Posted by Phil Keefe | March 26, 2014, 6:14 pm

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