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Fans Forum Minutes


2023-24, 3rd MEETING MINUTES

Meeting held in the 1905 Club at 6.30pm on Tuesday 26th March 2024

Attendees                                  ​​​​Club title/ group represented

Beckwith, Gary                            Fan Advisory Board liaison

Broadbent, Dean                         ​​​​Hospitality

Brown, Peter​​​​                               LGBTQI+

Clark, Dawn                                Access

Cornall, Michael                          Club Head of Supporter Relations

Daine, Nav                                  Regional Manager for Retail Operations at Levy

Davis, Marriane                           Chelsea Women Supporters Group

Eldridge, Andy                            Chelsea Supporters Club (“CSC”)

Elmes, George                            UK supporters club

Finkelstein, Daniel                       Club Director

Forrest, Scott​​​                              16-21s

Gaj, Mohammed     ​​                    Ethnically and culturally diverse

Gaskin-Kemp, Sam                     Club Foundation Head of Education & Innovation

Goodbrand, Christine                  Female

Kasic, Allison                               Overseas supporters club

Kirke, Xander                              Chelsea Pride

Middleton, Pamela                       UK away scheme

Mills, Charlie                               65 and over

Regan, Andy                               ​​​Forum Chairman

Roddy, Tom                                Club Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Rosso, Dominic                           Chelsea Supporters Trust (“CST”)

Trenter, Peter                              Chelsea Supporters Group (“CSG”)

Warner, Mark                              UEFA away scheme

Woodcock, Steve                        Member

Apologies for absence             

Beerman, Clayton                       ​​​​Home season ticket (“ST”)

(Action points are underlined.)

The Chairman welcomed Andy Eldridge who is replacing Margaret, Michael who is currently in the US and taking over Cat’s role at the Club as well as Sam who is joining us for today.


Sam provided an insight into a project for which we’ve received funding from the Premier League who have a fan’s fund to support events projects.  It’s £10,000 to last a season initially and aims to strengthen connections between communities, fans and residents.  We were successful in our application and consider we are being innovative with no other clubs suggesting the same project.  We are setting up a Youth Supporters Trust to connect young communities to Kingsmeadow and Stamford Bridge. The demographics are different for various matches so we are looking to target a diverse fanbase for this age group.  We want to engage with local young fans and encourage the next generation of supporters.  We are going to schools near the two stadia, working with 13 and 14 year olds to discuss equality, diversity and inclusion at Chelsea and encouraging a more diverse fanbase for the women’s team.  We will put together a presentation and children will put their proposals forward as a response.  We aim to select about 30 of those who put forward the best presentations to be involved in the Trust, with separate Kingsmeadow and Stamford Bridge groups.  They can work with fans groups and the Club to enhance the fan experience.

Over time we will encourage representatives to suggest how the Club can be more welcoming and reach younger demographics.  This provides an important voice for the Club and will bring in more young fans to the consultation process, particularly for the women’s team.  Also to better serve local communities and improving accessibility for their age group.  We aim to consult with schools from Easter then be up and running from the next academic year.

We welcome feedback.

A representative said that, although the initiative is welcomed, it shouldn’t be called a Trust as Trusts have to be FCA regulated and independently constituted.  Another name may be necessary.  The Club said it would take this on board.


There were no changes to the minutes.  Matters arising from the last meeting were as follows:

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The Club said the relevant department is considering this.

Kingsmeadow ticketing

We have had our first meeting of the Chelsea Women Forum and they will be addressing ticketing matters for that stadium.

Checking loyalty points whilst queuing for tickets

The Club said loyalty points can’t be checked whilst in the VWR.  Points should be checked prior to joining the waiting room.  A recent article was published by the FAB regarding the Virtual Waiting Room to help address fan questions.  The Club added we have started doing myth-busting sessions generally.  A representative said the Trust received feedback that it will forward to the Club.

Ticketing for next season

Proposals made at the last meeting were fed into the Club and considered with other stakeholder views. 

Smoking/ vaping ban in the stadium

The need for enforcement remains in all matchday briefings including the safety steward briefing. It is monitored closely and anyone found smoking or vaping is dealt with accordingly.

Lack of publicity and information about forthcoming academy matches

Under 21 match tickets are available.  We are in the process of hiring a new Academy Communications Officer which will help with promotion and publicity.  Under 18 fixtures take place at Cobham and we don’t currently have the facility to host spectators.  In addition, there are a number of safeguarding restrictions with Under 18 fixtures.

Over the Line (“OTL”) publicity

There has been a meeting between the key stakeholders for OTL and its promotion.  A number of different initiatives with a gazebo as its base have been considered and the hotel will be used as a quiet meeting space.  This will be trialled for the Burnley fixture.

As regards the Tea Bar we can’t guarantee it’s availability due to hospitality events.  Staff at the Tea Bar will be made aware where to send fans who enquire about OTL.


FAB update

The FAB representative reminded the Forum of the composition of the FAB, with Gary, Neil and Tracy now joined by Frankie, Emily, Mark and Arjun.  Ticketing has been discussed with the Club.  We had a meeting which included Todd, Behdad, Barbara and Danny in early March

and were enthused by their request for fan feedback via FAB representatives.  The Club is in a different place to under Roman’s ownership and are considerably down in comparison to the revenue of our rivals. 

It seems there will be a ticketing increase and an increase over the past two years had even been expected.  It may be a higher increase than we would like.  The Club added that no decisions have been finalised yet.

The representative added that all big clubs have announced increases for next season at around the 5% level and we may need to have a higher increase to help catch up.  It’s useful to know what Forum representatives and their constituencies expect and what they consider to be reasonable. 

A representative said that the CSG conducted a poll recently and 50% backed 5% with 35% backing 15%, which was a bit surprising.  Most fans know there’s been a freeze for a long time.  If there is to be an increase it would be helpful to announce it as soon as possible.  Concessions will be important to know.

Two representatives added that tiering has also been flagged.

The Club said these are all topics that have been discussed and how to implement tiering is important.  We have conducted our own research.  Some want no increase and others are prepared to have price rises.  Concession issues include gearing between ST prices and members’ individual ticket prices, with the “loyalty v benefit of having a guaranteed ticket” issue being prominent.  There has been a decrease of 32% for Club revenue in real terms over 15-20 years and this has to be addressed at some point.  FAB and Trust feedback – and from other fans – have been useful.

The FAB representative added that expectations from fans and what they can afford are important.  There could be a sizable hike if concessions and tiering are changed.  The Club said FAB input is vital and the ownership want to hear those views.  The major issue is that Premier League rule changes will relate spending to revenue so we have to address that in order to compete. 

In response to a question, the Club said it has calculated potential increased revenue from various possible increases in prices.  This was put to the owners and we have to look at every lever for increasing revenue.  A representative commented that the current form of the men’s team adds to pricing being highlighted.  The core fanbase can’t be alienated. 

The Club said there is a genuine choice to spend less on quality players though we have looked to increase revenue apart from ticket prices.  A representative commented we are 11th in the league which suggests the money hasn’t been wisely spent.  Another said a major problem is the size of the stadium in comparison to other big clubs.  It was added those clubs largely have better facilities as their stadia are more modern.

The FAB representative said it’s ten years since the last increase and we haven’t had an increase for the men’s team since the new owners took over.  There has been an increase for women’s matches but that team has been exemplary.  The Club said maybe the increase for women’s tickets had been too quick.  We want player value for money regardless of how much we spend.

It was raised that Westview seats often seem to be available.  The Club responded that hospitality keep some tickets back to sell at higher prices and occasionally they don’t sell out so those tickets usually go back to general admission.  A representative questioned whether they do sell out on general admission.  It was commented that the prices there are high, £180 – £240. 

FAB representatives will be available for feedback before the game on Saturday, with the location to be confirmed.

A representative suggested holding a Forum poll, with the Club responding that may end with a phoney story about opposition to particular increases.  It was suggested that 10% as an average increase be appropriate.  The Club said that not only GA prices, but also the other issues such as concessions, are important to see the whole picture so it’s not a single figure that’s relevant.  The gearing factor mentioned before is relevant.  A representative said the biggest gearing gap in the stadium is 28%.  Shed Upper is 22.8%, West Lower is 23.9% and East Lower is 28.4%.

The Club said it doesn’t want to stop representatives giving their opinion.  In response to a question the FAB representative said it receives some feedback from fans but not as much as it would like.  There was a rush at first which has tailed off.  Most is about ticket availability and issues the FAB was not set up for.  More publicity would be helpful.

In response to a question, it was suggested FAB representatives could represent different parts of the ground.  The Club said the origins of the FAB are from a Premier League initiative and ours will continue to evolve.  Once it was being brought in, we had to decide how to set it up here.  The discussions about ticketing with figures provided to representatives and feedback received has shown exactly what the FAB is there for.  Events in recent days show we need to keep working on relationships with fan groups and individuals.  A representative said the Trust had proposed from the start that there should be an election process for the FAB.  The Club said it instituted a part selection process to ensure there are diverse opinions on the FAB.  We may end up having elections only in the future but the hybrid model seems to work. 

The Forum decided not to have a show of hands.  A representative said surveys are likely to be more beneficial and the Club thanked the Trust for their polling too.

The Chairman reminded representatives that only the official minutes/ information within them should be reported from the meeting.


The LGBTQI+ representative said he had been intimidated by aggressive comments at a match.  Another said she had witnessed bad behaviour.  Stewards don’t appear to be there for fans.  Children running to the front are not controlled either.  Abusive fans are not tackled and anyone could probably get on to the pitch. 

Representatives commented that with more body searches there are fewer turnstile stewards and queues are getting longer.  Another added that body searches seemed to start late last year and it makes stadium entry that much longer.  Fans are getting used to it now and part of it is clearly as a deterrent.  Flares are still brought into the stadium though.  It seems arbitrary as to what language and behaviour is allowed by stewards.

The Club said behaviour experienced by the LGBTQI+ representative is not acceptable and it will speak further to him.

It was mentioned that stewards chatting to fans can slow the queues so there is an efficiency issue.  Another commented that there are not enough stewards for entry checks to the West Stand at Kingsmeadow so long queues build up.  A representatives said he will forward a list of other stewarding complaints including corporate fans being allowed through without searches, not enough stewards and slow queues.

The Club asked for possible reasons for the issues.  A representative said fans are less likely to come into the ground early since Covid and it generally takes longer.  Improving this is all part of having a better matchday experience to encourage fans in early.  Another said it can take up to 45 minutes to get in.  Bag searches are repeated.  The likelihood of an ST holder bringing the wrong items in are surely much lower.  Away grounds have tags once a bag check has happened.  Enough female stewards need to be on duty for body searching women.

It was raised that Brentford quality and prices for food and drink compare well to our offerings.

Stadium entry for WSL match

It was mentioned some fans had barcode problems entering the stadium for the Arsenal match and would have missed kick off if there hadn’t been a delay.  Another said West Stand entry was shambolic and a higher proportion of female stewards doing body checks would have helped, given the audience demographic.  Queues were really slow.  One representative suggested some may have been at the Bridge for the first time and may have been Arsenal fans who are used to tickets on phones.

The Club will look at the stewarding issues raised.  It continues to review food and drink options.


In response to a question the Club said there has been some follow up from the atmosphere meeting with meetings to be arranged with fan groups.  The issue will be further addressed with Steve Thomas.

Wembley loyalty points/ ticket numbers

The Club was asked why there is a maximum of four rather than ten tickets for Wembley matches so groups can sit together, as that can also help atmosphere.  Away ST holders are allowed to buy 10.  It responded this may be due to touting.

It will look at this issue.

It was raised that away ST holders couldn’t purchase £75 tickets for the Carabao Cup final and that fan was told they were reserved for player families etc.  Liverpool fans could buy at every price band and select their exact seat.  Another added that Southampton designed a new ticket platform for their semi-final against us there in 2018.  It was commented that you can’t pick seats here either.  The Club has stated previously that not picking seats speeds up the queuing process but choosing your seat adds to the matchday experience.  The price for sending out those Wembley tickets was above the Post Office cost.

The Club will look into these.

Change of pricing

It was commented that early prices can be higher than later prices advertised.  Group discounts are welcome. 

Empty seats

It was raised that for the Newcastle game in particular we were c. 1,300 below capacity but there are hundreds of empty seats in the West Lower.  The Club said it’s looking into this.  It was commented that attendances are under 40,000 most of the time.  The Club reiterated it tries to sell hospitality seats and keep some back, as mentioned, which leads to greater revenue.  Information has been shared with Mark and Tracy on the FAB and overall there is an upturn in revenue for those seats but it needs to be investigated further.

In response to a question the Club said the Rose and Ball bottom floor is open but not the top floor.  There is a licensing issue to conclude.  A representative added that more seats are being converted to hospitality at the expense of other fans.  There seems to be a loss of revenue from empty seats.  The Club said maximising revenue may not equal maximising attendances.  The representative said this doesn’t look good for the Club and there are a lack of open forums for most fans to ask about this.  Another agreed it’s not a good look for the Club and opposing fans comment on the gaps.  We used to sell out regularly.

Safe standing

An email was read out from a supporter complaining about standing in the upper tier – presumably in the Shed Upper.  Some fans don’t want to stand and don’t want to have to move.  A representative echoed this.  The Club asked what fans think about safe standing and responses varied.  Standing creates a better atmosphere generally without the heavy handed approach previously.  Another commented that if you sit down in those areas you won’t see the match at times.  One said the Club was accommodating when approached about moving seats for this reason.  Stewards used to walk from top to bottom of their section but don’t now.

Supporters can contact the ticket office if they want to move. 


In response to a comment a representative said he was told the Club does have defibrillators including in the upper and lower tiers of each stand and the hotel, with staff trained to use them.  They may not be in public facing areas to avoid being tampered with.  Another added stewards should all know where they are and that lack of training cannot be a reason for any lack of use when needed.  The Club will check.

Pre-order App

The Club clarified the App has not been in operation for over a season.  A wider App is being worked on to integrate ticketing with pre-ordering functionality so special requirements such as halal and kosher options can be included or fine wines from the hospitality range.  The time restriction window for ordering was in place to prepare such items.  We are testing the new App and that will be introduced in due course.

Shirt signs

It was commented that if you are near the front your view can be obstructed by request signs.  It would be better to randomly decide who gets them or give them to charities.  Parents argue who gets items after a game.  Some have items from every player and one person sells them.  The Club suggested stopping the requests may lead to less of a connection between players and fans.  A representative suggested they are randomly given to children after a match.  One person has been caught on Instagram selling tickets frequently.  It’s linked to the touting operation in effect.  There used to be a random seat prizes.  Details were provided to the Club to investigate further.

Academy game streaming

It was mentioned that streams don’t start on time, there are technical difficulties during broadcasts, the App closes suddenly during matches, the App can’t be watched on larger screens and some access matches for free.

The Club will look into this.


Stadium development

In response to a question the Club said the major development has been buying the Stoll Mansions which was put on hold whilst resident issues there were addressed.

Concession tickets

The Club will look into how concession tickets on the Exchange are available all over the ground whereas purchases from the Club are in the East only.  A representative said the Club’s position on this in the past was so it could sell them at full price elsewhere.  Only concession seats elsewhere in the ground are sold as concessions on the Exchange.

FAB statement

The FAB representative was asked if yesterday’s letter was agreed by all members and responded he wasn’t sure if Mark had been part of it.  He was asked if this compromised Mark’s position given recent exchanges between the Club and Trust and responded the FAB wanted to make its position clear from its viewpoint. 

The Club said it had received a lot of criticism and didn’t consider this was fair given the amount of fan communications but the decision to put out the letter was the FAB’s decision.  We can see there are tensions over certain issues and the best approach is to work through these issues.  There is no point in having a disagreement in public.  Regular meetings with all stakeholder fan groups will continue so we can take in a wide variety of views.  A representative clarified that fan communications regarding the Club in general had been criticised by the Trust.  The Club added it doesn’t like bad headlines about fan engagement but another view is that these are honest exchanges.  We need to move on from disagreements.

It was raised that FAB confidentiality doesn’t help with transparency on major issues though at least shows that its representatives are receiving information.  The Club responded there is an inevitable tension and we try and share some information more widely with the fanbase such as on ticket touting and the VWR but some issues can’t be discussed in public obviously.  The FAB will continue to develop as we have said. 

The FAB representative said all FAB members are also in the Trust though not committee members in most cases.  We wanted to counter the feeling of negativity regarding the Club.

Another representative added that transparency in the event of price rises will be very important and communication about the Club’s plans should be explained, not least as the Club has spent so much on the playing side.  The Club responded we are clearly trying to buy young promising players on a realistic pay scale.

In response to a question from the FAB representative, the Club said it was publicising exactly where FAB representatives could be met by fans on Saturday.

Say no to sexism

The Club was asked to have a clear banner and message from the Club about this, just as kicking out racism and similar campaigns are prominent.

The Club will look at this.

Sheffield United away

It was raised by a representative there is a compensation scheme in place due to the change in kick off time, not least thanks to the Premier League.  Ticket sales are usually non-refundable.  The Club said it is supporting that process.

Thanks and selection process

The Chairman thanked the following who have completed their two year terms: Steve, Pamela, Mark, Dean, Peter Brown, Christine, Dominic and Xander.  There will be a selection process during the summer.  If there are vacancies after the process we will ask those individuals if they want to return. 

The Club said those leaving have built up a lot of experience and we welcome you staying in contact with your views.  Danny is happy to receive views directly from representatives.  The Club is building up a revamped supporter relations team.  In addition to Michael we will have matchday, residents and disability liaison officers and are currently in the recruitment process

The meeting finished at 8.25pm.





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