In what can only be described as a fantastic though somewhat overdue move (especially when compared with a few other Premier League clubs such as Arsenal), Chelsea have decided to create an in-house season ticket exchange service in favor of using a third-party service as they've had since 2006 with viagogo.
That's not to say that viagogo is a bad service. I've used it myself and while it's certainly reliable and safe, the fees can be outrageous, both for the buyer (paying extra) and the seller (reimbursed a lesser amount for his ticket). The new season ticket exchange fixes these problems.
The new Chelsea FC version [of the ticket exchange] will not cost a season ticket holder anything to use.
In the new scheme it will not cost any more to buy a ticket from the Ticket Exchange than it does to buy the same category ticket from the box office. In both cases, the £1.50 booking fee covers the cost of administering the ticket purchase.
Because tickets will be resold at full face value rather than the reimbursed pro-rata cost they represent to a season ticket holder, the club will generate a small amount of extra revenue, which will be put to even better use than just padding on the bottom line.
The aim of this scheme is to ensure as many of our fans can attend a match as possible and for every seat at Stamford Bridge to be occupied. It most definitely is not to generate additional money for the club on top of our regular season ticket and individual match ticket sales.
Therefore all extra money raised by season ticket seats being sold on at the regular members' price will be donated to the Chelsea FC Foundation, the club's charity organisation which uses the power of sport to bring about positive changes in people's lives and their communities.
At the end of each season the club will announce the sum of money raised and donated straight into the Foundation's funds by the Ticket Exchange, as well as the number of tickets exchanged.
The service will go live in early August and tickets will be available to sell/buy 42 days before every Premier League match from that point on. The scheme is essentially the same as proposed by the Chelsea Supporters' Trust back in May.
Well done, Chelsea and everyone involved!