On August 21, three days after Chelsea’s first home game of the season (vs. Leicester City), the Blues will hold open training at Stamford Bridge. While the event will be free, attendance will be limited to just 5000. Season tickets holders can reserve their tickets now, with a general sale to follow on Wednesday, starting at 9am London-time. (You will have to pay for postage for the tickets, so they technically won’t be completely free.)
The training will be part of a larger event at the stadium, featuring some family-friendly entertainment, face-painting, freestylers, and such.
Chelsea used to have training open to the public all the time when training was still conducted at Harlington, but things have become a lot more secretive in modern times, especially after the move to Cobham. But in a welcome gesture of openness and fan-engagement, the team decided to hold this open session, taking a page out of Antonio Conte’s book, who did the same in early August three years ago.
That was the first time Chelsea had held open training in many a year; now will be the second. Lampard of course already has the fans fully on his side (unlike Conte, who was at the time still a big unknown), but this is yet another sign of Chelsea making an effort to improve the good vibes around the club after last season’s divisiveness. Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti had both held open training sessions at the Bridge in 2009 as well, while some seem to recall one from 2012 as well, but I can find no record of that.
Ironically, Lampard was the wronged party in last season’s “spygate” when Leeds’ Marcelo Bielsa sent some one his people over to Derby’s training ground to hide out in the bushes and take some notes.