At the end of last season, Chelsea proudly announced that for the 12th time in 14 seasons, season-tickets in general admission (GA) areas will not go up in price for this season, while junior- and senior-rate tickets as well domestic Cup competition GA ticket prices (£25 and £30 for League Cup and FA Cup, respectively) will be frozen as well.
(Individual tickets for various Premier League games will have gone up, and as usual, would be set case-by-case to charge more for “premium” matches and such. Fairly standard policy for any team.)
The announcement was greeted with the usual amount of goodwill and taken as the nearly annual sign that the club might still actually care a little bit about the match-going fans. (And then some of that goodwill was lost with the Europa League final fiasco.)
On Thursday, Chelsea announced the ticket details for our FA Cup fifth round tie against Liverpool (likely to be Liverpool U23, at that).
The adult tickets are priced at £40. That’s a full £10 (or one-third) more than the set price boldly proclaimed before the season.
How could Chelsea do this?
Pretty simply and easily actually. It’s not like there is a regulatory body overseeing any of this anyway. The club simply changed the rules.
“Note: This season’s ticketing policy for FA Cup games moved from a category-based system to being set on a case-by-case basis. Junior and senior prices remain the same.”
Needless to say, the response to this has been overwhelmingly negative and filled with outrage, including from the Chelsea Supporters Trust who were dismayed at the unprecedented price hike from the club.
“Following the club’s progression in the FA Cup, the CST are hugely frustrated with the decision to implement a 35% price increase on the pre-publicised adult ticket price of £30. There is no past precedence when the club have increased FA Cup ticket prices from the figure that was outlined in the clubs ticket policy at the start of the season.
“The CST is once again dismayed by the continued disregard shown towards match-going supporters, who have been subjected to expensive and challenging travel arrangements throughout this season.”
Your move, Chelsea.