Following consultation, the club has made the difficult decision to remove the coach subsidy for domestic away travel. Coaches will still be provided for selected games for both the men’s and women’s team, with the cost of coach travel announced when tickets go on sale.
The first coach offered for the season will be for Bournemouth vs Chelsea on 17 September. This would cost £29 per person, however, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has agreed to subsidise this game for anyone who wants to travel, so the fare for this fixture will be £10.
In addition to consulting with the Fan Advisory Board, the club canvassed views from supporters’ groups. Service users were also encouraged to contact the club via supporters’ groups and share their thoughts. We are aware the coaches are a valuable tool that many supporters rely upon, and the majority of those we engaged with asked the club to continue to offer the coach services. After reviewing this feedback and recognising how important the ability to travel by coach is, the club has committed to offering the service for the 23/24 season for selected men’s and women’s away fixtures.
Supporters also asked for the subsidy to remain in some way, and this was taken into consideration alongside the operational costs of running the coaches, and the number of people who benefit from the subsidy. When considering all factors, it was not financially sustainable to continue to offer subsidised coach travel. From Burnley vs Chelsea onwards, supporters will be advised of the cost of the coach when it goes on sale.
The number of coaches provided will be subject to minimum numbers being met. Coaches will be DDA compliant, subject to availability, and personal assistants will be able to travel for free.
The booking process will be mostly unchanged; however, bookings will now be processed without payment, with payment taken once the minimum number of supporters required has been met.