After Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over QPR this past Saturday, Jose Mourinho took it to Chelsea fans about their lack of enthusiasm saying, “At this moment it’s difficult to play at home because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium.”
Chelsea fans have responded by saying that high ticket prices are pricing out younger, more enthusiastic fans from coming to the game. Chelsea Supporters’ Trust chairman Tim Rolls said, “Until the clubs recognize that and do something about affordable pricing for young people and creating sections of the ground where they can sing and make some noise then the situation is unlikely to improve.” Chelsea spokespeople say that they are working with supporters to keep ticket prices down and looking for solutions to improve the atmosphere at games. There will be more talks regarding ticket prices later this month.
According to the BBC, Chelsea does have the most expensive cheapest ticket at £50 ($80) and Chelsea fans do have a case when they claim that high ticket prices are pricing out not only young people, but families as well. I can’t imagine the cost for a family of four to go to a game when you add things like food, travel, souvenirs as well as the tickets. Where I disagree with Chelsea fans is that the high ticket prices are the reason for the lack of noise at Stamford Bridge.
Looking at the entire list of ticket prices, Chelsea has the most expensive cheapest ticket. 2nd, 3rd and 4th most expensive is Liverpool at £37 ($59), Manchester City at £37 ($59) and Manchester United at £36 ($57.50). Manchester City has a similar issue with Chelsea when it comes to a lack of atmosphere at many games but you can’t say the same thing about Liverpool and Manchester United. Both teams are currently struggling performance wise but they’re still packing their stadiums and are some of the loudest places in the EPL. Members of the Kop at Anfield have protested ticket costs recently but those two teams aren’t using high ticket prices as an excuse to not be loud.
In the end, Chelsea supporters have a point that ticket prices are too high but that’s not why there isn’t any noise at Stamford Bridge. Stamford Bridge carries 42,000 people and Chelsea fans fill that almost every game. Young or old, that many fans plus having the best team in England play there should create some sort of atmosphere at that place. Chelsea has had the reputation for having “plastic” fans and while I don’t necessarily agree with that, this sort of thing doesn’t help them get rid of that stereotype.