I am writing this article in response to Chelsea’s decision to ignore the 16-21 age groups. As you probably have read, or heard, I am trying my hardest, to try and put young support back into Chelsea, something which has been lost for many years. But I feel as if I am wasting my time because the club do not simply care about us! And they would rather care about the support In China, and Russia to name a few, who have shown no loyalty other than buy their merchandise. It really does bring a sour taste to my mouth, when I pay the money I pay to watch Chelsea most weeks, and sing my heart out, and I get what out of it? Nothing but pure rejection in some ways. I and many others my age and in Chelsea Youth Group have done our best to make as many games as we can, and considering I am a member, and still at school, I have only missed 3 home league games. I have made all cup ties, home and away, and also around 8 away games. Which means I am probably in a position to get a season ticket next year, point wise anyway.
Will I be able to get one next year? No. One of the things I know the reps on the fans forum have pushed for is a season ticket for 16-21 year olds because there is no transition from leaving being a junior season ticket holder, to an adult season ticket holder. Sadly we as fans did not succeed and they just expect you to make that jump from £330 to £650, which is not financially viable for me and everyone I know who is 16-21.
This is not an exaggeration, but the club seriously are going to loose what would be future life long followers, and passionate one’s as well. Obviously, I am going to stick my guns and not be knocked back at something like this, and keep pushing for improvements, to increase the support and membership for Chelsea Youth Group, purely because I love Chelsea and can not let it go that easily, but sometimes I do sit and wonder, and think, what if I watched my local team (Crystal Palace), I could have a season ticket for £180 and go every week.
But obviously I will not do that. But some will. Some will leave Chelsea on principle, not because they are not true Chelsea fans, but for the same reason others, watch non league and local football. It is cheap, passionate and a fans game.
Not only do I pay over the odds, I get told to sit when I sing, threatened to be kicked out, if I do not sit, and sometimes I have discovered I get told to sit, by fellow fans. Yet I come back to Chelsea for more, simply because it’s Chelsea, simply because from the day my father took me to the bridge for my first game I was hooked. It was inevitable, that I should want to follow them for all my life.
Will I get that chance to follow them home and away every week? I have to say, I do not know. From the birth of Chelsea Youth Group, I think there is hope, hope that, there will be a future group of fans, to chant CAREFREE, but then something like this knocks us back,. I could lie down, and surrender to Kenyon and his dreams abroad, but I will not.
It might have an affect, on attracting numbers to join me and my fellow members of CFCYG, but we have to keep trying until, there is no more hope. It might sound over dramatic, but to me it is not. Chelsea is so important to me, and I do not want to loose it.
Something needs to be done, but once again I call out to all 16-21 year olds not to be down, and to join Chelsea Youth Group, and help us push for improvements, and not just that, but to make many new like minded Chelsea mates, and to also have a good time at Chelsea.
How do you join?