Chelsea have opened an online application process where fans can apply to be consulted on major changes to the club, as part of a new Fan Advisory Board.
The introduction of the Fan Advisory Board was announced on Wednesday morning, a week after the government's white paper on football governance which included plans for an independent body to regulate the English game.
Chelsea are keen to continue their commitment to involve supporters in decision-making on larger club matters, while the league's new regulator will be in part to ensure fans have a greater say in the running of their clubs, promoting transparency at boardroom level.
The club want six supporters to “engage in discussion, exchange information and share insights on potential decisions that impact Chelsea FC supporters ... at least three times a year".
The six selected will be made up of three Supporter Advisors to the Board and three Chelsea fans from the application process on the club’s website. The three supporters will be chosen from a shortlist by a panel consisting of club and independent representatives.
The club thanked their Fans’ Forum and Accessible Fans’ Forum, stating that both bodies will continue to run as normal. Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE is one of the directors on Chelsea’s board, as well as a Conservative politician and columnist for The Times. He will have strategic oversight of the Fan Advisory Board.
“As a life-long Chelsea fan and season ticket holder, I am proud to be serving on the board of the club I have always loved,” he said. “I was also a member of the panel in the Government’s fan-led review and am committed to fan engagement within the club.
“Through my position on the board, I want to ensure the club has the ability to respond reactively to supporter issues. Through our Fans’ Forums and other communication channels, we believe we are working well to capture this feedback and will continue to develop mechanisms to do so.
“In addition, I want to ensure our supporters are represented when we are considering long-term plans for the club. Our supporter advisors to the board have been an important step in the right direction, and we know we can do more. I believe the Fan Advisory Board is a critical step in this process and look forward to working closely with the members of the FAB.”
Chelsea have stressed they welcome applications from people of all backgrounds. Supporters have until 5pm on March 24 to apply via the club website.