Chelsea Supporters' Trust fire brutal message over 'unfair' Inter Milan pre-season decision

Chelsea fans watch on at Stamford Bridge
-Credit: (Image: HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea Supporters' Trust are urging the club to rethink the "unfair" ticket pricing for the pre-season friendly against Inter Milan.

The match is set to take place on August 11, just a week before the start of the new Premier League season, and will be Enzo Maresca's first game at Stamford Bridge after he was appointed this summer to replace Mauricio Pochettino as head-coach.

Chelsea have been criticised for their pricing of the encounter, however, with their Supporters' Trust pointing to a 61.9% increase in price for non-season ticket holders and non-members from their last pre-season friendly at Stamford Bridge in 2021.

The Supporters' Trust called for the club to rethink the pricing structures of the clash, stating that while they have been impressed "by the willingness of the have difficult and challenging conversations" with supporters' groups, "it is a real shame" that the club are starting the new season with a "chance missed" to earn the confidence and support of the fans.

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"Chelsea Football Club has announced ticket pricing details for our pre-season friendly vs. Inter Milan," the Supporters' Trust said in a statement.

"All General Admission tickets for the last pre-season friendly played at Stamford Bridge in 2021 were priced at £30 for adults and £15 for concessions [in all sections of the ground]. For Season Ticket Holders and Members, the prices announced today represent an average price increase of 28.56%. For non-STH and non-members, the average price increase is 61.9%.

"Pre-season friendlies are non-competitive fixtures with continuous substitutions. They have historically been priced reasonably to reflect this with no loyalty points being awarded. This has allowed more members to purchase tickets, along with supporters from the wider fanbase, including families, who would not ordinarily have the chance during the main season. Pricing tickets for a friendly fixture at record amounts excludes many supporters from purchasing and the awarding of points for this type of fixture feels unfair and ill-thought-out.

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"All other Premier League London clubs are charging reasonable prices for their pre-season home fixtures. This poor price structure is a chance missed by Chelsea FC to engage with the next generation of Chelsea supporters.

"The ownership group encouragingly set out at the end of last season that it would look to “earn the trust and confidence of supporters.” We are genuinely impressed by the willingness of the club, especially Danny Finkelstein, Michael Cornall, and the wider the Supporter Relations department, to have difficult and challenging conversations with the CST, the FAB, and other supporter groups.

"It is a real shame that despite a new season, a new manager, new players, and a clean slate, the chance to begin earning the trust and confidence of supporters has been overlooked at the first hurdle. We strongly urge Mr Jurasek to read the room, listen, and adapt as we head into the new season. There needs to be a total culture change.

"The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has today commissioned an independent piece of research into the annual cost of being a Chelsea FC supporter since 2021 in comparison to inflation."