Proceedings opened up with an acknowledgement that these meetings played a valuable role in ensuring games went ahead smoothly, with no repeat of the serious problems on entry to the away end experienced in December 2014. Clear communication was seen to be key.
THST registered satisfaction that, at the last game at Stamford Bridge in November 2016, all away turnstiles had been in operation and that there was an improved ratio of stewards and police to fans, with improved communication from both. Calls for early arrival had been successful, with all away fans inside the ground by kick-off. However, 1,750 Spurs fans were still outside the ground 30 minutes before kick-off, which put pressure on the turnstiles. It was stressed there was no room for complacency here.
For the upcoming game, we can pass the following information on to our supporters.
BEFORE THE GAME
• British Transport Police fully expect the District Line and train services to be running a normal service, with no planned works.
• BTP will be mainly focusing around the Earl’s Court area, where there will be three designated away pubs (Prince of Teck, Courtfield Tavern, King’s Head)
• This match is classed as a Cat C fixture for now, with the possibility of increasing to a Cat C IR
• Match commander is Mark Whitten – experienced in London derbies
• There will be proportional policing, who will look to engage with supporters and take positive action if required
• Police will not be in riot gear
• There will be a police presence inside the stadium but not on the segregation lines
• There will be a controlled drinking zone in place throughout Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham boroughs meaning no alcohol will be allowed on the pavements – including cans
• Earls Court will fall within the controlled drinking zone, so no drinking on the streets outside pubs will be allowed
• It was stressed that the walk from Earls Court to Stamford Bridge is between 20 – 30 minutes, longer if walking in a large group. Fans need to be aware and to leave plenty of time to get to the stadium
• The police would prefer fans to make their way to the stadium in smaller groups
• For busy matches, pubs are known to stop serving alcohol an hour before the match starts to encourage fans to make their way to the game. Do not be surprised if this happens at the pubs in Earls Court with service stopping at 3pm. Police may inform fans in pubs on the day
• Away fans will also be using the Boathouse and the Rocket on Putney Bridge
AT THE STADIUM
• The stadium will open two hours ahead of kick off – at 2pm
• CFC recommend arriving AT LEAST 45 mins to 1 HOUR before kick off
• Fans wishing to watch the earlier game, Arsenal v Stoke, kicking off at 1.30pm, are encouraged to watch the second half on the concourse inside the stadium
• THFC are taking six stewards to this game, who will be located outside the away entrances
• Security checks have been enhanced since last season so this will take longer to process each fan
• There will be police dogs by the away entrance checking for drugs and pyro
• The entrance flow will be managed exactly as it was last season, and as per the diagram provided by CFC in the attachment at the end of this article
• There is the contingency for a further holding area at the entrance to Stamford Gate should a large number of fans arrive at once
• Spurs have an allocation of 2978 this season
• Of those 2978, roughly 1900 seats are in the upper tier with the remaining c 1100 in the lower
• There are five turnstiles for the upper tier and three for the lower meaning between 366 and 380 fans will pass through each one. This takes time. If all of the Spurs allocation arrives half an hour before kick off, there isn’t enough time to physically get them through the turnstiles, even without the added security checks
• CFC confirmed they would be serving alcohol before the match and at half time, while constantly monitoring for any anti-social behaviour
• There will be nowhere to store larger bags but fans can bring in bags that fit under seats
• A full list of restricted items is included in the CFC Away Supporters Guide at the end of this post
DURING THE MATCH
• Stewards on the segregation line will be wearing hard hats after some isolated instances of coin throwing at the last game. THST indicated that, after the announcement of Season Ticket pricing for next year, it did not expect Spurs fans to be throwing any money this time around!
• CFC will be using CCTV to positively identify anyone throwing coins or setting off pyro
• CFC emphasised the strict anti-discrimination policy now in place at Stamford Bridge
• Local council reps also indicated raised concern about persistent standing in the away section and indicated they would consider reducing future allocations if they felt it necessary
AFTER THE MATCH
• Dispersal will be as normal via the Stamford Gate
• Fans will be able to move east and west along the Fulham Road
• Fulham Broadway Station will be open to both sets of fans
As always, fans experiencing any issues at the game are encouraged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chelsea FC has provided the following guide for visiting Spurs supporters, which we recommend taking a moment to read.
29 March 2018