As many of you may know there is a very important movement happening these last few years at Chelsea, and that is the Chelsea Supporters Trust. Like many clubs across England, Chelsea supporters have banded together to create a registered trust to represent all supporters of CFC. They have been instrumental in many positive things with the club, and unlike any other mechanism the trust meets with the club on the Trust’s agenda and not one the club makes up, focusing on things the club wants to focus on and leaving other issues unattended. They have been instrumental in the 20 is plenty, a program to reduce the cost of away tickets and make them equal for all venues, they have worked with club on the plans and ideas for the new stadium, they are active in any supporters issues like the recent ones at West Ham, or PSG the previous two seasons. Basically, they are there to represent us, all of us.
Chelsea in America has always been a strong supporter of the CST, believing that when supporters have a say so about their club, it makes the club better and stronger. We have been “affiliated” members from the first year of the trust, paid with member’s dues. An affiliate member is a “group” that is represented to the trust via a representative and that representative participates, votes and fills out the surveys that the trust sends out. The duty of the representative is to understand the needs, issues and concerns of their members and represent them to the Trust. For CIA that means we have 7 different reps to the CST, one for each region and one for CIA as a whole. And those wonderful volunteers are:
Mid Atlantic Region: Kathryn Koehl
Southeast Region: Nick DeJarnette
Midwest Region: Brian Wolff
Desert Texas Region: Luis Gonzalez
Southern California Region: Chris Cruz
SF Bay Area Pacific Coast Region: Tim Whitehorn
Chelsea in America: Beth Wild
These representatives are here to represent you to the CST, if you do not know them personally you can find out how to contact them through your chapter head or regional head. And I urge you to contact them if you have a question, concern or idea.
But that does not stop you or your individual chapter to become a full member (in the case of an individual) or an affiliate member in the case of a local chapter. Dues are £5 a season for an individual and £25 a season for an affiliate club. I know myself and many others are individual members and that gives us our very own voting rights and direct interaction with the CST. But that is a personal choice for each person. But what I can tell you is, if you want to be involved with Chelsea, if you want to protect and have input into supporters and the issues we all face, then get involved, the price of the dues is minimal and makes a statement about your level of commitment to your fellow supporters.
Also one of the things that Trust has done is to have one of the board be a specific international supporters liaison. In this fall’s election for the board, Dan Silver was elected to the board and actively requested to be that liaison. If you don’t know Dan, if you don’t follow him on Twitter, or have listened to him on the Chelsea Football Fancast, or met him in Ann Arbor this summer when he flew out to join us on tour, well you are missing out. Dan is a passionate Chelsea supporter, and I can honestly say that his passion for Chelsea is only matched by his passion for supporters like all of us that are so far away from Stamford Bridge. In the short time he has taken up this task, he has been active and involved, and wanting to hear from your regional heads and myself the issues that concern us in regard to membership, club status, loyalty points, the cost of True Blue membership and benefits, and tickets. He has listened and asked really wonderful questions to get a full picture of the way Chelsea works for us and the concerns we have for all of us. It is such a pleasure and exciting to have Dan involved with us and listening to us. Before writing this I asked Dan how I should introduce him to all of you, and he said give them my email. Well honestly I am hesitant to put anyone’s email on a public website, and I discussed that with Dan, and he said, “I want to hear from them, I will deal with the spam”, and honestly that is the best way I can describe Dan, ALL IN!!! So you can follow Dan on Twitter if you like at @DanSilvs73 or you can email him at [email protected]
With that I am going to let you consider all of that, and if you are too shy to email Dan directly, you know that your CST reps, your Chapter Head, your Regional Head and certainly me are all there for you.