Chelsea have moved to refund fans in Indonesia who were charged £1,500 to attend meet-and-greet sessions with the team
Pre-season tour has been overshadowed by astounding fees being charged by the club's promoters for the trip
Thursday 18 July 2013
Chelsea have announced that fans in Indonesia will be refunded after they were ripped off for autographs, coaching sessions and meeting the players ahead of next week’s visit to Jakarta.
Fans were asked to pay nearly £1,500 for an opportunity to meet the players, with £460 being charged for a shirt to be signed and £330 to take part in a coaching session.
The fees were implemented by promoters Ninesport, who were hired by Chelsea’s banking partner in Indonesia BMI, who are also sponsoring next week’s match in Jakarta.
Chelsea were told of the fees leading to an immediate investigation, and they announced that the process of issuing refunds had begun to defuse the situation.
The Blues stressed that it was not part of their philosophy to charge fans to meet the players, and that the misunderstanding was blamed on cultural differences. They also said that the only thing fans should be paying for are match-day tickets.
It is apparently an accepted practice in Indonesia to allow promoters to charge extortionate amounts for such events. Other teams have operated by the same system although under different promoters, as Arsenal fans – whose team visited Jakarta last weekend – were not asked to pay for similar opportunities.
A spokesman for Chelsea said: “We were made aware today that a number of people were being charged a fee for access to certain non-match day events during our stay in Jakarta.
“While we understand this is accepted practice in Indonesia, it does not fit with our tour philosophy of ‘Here to Play, Here to Stay’ which works towards leaving a lasting legacy in countries and communities we visit. Therefore, anyone who bought a ticket for one of these events will be refunded, and granted ticketed access for free.”
The club opened on of their ‘Blue Pitch’ training facilities in the Thai capital earlier this week, and current players Gary Cahill, Kevin de Bruyne, Josh McEachran and Romelu Lukaku led a coaching session for over 50 children in the local area, who were invited to the event by charities connected to the beer company Singha, who are sponsoring the match in Bangkok.
Latest in Sport
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year