Chelsea respond to ESL criticism by opening board to fan reps

May 5 – In the wake of the European Super League (ESL) protests, Chelsea have become the first of the English breakaway clubs to introduce fan representation at board meetings.

The London club was among six clubs from England to back the ESL, which remarkably disintegrated in the space of 48 hours after a storm of protest from fans and all corners of the football industry.

Heeding those voices of criticism, Chelsea, who face Real Madrid in the second-leg of their Champions League semi-final tonight, issued a statement on Tuesday that the club will elect three supporter advisors, who will attend board meetings to make sure that general supporter sentiment is considered as part of the club’s decision-making process.

Chelsea said that that the criteria involved for being able to attend the meetings will be representative of the club’s supporter base generally and is inclusive and diverse. Every season new supporter advisors will be picked. They, however, won’t have any voting rights and won’t be allowed to attend any meetings involving first-team decisions and the academy.

After the ESL implosion, Chelsea released a statement apologising to its fans. It read: “We have taken time since withdrawing from the ESL to speak directly to various supporter groups and listen to their views and concerns.

“Our ambition with Chelsea Football Club has always been to make it the best club in the world, both on the pitch and in how we work with, and give back to the community off it.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at [email protected]