Chelsea have confirmed 908 supporters will be unable to access Stamford Bridge for Saturday’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace because of over-running rail-seating work.
All of the affected seats are in the Matthew Harding Lower Stand; 298 in Blocks 8/9 and a further 610 in Block 16.
Tickets assigned to those seats will not work on Chelsea’s turnstile system for the 3pm kick-off against the Eagles which kicks off Thomas Tuchel’s second season at the club.
A Chelsea statement read: “Further to the announcement yesterday, regarding the challenges of installing rail seating in the Shed End and Matthew Harding Lower, we now have final information on what will be available for the match against Crystal Palace tomorrow.
“Regrettably, 298 seats in Block 8/9 and 610 seats in Block 16 of the Matthew Harding Lower will not be available and tickets for the affected seats will not work on the turnstile system. Exact details of the affected seat numbers are below. Note: you may see pictures of the stadium that appear to show finished seating in the affected areas, but they are not fully installed and are not safe to use.
“We realise we have let these supporters down and sincerely apologise for the fact this has happened. If you are a season ticket holder you will receive a pro-rata refund for the match plus a refund of any reasonable pre-booked travel costs. Affected members will receive a full refund, plus a refund of any reasonable pre-booked travel costs. All affected season tickets holders and members will retain loyalty points for this match.
“In addition, after discussions with the Fans Forum and several supporter groups, affected season ticket holders and members will also receive a complimentary ticket to one of the first three home Champions League Group stage games this season. You will be contacted at the end of next week regarding the process for redeeming this.
“When we embarked upon this project we had detailed plans to complete it on time and written undertakings from the manufacturer they could meet the schedule. Everyone at the club is very upset that we weren’t able to achieve this and recognise that we should have done better.”
Chelsea have also reminded supporters attending the game that they will have to provide evidence they are at low risk of transmitting Covid-19.
This can be done either by showing proof of full Covid-19 vaccination (both doses at least 14 days prior to Saturday) or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test carried out within 48 hours of kick-off.