The official attendance at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s match against Queens Park Rangers was 41,486.
[ RECAP: Chelsea 2-1 Queens Park Rangers ]
According to Jose Mourinho, his team was playing in front of an empty stadium.
Despite earning a 2-1 win, the Chelsea boss was not only disappointed by his team’s play, but also by the team’s supporters.
[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]
At this moment it’s difficult to play at home because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium. When we scored was when I realized ‘Woah, the stadium is full. Good’.
I think the man responsible for the lights was in the same mood as the crowd, because everybody was sleeping. He took 20 minutes to understand that it was dark, but I took 30 minutes to understand that the stadium was not empty.”
Chelsea supporters have responded to Mourinho’s statements, claiming the rising ticket prices have forced fans to watch the matches from home rather than at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust chairman Tim Rolls believes young fans can no longer afford to go to matches, and that they are the most likely to make noise at the stadium.
Until the clubs recognize that and do something about affordable pricing for young people and creating sections of the ground where they can sing and make some noise then the situation is unlikely to improve.
It’s unrealistic to expect 18- or 19-year-old kids on the minimum wage to come to Stamford Bridge or any other Premier League ground – this isn’t just an issue at Chelsea, it’s an issue across the board.”
For the match against Queens Park Rangers, the cheapest general sale adult ticket cost around $75. You can see a complete breakdown of average ticket prices throughout English football in BBC Sport’s Price of Football study. Hopefully clubs can figure out a way to accommodate their supporters, who are the backbone of the Premier League.