Feel you might need a swift visit to the loo? Contemplating turning up to Kingsmeadow today to watch Chelsea Women play Everton? You might be better staying at home and watching the match live on BBC2 as the bogs at the stadium in Norbiton are – say fans – woefully inadequate. At the pre-season friendly
Feel you might need a swift visit to the loo? Contemplating turning up to Kingsmeadow today to watch Chelsea Women play Everton?
You might be better staying at home and watching the match live on BBC2 as the bogs at the stadium in Norbiton are – say fans – woefully inadequate.
At the pre-season friendly against Villa, long queues formed outside the ladies, where there were only two cubicles in action.
“It was ridiculous,” said one female fan. “I missed about 10 minutes of the second half because the queue for the ladies was so long.”
Chelsea FC Women had installed additional toilets at the Kingston Road end of the ground… but fans were prevented from making their way round to use them by stewards blocking their path.
Others took to social media to complain. One comment read: ‘Sort this out, Chelsea, or you won’t deserve to get the fans back in the stadium.’
The gents’ urinals, while busy, were nowhere near as congested as the ladies’. The problem – if it can be called a problem – is that the profile of supporters attending Chelsea Women’s matches is vastly different to the profile when AFC Wimbledon had the ground.
Far more women are now attending matches, and the provision of facilities has yet to match the numbers requiring them.
Chelsea Women are looking forward to finally getting some points on the board with their first WSL home game of the new season.
Manager Emma Hayes said there was a good mood in the camp ahead of the game, which kicks off at 12.30pm.
“I have a great dressing room,” she said. “I know how [my players] react to defeat and how they react to wins. They’ll be raring to go, especially for some of our players who have never played in front of our fans before. I’m excited for them, and I’m looking forward to another top-quality game.
“I love Kingsmeadow. I love what we’ve built. It’s brilliant; I love going there. The club have invested a lot of money in it, and I’m really happy for the fans as they get back into their routines. There’s a real homely feel to it. I just have to make sure I get the team in the best possible place to perform as best they can.”
Meanwhile, female fans looking to ‘perform’ ought to make sure they’ve paid a visit before they reach the ground, until the loo situation goes from, er, bog standard to better.