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By ESPN Staff

Chelsea announce price freeze

Chelsea have announced a price freeze on all domestic matches at Stamford Bridge next season and a cut in the cost of attending any Champions League group games the club plays.

Last year saw the Blues raise season-ticket prices across the board and for Premier League games against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, as well as FA Cup and Champions League ties.

That followed a four-year freeze and chief executive Ron Gourlay confirmed the decision not to impose another increase came against the backdrop of the country's current economic problems.

He told the club's official website: ''The club has taken the decision not to increase prices for the coming season as we deeply appreciate our loyal following at Stamford Bridge and feel this is the right approach to take in the current economic conditions where budgets may be under pressure.''

Should Chelsea qualify for the Champions League, group-stage match tickets will be reduced from £40 to £35 for adults, and from £20 to £17.50 for juniors and seniors.

The Blues' Champions League pricing policy has been a source of some controversy in recent years and supporters were angered by this season's 33% hike.

Their opening group game against Bayer Leverkusen drew the lowest Stamford Bridge attendance in the competition since the Rosenborg boycott of 2007.

A Twitter campaign was also launched for a boycott of the second home match against Genk, although this ended up being a virtual sell-out.

The demands of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations have forced Chelsea to balance maintaining an expensively-assembled squad with keeping supporters happy - all the time playing in a 42,000-capacity stadium dwarfed in terms of matchday incomes by Manchester United's 76,000-seater Old Trafford and Arsenal's 60,000 Emirates Stadium.

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