Chelsea fans took to Stamford Bridge to protest against the potential ownership of the club by the Ricketts family. The fans gathered in front of Chelsea’s home ground to insist that they don’t want the American family to become the new owner of the club.
Recall that the club’s outgoing owner, Roman Abramovich decided to sell the club after Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.
The invasion brought pressure on Chelsea and Russian billionaire Abramovich. Amid ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian billionaire placed a £3 billion price tag on Chelsea. Days after, the government of the United Kingdom froze all his assets.
To enable Chelsea to keep operating, the government of the United Kingdom had to offer special permission to the club which prevented the club from selling and signing players. It also prevented the club from selling merchandise and match tickets.
The process to sell the club has reached a very advanced stage and the bank managing the bidding process, the Raine Group, has shortlisted four bidders for the final stage of the bidding process. Among the four finalists is the Ricketts family.
Since it was announced that the Ricketts family made the final shortlist, the hashtag #SayNoToRicketts has been trending on social media.
The fact that the family promised to put “diversity and inclusion” at the heart of Chelsea fans has not encouraged most of the fans to support the family’s push to own Chelsea.
Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League game against Brentford which will kick off at 15:00 today, over 50 members of the club’s supporters group storm the club’s stadium to agitate against the family.
A statement from Chelsea Supporters’ Trust released earlier today, April 2, stressed that 77 percent of the club’s supporters are not in support and have no confidence in the Ricketts family’s potential ownership of Chelsea.
Why Chelsea fans don’t want the Ricketts family to own Chelsea?
When it comes to money, the Ricketts family are multi-billionaires and very experienced in owning an organization as big as Chelsea football club. Despite how rich the family is, they still went into partnership with Ken Griffin, whose wealth, according to Forbes, surpasses that of Abramovich by three times.
But the fact that the family is super wealthy and currently owns Chicago Cubs is not enough motivation to make most of the club’s fans back the family’s candidacy.
The major concern of most of the club’s fans is the fact that the father of the family, Joe Ricketts used Islamophobic language in emails sent between 2009 and 2013 that were leaked in 2019. Though the American billionaire has apologized and is not part of the bidding process, most of the club’s fans don’t want to see the family at Chelsea.
A statement from Chelsea supporters Trust read: “At present, it is clear that our membership neither supports nor has confidence in the Ricketts family’s bid for the club. This is reflective of wider concerns articulated by large, vocal sections of Chelsea’s supporter base.
“The CST Board is guided by our membership, and thus we do not currently believe it is in the best interests of our members for the Ricketts family’s bid to succeed.
“We await further public detail from the Ricketts family on concrete steps they will take to address the well-documented concerns of Chelsea supporters.
“Should the Ricketts publicly set out clear and detailed plans on how they will address support concerns, we may survey our members again in the next week…
“Our members have given a clear message in this regard: 72 percent of those who responded do not currently have confidence that the Ricketts family would run an inclusive and successful club, with five percent of respondents believing they would.
“Similarly, 77 percent of members who responded do not support the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea FC, and three percent of respondents are in support.
“It is essential that the new owners of Chelsea FC have the confidence of the supporter base and demonstrate an understanding of the values that we stand for.”