Abramovich ‘furious’ with Chelsea over Super League
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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly “furious” at how the Super League saga played out.
The Blues were among six Premier League clubs to sign up for the breakaway competition on Sunday, before widespread criticism (and perhaps the offer of some UEFA cash) led to all six withdrawing on Tuesday evening.
Protests at Stamford Bridge ahead of the 0-0 draw with Brighton meant kick-off had to be delayed as Petr Cech stepped in to appeal to the angry masses.
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Chelsea are said to have decided to pull out of the competition ahead of the protests but Abramovich is said to be unhappy at the club’s decision to enter the competition and how the whole fiasco played out.
The Russian owner had trusted chairman Bruce Buck’s judgement that joining the Super League was in the club’s best long-term interest and is now ‘furious’ as he felt ‘blindsided’ by fans’ true feelings amid concerns for his reputation and legacy.
Chelsea released a statement late on Tuesday night saying: “As reported earlier this evening, Chelsea Football Club can confirm that it has begun the formal procedures for withdrawal from the group developing plans for a European Super League.
“Having joined the group late last week, we have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the Club, our supporters or the wider football community.”
The Chelsea players are said to be relieved by the U-turn, while the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust called for the heads of complicit board members.
Their statement read: “It has been confirmed that CFC is officially withdrawing their intention to join the European Super League.
“Whilst this is a huge win for supporters worldwide, our fight to secure the proper future of the club will continue.
“The CST is appalled with the tone and insincerity of the statement issued by CFC today. We request a full and in-depth explanation as to why the board took the decision to turn their back on the European competition and for CFC to explain why they signed up to the Super League without prior consultation with their loyal supporters.
“We are disappointed that an apology has not been included in the statement.
“The legacy of our club was put at risk for what appears to have been solely for financial gain.
“The CST presently have little or no confidence in our current leadership at board level.
“On Monday [club chairman] Bruce Buck extensively defended CFC’s plan to remain in the Super League at a fan’s forum meeting.
“Buck alongside [CEO] Guy Laurence appears to have given no consideration towards the loyal supporters, so their positions would seem untenable moving forward.”
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