Chelsea legend and director Petr Cech gets off the team bus to beg fans to let the team go to Stamford Bridge for their clash with Brighton, while supporters protest plans for the European Super League
- Chelsea supporters protested on Tuesday in the run-up to the game against Brighton
- Fans gathered to show their anger at the Blues signing up for a Super League
- Petr Cech went out to meet with fans as the protests before kick-off grew
- Chelsea was one of the top six flyers to register for the new competition
Chelsea fans gathered in front of Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening to protest ahead of their side’s home game against Brighton.
Hundreds of Blues supporters arrived on the ground in West London on Tuesday afternoon to express their anger at the club’s decision to sign up for a European Super League.
‘RIP Football 1863-2021’, read one that referred to when the Football Association was founded. The word ‘fans’ was also crossed out, while another, held up by a Manchester City fan, simply read: ‘Cancel Super League’.
Supporters gathered at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in protest against the European Super League
A Manchester City supporter, along with Chelsea fans, protested the leading group
One called Chelsea’s decision to follow five other English clubs as ‘the ultimate betrayal’
Many more Chelsea supporters arrived outside Stamford Bridge for the 8pm kick-off
Before kickoff, more people joined the protests and many joined in anti-Super League chants. A banner called on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to ‘do the right thing’ and withdraw from the breakaway, while supporters also chanted, ‘We want our Chelsea back.’
And a few minutes later, with fans still outside the stadium, news began to sink in that Chelsea was putting together documentation to begin their exit from the escape plans.
During the protests outside the stadium, Petr Cech, Chelsea’s technical director and performance director, went out to talk to a number of fans. Cech reportedly responded to fans saying, ‘Give everyone time.’
The former Chelsea goalkeeper was also seen urging supporters to let the team go through the crowds and to the ground, which they eventually did.
Many supporters chose to protest with a group that sang: ‘If you love football sit down’
A simple ‘no’ to Chelsea’s plans to become part of what has been called a ‘closed shop’
Supporters also called on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to ‘do the right thing’
Despite fans passing the buses to the stadium, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was still unhappy that the team’s preparations were being hindered.
In a pre-match with Sky Sports about the protests, he said: ‘It’s a little bit annoying, a little bit frustrating. We wanted to build the focus to be ready after a tough week in the Champions League and FA Cup.
‘We wanted to create full focus, we are in the race for the top four. But there is no way to do it, it was out of our hands, not our fault. It was a distraction, but we have to understand that we are a little distracted. Hopefully we can enjoy our time on the field and still perform.
‘I can’t say much [to the boys]. We let them distract and talk about it. I didn’t think telling them to focus on the game would help. This involves players and we have to accept that. It’s not normal, so we didn’t feel like I had to pretend everything was normal. ‘
The demonstrations mirrored the demonstrations on Elland Road on Monday evening, prior to Liverpool’s game in Leeds.
They also came after Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s pre-game press conference was cut short after being dominated by questions about the Super League.
Tuchel said, ‘I fully understand the emotion on this and you want more response from Chelsea. I can absolutely understand any argument, but it should be clear that I am not the man for these questions. I am not part of the board or these decisions.
‘I can understand you want more answers to get a bigger picture, but I’m clearly not the man. I coach the team to get results on the field and against Brighton tomorrow. I can understand that this is not satisfying you. ‘