While Chelsea fans have long gotten used to being the ‘neutral’s enemy’ due to the wealth brought by Roman Abramovich, things have changed recently. Many fans of other clubs have shown at least some form of sympathy for Blues fans as the club goes through turmoil with the exit of Roman Abramovich. However, while many fans feel sorry for the club for seeing it fall into such a surprise situation, recent statements have eroded any goodwill that was being developed.

The club’s latest decision to ask that the FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough be played behind closed doors was met with extreme hostility. The reason that was given was ‘sporting integrity’ as the Blues are not able to sell tickets for their game. The move was met by condemnation by fans, by players, by managers, and even by the FA. In a bid to avoid the public rejection, though, Chelsea put out a statement saying: “After constructive talks between the FA and Chelsea, the club has agreed to remove their request for the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie against Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors.

“The FA remains in ongoing discussions with Chelsea, the Premier League and the government to find a solution that would enable both Chelsea fans to attend games and away fans to attend Stamford Bridge, whilst ensuring sanctions are respected.” – Freesuperbets quotes.

Chelsea called out for closed doors request

As many fans winced reading the tone-deaf request, the bombardment came from all around the football world. Many mocked one of the most financially powerful clubs in the world talking about ‘integrity’, whilst others said it was tone-deaf and lacked of any empathy for the reasons why the club was subject to sanctions on their owner.

Indeed, the Boro coach, Chris Wilder, was even stronger in his statement. When asked what he thought of the request, the former Sheffield United managed opined: “I think like everybody in football made of it, It was just head-scratching and I was flabbergasted with everything that’s gone off today.

“I don’t know. When a decision is made and there is a universal ‘what is all that about?’ attitude to it from everybody, including Chelsea whether it’s Thomas, the coaching staff, their players, supporters. Their supporters’ trust came out and said ‘what is all this about?’

“I thought our response as a club was class and our Chairman said what he felt from the heart. That was backed up universally by everybody who knows the game and loves the game. I’ve got to say, I was thinking that I wasn’t going to turn up. If our supporters weren’t going to turn up then I don’t think I’d have turned up. Nobody wants that.”

For Chelsea fans, it has been odd getting used to people being nice about the club from the outside. However, this decision and the subsequent reaction has been met with total venom, and it would be hard for fans to really disagree. Hopefully, in future, such decisions will be disregarded before they are embarrassingly made public.

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