Chelsea fans have ‘significant concerns’ about club’s future, says supporters group

Chelsea fans have ‘significant concerns’ about club’s future, says supporters group

20 March 2024 0 By Total Football News
Todd Boehly
Chelsea have outspent their Premier League rivals by hundreds of millions of pounds since Todd Boehly took over as owner

Chelsea Supporters Trust says fans have “significant concerns” about the club’s future in a lengthy letter to co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali.

It says feeling among fans is at its lowest since the early 1980s and is close to “irreversible toxicity”.

Despite a record outlay on players since the new owners took over in 2022, Chelsea are 11th in the Premier League.

“The current mood amongst supporters is critically low and cannot be ignored,” CST’s letter said.

“The feeling that the club has become a ‘laughing stock’, both on and off the pitch, is growing.”

The takeover by American investor Bohely and private equity firm Clearlake Capital was completed in May 2022, after former owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In the new owners’ first season Chelsea finished 12th. Manager Thomas Tuchel was sacked in September and replaced by Graham Potter, who was himself removed after seven months with Frank Lampard appointed in his place until the end of the campaign.

Last summer Mauricio Pochettino was put in charge but has been unable to significantly improve results.

During Sunday’s FA Cup win over Leicester there were chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” aimed at the Argentine from the Stamford Bridge crowd and loud boos for forward Raheem Sterling.

There have also been chants in support of Abramovich, under whom Chelsea won five Premier League titles.

The CST letter said the group wanted to highlight “serious concerns” and the “disconnection felt by supporters towards the majority of the team, the manager, the club ownership, and the board”.

“The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust regretfully believes that we are close to, if not already experiencing, a significant shift in supporter opinion that could result in irreversible toxicity, almost irrespective of results on the pitch,” it added.

“Supporters are saying that there currently seems a fast-growing lack of trust from much of the fanbase, especially matchgoers towards the board, partially due to severely limited communication.

“Many supporters have significant concerns about the short and long-term future of our football club.”

The letter called on the club to “work hand-in-hand” with CST to improve the supporter-board relationship.

“A significant number of supporters that we speak to are quick to express concerns that the lack of any public-facing vision from the new ownership has led to an overwhelming sense of helplessness, frustration, and deep concern,” it said.

“Surely supporters deserve a coherent, detailed strategy update from the ownership on their medium/long-term plans? They have yet to receive one.

“Included within such an update should be the stadium redevelopment. Even if the club have no strategically important news in this area, periodic statements would certainly not go amiss, given the crucial importance of the redevelopment to so many matchgoing supporters.”

CST also “strongly cautioned against” increases in prices related to the club, such as tickets, coach travel and food and drink.

In a written response, Chelsea thanked CST for its support and said they endeavour “to have substantial dialogue on a regular basis”.

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This article was originally posted on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68618210