Chelsea supporters gathered outside Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon to protest against the bid for the club from Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and his family.
Prrotesters chanted “you’re not wanted here” and held up placards with slogans such as “Buck off” – a pun on Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck’s name – and “No to racist Ricketts”.
The Ricketts bid has attracted controversy following the emergence of alleged Islamophobic emails from Joe Ricketts, father of Tom, who is leading the consortium interested in buying Chelsea.
The reasonably sized crowd of protestors made their voices heard outside Stamford Bridge ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League game against Brentford on Saturday afternoon.
However the protest did not have the size nor vitriolic nature of the scenes last season when Chelsea were part of the attempted European Super League breakaway group.
Despite the smaller numbers, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) released a statement claiming the majority of their members oppose the Ricketts bid.
A survey of CST members revealed 72% do not think the Ricketts family “would run an inclusive and successful club”, while 77% of respondents “do not support the Ricketts family’s bid”
The US consortium led by Ricketts, the chairman of Major League Baseball team Chicago Cubs, has the backing of Citadel founder Ken Griffin who is reportedly worth $26.5 billion, meaning it has some of the highest financial support of any option for the Blues.
However the revelation of racist emails sent by a Ricketts family member in 2019, plus the poor recent performance of the Cubs on the field, has led fans to turn against the bid.
Despite this, the Ricketts bid is one of the preferred bids to take over the club from Roman Abramovich, with a final decision on who the next owner is to be revealed in the coming weeks.