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Chelsea fans plan a Stamford Bridge protest against Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family

Chelsea fans have take to social media to announce their plans to protest against the club’s potential new owners the Ricketts at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. 

The US-based family, who own the Chicago Cubs MLB baseball team, have entered a bid to take over the London-based club from Roman Abramovich

However, the Chelsea fanbase have shared their concerns over the Ricketts after discriminatory comments made by the family were resurfaced.  

Chelsea fans have take to social media to announce their plans to protest against the club's potential new owners the Ricketts (Tom Ricketts pictured above)

Chelsea fans have take to social media to announce their plans to protest against the club’s potential new owners the Ricketts (Tom Ricketts pictured above) 

YouTuber, Matissearmani, took to Twitter to urge fans to use this weekend’s west London derby with Brentford to stand their ground against the Ricketts family. 

He shared a graphic shortly after a Chelsea supporter group called ‘We are the shed’ announced their plans to conduct a protest on Saturday. 

The YouTuber said: ‘We can no longer just stand around, we must now stand together! #NotoRickettsprotest’.

‘A moment in time that could alter the way your club operates for the rest of your lifetime. You’ve spoken online now speak outside. Bring your banners and signs. Keep the peace, to protect the point. 12pm. 2/4/22’. 

It went on to outline the reason behind the protest by saying: ‘The protest against Ricketts family and their bid for Chelsea Football Club is based on the following.

‘1/ Pete Ricketts – ‘The problem I have with you people’ when addressing black community leaders back in 2020.

‘2/ In leaked emails, Joe Ricketts claimed that Muslims were enemies, and that Islam is a ‘thing of evil’ and ‘not a religion’. The leaked emails also included denouncing Islam as a cult and mocking racist jokes.

‘3/ Todd Ricketts referred to COVID-19 as the ‘Kung-flu’ weeks before President Trump’s rally.

‘4/ Pete Ricketts is also against same-sex marriage, which massively contradicts Chelsea FC’s work with the LGBTQ+ community. 

‘When speaking in 2013 about Laura Ricketts, a leader in Chicago’s ‘gay rights movement’ he said: ‘My sister is gay, but I disagree with her on this issues’.

‘5/ Despite Pete reportedly not being directly on the board, his public viewpoints being related back to Chelsea FC and tarnishing the club’s image is a great concern.

‘We believe these points were overlooked, due to a working relationship that exists between the Raine Group and The Ricketts, a conflict of interest that has seen them make the shortlist.

‘We therefore call on the Government, Premier League and Chelsea FC to remove The Ricketts from the process.’

Meanwhile, We are the shed shared a post that read: ‘There is a lot of noise around the Ricketts family and about protesting their potential ownership of Chelsea. 

‘We feel just as strongly as many others about the Ricketts family from what we have heard and read thus far. 

‘To be clear, we do not want anyone associated with racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism or any other bigoted views towards ethnic minorities, marginalised communities or the LGBTQ+ community to run our Club. 

‘However, there is a lot of misinformation flying around at the moment. Because of that, we wanted to be careful and measured in how we protest rather than shouting just because we can/have a platform.

‘It is clear members of the Ricketts family have made statements expressing these views, and both supported and financially contributed to candidates, as well as causes actively advocating for them.

‘The message we want to send directly to Tom Ricketts, members of his family, and Ken Griffin is clear: ‘DISTANCE YOURSELVES FROM BIGOTS OR DISTANCE YOURSELVES FROM CHELSEA!’ 

We Are The Shed went on to encourage fans to bring banners to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. They said: ‘We urge anyone who takes issue with the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea to bring their own homemade banners, big or small, to Stamford Bridge on Saturday vs Brentford and hold them up as the team enter the pitch,’ the statement added.  

‘This is not an attack on the team but it is very likely the Ricketts family will be watching, and it is the easiest time to coordinate everyone and get TV/film coverage.

‘If the Ricketts family can state to Chelsea supporters that their family trust will not be involved in the purchase of Chelsea; that Joe, Pete and Todd Ricketts will have no current/future role at the club; that those who will be involved completely condemn those words, views and actions, collectively Chelsea supporters can regroup and re-evaluate their candidacy as potential owners.

‘We are not saying the above under the guise of speaking for all Chelsea supporters, but if you agree, get to making those banners, making your voice heard, and protecting what we love so dear. We ask that these actions do not disrupt the players nor Saturday’s match, as they do not deserve to be affected.’  

Their concerns stem from the fact leaked emails from 2012 revealed that the family’s 80-year-old father claimed ‘muslims are my enemy’ before describing Islam as a ‘cult’ and laughing at racist jokes.   

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Ricketts, 56, chairman of the Cubs, is fronting the Blues bid being co-financed by Ken Griffin

 Ricketts, 56, chairman of the Cubs, is fronting the Blues bid being co-financed by Ken Griffin

Additionally, Pete Ricketts actively defended Nebraska’s ban on gay marriage in court in 2015. He worked closely with Attorney General Doug Peterson, a fellow Republican, to uphold the constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2000.  

Pete also used a discriminatory phrase when addressing black community leaders in 2020. An Omaha pastor walked out of a meeting in June 2020 after Pete said: ‘The problem I have with you people’. 

Pete was quick to apologise for his comment – he released a statement saying: ‘I chose my words poorly and apologised when it became apparent that I had caused offense.’   

Todd Ricketts also found himself in hot water when he allegedly made comments about Covid and American ‘concentration camps’. He is said to have taken to Facebook to refer to Covid as ‘the kung flu’. 

Todd also commented on a video – which featured New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urging residents to call the city if they saw large gatherings of people during the pandemic –  saying: ‘All snitches will be given priority when applying for jobs as security guards at the concentration camps that will be opening later this year.’

However, a spokesperson for the family recently said that the Ricketts are against any form of ‘Racism and Islamophobia’. 

However, the Chelsea fanbase have shared their concern over the Ricketts after comments discriminatory comments from the family resurfaced

However, the Chelsea fanbase have shared their concern over the Ricketts after comments discriminatory comments from the family resurfaced

The Ricketts' father Joe (pictured) also said 'Muslims are my enemy' in leaked emails

The Ricketts’ father Joe (pictured) also said ‘Muslims are my enemy’ in leaked emails  

‘Our family rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms. Racism and Islamophobia have no place whatsoever in our society. We have developed deep and abiding partnerships with all the Muslim community in Chicago, as well as with all communities of colour,’ they said. 

‘Respect for diversity and inclusion are central to our family’s values. If we prevail in our bid for Chelsea, we commit to the Club and to the fans that we will actively promote these values.’ 

However, the head of the Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club, Brian Wolff – who is also a Cubs season-ticket holder – has also warned a Ricketts family takeover would spell bad news for the club in terms of their ambition on the pitch. 

The fan group have raised doubts about whether the family could deliver more success on the pitch, and claim that the club remaining at their Stamford Bridge home could even come under threat.

Mr Wolff also cited the controversies regarding their political beliefs – as well as their redevelopment of the Cubs’ stadium Wrigley Field, the project for which Tom Ricketts said at one stage had gone ‘around 100 per cent’ over budget – as reasons for concern.

‘As the Head of Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club, and the Chelsea Fans’ Forum Overseas Representative, I’ve had a unique position hearing what supporters in Chicago and worldwide have said regarding the Ricketts family’s bid for Chelsea,’ he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club head Brian Wolff claims a Ricketts family takeover would spell bad news for the club

Chelsea Chicago Supporters Club head Brian Wolff claims a Ricketts family takeover would spell bad news for the club

‘I can report the vast majority of opinion has been of universal disdain. 

‘The Ricketts’ political donations, fundraising and support for candidates who do not share the inclusive views of Chelsea Football Club and its supporters are wholly inconsistent with 19 years of fantastic work done by the club and the Chelsea Foundation, most notably as a leader in committing to a living wage and efforts to protect and promote equality for BAME and LGBTQ+ communities.

‘Their ownership of Chicago Cubs baseball and redevelopment of Wrigley Field raises serious doubts whether they will build upon the club’s success on the pitch, and also the continued existence of the Chelsea Pitch Owners and the goal to keep Chelsea Football Club playing at Stamford Bridge at our forever home.

‘On behalf of countless supporters worldwide, I urge you to reject their bid for ownership of Chelsea Football Club in favour of others who will commit to not only building upon the last two decades of investment in players and infrastructure, but equally important, the investment in supporters and the values we hold dear.’  




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