Ricketts commit to put 'diversity and inclusion at the heart' of Chelsea should bid be successful

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Ricketts family commits to put ‘diversity and inclusion at the heart of the club’ should its bid for Chelsea be successful…as Blues fans stage protest outside Stamford Bridge against American suitors after patriarch Joe Ricketts called Muslims ‘my enemy’

  • Chelsea fans have strongly opposed Ricketts family’s bid to buy the club 
  • Family patriarch Joe Ricketts made Islamophobic comments back in 2019 
  • 80-year-old has no direct involvement with the bid to buy Chelsea 
  • Blues fans held a protest against American family outside Stamford Bridge
  • Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said 77% of fans disapprove of Ricketts’ bid

The Ricketts family has insisted it remains committed to put ‘diversity and inclusion at the heart of the club’, should its bid to buy Chelsea be successful.

The Chicago Cubs owners are one of four shortlisted contenders to buy the Blues from Roman Abramovich, but their bid has been rocked by accusations of bigotry and Islamophobia.   

‘Over the past fortnight, our bid team has met with several supporters groups to explain our vision for Chelsea Football Club,’ the Ricketts said in a statement on Saturday. 

The Ricketts' bid to buy Chelsea has been rocked by accusations of bigotry and Islamophobia

The Ricketts’ bid to buy Chelsea has been rocked by accusations of bigotry and Islamophobia

‘In those meetings, and by letter to all groups, we have shared a set of specific commitments we will make to fans, if our bid is successful.

‘We believe these are far-reaching and certainly include an absolute commitment on the part of the Ricketts Family and the bid team to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of the club.

‘We look forward to more meetings – including with the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust – over the coming days and to making a public reiteration to our values and commitments.’ 

A poll by the Chelsea Supporters' Trust found 77 percent of Blues fans were against the prospect of the American family taking over the club

A poll by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust found 77 percent of Blues fans were against the prospect of the American family taking over the club

Chelsea fans held a protests against the Ricketts family outside Stamford Bridge

 Chelsea fans held a protests against the Ricketts family outside Stamford Bridge

Supporters made it clear they do not support the Ricketts' bid to buy the club

Supporters made it clear they do not support the Ricketts’ bid to buy the club 

Approximately 17,000 Chelsea fans have signed a petition to prevent the American family from buying the club, with a protest organised outside Stamford Bridge ahead of the game against Brentford on Saturday.

Supporters held placards with a host of messages ranging from ‘No to Ricketts, no to racism’ to ‘We don’t want racists as owners’ and ‘Buck off’.

In 2019, family patriarch Joe Ricketts described Muslims as ‘my enemy’ in leaked emails.  While the 80-year-old no longer has a role at the Cubs and is not involved with the bid to buy Chelsea, his past has been a source of concern for the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust.

A poll from CST revealed that 77 percent of fans do not support the Ricketts family’s bid and 72 percent do not have confidence that they would run an inclusive and successful club. Only 3 percent of respondents were in favour of the family taking over.  

Family patriarch Joe Ricketts, 80, called Muslims 'my enemy' in leaked emails from 2019

Family patriarch Joe Ricketts, 80, called Muslims ‘my enemy’ in leaked emails from 2019

Tom Ricketts, who is leading the bid, has continued to apologise for his father’s comments

‘At present, it is clear that our membership neither supports nor has confidence in the Ricketts family’s bid for the club,’ a CST statement read.

‘This is reflective of wider concerns articulated by large, vocal sections of Chelsea’s supporter base.’

According to The Guardian, concerns over the Ricketts have also been noted in Westminster, with the government eager to ensure Chelsea’s new owners do not prove as controversial as Abramovich.

The Russian oligarch put Chelsea up for sale last month after he was sanctioned by the government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

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