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Chelsea legend and director Petr Cech gets off the team bus to plead with fans to let the team into Stamford Bridge for their clash with Brighton, as supporters protest against plans for European Super League

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Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-04-20

Chelsea fans have gathered outside Stamford Bridge to protest ahead of their side's home Premier League game against Brighton.

Hundreds of Blues supporters arrived at the ground in west London on Tuesday afternoon with banners to vent their anger at the club's decision to sign up for a European Super League.

'RIP Football 1863-2021,' read one which pointed to when the Football Association was formed. It also had the word 'fans' crossed out, while another, held up by a Manchester City fan, simply read: 'Cancel Super League.'

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Supporters gathered at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in protest of the European Super League
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A Manchester City supporter joined Chelsea fans in protesting against the breakaway league
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One labelled Chelsea's decision to follow five other English clubs as 'the ultimate betrayal'
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Many more Chelsea supporters arrived outside Stamford Bridge ahead of the 8pm kick-off

More joined the protests before kick-off with many joining in anti-Super League chants. One banner called on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to 'do the right thing' and withdraw from the breakaway venture, while supporters were also heard chanting: 'We want our Chelsea back.'

And just minutes later, with fans still outside the stadium, news began to filter through that Chelsea were putting together documentation to begin their exit from the breakaway plans.

During the protests outside the stadium, Chelsea's technical and performance director, Petr Cech, went out to speak to some of the fans. Cech was reported as responding to fans, saying: 'Give everybody time.'

The former Chelsea goalkeeper was also seen urging supporters to allow the team bus through the crowds and to the ground, which they eventually did.

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Many supporters chose to sit in protest with a group singing: 'If you love football sit down'
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A simple 'no' to Chelsea's plans to become part of what has been labelled a 'closed shop'
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Supporters also called on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to 'do the right thing'

Despite the fans allowing the buses through to the stadium, it did still leave Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel unhappy that the team's preparations had been hampered.

Speaking pre-match to Sky Sports about the protests, he said: 'It's a bit annoying, a bit frustrating. We wanted to build the focus of being ready, after a tough week in the Champions League and FA Cup.

'We wanted to create full focus, we're in the race for top four. But there's no way of doing it, it was out of our hands, not our fault. It was a distraction, but we have to understand that we are a bit distracted. Hopefully we can enjoy our time on the pitch and perform nevertheless.

'I can't say very much [to the boys]. We allowed them to be distracted and to talk about it. I didn't think telling them to be focused on the game would help them. Players are involved in this and we have to accept this. It's not normal so we did not feel that I should pretend that everything is normal.'

The demonstrations mirrored those seen at Elland Road on Monday night ahead of Liverpool's game away at Leeds.

They also came after Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel's pre-match press conference was cut short after being dominated by questions about the Super League.

Tuchel said: 'I totally understand the emotion on this and you want more response from Chelsea. I can absolutely understand every single argument, but it has to be clear that I am not the guy for these questions. I am not part of the board or these decisions.

'I can understand that you want more answers to get the bigger picture, but I am clearly not the guy. I coach the team to get results on the pitch and tomorrow against Brighton. I can understand that this does not satisfy you.'

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