Chelsea fans have made it clear they don’t want the Ricketts family in charge of the club after 18,000 people signed a petition in opposition to the proposed takeover. The US-based family, who own the Chicago Cubs MLB baseball team, are believed to be among four final bidders looking to get their hands on the west Londoners after their Russian oligarch owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale following his country’s attack on Ukraine.
The Ricketts have come under fire from Chelsea fans since launching their bid due to discriminatory comments family members have made in the past. Fans have called out Peter Ricketts after he addressed black community leaders as “you people” in 2020.
Family patriarch Joe Ricketts, meanwhile, described Muslims as “my enemy” in an email exchange three years ago as he denounced Islam as a cult. And Todd Ricketts labelled COVID-19 as “the kung flu” on his Facebook page and joked about concentration camps after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to call the city if they witnessed large gatherings during the pandemic.
Chelsea fans are set to hold a protest at this weekend’s Premier League clash with Brentford to share their feelings about the Ricketts family. And their petition is gathering pace by the minute.
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The Ricketts’ bid is being led by Chicago Cubs chairman Tom. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust met with the Ricketts family and admitted they were still ‘concerned’ about their suitability to lead the club amid reports of discriminatory and offensive remarks by family members. The family have now moved to condemn racism and Islamophobia. “Our family rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms,” said the Ricketts family in a statement.
“Racism and Islamophobia have no place whatsoever in our society. We have developed deep and abiding partnerships with the Muslim community in Chicago, as well as with all communities of colour.
“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.”
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