Boehly apologises to Chelsea fans over Ted Lasso banner controversy

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly apologises – but pins the blame on Roman Abramovich’s regime – for the ‘disrespectful’ editing of club legend Ray Wilkins’ banner in Ted Lasso, in a rare public statement

  • Ted Lasso bosses tweaked the banner to fit character Roy Kent in its new episode
  • Chelsea fans were left incensed by the edit and took aim at US owner Boehly
  • Yet Boehly claims Roman Abramovich’s regime agreed the deal with Apple TV

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has issued an apology on Twitter after fans were left incensed by Ted Lasso producers doctoring a tribute to club legend Ray Wilkins. 

Ted Lasso, the hit sports-comedy series which sees an American football coach recruited to manage a fictional Premier League side, took its latest episode to Stamford Bridge as part of a storyline involving character Roy Kent.

The episode includes Kent, an ex-Chelsea player in the world of Ted Lasso, returning to a hero’s welcome at his former club, with cameras at one stage showing a banner which reads: ‘They don’t make them like Roy anymore’.

However, the real-life banner at Stamford Bridge actually pays homage to former Blues player and assistant manager Wilkins, who passed away at the age of 61 back in 2018.

Producers on the Apple TV show appeared to have tweaked this tribute to serve their own storyline, a move which left Chelsea supporters furious.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly (L) has issued an apology after Ted Lasso producers doctored a tribute to club legend Ray Wilkins (R) at Stamford Bridge 

Blues fans were left furious after Wilkins’ banner was edited in the latest Ted Lasso episode to fit character Roy Kent

The real banner at Stamford Bridge actually reads ‘They don’t make them like Ray anymore’ 

Boehly apologised on Twitter over the banner controversy before pinning the blame on the previous Roman Abramovich regime

The Blues faithful directed most of their anger towards Boehly, the US tycoon who took the reins in west London last year, for allowing television chiefs to pull off what they describe as a ‘disgusting’ and ‘incredibly disrespectful’ edit.

Yet in a rare public response on Twitter, Boehly apologised to fans after claiming the deal with Apple was struck by previous owner Roman Abramovich’s regime in the first financial quarter of 2022 before he arrived.

Former Chelsea pitch announcer and presenter Neil Barnett first posted on Wednesday night: ‘If changing ‘Ray’ to ‘Roy’ on a supporters paid for banner commemorating a late legend is the way Eghbali/Boehly believe is an example of how Europeans have failed to maximise football income, they’re in for a rough ride. Nothing is going well yet. Time to keep their heads down’.

Boehly then replied: ‘We had nothing to do these arrangements. The deal w/ apple was struck in 1Q/22. We are sorry it affected so many and mostly we care about Ray and his family. We would also point out that none of the “Chelsea” players were actual Chelsea players. Hopefully, that was clear.’

Wilkins played more than 200 times for Chelsea between 1973-1979, while also enjoying several spells as assistant manager, working with coaches such as Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.

While a coach at Stamford Bridge, the former England international won the Premier League in 2009-10 and three FA Cup trophies.

After he passed away in 2018, Chelsea unveiled the aforementioned banner in his honour, which still stands at home games.

The airing of the Ted Lasso episode sparked widespread controversy with Blues fans quick to slam the club’s hierarchy and the TV show, which airs on Apple TV.

Ted Lasso is a sports-comedy series which sees a US coach manage a fictional Premier League

Boehly claims Abramovich and Co were responsible for landing the deal with Apple TV

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said: ‘RE: Ray Wilkins Banner This is a banner paid for by supporters to commemorate a Chelsea legend: Ray Wilkins. 

‘Many supporters have seen this edit to be disrespectful, and we have expressed our disappointment to club officials. We expect that CFC will address this in due course.’

Meanwhile, one supporter expressed their anger on Twitter and said: ‘NOW THIS is disgusting. Incredibly disrespectful to edit a banner of the late Ray Wilkins. Hugely concerning and embarrassing to think that Chelsea would have sanctioned this.’

Another added: ‘Yeah this ain’t it, all for Chelsea and it’s likeness being used in Ted Lasso but Ray Wilkins is a Chelsea legend who can’t even consent to his banner being changed. How they thought this would go down well I’ll never know….’

A further infuriated supporter added: ‘This is absolutely disgusting, editing over the Ray Wilkins banner to “Roy” for a TV publicity stunt with Ted Lasso, extremely disrespectful.’

Nevertheless, following his response on social media some fans are now leaping to Boehly’s defence, insisting he should not be blamed for the Ted Lasso edit.

Chelsea supporters slammed the decision to switch up the banner, labelling it ‘disgusting’

One wrote: ‘Some people were quick to blame the ownership’.

Another said: ‘Turns out it wasn’t even their fault. Chelsea fans on twitter and being reactionary’.

A third commented: ‘If it had nothing to do with the owners, not sure there is any blame to be appointed towards someone. Not sure apple or whoever edited realised the emotion around Ray and his chelsea legacy. Let it be now , As long as Ray’s family are content , we as fans should be also.’

While another concluded: ‘People were losing it on Boehly and Co. for something that the previous administration planned.

‘Unfortunately, it’s easy for people to slander, and hard for people to apologize.’

Source: Read Full Article