CHELSEA were forced to remove dozens of fan-owned banners from the stands before withdrawing from the Super League tonight.
Stamford Bridge’s famous Shed End was stripped bare as was the Matthew Harding Stand at the opposite end of the 41,000 capacity ground before Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Brighton, with irate fans protesting ahead of kick-off.
Irate supporters contacted Chelsea on Monday to voice their anger at plans for their club to join a group of 12 European teams in forming a breakaway league.
And one way of showing was to demand the taking down of the huge banners that have either hung from the top tiers or been placed on the empty seats during the Covid pandemic to show solidarity with Chelsea.
But Blues supporters upped their game by protesting against the Super League outside Stamford Bridge this evening before kick-off.
They blocked the Fulham Road in chaotic scenes and even prevented the team buses from entering the stadium, forcing the game to be delayed until 8.15pm.
Technical director and former goalie Petr Cech was forced to approach the protestors, begging them to move out of the way for the bus.
And the fans were later celebrating as news broke that Chelsea were pulling out of the controversial super league, with Roman Abramovich ‘livid’ at being ‘blindsided’ by the backlash.
As for the banners, fans were told the banners would be removed in time for the 8pm kick off against Brighton which ended in a bore draw and saw the Blues drop more points in the Champions League race.
The supporters’ banners are the most notable inside the ground.
One features a portrait of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich along with the slogan ‘Roman Army’.
Another refers to a song lyric about Stamford Bridge – ‘The Only Place To Be Every Other Saturday’.
Others pay tribute to former players like ex-captain John Terry ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ and ‘Super Frankie Lampard’.
Chelsea were the first of the rebel ‘Big Six’ in the Premier League to host a match since the plan to form the Super League was confirmed.
MORE ON SUPER LEAGUE OUTRAGE
Liverpool are another club involved in the controversial idea.
And their supporters have also asked for their banners to be taken off Anfield’s famous Kop.
For full details on how the European Super League will work, check out SunSport’s extensive guide to the hugely controversial plans.