Chelsea fans’ groups have joined forces to launch Chelsea Together in reaction to recent incidents, including a UEFA investigation into alleged anti-Semitic chanting.
Ten groups, including the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust and various media outlets which voice the fans’ views, launched the group on Friday, independent of the club and footballing authorities.
“We have come together, following recent unacceptable incidents including the use of the ‘Y-word’ and other racist language, to further very simple aims,” a statement from Chelsea Together read.
The group’s mission statement expresses “a desire to end all forms of discrimination in and around Chelsea Football Club”, adding “we all believe that all games should be open to all people of all backgrounds and all beliefs”.
The 10 groups are: Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Pride, We Are The Shed, The Chels podcast, Chelsea Fancast podcast, London Is Blue podcast, CFC Fan TV, We Ain’t Got No History website, The Podding Shed podcast and Chelsea In America.
The groups used the hashtag #ChelseaTogether on social media during the January 8 loss to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Wembley, with their launch announcement coming ahead of next week’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.
The launch also comes in a week in which UEFA formally announced it was investigating Chelsea for alleged racist abuse during last month’s Europa League tie with Vidi in Budapest, days after further alleged racist abuse towards Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling prompted the banning of four supporters.
Chelsea condemned the alleged anti-Semitic chanting in Hungary, reiterating the club’s view that such language is abhorrent.
And Chelsea Together on Friday repeated their view that the use of the Y-word, often used in derogatory terms about Tottenham supporters, is not acceptable in any context.
The Chelsea Together statement added: “It is unacceptable that anyone should feel they are in any way marginalised as a Chelsea fan, or fearful of attending games, because of discrimination they encounter against what they believe, or the way they were born.
“We want the use of all racist and discriminatory language – including, for the avoidance of doubt the ‘Y-word’ – to end immediately at Chelsea, regardless of what happens at other clubs.
“Even if it is not calculated to be racist, that does not make it any less offensive or hurtful, and it is time for it to stop.”