Todd Boehly blames Abramovich for ‘disrespectful’ edit of Ray Wikins banner for Ted Lasso

Will Ford
Chelsea mocked by rivals

Todd Boehly has apologised for the hurt caused after Ted Lasso producers edited a Stamford Bridge tribute to club legend Ray Wikins, laying the blame for the misstep at the door of his predecessor, Roman Abramovich.

Ted Lasso used Stamford Bridge in its latest episode as part of a storyline involving Roy Kent, an ex-Chelsea player in the fictional series, returning to his former club.

The Apple TV show altered the banner which in real-life reads ‘They don’t make them like Ray anymore’ in homage to Wikins, who passed away at the age of 61 back in 2018, to instead feature ‘Roy’.

It was a move which angered swathes of Chelsea supporters and led plenty of criticism to be aimed at new owner Boehly.

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 made over 200 appearances for Chelsea between 1973 and 1979, and also had several spells as assistant manager, working under Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti, winning the Premier League under the latter, as well as three FA Cup trophies.

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

After the Ted Lasso episode aired, 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.’

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