‘Better off not saying anything at all’: Football fans slam Chelsea’s ‘pathetic’ and ’embarrassing’ 24-word statement on Ukraine – with no mention of ‘Russia’ – and hit out at club’s decision to use the word ‘situation’ over ‘invasion’
- Chelsea this morning released a brief statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
- They said the ‘situation’ was ‘horrific and devastating’, but have been criticised
- Football fans voiced their frustration over the brief post and choice of wording
- The statement makes no reference to Russia, or their owner Roman Abramovich
Chelsea have been criticised by football fans for their brief statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the post labelled as ’embarrassing’ and ‘pathetic’.
The statement, consisting of just 24 words, made no mention of Russia and opted to use the word ‘situation’ – leading social media users to take aim at the club and insist they may have been ‘better off not saying anything at all’.
The invasion has now entered its fourth day with thousands feared to have been killed in the bloodshed, and Chelsea have come under renewed scrutiny because of Roman Abramovich’s alleged links to Vladimir Putin and his regime.
Last night, owner Abramovich handed over control of the club to the trustees of the charitable foundation at Stamford Bridge in an eyebrow-raising development.
Abramovich has been in charge of the west London side since 2003, and the move came after Parliament was told he had been named as a person of interest in 2019.
The oligarch is allegedly also in ‘association with corrupt activity and practices’.
However, the recent statement from Chelsea has done little to quell the anger.
‘The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating,’ it read. ‘Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace.’
Billionaire owner Roman Abramovich announced he would relinquish control of Chelsea
Abramovich denies any suggestion of his alleged closeness to Vladimir Putin and Russia
One person wrote: ‘The “situation”? Come on now and call it what it is. It’s an invasion. Do better Chelsea.’
Another said: ‘Beyond pathetic.’
A third took aim at the delay in Chelsea issuing their brief statement, adding: ‘Three days to release a 24 word statement.’
‘This is the most pathetic attempt at saving face I’ve ever seen,’ a clearly furious fourth user said. ‘Disgusting club.’
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered a fourth day, with their forces failing to take Kyiv
A fifth posted: ‘Quite possibly the most pointless statement. Better off not saying anything at all.’
Some fans have defended the club, however. Another person said: ‘The club is really in a tight corner on this issue but I’m proud the way they are handling it.’
A seventh, meanwhile, is already looking ahead to today’s Carabao Cup final.
‘Nice and brief,’ they said, in response to the statement. ‘Please win.’
Smoke rises from a destroyed Russian tank by the side of a road in the Lugansk region
It was claimed last night that any attempts to impose sanctions on Abramovich as a result of the invasion may be disastrous for the club.
He was named in papers leaked to an MP that linked him to Putin’s regime.
The release of the Home Office document quickly led to calls for him to be stripped of his right to own a football club in Britain.
Abramovich denies that he has direct links to Putin or that there are any grounds to sanction him, however.
In his statement on Chelsea’s website yesterday, he said: ‘During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the Club, whose job it is ensuring that we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities.
A building in Kyiv sustained severe damage to its upper floors after a reported rocket strike
‘I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values. That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.
‘I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the Club, players, staff, and fans.’
The trustees of the foundation now at the helm of Chelsea are Bruce Buck, John Devine, Emma Hayes, Piara Powar, Seb Coe and Sir Hugh Robertson.
Meanwhile, Russian forces have entered Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, after failing in their overnight efforts to take control of Kyiv, the capital city. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said his country were ready for peace talks.
Today, Putin praised his forces for ‘heroically carrying out their military duties’ in a new televised address – while UK Armed Forces minister James Heappey said his invasion has fallen ‘well behind’ its planned timeline.
Ukraine war latest, at a glance
- Russia failed to capture Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv during fighting on Saturday night and Sunday morning
- But Russian forces entered Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, on Sunday morning
- Street battles were reported to be taking place, while pictures appear to show one Russian military vehicle on fire
- Oleh Sinehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration, said Ukrainian forces are fighting Russian troops in the city and asked civilians not to leave their homes
- Russian forces have reportedly blocked Kherson and Berdyansk and delivered another missile strike on Ukraine’s military infrastructure, the Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says
- UN reports that at least 240 Ukrainian civilians have been killed
- At least 200,000 people have fled Ukraine to three countries, with 150,000 said to have crossed into Poland alone
- Unconfirmed reports that a cancer hospital for children in Kyiv had been shelled by Russians forces meanwhile have also been debunked
- It has been reported by Ukrainian news site TSN that the boy was killed when a children’s hospital in the city
- According to the Kyiv Independent, at least two children and two adults were wounded during an incident at Okhmadyt children’s cancer hospital
- However the New York Times debunked the claims, saying that while gunfire was heard near to the hospital it had not been shelled by artillery
- Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko says their airforce shot down a missile aimed at the capital Kyiv, by a plane that flew in from Russian ally Belarus
- Ukraine’s defence ministry today appealed for foreigners to come forward to join its armed forces and fight back Putin’s army, with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine urging people to contact his department.
- According to UK intelligence, fighting in Kyiv last night was at a ‘lower intensity’ than the previous evening
- The MoD said there had been an ‘intensive’ exchange of rocket artillery in Kharkiv, followed by ‘heavy fighting’ between Ukrainian and Russian forces
- As the fighting raged on, Russia claimed it was engaging in peace talks with the Ukrainian government in Belarus
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the delegation includes military officials and diplomats. ‘The Russian delegation is ready for talks, and we are now waiting for the Ukrainians,’ he said.
- However, while Zelensky said that while said the Ukraine was ready for peace talks, he said they would not be taking place in Belarus – which was a staging ground for Russia troops prior to the invasion
- In a televised address, Zelensky, standing beside a Ukrainian flag dressed in an army green t-shirt and jumper, said: ‘If there had been no aggressive action from your territory, we could talk in Minsk… other cities can be used as the venue for talks.
- Meanwhile, Ukraine has obliterated a 56 tank convoy of feared Chechen fighters
- Among those killed was one of Chechnya’s top generals, Magomed Tushaev
- At least two blasts have rocked the country in the early hours of Sunday local time
- Vasylkiv, which sits southwest of Ukraine, saw its air base’s fuel depot attacked by Russian ballistic missiles
- Subsequent blaze cast an eerie orange glow over Kyiv, around 40 kilometers north east
- Gas pipeline was blown up near Kharkiv, sending huge mushroom cloud billowing into the sky
- Woman was killed in Kharkiv after Russian shell hit apartment block
- Elon Musk agreed to turn his Starlink satellite network on over Ukraine
- Officials want to ensure locals can still access the internet if Russia destroys telecoms network
- Keen to push back against Russian propaganda, and expose the violence being meted out by Putin’s army
- Russian premier said to be furious at slower-than-expected efforts to conquer Ukraine
- UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, writing in The Telegraph, warned Putin’s days ‘will surely be numbered’ if he fails in his ambition to take Kyiv
- Mr Heappey, a former major in the Rifles, said if Putin failed and the Russian people could be shown ‘how little he cares for them… Putin’s days as president will surely be numbered and so too will those of the kleptocratic elite that surround him. He’ll lose power and he won’t get to choose his successor.’
- However there are fears that delays in Russia’s invasion plan could lead Putin to become more desperate in his attempts to crush Ukrainian resolve.
- A Russian thermobaric rocket launcher was spotted by a US film crew south of Belgorod, Russia, near the Ukrainian border.
- The weapons, which contain a highly explosive fuel and chemical mix and send out supersonic blast waves that can rip buildings and bodies apart, can reduce cities to rubble and would cause huge loss of life.
- Millions of citizens are sheltering underground
- But others have taken to the streets armed with guns and Molotov cocktails, to try and fight back
- US and EU have agreed to curtail Russia’s use of SWIFT messaging system, which is vital to for global financial transactions
- Donald Trump condemned the invasion Saturday
- He said: ‘The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling, it’s an outrage and an atrocity that should never have been allowed to occur. It never would have occurred. We are praying for the proud people of Ukraine. God bless them all.’
- China’s ambassador to Ukraine Fan Xianrong shared a video scotching claims he’d fled Kyiv
- Urged other Chinese nationals in Ukraine to shelter
- Comes as China tries to condemn attack while keeping ally Vladimir Putin on side
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