Gary Neville has warned prospective Chelsea owners The Ricketts family that they must consider the fan’s opinions in their approach for the club.
There has been some hostility towards the group after their bid to buy the club from Roman Abramovich due to historic racist comments.
Now, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has warned the Ricketts family against buying the club.
Speaking to Sky Sports on his podcast, Neville said: “I have to say, if I was the Ricketts family and I was getting that type of hostility on the way in… move away, move away. The fans are important.
“If you’re the government, I don’t know if it’s the government who are in charge of the bid, or Bruce Buck, or the organisation appointed by Roman Abramovich – but I would say that we have to make sure that the biggest clubs in the country, we’ve seen here with the Glazer family, Mike Ashley at Newcastle, it drains the life.
“Not just out of the club, but out of the city and everyone watching. That cannot happen at football clubs.
“It’s not just about best bids, it’s about what the fans want. The Ricketts family are trying to reach out to Chelsea fans, but they do have some historic issues that need dealing with and explaining. At this moment in time, they are not being explained very well.
“In this current light, with what’s happened with the Super League, Big Picture, Derby, Bury, what’s happened with all of these issues with Roman Abramovich and the links to Putin [something Abramovich has always denied], we have to start bringing back some sort of moral compass in determining who owns a football club.”
The statement read: “Over the past fortnight, the Ricketts Family has met with several Chelsea supporter groups and carefully listened to all their feedback.
“As we enter the next phase of the process, we are sharing a list of specific commitments that give fans a pivotal role in protecting Chelsea’s heritage and building for future success. We will continue to discuss our ambitions for the club with fans and the wider football community in the coming days. We will:
“1. Make no change to the club’s name, badge and crest, or Chelsea blue, without the consent of supporters.
“2. Never participate in a European Super League and always protect the integrity and heritage of Chelsea F.C.
“3. Commit the resources necessary across all levels of the club to continue winning trophies, including investing in the first team, experienced football leadership and the academy.
“4. Put diversity and inclusion at the heart of the club and fight against any form of discrimination or inequality.
“5. Create an Advisory Committee with diverse representation to ensure our decisions are informed by: a former men’s and women’s first team player, members of the CST and Chelsea Pitch Owners, and influential community leaders.
“6. Explore every option to redevelop Stamford Bridge and do everything in our power to keep playing in this historic stadium.
“7. Match the current commitment to Chelsea F.C. Women and increase the number of women’s matches played at Stamford Bridge.
“8. Continue the vital charitable work of the Chelsea Foundation, seeking to use the power of football and sport to motivate, educate and inspire.”
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