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“It’s pathetic for Chelsea”


Middlesbrough have responded strongly to Chelsea’s call for Saturday’s FA Cup clash to be played behind closed doors.

The Premier League side released a statement on Tuesday saying they were disappointed they were unable to sell tickets for the FA Cup quarter-final at the Riverside Stadium.

Gibson called Chelsea’s request ‘pathetic’

It comes after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government last week, which limited matchday ticket sales and capped travel costs for away games at £20,000.

As a result, ahead of the trip to Middlesbrough, Chelsea said: “It is with extreme reluctance that we ask the FA board to order the game to be played behind closed doors for reasons of sporting integrity. .”

As the Football Association signaled its intention to discuss the matter at a meeting on Wednesday, Middlesbrough issued a forceful statement in response.

The Championship club did not hold back against Chelsea, saying the sporting integrity reasoning is “ironic in the extreme” and “without merit”.

The statement read: “We are aware of Chelsea’s request to play the Emirates FA Cup sixth round on Saturday behind closed doors and find their suggestion both bizarre and without any merit.

“All concerned are well aware of the reasons Chelsea have been sanctioned and that it has nothing to do with Middlesbrough Football Club.


“It’s pathetic for Chelsea”
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“To suggest as a result that the MFC and our fans should be penalized is not only grossly unfair, but completely unfounded.

“Given the reasons for these sanctions, that Chelsea seek to invoke ‘sporting integrity’ as the reason for the game being played behind closed doors is extremely ironic.

“We are currently awaiting official notification from the FA of the next steps, but rest assured MFC will stand up to Chelsea’s actions in the strongest terms.”

Those strong comments were echoed by Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson, who told The Times: “I can’t believe it.

“It’s pathetic for Chelsea”
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“I can’t believe this excuse from a man, [Chelsea chairman] Bruce Buck. Trying this is just amazing.

“Sporting integrity and Chelsea do not belong in the same phrase.

“For 19 years, Abramovich’s money fueled Chelsea’s success.

“If they were to beat us in the FA Cup, without fans, what would that do to the integrity of the competition?

“Are they also going to play all their Premier League games behind closed doors?

“It’s pathetic from Chelsea.”

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