'They have to be listened to' Gary Neville sends message to Ricketts family as Chelsea ownership race heats up

Former Manchester United defender and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has warned that the Ricketts family should move away from their bid to takeover Chelsea and that the Premier League should block the move following widespread protests against the impending new owners.

Following the forced sale of the club amid sanctions placed on Roman Abramovich amid links to Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine, there has been a race to decide the new owners of the west London club.

And it seems as though it is a race that the bid spearheaded by the Ricketts family is winning, despite Chelsea fans en-masse taking to social media to voice their opposition to the bid after islamaphobic comments came to light.

There was a protest ahead of their side's clash with Brentford too, albeit poorly attended, as the Chelsea faithful urged the government not to accept the bid.

Neville warns against unpopular owners

Now, Gary Neville has had his say. Speaking about the situation on his podcast, he warned that the family should move away from the bid, citing the importance of fans and the duty of the government to ensure that they are listened to.

'If I were the Ricketts family, and you're getting that type of hostility on the way in, move away', he said referencing the protests.

'The fans are important'

'We've seen what the Glazer family have done with Manchester United fans, we've seen other examples of unpopular owners like Mike Ashley at Newcastle, and it drains the absolute life not just out of the football club, but out of the city and out of everybody watching because the energy goes', he continued.

'We've got to make sure moving forwards that it's not just about best bids, it's about what the fans want. I have to say, the Ricketts family are trying to reach out to Chelsea fans but they do have some historic issues that need dealing with and need explaining and at this moment in time they are not being explained very well.'

'In this current light, with what's happened with the Super League, what's happened with big picture, with Derby and Bury, with Roman Abramovich and the Ukraine War, we have to start bringing back some sort of moral compass when determining who owns a football club.'

'I find it very difficult to accept that, if the Chelsea fans en masse are against the takeover of the family, that are at this moment in time favourites, it should not happen. They have to be listened to.'

While many will agree with the sentiment, whether they will be is another matter entirely.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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