Todd Boehly issued an apology on Twitter after Chelsea fans were left furious by Ted Lasso producers modifying a homage to club legend Ray Wilkins.
Ted Lasso, the blockbuster sports-comedy series about an American football coach hired to manage a fictional English football team, took its latest episode to Stamford Bridge as part of a sub-plot involving character Roy Kent.
In the episode, Kent, an ex-Chelsea player in Ted Lasso’s universe, receiving a hero’s welcome at his former club, with cameras flashing a banner that reads: “They don’t make them like Roy anymore.”
The real-life banner at Stamford Bridge, on the other hand, remembers former Blues player and assistant manager Wilkins, who died in 2018 at the age of 61.
The producers of the Apple TV show appeared to have changed the tribute to fit their own plot, which infuriated Chelsea fans.
The majority of Blues fans were furious with Boehly, the US entrepreneur who took over in west London last year, for letting television executives to pull off what they called “disrespectful” edit.
However, in a rare public response on Twitter, Boehly apologized to supporters after claiming the agreement with Apple was carried out by former owner Roman Abramovich’s management before he arrived.
“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,” former Chelsea pitch announcer and presenter Neil Barnett wrote on Wednesday night.
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.”
Ray Wilkins made 207 appearances for Chelsea between 1973 and 1979 after coming through the youth ranks at the West London outfit.
He then returned to his boyhood club to work as assistant coach under managers such as Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti, helping the club win the 2009/10 Premier League title and three FA Cups.
Following his passing away in 2018, Chelsea raised the aforementioned banner in his memory, which is still visible at home games.