Fans blast Chelsea over ironic "integrity" comments after Super League debacle

Rival fans have been ripping into Chelsea ever since their bizarre request to ban Middlesbrough fans from attending their upcoming FA Cup tie was roundly laughed out of the room.

In light of sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich earlier this month, the London club have been told they aren't allowed to sell match tickets – or even give them away for free – and as such, are facing the very real possibility of playing Middlesbrough on Saturday without any supporters present.

While the ban may seem harsh on Chelsea fans, the club completely shot themselves in the foot after asking for the game to be played behind closed doors, citing "sporting integrity" as justification.

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson labelled Chelsea "pathetic", but he wasn't the only one. Fans flooded to social media en masse to call out the club's hypocrisy, particularly in light of its attempts to join the European Super League last season.

"Love to see a 'sporting integrity' argument from a club that tried to form a breakaway European Super League," one person tweeted.

"Sporting integrity? From one of the prospective founders of the European ‘Super League? Pull the other one," wrote another.

A third said: "Chelsea FC, joint founder members of the European Super League, trying to force Championship Middlesbrough to play behind closed doors for “sporting integrity” reasons. Lol."

Is it wrong that Chelsea aren't allowed to sell tickets to their fans? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

The Blues were one of six Premier League clubs who broke away from the European Club Association (ECA) in April last year in an attempt to launch the European Super League – a continental club competition to rival the UEFA Champions League. The plan was met with widespread outrage in the sporting community and was eventually quashed in light of fan backlash.

Chelsea have since withdrawn their request to face Middlesbrough behind closed doors, revealing in a statement that they'd had "constructive talks" with the FA to try and find a solution that would enable both Chelsea fans to attend games and away fans to attend Stamford Bridge, "whilst ensuring sanctions are respected."

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