Todd Boehly stunned the Chelsea dressing – and those getting changed in the corridor outside it – on Saturday with a rousing teamtalk to lift the team ahead of their second leg clash with Real Madrid.
The soccer-curious American has drawn the ire of many Blues supporters who claim the club’s direction resembles that of a drunk aiming at a urinal since the 52-year-old led a consortium of other tech gobsh*tes with more money than sense to take over the West London institution in 2022.
And he was on the receiving end of some frank assessments from home fans following a 2-1 defeat to Brighton.
“They keep calling me a yanker – don’t they mean yankee, or is that a British thing?” he was overheard asking an aide following the game.
“They’re saying ‘w*nker’, sir – it’s a local term of fraternal affection,” he was told.
“Ok, that’s… good? Though I don’t get all the negativity around this place – all these guys ever seem to shout at me is ‘you can’t! You effing can’t!’.
“I say I darned-well can!”
“I mean, look at the how much I’ve spent already on turning this team around – it was a Champions League winner but now we’re heading straight for The Championship too!” he bellowed, at which point another lackey took him aside and explained that isn’t as good as it sounds.
This conversation occurred as Boehly made his way to the home dressing room following the final whistle on Saturday where he attempted to deliver a morale-boosting speech to his expensively assembled squad.
Interim manager Frank Lampard introduced the Chelsea chief to the squad at the end of his own closing remarks to the downcast team.
“Look, we all know it’s a poor result and the last thing you need now is another speech about how much of a disappointment you all are.
“No, but seriously, here’s Todd Boehly with another speech about how much of a disappointment you all are.”
And the billionaire delivered an impassioned plea to the side for the rest of the season.
“Guys, it’s been a tough regular season. Some of you have been traded here, others will be traded in the offseason – that’s the game of soccer in a nutshell if the four hours I’ve spent learning about it on Football Manager has taught me anything.”
“But it’s crucial all 57 of you – plus the youth team guys who are all definitely getting cut in the summer – pull together in the final weeks as we make a last push for every last inch in the race of eighth and the final spot in the Premier League playoffs!”
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“Because, on this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. And if I could remember the rest of Al Pacino’s speech from Any Given Sunday, you can bet your asses I’d deliver it here right now to get you bums to kick the ball into the onion bag a bit more – look it up on Youtube when you’re all sitting on the newly extended bench that runs the entire length of the pitch!”
“Or at least try to think of something inspirational someone once said to you in some other context before because we need more goals and less… of the no goals thing if we’re going to make this thing work – and keep the lights on next season when I run out of other people’s money.
“I’ll bust all your asses back down to the minor leagues faster than you can say ‘John Terry player-manager next season’ if things don’t improve,” at which point Boehly had to endure another awkward conversation with an advisor about how player contracts work.
*Paddy Power’s football coverage is 100% fake news. Honest.
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