Furious fans gathered outside Stamford Bridge to protest against the proposed European Super League ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Brighton on Tuesday.
Chelsea are one of 12 leading European clubs to have signed up to an incendiary scheme that has plunged football into civil war.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan are also involved in the competition, which would be run largely on an invitation-only basis.
Politicians and football authorities have condemned the “cynical” and “greedy” scheme, which is motivated by a desire to earn more money than the clubs are currently able to take from the Champions League.
Amid threats of the “dirty dozen” clubs being kicked out of their domestic leagues and banned from the Champions League, fans have shown their disgust at the plan.
At least 1,000 supporters from different Premier League clubs put their traditional rivalries aside to gather in west London.
There were angry scenes as protesters spilled into the streets, stopping traffic around Stamford Bridge.
Fans held up signs reading: “RIP Football 1863 – 2021”, “Created by the poor, stolen by the rich”, “We want our cold nights in Stoke” and “Roman do the right thing” — in reference to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.