Chelsea chairman responds to claims over anti-Semitism policy
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has responded to newspaper claims regarding the club’s attitude towards anti-Semitic abuse.
In a letter to the Guardian, Buck explained that he felt the newspaper’s comments were “factually incorrect and unfair” and explained that the club regularly bans fans for violations of their anti-discrimination policy.
The letter in full read as follows:
I believe your comments about Chelsea’s position on antisemitism are factually incorrect and unfair.
As your reporter was informed, our club has a strong written policy against discrimination, including antisemitism. Our policy is promoted at the highest levels of our organisation and is included in the training for all match-day personnel.
Of course, having a policy is not enough. Actions speak louder than words. We regularly ban 15 to 20 people each season for violations of our anti-discrimination policy.
Two months ago, a Chelsea supporter was charged and found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence for using the antisemitic term that you claim we ignore.
We have frequently had campaigns in match-day magazines to inform fans of our policy and resultant punishment. We are about to launch a new programme entitled Building Bridges: Help us tackle discrimination at Stamford Bridge.
Your reporter describes two alleged incidents, one of which took place at the DW Stadium in Wigan and the other at Wembley Stadium. He fails to recognise that at both of those venues we have no control over the stewarding, the CCTV cameras, the police or who is and is not permitted to enter the stadium.
In each of these two incidents, we received a complaint from one individual (not a “group”, as alleged by your reporter). Because these incidents were reported after the fact, it became very difficult to investigate.
In one case, the person involved vehemently denied the allegations and there were no corroborating witnesses; in the other situation, the identity of the alleged offender could not be obtained.
Rest assured that, when we can, we will take the strongest possible action against anyone found using any kind of discriminatory chant or taunt. To suggest otherwise is unfair and does our club, and the overwhelming majority of our fans, a huge disservice.