As “Ted Lasso” TV program producers were filming sequences at Stamford Bridge for one of its episodes, the language on a banner honoring the late club legend Ray Wilkins was altered. Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has apologized for the incident.
“They don’t make guys like Ray anymore,” reads a banner at Chelsea’s stadium since Wilkins’ passing in 2018 at the age of 61.
For the “Ted Lasso” episode, which recently aired on Apple TV+, the text on the banner was changed to read “Roy” rather of “Ray” in reference to Roy Kent, a fictional former Chelsea player who is returning to the club.
In a tweet sent late on Wednesday, the team’s former stadium announcer, Neil Barnett, criticized Boehly and co-owner Behdad Eghbali, who oversaw the acquisition of the London franchise from Roman Abramovich in May last year.
Boehly, who doesn’t often tweet, replied that a contract with Apple TV was made in early 2022 and that the new ownership “had nothing to do [with] these arrangements.”
Eghbali and Boehly are in for a long ride if they believe that changing “Ray” to “Roy” on a supporters-paid banner honoring a late legend is an example of how Europeans have failed to maximize football revenue. Nothing is now going great. It’s time to keep quiet.
— Neil Barnett (@NeilSpyBarnett) March 22, 2023
In response, Boehly said, “We are sorry it affected so many people, but most of all, we care about Ray and his family.
Ray Wilkins’ son Ross Wilkins tweeted on Thursday, “This is TV and obviously nothing to do with the new leadership,” and didn’t seem to find it offensive.
According to the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, the banner was purchased with fan money, and many feel that changing the text would be “disrespectful.”
The trust stated, “We have let club officials know how disappointed we are. We anticipate that CFC will fix this as soon as possible.