Manchester City condemn ‘vile’ Sir Bobby Charlton chants as they open internal investigation
An awful mark on a solemn day for all of English football.
Manchester City has apologised after “vile” and offensive chants mocking the death of England and Manchester United legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, were heard being sung by some of their fans during their Premier League home game on Saturday.
Issuing a statement apologising to Man United and Bobby Charlton’s family, the club condemned the behaviour and have confirmed they are opening an internal investigation into the incident which took place hours after the footballing icon was confirmed to have passed away, aged 86.
Captured in since-deleted clips on social media, a “small number” of Blues were heard chanting “Bobby’s in a box” during the 2-1 win against Brighton — the same fixture in which they paid tribute to a former international and club legend of their own, Franny Lee, who died earlier this month.
Speaking to The Times, a club source called those involved “idiots who represent neither our club nor our fans”, with City also issuing an appeal urging their own supporters to come forward with information.
“Manchester City FC are extremely disappointed to have learned of reports of offensive chanting from a small number of individuals about Sir Bobby Charlton in some of the concourses of Etihad Stadium during half-time of yesterday’s Premier League fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion”, the statement read.
“The club condemns these chants in the strongest terms and apologises unreservedly to the family and friends of Sir Bobby, and to all those at Manchester United.
“On this day of all days, when the stadium stood to pay tribute to our own legend in Francis Lee, Manchester City supporters should understand and appreciate as keenly as anyone the need for respect in our game.
“Our security team are studying CCTV footage of the concourse areas. We are thankful to those who have already come forward to report this matter. We continue to appeal for any information that can help us identify the individuals involved so that we can take the appropriate action to issue banning orders.”
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The Premier League similarly expressed their upset at the reports, stating they were “appalled” by the behaviour and insisted that they will support Man City in whatever action they deem appropriate.
Meanwhile, Man United players, staff and fans were welcomed to Old Trafford on Sunday to pay their respects to the prolific goalscorer, World Cup winner and club hero, with thousands writing tributes in person and online, as well countless people continuing to lay flowers and scarves outside his likeness on the iconic Trinity Statue.
In addition to yesterdays memorial, the club has confirmed they will hold a minute’s silence outside before kick-off in their next two matches as United prepare to face FC Copenhagen in the Champions League on Tuesday and then City themselves in league on Sunday.
Rest in peace to one of the greatest to ever do it.
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Featured Image — Manchester United/Manchester City (via Twitter)