Supporters hit out at the Premier League club and producers of the Apple TV show after crowd scenes supposedly shot in west London were used during a storyline involving Roy Kent – a fictional former Champions League winner with the Blues.
A banner was spotted that read: “They don’t make them like Roy anymore”, with tweaks made to a sign that pays homage to former Chelsea and England midfielder Wilkins.
Ex-Chelsea pitch announcer and presenter Neil Barnett posted on social media after spotting the editing by Ted Lasso’s production team: “If changing 'Ray' to 'Roy' on a supporters paid for banner commemorating a late legend is the way Eghbali/Boehly believe is an example of how Europeans have failed to maximise football income, they're in for a rough ride. Nothing is going well yet. Time to keep their heads down.”
Boehly, who heads up a consortium that completed a takeover of the Blues in 2022, responded by passing blame on to the regime of former owner Roman Abramovich. He said: “We had nothing to do these arrangements. The deal w/ apple was struck in 1Q/22. We are sorry it affected so many and mostly we care about Ray and his family. We would also point out that none of the ‘Chelsea’ players were actual Chelsea players. Hopefully, that was clear.”
Wilkins took in more than 200 appearances for Chelsea between 1973 and 1979, while he also formed part of coaching teams during the managerial reins of Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge.
Wilkins passed away in April 2018 at the age of 61, with Chelsea and the wider footballing world paying tribute to a true gentleman of the game.