Chelsea are preparing to take action to close down unofficial retailers that have been selling offensive T-shirts outside Stamford Bridge on match-days, according to The Times.
Arsenal and Tottenham have both been targeted by the vile merchandisers, who have depicted club icons Arsene Wenger and Harry Kane in offensive imagery.
One T-shirt shows Kane dressed up as a Hasidic Jew with the slogan: “He’s one of your own”. It pays reference to a racial stereotype assigned to Tottenham fans, who regularly face anti-semitic chants from opposing fans.
The other shows Wenger wearing hotpants and is coupled with the slogan: “With a pack of sweets and a cheeky smile”, which references an inglorious chant that accuses the Frenchman of being a paedophile.
Chelsea have teams of people who regularly scout Fulham Road in the hunt for unofficial merchandise, but this is mainly designed to keep breaches in copyright to a minimum. Up until now, the T-shirts have largely gone unnoticed.
Indeed, the staff have yet to even see the T-shirts in question while they have also evaded local trading standards officers, who also maintain a presence in the west London area. However, Chelsea have now made a point that they will be actively looking to shut down traders offering the T-shirts.
Arsenal and Tottenham have both been told about the T-shirts and have, too, reiterated their firm stance on offensive and unofficial merchandise being sold around the Emirates Stadium and White Hart Lane respectively.
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust spokesperson, Katrina Law, told the same report: “It’s hugely disappointing that in 2016 anyone could think this was acceptable.
“There’s often an edge to football humour but there is also a line which we’re sure the vast majority of Chelsea fans would recognise. We trust appropriate actions will be taken by Hammersmith and Fulham Council Trading Standards and by Chelsea.”