Roman Abramovich has written to every Chelsea player, pledging to provide additional funding for the club’s anti-racism efforts.
In a significant move, which represents a first, the Stamford Bridge players found personalised letters from their owner at the training ground on Monday morning.
In them, the owner says he will ‘personally direct more funds’ towards the ‘important work’ that Chelsea does and vows ‘I want you to know that as players you have my and the club’s absolute support’.
Defender Reece James, 21, was abused on social media on Friday.
The right-back posted a screenshot of racist messages he had received via Instagram, with the caption ‘something needs to change’.
Chelsea responded by issuing a statement expressing their ‘disgust’ and condemning those involved.
’The letter, which is signed by Abramovich and a copy of which has been obtained by Sportsmail, continues:
‘We cannot allow this to continue unchecked. I have therefore directed the board to further increase the club’s efforts in this area and I will personally direct more funds towards this important work.
‘Rest assured,’ he adds, ‘we will play a leading role in this vital work and demonstrate that football is a sport that is open to all’.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago