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Thousands of Chelsea fans protest against Super League at Stamford Bridge

Big turnout

Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Stamford Bridge has stood (mostly) empty for over 13 months now, just as stadiums around the world have, but Chelsea fans turned up in droves tonight outside the grounds to protest against The Super League, which is seen as something that could destroy not just the established European power structures of football, but also act as great detriment to the domestic game.

Live, non-embeddable video on YouTube:

While that may be overstating the impact — is the Premier League’s only worth the qualification for UEFA’s Champions League? — there is certainly merit to the idea of keeping competition open and available to all, at least in theory. Once you cross that line, there may be no turning back. Money may rule the game, but clubs can definitely be less overt about that already-accepted evil, and maintain the illusion that things are still about the fans.

Reports estimated the turnout at over a thousand, and that’s with more expected to arrive.

Credit to We Are The Shed for getting the ball rolling on this protest, though the new proposed and mostly closed-off European competition has clearly struck a (negative) chord among most.

Metropolitan Police were able to keep Fulham Road open for a while, but eventually that became impossible, with fans staging a sit-in and shutting down traffic (sorry, traffic!).

Some great homemade signs in the crowd, including the one seen in the lead picture, which contains hundreds of names of fans. On some level, this is still “our club”, indeed.

The funniest one is probably the one about a cold night in Stoke City, though they’re down in the Championship these days. In theory, The Super League would not prevent us from ... “enjoying” ... said cold nights, but again, it’s as much the principle as the actual intention of the Super League that’s generated such a response.

Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Here are a few more pictures from the evening, sent along by “Hugo Blue”, who gave us permission to post them.

It’s unclear how long the protest will go on, and whether it will continue after Chelsea kick off against Brighton & Hove Albion at 8pm local time.

Here a few images from Getty as well:

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