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Chris Wilder Was 'Flabbergasted' By Chelsea Request

Chris Wilder Was 'Flabbergasted' By Chelsea Request
By PJ Browne Updated

Chris Wilder said he would have considered not turning up if Chelsea had been successful in their request to have this weekend's FA Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough played behind closed doors.

Last week, Chelsea were hit with sanctions which meant they could not sell tickets beyond the 600 which had already been purchased for Sunday's game. On Tuesday, they asked for the game to be played behind closed doors "for matters of sporting integrity". That request to the FA was subsequently withdrawn.

"It was just head-scratching and I was flabbergasted with everything that’s gone off today," Middlesbrough manager Wilder said after his side's 2-0 win against Birmingham.

"I don’t know. When a decision is made and there is a universal ‘what is all that about?’ attitude to it from everybody, including Chelsea whether it’s Thomas (Tuchel), the coaching staff, their players, supporters. Their supporters’ trust came out and said ‘what is all this about?’

"I thought our response as a club was class and our Chairman said what he felt from the heart. That was backed up universally by everybody who knows the game and loves the game. I’ve got to say, I was thinking that I wasn’t going to turn up. If our supporters weren’t going to turn up then I don’t think I’d have turned up. Nobody wants that."

Quizzed about the seriousness of his assertion that he would not have turned up, Wilder replied: "I wouldn’t have turned up unless the club said you have got to turn up.

"I don’t think it would have come to that because it was such a ludicrous decision so maybe I’m talking nonsense but I’m thinking what’s the point? The reaction from the football world said it all."

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Picture credit: Silvi Photo / Shutterstock.com

See Also: 6 Things We Learned From Week 4 In The League Of Ireland

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