Lampard backs Chelsea owner after he slams squad

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Frank Lampard defended the right of Chelsea owner Todd Boehly to communicate his frustration to the players in the dressing room, after reports he told the squad their season had been ’embarrassing’ following Saturday’s defeat to Brighton.

 

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly was photographed responding to a section of supporters at Stamford Bridge who criticised his running of the club before addressing the team immediately after Lampard’s post-match talk.

 

Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid represents the club’s last opportunity to keep their season alive, with hopes of qualifying for next season’s competition via their league placing long since extinguished. They trail 2-0 from last Wednesday’s meeting in the Bernabeu.

 

After a winless run of five games in the league they look increasingly unlikely to finish high enough to qualify for the Europa League or Conference League, meaning they face the prospect of a first season not playing in Europe since 2016-17.

 

That could prove hugely damaging financially following the last year’s transfer spend, with the club almost certain to have to offload players to have any hope of satisfying Financial Fair Play rules.

 

Despite the club’s problems, caretaker boss Lampard said he was in favour of owners sharing their feelings with players.

 

“I am comfortable with that,” he said. “I think, for me, there was maybe some criticism of our old owner (Roman Abramovich) of not coming to games. That wasn’t always true. When an owner is very invested in wanting the team to improve, it’s their prerogative to have the input they want.

 

“The first moments I had as a player of owner coming into the dressing room happened here at Chelsea. I remember being really happy. You could touch them, you could high five them and feel them.

 

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing in terms of identity of the club. I have no problem with it. If any owner comes in and wants to be positive and wants to to speak to the players, it’s absolutely his part to do that.

 

“It’s regular in the modern day. It shows passion.”

 

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