Mauricio Pochettino faces more Chelsea boos as boss leaps to Todd Boehly’s defence | Football | Sport

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has further risked the wrath of fans after publicly defending under-fire co-owner Todd Boehly. The American has already come under intense criticism for his perceived reckless spending spree since taking over in 2022, splashing out more than £1billion and making three different managerial appointments.

The club now need to make big-money sales in the summer in order to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions. And the scrutiny on Boehly has ramped up further this week after it emerged that Clearlake Capital, who own a 61.5 per cent stake in the club, will replace him in 2027 due to a bizarre clause which allows them to rotate the chairmanship every five years.

The anger among club fans is already at fever pitch given the lack of on-field success in Boehly’s tenure, with the Blues currently languishing 11th in the Premier League. And Pochettino, himself under pressure having overseen a Carabao Cup final defeat against an injury-ravaged Liverpool, has risked irking supporters further in his media conference ahead of a home game with Burnley on Saturday.

“I am going to support the owners that have invested in the club and arrived in a very difficult situation,” he said. “We need to understand the fans but our personalities are to keep strong because the intention is very good. Our fans need to understand it is a new project with different ideas.”

And he also insisted that those in charge had the right intentions at the west London club. “They [the owners] want to win the Premier League and be in the Champions League – like us,” he added.

The Argentinian was also defiant about suggestions his own position was precarious, arguing that critics were missing the bigger picture. “It is easy to find data and numbers to kill someone. That is why I laugh and don’t take it personally. We must trust the process.”

His comments could make for an interesting reception from home fans on Saturday afternoon. Chelsea have already been booed off on frequent occasions this season, although have not lost in the league since the 4-2 defeat to Wolves on February 4.

And Pochettino still has the FA Cup to potentially salvage the season. Prior to the international break, an exciting and yet unconvincing 4-2 win over Championship side Leicester City sent the Blues into the semi-finals.

There, they’ll face holders Manchester City at Wembley. The winners will take on Manchester United or Coventry City, with Chelsea looking to win the competition for the first time since 2018 – having lost three finals since.

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