Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has frowned to offensive songs sung by the club’s fan base after their pre-season friendly with Reading was marred by derogatory chants from the stands.
A section of the travelling Blues support at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday afternoon targeted London rivals West Ham and Tottenham.
One song in particular, which celebrates Lampard’s 200th goal for Chelsea against West Ham at Stamford Bridge back in 2013, describes the Hammers as ‘pikeys’ – a derogatory term used as a slur against English Gypsies and travellers of Irish heritage.
Similarly, songs referring to Tottenham’s Jewish connections could also be heard in Berkshire.
Speaking after the game, which Chelsea won 4-3 thanks to goals from Ross Barkley, Kenedy and a double from Mason Mount, Lampard – who himself also played for West Ham – said the club has worked hard over recent seasons to stamp out disparaging chants.
And while he was quick to praise the behaviour and backing of the majority of the away contingent, the 41-year-old former midfielder said he didn’t want to hear such songs.
“The support for the fans was incredible,” said the ex-England man. “I didn’t hear the song in question, and of course if there’s a song in the modern day or any day that has offensive words I don’t want to hear that.
“That’s me saying that as a big Chelsea man who really appreciates the support and had it over the years.
“We don’t want songs with offensive words. If the fans could sing other songs then I’ll back that.
“We don’t want to hear that. The club are very clear with the work we do off the pitch about anything that’s offensive or prejudiced and we’ve made a big mark on that in modern years. We don’t want that.”