Stoke chairman Peter Coates condemns chants about Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey

• Some Stoke fans sang ‘he walks with a limp’ about Ramsey’s broken leg
• ‘Do I approve of that sort of chanting? Of course I don’t,’ says Coates

Peter Coates has condemned those Stoke City supporters who subjected Aaron Ramsey to shameful chants in relation to the broken leg the Arsenal midfielder suffered at the Britannia Stadium six years ago. The Welshman was booed throughout Sunday’s goalless draw, and Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, expressed his dismay with the supporters who sang: “Aaron Ramsey, he walks with a limp.”

Coates said he never heard the chant but the Stoke chairman made it clear that he had no time for that sort of behaviour and did not want it to continue. “You’re telling me something that I’m completely unaware of. I’ve no idea that chant had taken place, but we wouldn’t approve of it at all,” Coates told the Guardian.

“I don’t think it’s a minority of fans; I know it’s a minority. People chant all sorts of awful things at all sorts of grounds, which I dislike. But do I approve of that sort of chanting? Of course I don’t.”

Wenger gave a measured response after the game when asked for his thoughts on what had gone on. “I shut my ears and I think that’s the best way to deal with it,” the Frenchman said. “I don’t know what to do about it. I have no influence on it. When people get together sometimes they forget their individual responsibility and maybe when you go home and watch it on television you are less proud.”

Coates agreed with Wenger that it is best to turn a deaf ear to those mindless enough to sing that sort of song. “You go around football grounds and hear some chanting I don’t like,” Coates said. “I wish they didn’t do it but how do you control these things? You can’t. The best thing is to shut your ears in a way, like he [Wenger] said: switch off and ignore it as best you can.”

Asked whether Stoke would consider in the future issuing a message to their fans on the eve of an Arsenal game, in the same way that Manchester United did in the past to try to stamp out some of the abuse that Wenger has been subjected to at Old Trafford over the years, Coates replied: “I think the sooner we forget about these things the better, [otherwise] I think all you do is almost keep it going. But this is not something we would want our supporters to be doing.”


Stuart James

The GuardianTramp

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