CPS defines homophobic chanting of ‘Chelsea rent boy’ as a ‘hate crime’ and ‘not harmless banter’


Crown Prosecution Service defines homophobic chanting of ‘Chelsea rent boy’ as a ‘hate crime’ and ‘not harmless banter’ after fans of several Premier League clubs were heard using the chant in matches this season

  • Several Premier League fans have been heard using the ‘Chelsea rent boy’ chant
  • Liverpool, Everton, Spurs and Leeds have condemned their fans over the song
  • The Crown Prosecution Service has defined the football chant as a ‘hate crime’
  • CPS chief Max Hill QC says it is not ‘harmless banter’ and vows to eradicate it 


The Crown Prosecution Service has defined the ‘Chelsea rent boy’ sung by fans at multiple Premier League club this season as a ‘hate crime’ – and not ‘harmless banter’ among supporters. 

A large number of fans have been heard singing the offensive chant this season, despite their own clubs and organisations such as ‘Kick It Out’ pleading with them not to direct it at players or supporters.

Liverpool condemned their fans for singing the homophobic chant on two separate occasions in August, while Leeds, Tottenham and Everton have been forced to come out with similar complaints this winter.

Now the Director of Public Prosecutions, Max Hill QC, has come out to say the homophobic chanting that has plagued this season is ‘vile and disgusting behaviour’ that the CPS want to ‘stamp out.’ 

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has called the ‘Chelsea rent boy’ chant as a ‘hate crime’

CPS head Max Hill QC (above) says his organisation wants to 'stamp out' homophobic chants

CPS head Max Hill QC (above) says his organisation wants to ‘stamp out’ homophobic chants

‘Hate crime has no place within society let alone sport,’ DPP Hill told The Mirror. ‘Recently we have seen an increase of reports in racist and homophobic abuse at football matches and this is a disease we are determined to play our part in cutting out. 

‘This weekend’s FA Cup third round has also been tarnished by reports of racist or homophobic abuse by so called fans at three matches.

‘This is vile and disgusting behaviour and the CPS stands with the majority of the public who want to see this stamped out.

‘Some may argue it is harmless banter but it means people who are being discriminated against feel less welcome to enjoy a match and support their team in person.

Liverpool fans were twice told to stop singing the offensive chant at the start of this season

Liverpool fans were twice told to stop singing the offensive chant at the start of this season

‘Along with racist slurs we have reconfirmed that homophobic chants are unacceptable and could be subject to prosecution if there is sufficient evidence after a police investigation.

‘As a mark of how seriously we take this offending we will always ask for harsher sentences as it amounts to a hate crime. If you see, read or hear of any offensive racist and homophobic language, please report it to the police who will investigate.

‘And if our legal tests are met we will seek to serve justice through the prosecution of these horrendous actions.’

On the opening day of this Premier League season, Liverpool directed the chant at Norwich City midfielder Billy Gilmour, on loan from Chelsea, which prompted manager Jurgen Klopp to hold an interview with the club’s LGBT+ fan group Kop Outs.

Red fans sang the chant at Norwich's on-loan midfielder from Chelsea Billy Gilmour (left)

Red fans sang the chant at Norwich’s on-loan midfielder from Chelsea Billy Gilmour (left)

Klopp was dismayed by the situation and has branded anyone who wants to indulge in such behaviour an ‘idiot’. 

‘It’s from no perspective the nicest song in the world – so it is not necessary,’ said Klopp. ‘It obviously makes people uncomfortable in our own fan group. For our supporters’ group and for me, that means: ”Done, let’s go for another one”. 

‘I really think it’s an easy decision – and should be an easy decision. I can imagine now that people out there think, ”Come on, it’s only winding them up” and stuff like this. But that’s the problem: most of the time we don’t understand. 

‘From a player or coach’s perspective, I can say these songs don’t help us as well. It’s definitely a waste of time because we don’t listen.

Jurgen Klopp came out to slam the chant but some Liverpool fans sang it the following week

Jurgen Klopp came out to slam the chant but some Liverpool fans sang it the following week

‘If you don’t think about what you sang in that situation, it’s a waste of time. Forget it and go for another song.’ 

But the following week, some sections of Liverpool fans were heard chanting the same song when Chelsea visited Anfield on August 28 – with the Merseyside club expressing their disappointment in some supporters. 

Leeds came out in early December to slam their own supporters when they directed the same chant at Crystal Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher, who like Gilmour is on loan from Chelsea this season. 

Leeds criticised their own fans for singing the chant at Crystal Palace's Conor Gallagher (above) in November

Leeds criticised their own fans for singing the chant at Crystal Palace’s Conor Gallagher (above) in November

Everton and Tottenham were both slammed for singing the chant at Chelsea this winter

Everton and Tottenham were both slammed for singing the chant at Chelsea this winter

The chanting was particularly poignant as it came during a match which was dedicated to Stonewall’s ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign, promoting the LGBT+ community in football. 

Leeds players wore T-shirts supporting Rainbow Laces in the warm-up and captain Liam Cooper donned a rainbow armband. 

Everton and Tottenham played Chelsea either side of Christmas and both clubs came out to condemn the offensive chanting by their fans using that song.

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