Thursday saw questions asked as a mascot went missing during Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea. However, the Reds plainly weren't at fault.
The Daily Telegraph put out an article on Thursday that questioned Liverpool and their ability to look after mascots. Essentially, Chelsea lost their pre-match mascot on the pitch, with the child ignored by Blues players.
The article's headline drew attention - 'Chelsea mascot left stranded but club believe he was in Liverpool’s care'. Said article then explains Chelsea's reasoning for believing that.
They point to the fact that clubs have a matchday coordinator for mascots who have the kids in their care. Chelsea will look at Wolves' mascot this weekend, for example. The mascot is not, they say, the responsibility of the players.
But the very same article explains how this is absolute nonsense.
Premier League protocols do not expect mascot coordinators to go on the pitch. They wait on the touchline while the mascots join the club captains as the players walk out, and there is an expectation they will be looked after by them before returning to the sidelines before kick-off. That was the case with the Liverpool mascot, looked after by Virgil van Dijk, but the footage would suggest Chelsea’s Chilwell – who has been out for a while – may have had a lapse given he has been unaccustomed to captaincy duties.
There is one correction to that, though - Van Dijk actually looked after four mascots, not one. And none of them went missing, either.
Why Chelsea are trying to argue that this wasn't their fault is bizarre, given the rules plainly state that Chilwell made the mistake here. The idea of him being 'unaccustomed to captaincy duties' is hardly an excuse, either, given he's captained before.
Not only that, but there are 20 matchday captains every weekend. There aren't 20 cases of missing mascots.
Chelsea have now offered the poor kid another chance to be a mascot for them. Whether he'll risk that is not yet known.