Why some fans were brushing their teeth and reading during Chelsea’s Premier League win over Fulham

Todd Boehly has accrued a ten-digit personal wealth by having more good ideas than bad ones. But there have certainly been some missteps along the way.

While negotiating a takeover of Security Benefit in 2010, Boehly arrived at his Kansas hotel in the middle of the night to find the establishment closed. The hotel over the road only had one room left which stank so much of smoke, Boehly took his duvet out to a park bench in the small hours of the morning.

A decade and a half after shivering away in Topeka, Boehly appears to have been behind another baffling decision.

Chelsea’s workmanlike 1-0 Premier League victory over Fulham on Saturday lunchtime was pockmarked by some bizarre events in the stands. Seven men dressed in green velvet coats stole the focus by standing up to salute, pretending to read a book and brushing their teeth.

Here’s the explanation behind one of the Chelsea co-owner’s more unorthodox schemes.

Stamford Bridge, which was originally built by Gus Mears for Fulham to use as their home ground in 1904, has seen some strange sights over the subsequent century. Saturday’s contest wasn’t even the first time that a spectator has taken a toothbrush to the match.

The attention-grabbing antics against Fulham were all in the name of promotion for Argylle, a new film produced by one of Boehly’s companies.

The marketing strategy began before Fulham’s visit, with Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino forced to conduct his pre-match press conference with an action figure of the spy film’s title character, Agent Argylle. Enzo Fernandez was also pictured on the club’s social media awkwardly carrying a prop – although, the veteran Thiago Silva couldn’t be lured into the campaign.

Superman actor Henry Cavill plays Argylle opposite Dua Lipa, who was also at Stamford Bridge for the underwhelming contest but not in character. English director Matthew Vaughn was at the helm of the film which also features former professional wrestler John Cena. Both Vaughn and Cena attended Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City in May 2022 before Boehly’s deal to buy the Blues had gone through.

Sitting in the lower tier of the East Stand, between the press box and Chelsea’s bench, it was hard to miss the actors posing as Agent Argylle. But Pochettino was adamant that the stunt didn’t impact his players.

“I was aware [of it],” Pochettino revealed post-game. “It didn’t affect the spectacle and today I think we were talking about VAR a few weeks ago and business and football, today it’s open to many different things that can happen but for me, it’s welcome because it does not affect the spectacle and it does not affect the players.

“For the fans, I think it’s nice to see the promotion of the film and I think it looks very very good. They invited me for the premiere.”

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