In a story first reported by ESPN, it looks like the Chivas Guadalajara players have been protesting their own club’s directors this week during their preparations for tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League finale against Toronto FC.
The players are reportedly unhappy with treatment from higher-ups at the club; apparently, they were promised $165,000 each in prize money after winning the Liga MX Clausura title and the Copa MX in 2017. They’re also complaining about substandard travel and nutrition arrangements, although this ESPN report claims some of that stems from their long layover in Houston during their trip up to New York to play the Red Bulls.
It may be worth pointing out that the Chivas players stayed at the Royal York hotel during their stay in Toronto, which (I believe) is one of the standard venues for professional sports teams visiting the city.
After a meeting with the club’s directors over the weekend left them unsatisfied, Chivas players took to social media to protest, saying “Wednesday is for us, the badge and you, the best fans. We want another title! Fans and players are united! We are Chivas!”, along with a hashtag that translates to “Directors do your part.”
El miércoles va por nosotros, el escudo y ustedes la mejor afición. Queremos otro título!!— carlos salcido (@carlossalcido7) April 21, 2018
Afición y jugadores estemos unidos!! Nosotros somos Chivas!! #DirectivaCumplanSuParte pic.twitter.com/Oiaqmn7rw1
During their training session on Tuesday ahead of tonight’s big match, the players were photographed sporting t-shirts with messages that translate roughly to “We’re going for another title. Fans and players together.”
#Chivas players escalating protests against club directors over unpaid bonuses. In last training before #CCL Final Leg 2, many wore shirts reading "#DirectivaCumpleTuParte: Vamos por otro título. Afición y jugadores estemos juntos." Seems to be uniting/motivating them. #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/SqLLiQTIQ4— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) April 25, 2018
It’s hard to read how this might factor into the game tonight. On one hand, it’s never good for a club to be dysfunctional and distracted ahead of such an important fixture. On the other, this does seem to be a rallying point for the players and fans, and may be an extra motivator.
Only time will tell, as both clubs have plenty to play for.