Ever since I started following Chelsea, I have been reading about how Chelsea are the nouveau Superpower thanks to the take over by Abramovich. But are the so called English/British Elite with all their history really all that different from us?
The 2nd of July, 2003 was a fateful day. A little known Russian Billionaire/Oligarch had bought the club. The newspapers and media-houses suspected that he had crude oil running through his veins and a miniature refinery worked as his heart. Some even believed him to be from a different planet. An Alien with a mission to destroy the integrity and pride of English football.
Furthermore, he had taken over a club that had no history, they said. It made the perfect recipe for the most hated club-owner pair and that is how it turned out. Chelsea fans were repeatedly reminded on online chat-wars that they had no history, that they were their only to serve the purpose of also-rans, that they had no right to stake a claim at any trophy, because if they actually did win it now, it would not matter. They would have purchased it.
Fortunately or unfortunately, all these fears of Arsenal, United, Liverpool, and any other team that had won any single thing in the last hundred years and had a respectable ‘history’ were turned into reality. Chelsea had been flamboyant in the past. They were arrogant now, and rightly so.
They had the oil money to splurge on million pound signings and besides, they had one very arrogant ‘Special One’ leading them on to victories. Their second and third Premier League titles came back to back (I refer to them as second and third because they are indeed top flight trophies, given to the best team in English top tier of football, in spirit, the Premier League and the erstwhile Football League First Division are the same except for sponsorship deals post the 1992 restructuring) . The solitary one having been won some 50 years ago. Sure, Chelsea winning these trophies and some others in England meant the clubs with the great histories of earning trophies could no longer win them, they were outdone.
Outdone by the money they claimed. Well, they had the right to moan, as much as they wanted. For two seasons, Manchester United were without the Premier League, the Invincibles were no where close to what Chelsea had done. They had blown the competition away with the help of an oil powered bazooka. The heartbeats of the club: Frank Lampard and John Terry were clowns who just had to run out in every match and pretend to score goals and defend like the best defenders in the League. They did nothing, the oil and the Russian wizard/sorcerer was their to cast spells in every game so that the other team did not win.
Have a look here, it is the most clean, wholehearted effort to own the most successful and historical club in England’s history. Manchester United were bought by the Glazers in installments, debt-funding was the means.
Yet nobody says anything wrong about them buying trophies because simply put, they have the biggest stadium in England and are also the biggest brand ambassadors English of football. They have a huge circular pipeline that just flows humongous amounts of money straight into the Old Trafford’s directors box, or is it the Glazer home in the colonies, I am not sure.
But the thing is, they don’t get funded to a large extent by their owners. They have cash flows to fund them. Hmmm… come August 2014, now the man who was a constant from their purchase by the Americans has been gone for sometime. They don’t have Champions League glory to fight for, now they go on a 150 million pound spending spree. Come January they will spend even more, yeah it all comes from their cash flow.
But I’m not so sure, whatever it is, that kind of spending makes Manchester United a level player to Chelsea, because frankly it’s only the expenditure that differentiated us. Wait, I forgot there is this little trophy with the big ears that they can no longer fight for.
Manchester United in truth were just another shrewd investment by the Colonial owners, the Glazers. I am much happy we have an owner who actually watches our games and celebrates those well oiled goals with gusto.
Remember Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal? Most Arsenal fans forget those kind of stats. They had scored exactly 0 goals. The most attack minded team in the Premier League were scoring 0 goals. A few weeks before that they were gooning for the title, all this while having jibes at United’s plight.
Just like their transfer policy, their ownership is difficult to understand. There is this holding company, much like the Chelsea pitch owners, who hold the ownership rights of the gunners. The funny thing is that one particular American owns 66% of the holding company through his sports enterprise, a further 29% or something is owned by a certain Russian Billionaire Usmanov. Now if I am right, that makes up a total of 95%.
There’s speculation that these two majority owners dont like each other so much. At least they dont go to drink together. For me, Abramovich and family sitting in the box gives an assured feeling, yes, much assured than this state of ownership would. Further, if both Arsenal and Chelsea have foreign owners and only one of them is investing real money into the club, which of the two owner/clubs are better? Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal.
Well, Liverpool are Liverpool, aren’t they. So many Champions League trophies adorn their trophy cabinet. In fact they beat Middlesbrough in a penalty shoot-out recently. A team that had two to three Chelsea youngsters in its line-up. They are coming of age for sure, their fans hate Chelsea the most. As a Chelsea fan, I can completely sympathize with them.
Being a club that is completely owned by an American Sports holdings company, they sure have had a good turnaround since sacking club legend Kenny Dalglish and appointing Mourinho’s ex-apprentice Brendan Rodgers to the top job. They are even celebrating the return of European nights in the Kop and we sure hope that long may it continue. But wait, Anfield still awaits new silverware. Perhaps their history weighs heavy on the Liverpool players. After spending more than 100 million pounds on the Southampton stars, they still can’t beat the third tier teams.
It is high time that Liverpool supporters understood that they need to focus on more worthy rivals, like West-Ham, Aston Villa. Good things come to those who wait.
The History vis-a-vis the Future:
Leicester, Manchester City, Sunderland, Swansea, Southampton are all owned by foreigners, even QPR are owned by Fernandes and Indian Tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.
In the current scenario, it seems like all the top clubs are owned by foreign billionaires, everyone has the financial fire-power. However, not everyone has the willingness to pour in 2 billion pounds in ten years into their clubs.
Chelsea are even complying with Financial Fair Player, by selling the likes of Juan Mata, David Luiz among others. The club is sustaining itself, while Liverpool face investigation for the same. These fans need to see that we are not all that different. The trophies are the difference though.
You have won them in your past, and we are creating history every season. With the upcoming 60,000 seater Stamford Bridge, we will be even more strong, to look eye to eye, and tell all of you, that we have earned our trophies just as you have in your past. But we will not stop, we shall win many more while you watch and continue your worthless rants of fouls.
Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!