December 04, 2006

Classless Chelsea: Michael Henderson isn't too fond of Chelsea and their desire to be a 'brand leader' in the premiership.

Status is not something you can buy over the counter at the grocer's, like a bag of King Edward's. 'I'll have half-a-pound of tradition, please, and throw in a few slices of heritage while you're at it. Oh, and some turnips, for Michael Ballack'. It is something that develops incrementally over decades of achievement.

posted by Fence to soccer at 05:48 AM - 9 comments

A bit harsh, but amusing unless you are a Chelsea fan. Have to say that every week I grow more and more of an Anyone But Chelsea member.

posted by Fence at 05:49 AM on December 04

Wait, Michael Ballack likes turnips? Who knew! I hate Chelsea too, but this piece is best read as a Dave-Barryesque comedy bit, and not as a piece of actual substance.

posted by chicobangs at 09:47 AM on December 04

The article itself has some holes. It's clear that Michael Henderson really 'isn't too fond of Chelsea' but he characterises Abramovich as easily bored... how did he decide that? He complains that Chelsea's money doesn't come from success on the pitch, but ignores United's huge sponsorship deals with Vodafone and Nike and the massive financial advantage that United gain every time they play a home game, thanks to their enormous stadium. Chelsea's stadium is, (I think), the seventh largest in the Premier League and United can pack some 34,000 more people in than Chelsea, at least 19 times a season. I'll let you do the math at what 19x(34,000x([ticket price]+merchandise+prawn sandwich sales)) works out at. Certainly United's profits will have been increased by [a percentage] by their years of success, but Chelsea's Premiership record of 1-1-2-4-6-6-5-3-4-6 for the last decade is hardly shabby either. Does Henderson want us to believe that Chelsea are unique in splashing money out, while United have 29,100,000 worth of Rio playing behind 14/18,000,000 (depending on who you ask) worth of Michael Carrick, playing behind 23,750,000 Wayne Rooney? With the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy (19,000,000) and even, God help us, Juan Sebastian Veron, (28,100,000) in their recent past?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:34 AM on December 04

This is just so much sour grapes, it seems to me. I'll agree that for all their money, Mourinho doesn't have them playing the most attractive brand of football, but (viz. the second half of their match vs. ManU) they are definitely capable of it when they need to be. Also, in terms of calling them a club without character or history, he's totally forgetting about greats like Dennis Wise and the great teams of the 60s and 70s. I would also put John Terry, who has spent his whole career there so far, up as one of the classiest players in the game today.

posted by psmealey at 12:08 PM on December 04

Interesting timing. I happened to watch Chelsea game a couple a weeks back, and my thought was "Why the hell does anyone support this team? They're playing the "throw money at the problem until it goes away" mentality, and that's really boring." I can't understand how anyone, unless they are a supporter from before their bank account became bottomless, can support the team and get any enjoyment from it.

posted by Drood at 01:50 PM on December 04

Also, in terms of calling them a club without character or history Ron 'Chopper' Harris? But don't forget Mickey Droy. He was class. And I believe still the most popular player of all time with any Chelsea fan over the age of 35.

posted by owlhouse at 03:17 PM on December 04

And not to forget Pete Osgood, owl. United's sponsorship deals have come from their success on the field and their enormous fan base. I've been a United fan since the 70's. And they have been making a profit from their football operations. Chelsea hasn't.

posted by georgieB at 07:49 PM on December 04

Henderson's a print troll with a long history of this, but I do think it's always been quite strange that Chelsea managed to attract 'upmarket' support (if David Mellor is your idea of upmarket, hmm) while tolerating some of the biggest thugs in the stands. If anything, the Abramovich millions just solidified the sense that money and a London postcode doesn't buy class. (Blackburn may have bought their title way back when, but they were always considered grafters.) Anyway, I disliked Chelsea with intensity long before it was fashionable to do so.

posted by etagloh at 09:31 PM on December 04

As a Gooner Fan, I hate Chelsea's 'Johnny Come Lately' attitude. Latest; 0-0.

posted by desigol at 10:28 AM on December 10

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