The agonies of one Chelsea fan are chronicled while the world wants some kind of justice. Plus, thoughts on Everton, Liverpool and more. Send your views to [email protected]
What can Chelsea fans do? Just stop
There are idiots in every football crowd. Racist, homophobic and sexist behaviour is still rampant in the tribal world of the football ‘fan’. You can also lump in the abhorrent chants about Munich and the poor of the north. It happens at every club at all levels of the game. The level of anonymity provided by being part of a large crowd emboldens the worst in certain people.
This is not to excuse this behaviour and this is not to accuse people of moralising when we know all clubs have a certain section of idiots.
However, I can only really talk about my club and the fans who for the over 40 years I have been a Chelsea fan make it difficult to associate them in any way. From the violence of the 70’s and 80’s, the links to neo-Nazi groups, the racist abuse of people simply trying to live their lives and have the misfortune to have visiting Chelsea fans in their city. Up to the past week where they are chanting the owner’s name when links to Putin have left the club we all love close to the brink of disappearing again. Some of us still remember the buckets outside the bridge before Bates bought the club for £1.
Thousands are dying in Ukraine. Millions have been displaced and you have a group of idiots who think the appropriate response is to chant someone’s name because of what? Some trophies which ‘we’ won.
It is time to stop. None of the owners of Chelsea Football Club in my lifetime have been saints but Abramovich might just be the most morally corrupt of them all (I don’t know how you measure such things). How can anyone be enough of a moron that they think this behaviour is acceptable in a modern society. How anyone can think the treatment of Chelsea football club is unfair whilst the people of an entire nation suffer war at the hands of people who promised they would never invade. How can these people look themselves in the eye and not just squirm when they contemplate their own behaviour.
I guess I am just built differently. Sadly, these words to a minor football website will likely make little difference but as Chelsea fans the worst we should be doing is just shutting up and wait and see what happens. What we should be doing is making it clear that we support the people of Ukraine and we abhor all those who are perpetrating the war and those that support and profit from them.
I think the morons will continue to behave as they have always done and it makes me ashamed to share an affinity with these knuckle-draggers.
Please just stop.
p.s. Reading this back before sending it still seems like I am going on too much about Chelsea. In the grand scheme of things Chelsea FC is the most insignificant thing in all of this and in no way a victim. Please pray for the people of Ukraine (if that is your thing). Please give everything you can to charitable causes to help them in this their darkest hour. Please write to your MP and let them know what we think of the fact that the institutions in this country have harboured dirty money for too long. Above all else remember that we are currently safe be accident of birth and small weak people just like you and I are currently at the mercy of the strong and powerful who care not one iota about them.
A different Chelsea view
Every Chelsea fan wakes up this morning hoping and praying we will still have a club to support come the end of the season, Petr Cech did not sound too confident of us even being able to finish this season as of yesterday. And your best idea is to put out the notion we do not deserve the trophies we won over two decades, our club is being hamstrung at every turn and genuinely only being held together by not much other than two of the best managers in the world and a bloody monster siege mentality and it may all be for nothing in a month’s time if a sale doesn’t go through and you think it’s funny? You guys used to be cool, kicking people when they’re down literally fighting for their existence is a dick move man.
Aaron CFC Ireland
Where is the moral line? Have a look in the mirror
Good article from John N re: the moral lines crossed when it comes to football. Let’s be honest… we are all idiots when it comes to our own clubs. However hanging Russian Flags in your stadium at a time like this is… well its very Chelsea.
However, we all need to take a good close look in the mirror when it comes to moral lines crossed…
As John rightly points out “we can see governments doing business with oligarchs, cosying up to them and their money, flattering these appalling regimes, even going so far as to sell them the arms that kill thousands of people which they then decry as a war crime”.
What John neglects to remind us here is how such governments got into power. Yes, they were voted in democratically. They were voted in by normal people like me, you, John and the majority of the UK. When voting for Conservative or Labour, you may think you are voting primarily for tax reasons, Brexit, education etc etc, but you also voting for imperialism, the manufacturing/selling of huge amounts of deadly weapons, funding of various wars, the destruction of poor countries. But sssssshhhhhh don’t say that out loud. Let’s just blame Boris as if the conservatives just accidently got into power…
We can all definitely get behind any campaigns to rid the Premier League of any dubious ownership. For sure, 100%. But next time you saunter down to the voting polls with your Starbucks in your hand, ready to vote for the establishment, have a bit of a think to yourself what this means to various countries destroyed by British made weapons in British made wars. Maybe throw a vote to an anti-war party? It’s not that complicated. If you don’t like the war machine, don’t vote for the war machine. Get it?
Next time the poppy is worn on Premier League jerseys, have a think about the people killed by various British soldiers around the world, not just the WW2 heros. Make no mistake, if you vote Labour/Conservative, you are voting for this to continue. We can shake our fists at Roman all we want, but the general public are complicit in these atrocities continuing throughout the world. The media keeps you nice and sheltered from it with stories of Boris’s birthday cake or Matt Hancock kissing some woman… but you know what you vote for. Ignore it if you want, but you’re part of the problem, if not the absolute centre of the problem. But out of sight… out of mind.
There is no nation more oblivious to its history and indeed its present than the British… There is no moral high ground.
PS. United are brutal. Harry Maguire needs to be put down.
…Jamie, Eire writes “If your club is owned by people who murder political rivals or start wars, you have a moral duty to disassociate yourself from the club. There is no middle ground or passive way to engage with the club when it so closely connected to evil. You may have to suffer a loss or sense of identity through the process of decoupling, but you have suffer it because the moral responsibility demands it.”
A very interesting thought. In fact, shouldn’t this be taken a step further? Not only should Chelsea and Newcastle fans disassociate themselves, so should all fans of Premier League clubs or anybody who watches (or, say, writes about) the league. Shouldn’t they? Jamie for one definitely should.
There was a very funny Mitchell and Webb sketch when they play Nazi officers during World War 2. During the sketch Mitchell has a moment of clarity when he asks the question, “Are we the baddies?”
I was just wondering, during the time when Chelsea fans were chanting Roman Abramovich’s name, did any of them have the same moment of clarity?
Peter, Namibia. (Not all of them chanted of course)
Bournemouth the next Chelsea?
Given the lengthy reporting on Chelsea/Abramovich, when will talk turn to that of AFC Bournemouth owner Maxim Demin?
With historic senior/board level links to Tatneft, irrespective of holding UK nationality via the controversial ‘Golden Visa’ Scheme, this is again an individual of questionable background. Feel free to Google the company, you will find his name or that of his family crop up frequently, and you don’t need to dig too deep to find some uncomfortable facts..
Scott Parker may have come out in the last week and noted that he has no concerns in respect of the ownership of the club as Demin is a UK national, but this nationality appears to bought and paid for documentation, that was granted with no regard for where the money and his wealth has come from. This scheme is rightly being questioned and criticised, but the fact it was used to legitimise an individual with immense wealth and shady past does should not brush over the fact that AFC Bournemouth’s ownership and funding continues from ugly questionable sources.
Journalists should ask questions
I take issue with NUFC fan’s criticism of the journalist questioning Eddie Howe about the mass execution perpetrated by of the owners of the football club he chose to join (in the full knowledge of the murderous regime that were going to be paying his wages) .
The questions were not in the least bit sanctimonious and they had every right to question the morals of a man that was only too happy to be part of this vile sportswashing exercise. The fact that Howe repeatedly want to duck the issue confirms the fact he is fully aware of the atrocities being carried out by the Saudi regime and would in fact rather ‘stick his fingers in his ears’.
Finally to trot out the Amanda Staveley propaganda statement about the club not being owned by the Saudi state is disingenuous in the extreme (I would say laughable, but a couple of days after 81 people were executed by the Crown Prince, laughable is not the right word. Tragic yes!)
I, for one, hope journalists press every manager and player who joins Newcastle about these issues on a daily basis and makes it so uncomfortable for them that no player or manager would ever wish to join – now that would stop sportswashing in its tracks overnight!!!! And maybe, just maybe, NUFC fans (including the author of the email) will desist in parading Saudi flags and actively protest instead of chanting about how rich they now are, while families are still grieving the 81 brutal and unnecessary deaths carried out by their owner and pay master.
MARK T (London)
Everton woes are weird
There is something really unsettling about the prospect of one of the country’s most famous clubs actually being relegated.
While half of the so called Big Six – Spurs, Chelsea and United – have fallen through the trapdoor as recently as the 1970s or 1980s, Everton
have been an ever present in the top flight since the Queen was in her earliest years as monarch.
In fact it’s a very sad irony that Everton’s last top-flight league match could come against the only club whose stay in the top flight has been even longer than their own (more than a century) when they take on Arsenal in May.
It’s easy to think football started in 1992 but in Everton, you have a club who have lifted the league title nine times, were the first club to bring league title back to then home Anfield, and were part of the real big five (Arsenal, Spurs, United and Liverpool being the other four) before petrodollars disrupted everything.
If Everton do go down, it will be a very sad day for the Premier League. Get Big Dunc in now.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Here’s my pitch – goalkeepers are untouchable Vs Liverpool.
Last season we saw Pickford do a flying mortal Kombat move on van dijk and put him out for the season with a challenge which can very generously be described as wreckless.
Last weekend we saw Sanchez attempt to stop Luis Diaz with a move that wouldn’t look out of place in ong bak.
Why are goalkeepers given such a long leash? Are we heading back to the dark ages of Schumacher Vs battison? These are very dangerous challenges which can (and have) caused serious injury.
In the case of Sanchez I felt almost like the ref basically didn’t punish him because we scored. I think if that header goes wide the keeper is off and we have a penalty. But a dangerous challenge should always be punished anyway. Nobody wants to see a career shortened or ended because of stupid challenges.
This bring me onto some curious stats I found over the weekend. Some nice statistician compared all speedy, skilful wide forwards in Europe who have lots of touches and dribbles in and around the box to see which players win the most free-kicks. Grealish wins the most with one awarded every 19 minutes or so that he’s on the pitch. Followed by Messi at 21 minutes or so. Then the rest sit on an average of about every 35 mins or so….
Mohammed Salah is awarded a free kick every 100 minutes! The next closest is Gnabry on about 77 minutes and in the 70min+ bracket there are only 6 players and zero in the 80min+ bracket. This is despite Salah being the top 3 in Europe for dribbles and touches in and around the box.
So how is it that one of Europe’s best strikers who spends as much time on the ball in dangerous areas as any other player in Europe is given such small amount of free kicks when compared with anyone else? It becomes a bit clearer when you compare English players Vs foreign ones. On average English players are awarded 3x more free kicks than foreign players and they’re awarded 8x more than Salah.
No you would expect there to be some differences based on how players play etc but that difference is far too pronounced to just be statistical anomaly so what happens if you look at individual refs? Well it gets worse.
Certain referees (John moss being a good example) actually award Salah a free kick even less. Moss awards salah a free kick every 180 minutes. Are we really to believe that Moss sees an illegal challenge on Salah every 180 minutes of football? That seems so unlikely. Granted Salah is sometimes a tad theatrical when he goes down (who isn’t these days?) But Salah has only ever received three yellow cards for Liverpool, one for simulation Vs Chelsea in 2018, which actually makes him the striker officially booked for diving the least times in the league. So if he’s not diving (making a meal of it maybe sometimes) but he is having high touches in the box, lots of goals and assists and lots of dribbles but what? Nobody ever tries to tackle him or almost every tackle on Salah is fair? That seems extremely unlikely.
Just a few thoughts on the running topics these days:
The blood derby: Why were there no plastic body parts and red ink thrown on the pitch when Newcastle is owned by a famous mass murdering regime and Chelsea owned by a dictators best friend ? English fans really need to either show up and protest or shut up and stop cribbing about these regimes. There is no point crying on twitter and the comments section, if you are not okay with it, be loud, or stay quite and be okay with it.
Salah: Just run his contract out and let him leave, his one main quality is his pace, and at 31 it aint gonna be what it is now. Learn from the mistakes of United, let the man go, and have a good time while he is there. Give him a loving send off wherever he goes.
United: Not gonna get the top four, and that’s okay. Need to start work for next season now. Remove the deadwood, build the team with a strong spine and hardworking attackers.
Arsenal: Their best league season in a while, and top four and getting getting smashed 10-2 in the CL next season is their reward for it. A meaningless club, the Burnley of the top half. They add nothing to anything, here to make up the numbers
Spurs & Conte; Excited to see how it all blows up.
Qatar WC: Anyone who goes should be ashamed of themselves. The literal worst location to keep a sporting event that unites the world. Anyone have a gander at the article telling the story of a female FIFA ref, who was molested, and then arrested for having non marital sex and given the option to marry her rapist or go to jail. Lovely lovely country for a WC.
Rashford: Would snatch even 50m from your hand if anyone is willing to give it, but no one will, so just like Welbeck, Rashford will stay at United on stupid money. Hope he comes good, but his on pitch attitude is so bad it’s depressing. Cannot track back to save his life, runs around while adding absolutely nothing with the ball. Elanga looks so much better atm.
Ronaldo: If he was at City or Liverpool, would have 20+ goals and be hailed as an everlasting legend. Carrying the United team on his back, and gets unfairly treated when he has a bad game, even though his job is to score, and he does that when given a fair chance.
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