Saturday, 5 June 2010

And now the end is near....

It is time for me to give up the season ticket at Chelsea for a while. It has been a hard decision to take but so far not as difficult as I thought it would be, especially with press reports that we may be signing Benayoun.

A culmination of things have made me give up... the main reason is that weekends have become precious to me with a new young child so spending 40+ days of the year away from the family and hardly seeing them midweek is tough. I have also become quite unenamoured with Chelsea Football Club - don't get me wrong, I will always love Chelsea but have never been able to forgive the club for getting rid of Mourinho. The upside is that Ancelotti has proved that you can win the League (and didn't we win the FA Cup too?) even with a "nice guy" in charge although our rivals have slipped down in terms of quality this year.

There are some other grievances I have too... the club did not want to move my season ticket seat so that I could sit next to friends and generally I do not enjoy going to home games as much as I used to. Playing the likes of Wigan and Blackburn who generally bring dozens rather than hundreds of fans to the Bridge means that the atmosphere has dived the last few seasons... oh to have the likes of Leeds United back up. I sat in the Shed Upper for the past three seasons as I missed some of the atmosphere when I was in the West Upper - but chanting "Zigger Zagger" 10 times a game is not my idea of spontaneity and when that nauseous "AAAAnceelotti" song to the tune of "La Bamba" is sung then it really hits home that many of our fans are pretty clueless!

The general hypocrisy of football these days and Chelsea's lack of balls to stand up and defend itself has irked me too... how dare UEFA and FIFA have the balls to criticise the likes of Chelsea for not having the revenue of traditionally successful clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona who squeeze all the rivals in their league for every penny in order to stay at the top. It was not long ago that Chelsea were criticised for essentially being too good - well how can the top two in Spain finish on points in the high 90s and UEFA deem that fair?

How is it permissible to take away JT's captaincy for playing nookie and replace him first with a player who was caught on camera punching someone in a bar and then with a player who received a drugs ban? You could not make it up but when it comes to Chelsea there is no limit to conspiracy theories.

The press coverage our club receives is also diabolical and I do not know why we bend over for the media who are only too happy to see us fail - oh to have Ken Bates back and fight for our club on these matters... it is quite amazing to see the difference in coverage of Chelsea on the continent compared to the UK - over there they respect us as a team. This side could be one of the greatest that ever existed and you would never really know if you only listened to what the majority of the UK media reports!

I will still endeavour to make the odd match and will probably join that herd of Japanese fans who will only go to big games - for me Blackpool away next year is a must and any dodgy away draw in Europe or in the domestic cups will be met with glee.

So well done to the side - much to the angst of the UK media we won the league (I can imagine Martin Tyler repeatedly screaming, "OOOHHH NOOO" as he did when we scored a last minute winner against Wigan only a few seasons back).

On many levels this season has been fantastic... not just for Chelsea current but Chelsea past too. Mourinho won the Champions' League much to the chagrin of many and old boys such as Robben had fantastic seasons. Our youth team is really improving and with Stoch playing virtually every game in a FC Twente side that won their league even with Steve McLaren in charge really bodes well for the future. I would like Chelsea to give these youngsters a chance in the first team (even if we don't win any trophies we can at least use the "moral victory" approach of Arsenal although I can imagine the media would not give us so much leeway). Most delightful of all was Liverpool not qualifying for the Champions League and Benitez bemoaning how little money he had to spend... just £200 mio in the last four seasons compared to less than £100 mio that Chelsea has spent!

The only dilemma now - who can buy me some match badges for next season?