Chelsea: It’s Not About The Money, Money, Money

Watching our game against Wigan at the weekend, I was really disappointed. God knows why, because given our fixture list is as congested as the District Line on a Saturday afternoon and our starting XI is subject to more changes than Katie Price’s little black book lately, I appreciate we can’t expect to be blowing anyone away.  It was a little humbling though, not just because I had to accept it was the sort of performance so easily upstaged by a bird – and yes, I fully appreciate the gorgeousness of Eva Carneiro but even she seemed to be outshone by a pigeon on this occasion – but even more humbling that I unashamedly accepted our three points had come by way of not one but two offside goals.

Why would that bother me? Well, I used to hate that sort of thing. Y’know, the idea that we’d won by anything other than either sheer hard work or just lovely football? Things have changed though, not least of all my attitude and as I sat watching City choke again Sunday, the penny dropped for me – I’ve always had too much of a hang up about the money.

I’m not proud to admit it but the constant onslaught of ‘buying success’ accusations chipped away at me and on some level I actually bought into that. And whilst I celebrated as wholeheartedly as everyone else in May 2005, (who the hell wouldn’t want to see United taken down a peg or two?) there was always a tinge of uncertainty for me. Of course we were better than United at that point – something our second title under Roman consolidated – but would we have got there without the money?

Well, maybe we wouldn’t. I mean, we’d been competing in the top four before Roman but not realistically challenging for the title. So, clearly the money did give us the final step up we needed but that’s not to say it’s the only reason we won back-to-back titles. In fact, thanks to Manchester City, it’s now clear the titles, the trophies and everything else we’ve enjoyed in the last 7 or 8 years, haven’t come about solely because of the money.

You see if titles and trophies really can be bought, Manchester City would have easily replicated what we did. Yet at the end of the 2009-10 season ( a year after their inheritance) they failed to even qualify for the Champions League, finishing 5th in the Premier League in spite of spending in excess of £100 million.  2010-11 they finished 3rd having added massively to their squad and again this season, they’ll still fail to see the title at Eastlands in return for their £500 million outlay so far. Kind of dispels the myth a bit doesn’t it?

Of course, we’ll still hear the same old ‘can’t buy class’ shite leveled at us but then, anyone who really can’t now appreciate exactly what we’ve achieved over the past decade (money or not), either has absolutely no concept of what it really takes to have the sort of trophy haul we have in today’s game, or should probably Google the word class before they open their own crass mouths.

Anyway, that admission out of the way and back to our football this season.  It’s fair to say it hasn’t been the most attractive football we’ve ever played, so Samantha Brick’s ‘prettiest thing on earth’ title is safe (if you discount Arsenal of course) and we’ve had more than our fair share of dodgy results, but so what? The fact is, even playing what is probably some of our least attractive football for a few years – and we’re talking Chadwick-faced ugly at times – right now we’re still in the FA Cup, Champions League and fighting for a Champions League place (edit: albeit completely by the skin of our teeth if we do it after last night’s result). And given the utter shite we have thrown at us from some rivals, it’s amusing to look back at how long some of those lasted in the same competitions.

And before anyone wants to jump in here and remind me we could end this season with absolutely fuck all, I will just say this – if I could sit through relegation to the 2nd division, I’m damn sure I can put up with a season without Champions League football. It always has and always should be Chelsea we’re in this for, anything else supporting them brings us is a bonus.

The fact is, we might not be doing it in quite the way we’d like it but at least we’re honest about it. We didn’t play out a dire game at the weekend and after scraping a 1-0 win talk it up as if we’ve just played a blinder. Nor did we argue dodgy decisions helped us out, or worse still berate our players for getting us the points by foul means or fair. Nope, we were honest enough to admit we were bloody lucky but if the officials want to miss a couple of offsides, then fuck it, we’ll have it.

That’s what it’s about after all isn’t it? Fuck the moral battles some supporters want to have about who has the most ‘class’ (since the one’s usually spouting that have very little anyway), or who has had the most injuries during a season (yes United we know!) and even who can spend the least (usually equating to who can win the least over the past 7 seasons), because none of that is fuelled by passion anyway.  All that shit is just petty, pathetic point scoring off the pitch when what I’d rather have, is for our victories to come on the pitch – and to be brutally honest, I really couldn’t give two fucks how we get them anymore!



8 Responses to “Chelsea: It’s Not About The Money, Money, Money”

  1. Money is an important factor for team success especially under very efficient management. However, I still believe Chelsea FC should spend its resources inorder to get the best talents in football. In fact, I expect that at the summer massive changes should be made to get rid of especially the so called old-guards except ofcourse Terry. Others like Malouda, Kalou, Essien, Ashley Cole, Drogba should be given the boots.

  2. as much as money isn’t everything, it was much easier for chelsea to make the final step and win trophies than it was city. city were one of the weakest teams in the league and near the relegation places before the money came in whilst chelsea were one of the best teams in the league already before hundreds of millions were pumped into the team.

    after all that money both teams miraculously improved a tonne and have reached the positions they’ve been in recent times. you can say oh look we’re not playing great and city haven’t won the league this year so it goes to show it’s not only money that gets you success but it’s pretty besides the point. nobody is dumb enough to genuinely believe that if you spend hundreds of millions on a team then they are certain to win everything- especially when there are other good teams, also often blowing huge sums of money as well. of course money isn’t ALL that will get you a title, but if you buy world class players and a world class manager you become competitive with the best teams in a few years.

    i really miss the chelsea of old when there was this great squad, i’m talking hasselbaink, zola, le saux etc and it was ‘honest’. chelsea were a really good team and nobody can argue with that and it was all done on merit. 50 million pounds thrown at torres makes a mockery of that classy tradition this club used to have and it’s only when the club is having a bad spell like at the moment where it brings it all home that the club simply doesn’t deserve to be doing any better than it currently is this season.

    what odds on letting the club try to earn it’s way back to the top after this season though? zilch, we will see more and more money thrown at the problem until eventually a better balance is found and chelsea win the league again. and how great will that feel? it’s empty, shallow and worth so much less than what it used to mean to win trophies all those years back under vialli.

  3. We are carrying soooo much excess weight that we actually field 11 players but it looks like we are playing with 8 players.

  4. I completely agree with Ryan. There can be no doubt that money was a massive factor in our success, even if City haven’t won the title this season.

    As has been said when Abramovich took over we had just finished 4th in the league, and in prior seasons had won cups and played in the Champions League, so there can be no doubt we were in a strong position.

    However that money was essential to our success, without a takeover at that time we would have been relegated, absolutely no question. The club had dire finances, and Abramovich’s cash not only saved us from going under but also propelled us to a level where we could compete with Europe’s elite, both for silverware and the finest players.

    I do think our club has lost a great deal of integrity by going that route, I can’t complain because of the great times we had along the way, but a part of me does wish we could build a team honestly and over time, rather than through instant gratification with money that isn’t really ours.

  5. Nice to see people get the point of the written article…NOT!

  6. It’s all about money — when spent correctly. Look at Man Utd’s recent acquisition of Chicharito and Ashley Young. We got shit ass Torres and Meireles for 3x that money. Only Mata is returning the investment.

  7. It’s about money to a point and most importantly, regular rotation. United and arsenal rotate players and keep a perfect balance of youth and elders to play attractive. We have a lot of players that should of been let go and swapped with promising youth for a while. Seeings we haven’t done that and stuck with the team of the past they all gotta move at once and we will do no better than fitt by replacing whole team. Chemistry is not built that way it takes time.

  8. No better than city*