ARE WE SAINTS OR SINNERS?
The Daily Mirror, an organ which is usually associated with derogatory Chelsea stories, decides today to make us its flavour of the morning.
Without wanting to quote extensively from the article, the journalist gives us a fairly lengthy diatribe on how debased the business behind the modern game has become, how dubious are the dealings of football people in general, and therefore what a wonderful man Roman is for firing money at cash-starved Chelsea. Money which, he goes on to point out, will be trickling down to the other clubs who are happily signing away their key players to us.
Meanwhile the Standard runs with a piece inspired by comments from David Gold, Birmingham chairman, in which he bemoans the Chelski “spree” because his fan base has become dissatisfied with their £5.5 million signing of David Dunn. They cast covetous eyes down the M1, he says, and want to know why they don’t have a Russian billionaire to show them as good a time?
Now, gags about the glamour factor of Birmingham City are an obvious route which we’re not going to go down. But what amused me in particular was a comment to the effect that “it’s exciting for Chelsea but is a concern for clubs such as ours. It does create problems that there are bigger people and bigger amouts of money out there, so it’s difficult for smaller clubs.” And this has what… happened overnight? All of a sudden, Mr Gold has been nudged out of his 12-year slumber to realise that some clubs are… heaven forbid… bigger than others. And by following that argument to its logical conclusion, some clubs might have more money to spend than others.
I can take the jibes. I can accept the relentlessly witty label of “Chelski” (in fact, I rather like that one). I can deal with the chants and the jeers. But please don’t whine at me. Football has undergone a huge cultural and commercial renaissance over the last few years. We’ve cycled up the hill and were in freefall down the other side, hard on the heels of Leeds United. I have no time for the moaners who begrudge us the safety line.
Quickly, to finish off, the round of rumours and roubles. A link with Kieron Dyer was mentioned yesterday and seems to have been picked up today by a few of the nationals. For £25 million, apparently. Your comments and thoughts on this would be good to see. Claudio has gone on record as saying that Duff’s signing is by no means the end of our spending this year, with Juan Veron looking (again) to be the tabloids’ favourite as our next purchase. We know how CFCnet readers feel about this guy, but it seems clear that some comment or approach has been made. Watch this space. I have a sneaking suspicion that Roman will not be happy until he brings in what he perceives as a real “galactico” signing to herald his arrival, so more fun and games over the next few weeks, it seems. Keep it coming.