Issue 25 of the Chelsea Independent is next up for my fanzine reviews. This editorial team for this issue was Nick Brown and Jim Ross. This issue was published in August 1991.

The front cover features a photo of the scoreboard at the City Ground Nottingham. Although the final score was 7 – 0 to the home team, I have to say it was one of my favourite away games for atmosphere and camaraderie with Mickey Greenaway in full effect throughout the game.

The editorial pages are titled “Talking Blues”. There’s concern about a FA led “Super League” which looks like going ahead.

The other main topic of the editorial is the comings and goings of the playing staff. Tony Dorigo left to join Leeds United for £1.3M. John Bumstead went to Charlton on a free. Incomings included Tommy Boyd (£750,000) and Paul Elliot (£1.4M). Chelsea also had a new manager in the guise of Ian Porterfield.

Nick Brown welcomes Ian home in a piece name “Welcome Home Mr. Porterfield.” Nick examines the other potential managers that were mentioned in the press at the time. Namely Ray Wilkins, Gerry Francis, Don Howe, Neil Warnock and David Webb. David Webb was the independents first choice, closely followed by Ian Porterfield and then Ray Wilkins.

Personally I didn’t like Neil Warnock as he complained about “too many Cockney teams” in the FA Cup semi final a few months previously.

Jim Ross gives his thoughts on last season’s FA Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur in an article called “The FA Cup Final Debacle.” Jim picks up on the fact that Roger Milford was a personal friend of Tottenham’s captain, Gary Mabbutt and was very lenient towards the fouls made by Paul Gascoigne. Gascoigne’s first tackle was a karate kick and he wasn’t even booked. His second was just as bad and Milford was quoted as saying “I saw he (Gascoigne) was in enough pain, so I thought that was punishment enough.”

Nick Brown reports from June’s FSA Monthly meeting. Ken Bates was the guest speaker. Ken was impressed with the Arsenal bond scheme and probably tried to recreate a similar scheme with the Matthew Harding 5 year season ticket. He also spoke about the extravagant wages paid to players. He said that 35% of gate receipts go to player’s wages. (Gate receipts were around £250,000 per game.)

Chelsea made a profit of £1.3M for the season 1990/1991. However Chelsea will spend £1.7M on ground improvements over the summer.

Ken wants to build a stadium that is the envy of all clubs in England. He told fans, “If you want the best, you have to pay for it!”

Ken defended the Zenith Cup even though attendances were poor.

He went on to say that he was happy to share Stamford Bridge with another club and had plans to build 3 dressing rooms so that the 3rd party can keep their identity. Fulham were rumoured to be in need of somewhere to play at the time of the meeting.

As ever there was plenty of correspondence. Here’s just a snippet of the topics of the day.

Stephen McCusker from Co Antrim wanted to know exactly who bought Tommy Boyd? He indicates that Bates bought him as Chelsea had no manger at the time.

Paul Smith from Streatham brings up the topic of the support at the Forest game. Paul says that only one set of fans would react to such a stuffing with “continual chanting and singing.”

Tony Dorigo’s not going to get a friendly welcome from Tim Sugden who writes from Camberwell. Mainly down to the fact that he decided to join Leeds United.

Gary Mitchell of Southampton felt the long arm of the law at Sunderland. His crime was to have, “beer on this breath.”

Damien Branningan from Belfast wasn’t happy with the amount of away shirts produced by the club, especially as “they are all crap.”

Richard Loder of Manchester wants a mention for Doug Rougvie who helped Montrose out of the Scottish second division.

Nick Brown wished the Shed End a happy birthday. It was named 25 years ago on the 7th of September 1966 by Mr C Webb from South Ockendon, Essex.

August 1991 saw the revamp of the official newspaper, Bridge News. Although the new version would be under the watchful eye of the club it is hoped that the recruitment of previous CISA members would improve it.

To finish this issue of nicely it revealed the details of the 1990/1991 CISA Awards.

Player of the season: Andy Townsend. (66%)

Goal of the season: Kerry Dixon (1st) at Everton. (34%)

Best team performance: Spurs (a) Rumbelows Cup. (66%)

High point: Reaching Semi-Final of Rumbelows Cup. (70%)

Low point: Losing Semi-Final to Sheffield Wednesday. (68%)

Best opponents: Nottingham Forest. (59%)

Worst opponents: Luton. (23%)

Best opposing player: Stuart Pearce. (32%)

Worst opposing player: Paul Gascoigne. (32%)

Best haircut: Dennis Wise. (27%)

Young player: Jason Cundy. (46%)

What annoys you about Chelsea? Inconsistency / No tactics. (39%)

What annoys you about football? Super League talks. (18%)

Foul of the season: Gascoigne on Townsend. (18%)

Best other fanzine: When Saturday Comes. (20%)

Best away grounds 1990/1991

Six questions were asked after each away match. Each with a rating out of ten for the following categories: Policing, stewards, refreshments, toilets, view and general facilities. Here’s what the results look like.

1) Walsall
2) Manchester United
3) Sunderland
4) Liverpool
5) Everton
6) Man City
7) Arsenal
8) Aston Villa
9) Derby
10) Luton
11) Tottenham
12) Nottingham Forest
13) Coventry
14) Portsmouth
15) Chelsea
16) Norwich
17) Leeds United
18) Crystal Palace
19) Sheffield United
20) Oxford United
21) Wimbledon
22) Southampton

(The results for Chelsea were given by the away fans.)

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