30 years? – Some teams have been waiting a lifetime for tangible success

LIVERPOOL have been waiting 30 years for a league title but their fans have finally started to sing, “we’re gonna win the league”. They might even revive Ee Aye Addio and finally remove the psychological “years since…” day counter that’s hung above Anfield since 1990. Manchester United went through the same process between 1967 and 1993, constantly reminding people that it had been an unacceptable … Continue reading 30 years? – Some teams have been waiting a lifetime for tangible success

Chelsea make a loss as revenues flat-line, but what of the future?

CHELSEA received almost a quarter of a billion pounds in additional funding from owner Roman Abramovich as the club made a loss of around £ 100 million in 2018-19. Chelsea’s turnover totalled £ 447 million which was more or less on par with 2017-18 (£ 443) as a result of lower broadcasting (£200m) and matchday income (£67m) streams. Commercial income was up by 9% to … Continue reading Chelsea make a loss as revenues flat-line, but what of the future?

Despite the current era, Sexton’s Chelsea stand the test of time

IF Chelsea had not got off to a miserable start in 1969-70, they may well have gone much closer to winning the Football League instead of their first FA Cup. Not that the Cup was a consolation, because in 1970, it really meant something and for the Blues, it was their first ever FA Cup triumph. Until 2004-05, the team that overcame Leeds United over … Continue reading Despite the current era, Sexton’s Chelsea stand the test of time

Chelsea complete a north London double, but the window has to be used wisely

WITH seven minutes remaining at the Emirates stadium, Chelsea must have been getting their chequebook ready for action, but two goals later, the shortcomings of the first hour of the game were brushed aside. Recent Chelsea performances have shown that they are very short of experienced talent. The energy and enthusiasm of their young players has carried them through the first half of the campaign, … Continue reading Chelsea complete a north London double, but the window has to be used wisely

Peter Osgood: The King may be dead, but he’s never been forgotten

ONE DAY in January 1993, my telephone rang at work. “Hello, mate, it’s Peter Osgood here.” I hesitated, gasped and was a little nervous with my reply. “I used to have a poster of you on my bedroom wall,” I uttered. “I hope you still haven’t got it up,” he quipped. Here was my boyhood hero,  Peter Leslie Osgood, born Windsor, February 20 1947, 6ft … Continue reading Peter Osgood: The King may be dead, but he’s never been forgotten

Boosted by Buchan – Chelsea’s forgotten title of 1916

FOOTBALL in the two World Wars has largely been overlooked by historians. It was only in recent years that the contribution of the sport to public morale during times of conflict was acknowledged. This replaced what was a feeling of discomfort about a mere pastime being continued during a time of intense strife. The game in the Great War has often been swept under scullery … Continue reading Boosted by Buchan – Chelsea’s forgotten title of 1916

Valencia v Chelsea: Mild magnificence in the Mestalla

IT WAS one of those nights that explained why the UEFA Champions League can be so marvellously captivating. Valencia hosted Chelsea amid the soaring shabby chic splendour of the Mestalla stadium, 43,000 spectators perched on the precipice, bathed in the glow of floodlights sitting behind them, illuminating the orange, red and green cauldron below. No wonder they call it one of the most scary stadiums … Continue reading Valencia v Chelsea: Mild magnificence in the Mestalla

The big six in a time of disruption

LIVERPOOL are top of the Premier by a substantial margin and the odds are they will win the Premier League for the first time and lift the Koppites’ first title since 1990. Six or seven years ago, that would have seemed a fairly unlikely scenario as Liverpool had – temporarily – moved out of the elite bracket. Jürgen Klopp was hired to bring the good … Continue reading The big six in a time of disruption

Chelsea v Ajax – the spectacle that nobody wanted to end

BACK IN 1970, one of the most captivating games of an outstanding World Cup, Italy’s 4-3 win over West Germany, was so exciting that the final whistle left you disappointed that the match had ended after 120 pulsating minutes. The same feeling was evident at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea and Ajax shared eight goals on an evening that reminded the near-40,000 crowd that the UEFA … Continue reading Chelsea v Ajax – the spectacle that nobody wanted to end

1915: When football seemed unimportant

IT HAS been known down the years as “The Khaki Final”, owing to the vast number of soldiers in military uniform watching the game. While the event is well known, the outcome of the match has been largely overlooked in history. Many people will struggle to name the two finalists: Sheffield United and Chelsea. But this game, coming at the end of the 1914-15 season, … Continue reading 1915: When football seemed unimportant

The Champions League and the preservation of elitism

SINCE THE European Cup was introduced in 1955, there have been 22 different winners of the competition. This list includes some of Europe’s biggest names as well as some unlikely champions. The last “new” winner was Chelsea in 2012, and equally telling, the last team from outside the accepted top 20 most powerful clubs was Porto in 2004. It has gradually become a closed shop. … Continue reading The Champions League and the preservation of elitism

CV-risky jobs: Managing an elite club

MANCHESTER UNITED are going through what amounts to something of an identity crisis. The astonishingly high standards set during the Ferguson era meant that whatever followed him would be an anti-climax, but the club has made a series of poor judgement calls, partly in desperation to return to winning ways – and that means league titles – and partly because of the need to maintain … Continue reading CV-risky jobs: Managing an elite club

Everyone loves Chelsea’s reborn Jorginho

YOU’RE ONLY as good as your manager allows you to be. That should sum up the Jorginho story in his two seasons at Chelsea. Last year, Jorginho was less than popular with the Stamford Bridge regulars – he was seen as representative of the so-called “Sarri ball” philosophy of uncomfortable manager Maurizio Sarri. He moved to London from Napoli with Sarri and was, naturally, linked … Continue reading Everyone loves Chelsea’s reborn Jorginho