Day 29 of lockdown- I’ve just screamed ‘MAN ON’ to the missus as my son ran behind her in the garden.
God I miss football.
There might not be any games on but you can’t keep football off the back (or front) pages.
Thankfully, our club has acted with care, compassion and respect during this difficult period for not just the UK but the world.
NHS staff are using both hotels as a base, no staff have been furloughed, and thousands of meals are being prepared each day for the NHS.
On top of that, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta has been at the forefront of a campaign for footballers to donate a portion of their income, with Chelsea being the market leaders with a rumoured 10% reduction.
Of course this isn’t the back page news, stories of Chelsea doing the right thing aren’t newsworthy enough.
Imagine if it had been Chelsea’s staff who’d been put on furlough. Scandal!
The main story though, is how quickly they can get the football back on, in order to complete the season.
Most people will tell you that this is so their darling Liverpool can finally win their first Premier League title (and be level with Blackburn and Leicester).
However, it’s not (all) about Liverpool, it’s about the money. Premier League bosses face losing millions if the season is declared null and void.
According to a report by Enders Analysis “All subscribers pausing their contract and wholesale clients being allowed to follow suit, Sky would lose £700 million and BT £228 million in revenues.
“But that would be it, as we assume they have not made substantial payments for sporting events to be held after June, and would spend more only with solid guarantees on events actually being held.”
To them, supporters in the stands matter not in order to get their pay cheque. They’re more than happy to rush these games through, behind closed doors.
They won’t notice a lack of atmosphere because they’ll be too busy coin counting.
But what this pandemic gives us, is an opportunity to hit the reset button. To help address the gaping wealth disparity between the Premier League (the haves) and the rest of the football pyramid (the have nots).
For supporters to pick their ball back up, and say we’re not enjoying our game anymore. That ever changing kick off times, sky high admission prices, and the whole host of bug bears that the average football fan has.
To make a stand, and say no. Your profits don’t matter to us, we don’t see any of it passed down. Football always has been and always should be, about those spending their money to fill the stands
More recently, that importance has been taken away from us, bit by bit, because those in charge know that we’re not here just for the good times, but for life.
Football and for us Chelsea, is about more than what happens on the pitch. It’s the friendship, the pre match pint(s), the post match pint(s), the camaraderie between those stood next to you, even though you don’t know their names, you don’t know their stories, but you have something in common, Chelsea.
Again, a massive thank you to Mr Abramovich and Chelsea Football Club for their support of our NHS and the way the club has handled this crisis.
But to those running our game, at the Premier League, TV companies and the media, we have a different message: it’s our game!
So take your European Super Leagues, your amazon prime exclusive streams, your ridiculous kick off times with no regard to how travelling fans can get home.
This is our game, then, now, always.
We might be stuck at home, but we’ve taken our ball with us.