Chelsea: My hate affair
In the interest of balance and fair play, every fan should have a team to hate. And I won’t be letting many secrets out of the bag by declaring my revulsion of Chelsea. I can’t even qualify my deep-seated loathing for them on a socialistic “burn the rich” basis, having hated them equally when they were not much more than a dog track and a corrugated shed.
They weren’t even local rivals and the anti-football antics of “Chopper” Harris or the flair of Peter Osgood were only read about but never witnessed as my pocket money or horizons didn’t stretch the 100 or so miles to West London. No, like many a good hatred, mine was without any reason but is unequivocal and deep-rooted and Saturday evenings would be complete only if my side had won and Chelsea had lost.
In fact, their result would only be slightly less important than my own team of underachievers, such was my perverse interest in their failure. Now, I know the Secret Journo’s team of preference and it ain’t the “Posh Kids”, so his piece regarding their success in the Champions League final reads a bit like a hagiography to me.
Yes, I know he states that they don’t deserve their place in the competition; and, yes, he’s not a fan of John Terry and he bangs on about their ugliness – I think he means the overall team performance – but then he lets himself down by allowing a sense of delight at the outcome of a ghastly penalty competition and expresses admiration for what they achieved!
Wondering if perhaps I had overlooked something in my remit, and that I should be kind and fair to all teams regardless, I used my Mac’s thesaurus to check the meaning of “fan”. Among the usual definitions was the phrase “Separate wheat from chaff” – that’s chaff not chav. So here are my thoughts on their hollow triumph:-
I refuse to have any sneaking admiration for them or their fans or their money. I think that they are the luckiest club to have won the competition. Their style of football is a blight on the game. Their owner’s spoilt-kid ruthless ambition is an illustration of the “Get what I want at any price” attitude not a million miles from last year’s inner-city rioters.
I could go on but you get the drift. It’s not personal – OK, it is! – but I believe that the most complete fan would agree that, in the interests of fair play, we all need a nemesis. Of course, I hope my “coming out” will have offended a few but, as another of my hates includes the ex-pro pundits who cosy up on the telly and won’t say a bad word about their profession, I refuse to wobble about on the fence.
We’ve kicked most of the lazy prejudices out of football and policed the hooligan element into a manageable fraction of what it was but, please, don’t let our personal hatreds go the way of Chelsea’s idea of football.