Date: 7th May 2018 at 8:43am
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During Man City’s presentation of the Premier League championship trophy, one TV anchor asked assembled pundits what makes Guardiola such a special manager.

The unanimous answer was Guardiola’s ability to influence multiple areas of the club and its culture.
If you’re a true Chelsea fan then those comments will have really, really hurt.

‘Our’ club is, of course, one where the manager has the minimal ability even to affect matters on the pitch. No, the Chelsea manager’s role is as narrow a one as there is in world football. And because the whole CFC operation is now about money, a vast salary is considered enough to secure loyalty to the cause.

The biggest knock on Antonio Conte is that he must have known these strictures when he signed for the club. Yes and no. Any one of you who has a certain ambition and has worked for a corporation at a high level as I have will know that any agreement is just a guideline.

Certainly, The Don will have been 100% confident that, having pulled the club so brilliantly out of Mourinho’s mess, he would be able to revisit all agreements.

That doesn’t make him naïve, it just makes him passionate about our club and his ability to make it great.

Upon finding that, no matter how amazing the achievement, there is absolutely no wiggle room in Abramovich’s Chelsea, while not being driven crazy like his predecessor, it would still have been a gutting realization.

Look no further for the way that this season has unfolded.

The thinking of the CFC hierarchy, it’s view of culture is simple: football is a numbers game controlled by the judicious application of money just like any business.

There are many ‘fans’ who go along with this, regarding a healthy percentage of wins as the one and only thing that matters.

I am definitely not among them.

Then again, CFC under Abramovich and his (initial) cash injections has clearly become the club of glory hunters, not least the investment bankers and city boys who are among the only ones able to afford house prices in SW6 (and tickets in many parts of the Bridge).

Many of these so-called fans are also in London on short contracts and thus no dyed-in-the-wool fans.

This is the true “prawn sandwich brigade” immortally coined by Roy Keane; they care only about the numbers, not the culture and certainly not the football. Supporting a football club is largely a matter of bragging rights to go along with the Porsche and trophy wife.

This kind of ‘culture’ creates almost countless horror.

To name but a few horrors, this corporate numbers game demands, well, good numbers, victory no matter what. This simply does not correspond with, for instance, the alleged desire to promote youth: when a manager is fired for coming second as Ancelotti so disgracefully was, then youth is never getting a chance; expecting it to is nothing but a pathetic wind-up.

Another horror is what happens when the manager is not regarded as the be-all and end-all by players. How can anybody with a brain not see that this allows players to ignore managers, knowing that withholding effort means the manager’s job, not theirs!

I could go on and on and on, but you know what? I find myself simply not be able to be bothered.

My five-decade dedication to the Blues has been something of a rollercoaster and I know find myself exhausted. I am one of the very few who was present at Turf Moor in 1983 when the third division beckoned.

At the back of our minds was the idea that one day, some way that wonderful rollercoaster would be able to climb Mount Olympus and put CFC at the top alongside the other greats.

But as Man City, Liverpool, formerly Man Utd (the jury is still out on the self-destructive Mourinho) and Barcelona have shown and are showing, footballing greatness is only achieved by instilling a footballing culture.

Not a corporate business culture.

When the manager speaks after the game, that should be the football club talking, not some puppet who’ll be gone any moment.

As a lifelong fan, that is simply not a situation that allows you to feel a true part of the club anymore. Most of the new fans don’t care about that anyway. Good luck to them.

But when The Don is gone, then – with a heavy heart – so am I.

Contribution by Stan Wenners

 

10 Replies to “Why I can no longer support CFC – A Final Piece by Stan Wenners”

  • Following any club has its up and downs. to just throw in the towel after 50 years is ridiculous. We are all disappointed with the way the club is run, but up until now the club would argue that their method has worked. The difference now of course, is that we are no longer the only club with money and we can`t waste it as before because of FFP. I was at Bolton when we also slipped into the 3rd division (not Turf Moor, Burnley) when Clive Walker saved us from the drop, and I will still be with the club I love, even if we ever drop into non league status. As poor as a season that we have had, we are still the envy of many.

  • This season i have been part of the “Conte out ” brigade, Spuds,City and Barca did it for me, but he won myself and many others back, and Sarri is a total downgrade . We all know he will be ousted after May 19th .We are not an attractive club anymore, aside from Sarri who will be the punishment our board deserve, no manager even wants this job . I do not expect a good window either, sniffing around Adama Traore is all we need to know .However at some point, and lets hope its soon, Roman will remove Marina Granovskaia, the former PA/Dance graduate as DOF, cannot last, she does not even attend games (neither does Roman anymore ),is never seen at Cobham ,so how can she possibly be a DOF ?.This is the one thing i cannot understand ?, its like having a brick layer organize a flower show . Despite the two titles, the boat has been leaking water since Gourlay left . Anyway we have seen much worse happen in our time on this planet, as Blueheart stated its about “ups and downs “

  • To paraphrase, ‘My club, right or wrong ‘ The fans will be here when Roman is pushing up daisies, you may think you will cease to care but with your pedigree as a supporter being similar to my own 51 years, surely that can never be? I would find it easier to divorce my wife and believe me she really is the love of my life, and has been for 43 years.

  • Its in our blood to support this club, both my father and grandfather supported this club, look at yesterday the sheer joy of beating the scousers, still buzzing from it . When i was a kid, we would go see Fulham and QPR, even Palace, but nothing beat Chelsea at the Bridge and away . Even back than, the prawn sandwich brigade frequented games. We were and are at the Worlds End area, at the end of Kings Road, frequented by film and rock stars, we were and are “the glamour club”(even in the hooligan era )that will never change . Times change, owners also, but our club will always be there

  • Obviously my heart will still beat faster when looking at Chelsea scores but there simply comes a time when you can’t kid yourself that your own values have anything in common with a club you no longer recognize. At other clubs the cameras cut to the manager and/or the legends, at CFC it is only to the arrogant, egocentric owner. An owner who is no Jerry Jones by the way: at least Jerry Jones is always talking and communicating personally. No, we have an owner who speaks only behind his hand and in darkened rooms. This is not our Chelsea any more and won’t be when he’s gone. I have grandchildren now and I’ll be damned if I’ll rob them of my attention and time and love for the benefit of some self-obsessed oligarch epitomizing the ultimate plastic fan. KTBFFH everyone. Love, Stan.

  • “This is not our Chelsea any more and won’t be UNTIL he’s gone” I of course meant to say.

  • It was Bolton away when Clive Walker scored in a 1.0 win that kept us out of the old 3rd Division. Freezing cold, soaking wet and the players gave their shirts away and were fined!. The club has moved on since those but I’m still there through thick and thin. It’s been thick on the last few years but football is cyclical and could all go pear shaped again..win or lose Up The Blues!

  • I can understand Mr. Wenner’s point. It is not easy to leave a club one has been supporting for over five decades though. I am hoping that the owner and the board of Chelsea would realise that the club needs to change its culture to a more energized one to compete favorably. For example, the days of scoring one goal and sitting on it for ninety minutes are gone. We need a guaranteed average of three goals per game now as teams tend to score many goals. And the only way we can achieve this is by playing attacking game. I do believe that if we adopt this culture, we can play favorably with our rivals even without changing our players. All these players we keep abusing every week along with their manager are as good as they come. If we sell them, they would go and become another Salah or KDB. On the other hand, if we bring back those players to Chelsea with this or lethargic style of playing, you would see the same mediocre players that left. So my advise is for us to adopt attacking culture first and look at those who can cope before we star talking of changing them.

  • @Stan. I think is Roman is tired, he should leave, or is he waiting for furious fans to display roman must go placards. Our Roman had lost financial masculine since his marriage divorce leaving us spineless compared to the time he acquired cfc. The energy and orientations about this club has changed as the curiosity to be serial champions is the goal every Damn season. Resctucture this club and let mediocre of the hook. I’m afraid cfc boat will soon sink if Roman reigns for years to come.

  • As I have only done 48 years I’m a bit of a junior here,when Ifirst went to the bridge from my native hereford a long day out and train journey I was in awe of the passion of the fans the feeling of belonging the whole package I was hooked and your in it for life no going back,we have suffered had so much stick but it’s our time trouble is we are now a world club we lost our identity and again there’s no going back if roman left a new owner would be found with shed loads of money we are in West London a very attractive package,in fact Manu Arsenal and soon to be city fans will all feel the same the game has changed singing inthe shed or in some beaten up northern ground under a tin roof. Are in the past today if you fart out of place dare to stand up they will want to eject you change I’m afraid has affected our club

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