Arsenal

Who’s Got The Biggest?

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A former Chelsea supporting colleague informs me that ‘The Blues’ have always been bigger than Spurs.  And he says that he can prove it.

In football, the past is in a permanent state of being re told out of context and I think that this has confused him. The demand for this ‘new history’ is driven by over exposure, one eyed punditry, an expanding army of hired bull _______ to push it onto the millions of cultural grazers caught in the headlights and who suck it all up to satisfy their own immediate desperation to smell like a winner.  

But even without the sure footedness of the real past, we still have an understanding of how great and legendary things sometimes are, how real footballing ideals develop, how clubs grow and the difference between things being won and things being bought. Every now and then, under good leadership that is backed by the board and fans, the energy and will of a whole ideal can gather momentum and become something bigger. 

In these instances you are more than just a witness, you have a responsibility to be there in the moment because you know that without your intention and emotional input things just might be different.   It is a calling where you can no longer be a mere supporter but something different, something both logical and weirder at the same time – a sort of gonzo supporter. By making this ‘self’ your personal gift to your club, you become as integral to your team’s story as your team is part of yours.

In manufacturing their continued momentum with money and a production line of Europe’s elite managers, Chelsea no longer require this personal gift from their own supporters. The is no need for the ‘self’.  The faithful no longer have any sway on the guts, reasoning or imagination over what was once their own.  It has been taken from them and they haven’t realized.  What will happen will happen, whether they remain interested or not.  The required new role of the Chelsea supporter is to watch matches, buy merchandise, sing the TV friendly songs, and bow to the icy wisdom of the board. Just like at The Emirates.  The future for Chelsea is Arsenal.  It is their ultimate prize.

What is amazing is that both sets of supporters see themselves as being different, when in fact they are quintessentially the same.  I give you Charsenal. Charsenal – A football supporter whose sole function is to increase the revenue of a football club through the procurement of merchandise, match day tickets and over priced snacks. And nothing else.

Stadium Meat – See Charsenal.

My thanks to Bill for a great read – HH

 

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65 comments

  • TMWNN says:

    Brilliant!

    That’s exactly the direction we’re going, if we’re not already there.

  • Flange says:

    You attempt to write like Dickens but come across as a Dick.

    Seriously, is that even English?

  • Hazard's Bandaid says:

    I like this, a lot, but there’s a flaw in it. But before getting to that the absolute proof of this resounded in the contagion of red seats at Old Trafford last Sunday. Those gutless bastards leaving at 4-0; those scumbags who have crowed over everyone for the 20 years of the Premiership turn and run when their team gets stuffed. They are the living proof of exactly the need to want to ‘smell like a winner’. This is brilliant – but don’t assume the Totts are immune from this smallpox of the spirit. It felt great to be in a packed away end at Wigan a few weeks ago, outsinging the home support ten to one and knowing that end would be full but how long will the loyalists hold out if the club start slipping? Murdoch has driven celebrity culture and the zombiefication of everything. Charsenal, Yernited and now Citeh are evidence of it, but unless there is one big condom over WHL then I can’t see the sanitary cordon that divides ‘us’ from ‘them’.

  • NellyYiddo says:

    It is the Americanisation of our sport. All about revenue, merchandise and the buck.

  • Benson says:

    Yup apparently “always” is just the last decade in the eyes of a fairweather. Spurs BUILT a legacy over the last 129 years whereas Chelsea have bought one in the last 8.

    As for “Charsenal” I agree totally and we’re also seeing that same detachment seeping in at other clubs. Danger is that if something doesn’t happen soon then that type of trend will become the majority and clubs that stay true to their roots and retain that old school fan attachment will be the minority.

    Good thought provoking piece Bill I hope it’s not a one off :)

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