"We haven't considered making them a big offer because we believe that they are fans of Chelsea Football Club and want to do what's best for Chelsea Football Club and we've offered them a couple of things relating to their role as a fan." Bruce Buck, Chairman, Chelsea FC.
So concludes one of the most objectionable, offensive and idiotic quotes from a football businessman since...er...since probably Garry Cook tried to pin the cancer gag on the IT guy.
Nearly 20 years ago Chelsea were shit, playing in front of 20,000 South/South West Londoners. Today, visiting fans to a packed Stamford Bridge sing the simple song: "Where were you when you were shit?" Answer: anywhere but there.
Except for a minority. A minority were actually there when they were shit, and some organised themselves to buy the freehold to keep football in SW6. Nice little patch that for property developers, after all. You could imagine a hotel there, maybe some restaurants. Oh, hold on.
Since then, a lot of people have got rich at Chelsea. Players. Managers. Sacked managers. Peter Kenyon. Marco Pierre White. The hotel people. A bunch of other knobheads.
A lot of people have got poorer at Chelsea. The fans. Football is more expensive than it used to be, but the game is the same.
Football is big business as Buck, Richard Scudamore are keen to tell the FT and Asian-based sponsors. Fans become a customer database. The club becomes a vehicle to talk to a global market. Fans will stay in line of course, do what they're told, they'll be 'loyal.' Clubs beseech them to be 'true fans.'
Hypocrisy, insensitivity and ignorance knows no bounds in football. CPO: you're part of the business not the football. Tell Buck to do one and pay the market rate. You deserve recognition financially for the commercial value of your contribution.
A QPR fan.