"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 hardened bunch who find misery in being paid to write about live football, they're a tough curmudgeonly crowd. As West Ham manager, Pardew would try to counter the mood by walking into press conferences and opening up with a sunny "Hi Guys!" It was probably followed by a finger point and a wink to an individual or two amongst the surly pack.
Pardew can be lumped in with people like McClaren, Platt or Ince, who operate on the basis that they once watched a Juventus training session, and were therefore deemed forward thinking. That's enough to sustain some sort of career without actually needing success on the pitch.
Pardew needs to re-think his "it's a massive club," soundbites and absorb the legacy of Joe Kinnear and his mastery of media relations. In 2008, Kinnear chose not to open his press conference in a Pardew style. Quite the opposite.
Whilst on the subject of football and the World Cup, a couple of days after Croatia knocked Steve McClaren's England out of Euro 2008 at Wembley, I wrote "English Football 2008-2010" - a prediction of what would happen next. It makes a for a nice World Cup preview.
Justin Fashanu is the only gay footballer that has ever played professional football in England. That's right - the only one, ever. This brief blight on football's landscape happened for a few seasons in the early 1980s. He notched a goal of the season, got hounded out of a few football clubs, was disowned by his brother and hanged himself.
Fortunately nobody gay has ever played football professionally before or since.
Yesterday, the FA pulled out of a launch of a new film created by Ogilvy to raise awareness of homophobia in football. A promising, if somewhat eye-watering sounding script was canned. Someone got cold feet.
Whilst those involved in the project have been discussing the merits or (lack of) in the film, the more depressing aspect is that a sport which is institutionally homophobic remains institutionally homophobic through more inactivity. The FA couldn't decide what it wants for lunch without resorting to a bout of politicking and bickering - eventually settling on starvation via inertia. It's taken two years to get to yesterday's cancellation - and the budget set aside for the project would buy you an hour of John Terry's time.
And all the while the familiar, tedious debate around the concept of the 'role model' continues. Another week passes of hot air and news print around nothing. A model works her way through Terry and his mates, 50,000 sing "Chelsea legend," whilst the lonely corpse of Justin Fashanu continues to swing under a bridge.
We now have confirmation courtesy of yesterday's 'Swayze Dead' Twitter trending, that your Mum & Dad will be on Twitter by the end of the year. Not that we were far off anyway. Reading Women's Weekly last night, I couldn't help but notice the magazine take a virulent stand against @schofe for 'tweeting' on his 'Memorial For Dad Weekend Mini-Break'.
Rumour is the most effective vehicle to promote a new communication channel or device. There is a precedent in email.
Yesterday's 'trending' took us all back to the mid 90s, and a tasteful song that stays with us to this day. Generally, a Man United v Arsenal fixture at Old Trafford isn't complete without a 5 minute chant of "Sit down you paedophile," sung vile-ly at Arsene Wenger.
Back in 1996, the UK was on the cusp of embracing email. Only senior management or people you didn't really know, had email addresses. We didn't really get it. Those that did - and the finger at the time was pointed to blokes in the City - recognised you could shuttle information around at rapid pace whether it was true or not.
At 2pm on a random Tuesday I was faxing press releases directly to bins in newsrooms. By 2.30pm, Ian Lessey in accounts was running around the office telling everyone that Wenger had apparently been "busted by cops in a hotel room." By 2.45pm William Hill had stopped taking bets on him being fired and by 4pm, he was on the steps of Highbury issuing a full denial.
By 5pm everyone realised it was total bollocks, was a bit confused, but wanted 'in' on this email thing.
Now everyone knows a little more about how Twitter works. I'm sure it's what Patrick would have wanted.