Are Chelsea Bigger Than The Likes of Liverpool?
I’ve been thinking about this ever since Sturridge was quoted about saying Liverpool were bigger...
I’ve been thinking about this ever since Sturridge was quoted about saying Liverpool were bigger than
In the Premier League, there is no bigger club than
This is my belated response to these comments now that I finally have to time to sit down and put it into words!
Now of course all
fans will think and claim that we are currently bigger than Liverpool,
and rightly so! To uphold success and truly be up among the biggest clubs in the
world, you actually have to believe you are. Other fans can scoff at us, but
not only do I want this mentality at Chelsea,
I expect it of the club and our fans.
It would be nice, though, if the rest of the footballing world could maybe come to terms with the possibility that we are bigger than the likes of
Liverpool and Arsenal these days.
This is a little insight into why I believe Chelsea deserve this.
A little observation about
first though. It feels as if players are given cue cards for them to read
during their first interview at Liverpool.
Card 1: talk about our history. Card 2: talk about how amazing it will be to
play with Steven Gerrard. Card 3: talk about how Liverpool
are the biggest club in the league.
Mmmm, well they are well within their right to talk about these kinds of things, especially the first two. However you never really get this talk of club size and history when you see players joining Manchester United or Arsenal, for example. My point is that I kind of get the feeling that Liverpool are desperately clinging onto their status as one of the biggest clubs in England, and are, to use the classic line, living of their history.
Have we reached the point where we can claim that we are bigger than
Liverpool? I think we absolutely
have, but not many others seem to agree. Then again, most other fans don’t look
too favourably upon us.
What criteria do you use to figure out which club is bigger though? History, modern success and fanbase, I think are the three areas to consider.
Well, first of all, we reject the claim we have no history.
haven’t won much but you would
never say they have no history. The history of a club creates its identity, its
memories and its own personality. This is the case no matter how much has been
won, and to tell another club that they have no history because they haven’t
won as much as you is a disrespectful insult. We have experienced our highs and
lows, from relegation, to promotion, to championships, to financial crisis, to
Abaramovich, to the Champions of Europe. I may not have been alive to
experience all of it, but I still appreciate it. Crystal Palace
History does this, but it does not determine what a club is in the present. Even if others do want to try and belittle us, we can quite happily say with a genuine smile on our face: “We’re making history, not living off it.” What happened 20 years in the past and further does not dictate your significance in the present. Nor do one or two un-sustained solitary moments of success.
Our success over the last ten years is second only to Manchester United. That is no mean feat, and is something that is conveniently ignored by those who think
Liverpool is bigger. For
success to be so consistently maintained, even if it is the only thing about Chelsea that is
consistent, you must be a sizeable club, and it cannot be ignored, as most seem to
do. With 11 major trophies in almost as many years, compared to Liverpool and Arsenal who have 9 between them in the same
period, we can rightfully claim to be a one of the teams of the decade.
You sometimes hear people say that the size of their stadium plays a large role in their club stature. Well we don’t exactly have a small stadium or one without character, and we are in the process of moving to a larger one that is the same size of the Emirates and that of many other clubs who are renovating or building their own. The argument that Stamford Bridge restircts us, if it was relevant at all in the first place, will not be any use to people for much longer.
As for our fanbase, a study done for us by TNS shows that
Chelsea have a core ('core' meaning those who unprompted
say they are Chelsea
fans) worldwide fanbase of 90 million. Studies do differ with results of course
depending on how the survey is conducted, another one claims we have 135
million for example, but, due mainly to a huge Asian fanbase, we consistently
come above the both Liverpool and Arsenal in fanbase statistics. It’s better if
you research this yourself and decide what is reliable and what isn’t, but this
is the conclusion I have come to. To be perfectly honest I was surprised too.
I don’t claim that
are the biggest club in England,
Manchester United have a claim for that which is undeniable. I do hold that we
are the second biggest though, and, from my perspective, this too is undeniable.
It may not always be the case, are beginning to
build similar foundations for the same argument, but it is for the moment. Manchester
If anyone wants to say we are smaller than
and even Arsenal, the only feasible thing that can back them up is past
success. I would say to them: “Congratulations, you have an impressive history
and I respect it. There certainly was a time when you were bigger than us, but
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Carefree & KTBFFH!