Chelsea to increase season ticket prices
If you like your season ticket prices in the three-figure category, then look away now. Though if you dislike Chelsea as much as I do, then you can probably look again. Because this is a good one.
Turns out Roman Abramovich wants to squeeze even more cash out the coffers of Blues fans. Letters have landed on the doormats of season ticket holders in the newly-refurbished West Stand informing its current incumbents that prices for next year could be as much as £4,000.
Let that sink in, why don’t you? £4k! Imagine.
Here’s the best bit: No corporate hospitality. No perks. No happy ending from a Chelsea legend wearing a club blazer in the players' lounge afterward. That’s more than a 100% increase on current prices. All for your arse to be warmed by a bit of styrofoam for 90 minutes. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to bring a hot water bottle?
The club do point out that fans in this part of the ground will be treated to a unique matchday experience, with upgraded food and drink facilities. That may all be well, but looking at the artist’s impression it appears they’ve transplanted a Wimpy into the ground from Milton Keynes.
Then again, this is Chelsea we’re talking about. If the club was in human form it would be the loud, aggressive coked-up 6 foot-plus shagger at the bar no one dares say anything to –just in case they’re treated to a free round of teeth removal. So sympathy is non-existent from me.
Should have supported Fulham.
Bits and Bots from up the road
Ah the story of Newcastle United. Once it was simply owned by a conveyancing solicitor-made-good from the north east of England. Now it has more dark, dank, cold, treacherous tunnels than an underground cave network populated exclusively by the most prolific serial killers in British history. And Jimmy Savile.
This week another (!) gem from the Daily Mail. They’ve been getting a bit hot under the collar because sportswashing has been taken to a new level.
Apparently, some of their journalists have been mercilessly trolled through the Twitter handle @katestewart22, after they – and others – were perceived to have criticised the Saudi regime following the takeover.
Let me appraise those of you who haven’t been swallowed by the cesspit of bile that is Twitter (and that’s just the Sunderland whoppers on there). Kate Stewart is apparently the nom de guerre of Saud Al-Qahtani, and an as-yet unidentified person in the UK; Al-Qahtani is a man who has been accused of some stuff that – let’s put it this way – wouldn’t find its way onto your Linkedin CV.
A digital fixer is perhaps a polite way of describing him, pumping out propaganda to his 25,000 followers like an overflowing sewage pipe; there to deflect blame from the Saudi regime and get idiots like me talking about him, and not the nastier stuff. It’s just not easy to forget that the regime kills journalists. Whoops... I mentioned it, sorry!
Essentially he’s just a great big dead cat on the dinner table. Because for every negative comment against him, brings out two or three more Newcastle fans to defend him. Garner enough sympathy, create the us-and-them mentality and the myth continues to propagate. Simples, right?
Let’s be honest, we’re not saying that the Saudi regime are horrible because they don’t give puppies enough strokes; more so because, for example, Al-Qahtani has been named by US intelligence as the head of the Saudi Center for Studies and Media Affairs – where the gang appointed to murder Jamaal Khashoggi also worked, or had connections to.
Now he’s tweeting about Mandy Staveley being like Princess Diana. Er, no Saud, I think you’ll find it was Prince Andrew who was interested in her. I heard they bonded after he stepped in to pay her Pizza Express bill because the vouchers she had turned out to be for Prezzo instead.
All the while, they continue to suck the moisture out of the leathery, dried-out corpse that is Newcastle United. Imagine having that connected to your club - all to get Barry from Killingworth to stick up for you.
Still, it’s the price you pay for dancing with the devil.
EFL relieve Derby and Reading of more points
Poor old Wayne Rooney. Looked like he was making a decent fist of keeping Derby afloat only for the EFL to ruin it all. Well, Mel Morris actually.
Not content with deducting Derby 12 points earlier in the season, another 9 have been removed for breaching profit and sustainability rules, leaving the Rams on -3 points. The drop to League One appears a certainty. Welcome! You’ll love it here.
We’ll probably see you next season.
They aren’t the only ones though. Reading, in a gargantuan effort to get promoted, found themselves with a wage bill which was 194% of their turnover. Now I’m no accountant, but the financial chicanery needed to square that one off would make the Premier League’s Owners and Directors Test look ironclad.
As a result, Reading now find themselves saddled with flotsam such as Andy Carroll and Danny Drinkwater, and are operating under a transfer embargo.
This comes as the EFL asked the Premier League to double the amount of funding it provides to around £750m – which they say will still allow the league to be the most dominant in Europe.