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Time for AFC Chelsea?


SW11 CFC

Time for AFC Chelsea?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you support an AFC Chelsea?

    • Yes
      6
    • No
      15


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Just out of interest, I would like to ask what the general feeling would be amongst chelsea fans on the formation of an AFC Chelsea, similar to the current AFC Wimbledon, FC Man. Utd, AFC Liverpool etc?

The reason i ask is that i am one of so many old skool chelsea bods who has become so disallusioned with modern day football and the modern day chelsea, and the growing feeling of 'we want our chelsea back' that there is amongst many fans, thus this feeling seems to creep ever nearer to the formation of an AFC Chelsea, and i would just like to know how much support this idea would have and just how many of us would actually follow the re-birth of 'old' and 'proper' chelsea as i myself would see this being if formed.

As a quick introduction to myself, i am one of the old skool herberts who was there when we were sh*t, first and second division, simod cup, home and away, every week. You name it, i was there with chelsea, fantatically for 17 years.

But no matter how bad chelsea were and how little we won, that didn't matter to me as i loved that club more than life itself. I envied no other no matter how much more successful they were as chelsea was the best club in my eyes.

They were my local team as i am a battersea boy (though i now live in kent), i loved the old stamford bridge (despite it being a bit of a dump by then), our blue shirts and shorts with white socks looked better than any other clubs colours, our proper old badges (the round lion rampant and one with the stars either side), our away support, our songs, the shed, west stand, benches, the atmosphere even with small crowds etc etc, all made me so proud to be chelsea. Sod success, chelsea was the bees knees without it.

But by 2002 i could take no more of all the changes for the worst.

All-seater stadiums were not for me, the worse atmosphere as a result, the rip-off ticket pricess, being surrounded by posh boy gloryhunters and japanese tourists on their gloryhunting fasion following mission, the lack of togetherness as a result cos these people weren't proper chelsea, the new current badge with its cartoon charachter lion in the middle of it....chelsea fc was now dead in my eyes.

I missed the buzz of my terracing, getting in for more reasonable prices, having a sing song with real chelsea bods who actually knew the words to our songs, and the feeling of camoradary of being in the company of real chelsea fans like me who loved the club for all the same reasons, even if there were only 15 - 16,000 of them, which was better than being in modern day stamford bridge with 30,000 gloryhunters.

But thats just me and how i feel as a football and chelsea fan. I love the traditional game and chelsea fc of old, the way it should be and have stayed in my eyes. Things have to change and be improved, yes. But not for the worst, which is what the modern game and club is nowadays to me.

So i keep getting this nagging feeling eating away at me in the back of my mind, how i'd like to get my old chelsea back, even if it had to be re-born and on a much smaller scale. I'd still prefer that to modern cfc as it would be alot nearer to the way things were, and that is what i would need to get that old chelsea love and buzz back.

My vision would be for this new AFC Chelsea to be formed, owned and run by genuine chelsea fans, old and new.

To start off in the non league, with our own ground of just a 5,000 capacity to start with, as close to the current stamford bridge as possible to preserve our identity, with terracing behind both goals and seats down the sides.

To keep as much of the traditional old chelsea identity as possible. Call the new ground The Bridge, the home terrace The Shed, the strip would be royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks and bring back the lion rampant and stars badges, albeit having to make slight adjustments to them due to copyright reasons, but still closer to the real thing.

With the prices being much lower to watch a game, hopefully crowds will be of a fair size near to capacity at least, but all being genuine chelsea bods with not a cringeworthy gloryhunter in sight, and a blinding old skool atmosphere to go with it.

So that would be enough for me, not the exact same thing as the chelsea of old, but as near as you could get, and alot nearer than this modern day thing we have now. Some people would say an AFC Chelsea would be plastic chelsea, but it would be the original real thing to me, just re-born with some unavoidable changes, but with all the real genuine people and chelsea identity associated with it, it would be chelsea of old. And you couldn't get more plastic than current 'chelsea fc'.

We may not be playing man.utd, spurs etc on a regular basis, but we could still enjoy a proper football day out again and that is a big consolation, and if other club fans copied our idea then the big old rivalries could continue as before, because i don't think its only chelsea fans getting pissed off with this modern era.

And being involved with non-league football already as i am, i know that it offers the proper football day experiance and that cannot be beaten.

So you can keep your premier league and champions league, i want my chelsea back. And starting again would appeal to me personally.

This idea will have its support and knockers, but i would just like to know the general feeling towards it please, even if i am hugely outnumbered in my thoughts.

Cheers.

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Fair enough mate, i fully expect opinions like that. I see how this would not appeal to those used to bigtime current chelsea and the big stage of the premier league/champions league etc, its just that chelsea's original and natural pre modern day identity and what i would call a proper old skool football day experiance is much more important to me. That is what an AFC version would bring back in my eyes, i dont care about the big stage. I enjoyed our second division days the most anyway.

Edited by SW11 CFC
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And if AFC Chelsea became successful? Would you create an AFC Chelsea 2. To be honest I think this AFC thing is a bit odd at times, a bit of football snobbery. I hate when someone from a lower league team says Chelsea fans arent real fans because they dont have to sit in some sh*tty stand at the arse end of nowhere to watch football. I have supported Chelsea from bad to worse to brilliant. I enjoyed the bad times (masochistically at times) and now Im enjoying the good times.

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I've often thought about how it might be possible to get some of the good things that our club has lost over the years back and an AFC style club is one possible solution to some of it. Is it the answer though? For me No it's not. Football has changed, society has changed, life has changed. I could understand the formation of AFC Wimbledon, those fans actually had their club taken away from them and although our is different to the club we supported in the 60's, 70's 80's even 90's (and every other decade of our history!) our club has only evloved it hasn't been taken away from the fans. In many ways football has been taken away from the old style fan but our club no more than any other (well maybe more than some).

Another possible solution would be to follow the youth team (difficult under the current set up but I think it would be easier to work on that than start up a new club).

I'm not sure what there is to gain from an AFC club on the doorstep of the "proper" club? The idea of football is that it's a competition that you should want to win, as soon as the AFC team starts to win promotions they'll start to attract stricter rules on ground requirements etc. On top of that there will be a lot of fans that think an AFC is a "cooler" version of the real team, that think they're more hardcore and go along because of that, regardless of how much of a proper supporter they used to be by your model of what a proper supporter is. The only way of avoiding that is for you to interview people before deciding if they're proper enough to watch your new team. That will never be Chelsea!

I'd be interested to know what you've done to try and get some of those missing ingredients back to Chelsea over the years. Like you I gave up going when I got bored of the experience of going to watch Chelsea (particularly at home) and the expense just got too much for me to bare, but I've never been contacted by a supporters group that are trying to make any changes that might actually make a difference. I know there are some out there, there was a Shed50 that I heard about - 50 hardcore singing fans in the middle of the Shed upper for every game. Not sure what the results of that were or if it ran long enough to really make a difference?

I'd love the good times to return (to the crowd, things have been pretty good on the pitch in recent times), but Chelsea is my team I don't want another!

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And if AFC Chelsea became successful? Would you create an AFC Chelsea 2. To be honest I think this AFC thing is a bit odd at times, a bit of football snobbery. I hate when someone from a lower league team says Chelsea fans arent real fans because they dont have to sit in some sh*tty stand at the arse end of nowhere to watch football. I have supported Chelsea from bad to worse to brilliant. I enjoyed the bad times (masochistically at times) and now Im enjoying the good times.

Ideally, if it became successful, i'd like to refuse promotion into the football league and stay as a non league club, to avoid the AFC version having to become an all-seated, overpriced haven for gloryhunters as well. Thats the whole point of starting an AFC. It may sound un-ambitious, but to me its very ambitious. To enjoy being a football club again and not a tourist attraction like the current chelsea fc is now.

Those chelsea fans you say are accused of not being real fans - i am one of them just the same as you. I've lived the bad and 'good' times, but prefered the bad as the club was a more genuine club in genuine times. Ideally, i'd like an AFC version to be more successful then we was back then but a proper club again at the same time.

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I've often thought about how it might be possible to get some of the good things that our club has lost over the years back and an AFC style club is one possible solution to some of it. Is it the answer though? For me No it's not. Football has changed, society has changed, life has changed. I could understand the formation of AFC Wimbledon, those fans actually had their club taken away from them and although our is different to the club we supported in the 60's, 70's 80's even 90's (and every other decade of our history!) our club has only evloved it hasn't been taken away from the fans. In many ways football has been taken away from the old style fan but our club no more than any other (well maybe more than some).

Another possible solution would be to follow the youth team (difficult under the current set up but I think it would be easier to work on that than start up a new club).

I'm not sure what there is to gain from an AFC club on the doorstep of the "proper" club? The idea of football is that it's a competition that you should want to win, as soon as the AFC team starts to win promotions they'll start to attract stricter rules on ground requirements etc. On top of that there will be a lot of fans that think an AFC is a "cooler" version of the real team, that think they're more hardcore and go along because of that, regardless of how much of a proper supporter they used to be by your model of what a proper supporter is. The only way of avoiding that is for you to interview people before deciding if they're proper enough to watch your new team. That will never be Chelsea!

I'd be interested to know what you've done to try and get some of those missing ingredients back to Chelsea over the years. Like you I gave up going when I got bored of the experience of going to watch Chelsea (particularly at home) and the expense just got too much for me to bare, but I've never been contacted by a supporters group that are trying to make any changes that might actually make a difference. I know there are some out there, there was a Shed50 that I heard about - 50 hardcore singing fans in the middle of the Shed upper for every game. Not sure what the results of that were or if it ran long enough to really make a difference?

I'd love the good times to return (to the crowd, things have been pretty good on the pitch in recent times), but Chelsea is my team I don't want another!

Things do change but not always for the better. Football and chelsea in current times have not in my opinion. Being forced to sit down at £50 a time and more often than not having to sit next to some bloke in his 40's who has 'supported' chelsea for 3 years or a foreign tourist with a chelsea shirt on who couldn't give a toss about chelsea when they were being knocked out of the littlewoods cup by scarborough, is not progress in my opinion. Whether the chelsea they are watching are top of the premier league or not.

Having the choice to stand if you want for a reasonable price and watching the game amongst chelsea fans who are passionate about the club even if they are bottom of the blue square premier, is my idea of following a proper chelsea fc.

I totally respect our genuine fans who are happy with current times, thats their opinion. But i dont respect the gloryhunter or fashion following tourist who seem to outnumber the real fans nowadays. Nor do i respect being forced to sit for £50.

Good on the hardcore shed 50 for trying, but i think their loyal talents are wasted at that tourists theatre that is now stamford bridge, that 50 would be more appreciated at an AFC version.

What i have done to try and get those missing ingredients back is to come on here and see what peoples opinions are on an AFC club.

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A good post which got me thinking, I don't reckon an AFC Chelsea would give you the "turn the clock back" satisfaction you're after though, what Butch mentioned has more merit IMO, groups of like minded people who band together to improve the atmosphere of the Shed for example, if I remember correctly the club were giving members of the Shed 50 priority to buy tickets for the same area, which is a small thing possibly but shows if the voice is big enough changes can be made.

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I've lived abroad for many, many years but still make the trip over a few times a year and personally feel every time it's a bit further down the slippery slope. I've thought about an AFC type thing many times and even mentioned it loosely on here once or twice I think, whether it would work or not I don't know. The ground would be a problem unless you did a ground share with Fulham. But one thing I do know I'm pretty sick of seeing over paid "stars" not bother a sh*t while knowing another 100 k has just been planted in their bank accounts. To then only hear a manager excuse another feeble performance with "we are in a bad moment". Still not sure I know what a bad moment is, but a bit of heart from someone other than JT (Ivanovic) would help, a bit of the old 70-60's team spirit. Football today is a different game, for different people it was probably the same for those supporters in the 1940-50s when the stylish "Kings Road team" of the mid 60s came along. If an AFC Chels started I for one would go along when in the country, at least you would know the game would kick off at 3 on Saturday and not at a time dictated by Sky/Espn.

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I find it difficult to fathom supporting any other club than this Chelsea, for better or for worse. I was happy enough when we were yo-yoing between the then first and second divisions, having our bottoms handed to us by the likes of QPR, Forest, Luton Town, etc..., but I am also mostly happier with how things are now. There is no perfect situation and you just have to make the best you can of the one you find yourself in.

You know, there was a time, in the very, very early days of Abramovich, when I was extremely worried about where this club was headed. I cannot explain the relief I feel today that we have actually moved forward, and I can only thank Ken and my luck stars that Roman has turned out to have football in his heart. I believe we are very, very fortunate.

I don't believe it is, or has ever been, the plan to sign players on expensive fees and for colossal wages. That is just the way of the world. The fact Roman brought in Arnesen, built up Cobham and developed the academy says a lot for the effort to try and do the right things. I'm a little disappointed Arnesen's leaving, but it doesn't sound like Roman had much to do with it, and so we'll see what happens with our academy now, but I trust it will continue to develop under a new tutelage. With expensive players comes big egos, etc..., which I guess we will have to live with; a disappointing part of things but I guess you have to take the good with the bad, or vice versa.

I'm just not feeling that the "old" Chelsea is, in essence, being taken away (or has been taken away) from the fans.

I understand some of the sentiments, e.g. fans being priced out of attending games regularly, newer/younger/different fans being attracted and thus the atmosphere around the club being different than it used to be, more foreign/different players being brought in and thus fans are exposed to different styles/personalities that may clash with what they want/expect, etc... I understand how fans, especially the older fans who've known a "different" Chelsea can feel alienated. However, I propose that this is happening at all clubs, except maybe at an accelerated pace at Chelsea (as well as the other larger clubs). I find it hard to believe any club is actually holding off on developing for a fear of what that development would bring. I think the only reason a club would try to slow things down is to make sure the development is sustainable, i.e. they don't go bankrupt.

So no, as things stand I couldn't possibly see myself supporting any other club, whatever the name.

Cheers,

Butch

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Ideally, if it became successful, i'd like to refuse promotion into the football league and stay as a non league club,

Just not realistic I`m afraid, for a start how many players do you think would hang around at a club that has a glass ceiling? I understand the sentiments behind it but unfortunately all of football is now the same money driven beast, even down to non-league football where the majority of clubs in the conference are full time. The minute you start being successful the vultures would arrive, the agents would descend and you would be in a position where you do as others do or die.

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An interesting topic. The majority of friends I attended football with in the 70's and 80's no longer go to Chelsea games, due mainly to the cost. I am fortunate that I can afford to go but am becoming more and more disillusioned with so called top class football. It is all about money with little or no consideration for the fans. I doubt I would travel in to London to support the equivalent of a non-league team when I can support Woking which is a 10 minute drive to the ground. The problem is the quality of the football at that level, it is often dire but it does hold an old era charm.

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We win the double last season to add to two premiership trophies now all of a sudden it's time to form a breakaway Chelsea just because we've hit bad form ??

Get on with it and live with it , doom and f**king gloom around here at times.

I am not sure if it has anything to with our recent form...

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Firstly, I agree with a hell of what you say. I 'prefer' the old 'Special Train' days out, the terraces, real support, and still despite all the trophies Kerry Dixon's goal at Grimsby remains my favourite Chelsea moment followed by Clive Walker's goal at Bolton, but you are not telling me Di Matteo's goal in the 1997 Cup Final didn't make everything we went through so worth it!

Why I'm trying to say is, football goes through cycles, but mate there will only be one Chelsea, for me, though I respect your views, AFC Chelsea isn't the answer.

I'm restricted at the moment health wise, but when I'm back in business it's 'away days' again, we stand, we sing, there is passion and no muppets.

Chelsea at Stamford Bridge fan wise, is a complete corporate event in the main and like many successful clubs infiltrated by 'glory hunters'

Our support is crap and plastic full stop.

To be bluntly honest, the only campaign I would get behind is a 70,000 new ground at Earls Court, with reduced prices for real fans, stewards that will

let a New Shed End 'stand' even though seats were in place.

With the condition corporate events are in place for revenue on Non matchdays only. I'd also leave the megastore and village on it's current patch well away

from the new ground, the best club shop was always that one on the left hand side of the road as you came out of Fulham Broadway next to the chip shop anyway!

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The whole idea behind an AFC 'should' be to form a Chelsea B, with cheaper access to games , Maintain the ambience that traditionally smaller clubs have, and that irreversibly evaporates with expansion or success. Should have popped up when something was really wrong with our crowd at at the Bridge.

I am not in favour of this. At this juncture it is a knee-jerk in my opinion.

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Ok, the old days were all kinds of fun. But those days are long gone now. It's a different world, different footballing climate. And you can bet your life that almost to a man, those fans of lower league clubs boasting about watching "real" football instead of overpaid prima donnas would give their eye teeth to be up in the Premiership.

If the Premier League pisses you off that much, why not follow the reserves or the youth team? Which would be a much cheaper and easier option than starting a new team from scratch. I'll confess I never really bothered with reserves or youth team matches until I got Chelsea TV. Many of these games are shown live (no this isn't an advert), in fact you can see Chelsea reserves v Aston Villa reserves tonight. Or (assuming this isn't one of those closed doors games) you could go along to the match - it would certainly cost a lot less than watching the first team. You could maybe even start organising coach trips.

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No I don't see the need for it. Football isn't perfect now but then it never has been. Chelsea has always changed as football in general has, but it's still Chelsea. The club my grandad started supporting in the 1930s was very different to the Chelsea of the 80s. Back then we were known as the Pensioners, our proper old badge wasn't a lion but a Chelsea pensioner, we wore white shorts (not blue), we were owned by the Mears family, no one had heard of the Simod Cup, and it wasn't unheard of for us to get 70,000 at a match.

The bottom line for me is that AFC Chelsea wouldn't be Chelsea. Not the real Chelsea. And I can't understand why anyone would rather we were rubbish. I'd support us whatever division we were in but personally I've loved every minute of the success we've had over the last 15 years. The fact that when I started supporting us we had players like Gareth Hall and Paul Furlong in the team makes it all the more amazing.

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We win the double last season to add to two premiership trophies now all of a sudden it's time to form a breakaway Chelsea just because we've hit bad form ??

Get on with it and live with it , doom and f**king gloom around here at times.

I don't think a poor run of form is the reason behind this post, I think the poster has probably experienced worse dips in form than this by far and following a club is a lot more than winning trophies.

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Thanks for your comments so far chaps and i understand your opinions.

Just going back to a few posts.....

This idea of an AFC hasn't 'just' come about from myself due to this one bad season, its a feeling i have had and have had mentioned on a chelsea website and fanzine a long time ago, when we were successful, so it is no knee jerk reaction to this season.

As for fans of lower league clubs deep down wishing they were in the premier league like us...oh no they don't, not most of them anyway, and i am one of them. I am also involved in non league football, followed my club since a kid, do alot of work for it and prefer the non league to modern prem league anyday. And most non league fans follow their local clubs simply because they prefer it to the big stage, so we don't envy the big leagues.

An AFC refusing promotion being unrealistic, i understand that. But i'd like to look in to that situation in more detail. Clubs have been refused promotion by the league, and clubs have refused promotion in the past to my knowledge.

Non league football being of dire quality, not from what i have seen over many years. I've seen just as many excellent quality games as i have in the big leagues, and ive seen just as many poxy games in the big leagues. Just look at chelsea's latest performances with all the superstars, ive certainly seen more entaining football in the lower leagues lately.

I will always be chelsea first and foremost in my heart - but pre modern day.

As for me staying at home if i don't like it - i do just that thanks, or follow my non league side. I've been to the occassional modern cfc home game over recent years and felt nothing but contempt for the saddos sitting around me (not including our real fans of course), have felt totally embarrassed when 1,500 away fans outsing 35,000 home 'fans', and felt totally ripped off with every penny i had to spend at the club. A sad feeling considering for 17 years i felt nothing but pride at a chelsea home game, even when we had a two bob team.

As i said before, if this is what is called progress, then its not for me. An AFC would be a return to the way things should be and that suits me, chelsea of old in my eyes.

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Personally, I don't see the point, especially at this time! I am pretty much one of those fans that came with Roman, and I'm not going to hide behind it, I was attracted by this team with a flair that now was given a purse to build up, and gave me an opportunity to stick it to my Liverpool/Arsenal/Manchester supporting friends at school. One thing I know, even though we're having a bad run, we have the ability and the means to fight back and get our position back, and personally I don't see myself able to support any other club, good times or bad. Yes I never came to the Bridge and no I wasn't there for our failures (this could be argued, as I did see Chelsea lose to bloody Monaco and the Moscow final), but at the same time you could see in an other way, I will stick around this club and will support it however I can. In that sense I do dash out the money to be able to see Chelsea games on tv, buy the latest kits, hell I sometimes have to wake up at 5am to catch a game. Yes, I understand the supporters have not the vigors of the era's that have past us, but you have much more of them, and looking at one thing, and the primary thing that makes you follow a club, success. At some point, people have to remember that football is a massive business, where numbers count to be able to invest in the future, hence the changes. Yes, they're not all good, but honestly, haven't you started in a sense supporting Chelsea in a dream that someday the team can boast that it has a squad that challenges year in and year out in all competitions it enters?

On the other hand, the only reason why I would see AFC Chelsea being a good thing would be to see a club based on the community, and a local atmosphere. I'm 22, and have been running small Sunday league clubs for the last 2 years, this year is the first year I joined a friends club instead of building up my own (lack of interest from most of my squad made close shop). There is something really fun and interesting about the whole experience. We don't have sponsors, so everything has to come from our pockets, and when the budget is tight you have to know how to organize yourself to be able to pay for the field you play on, to pay for the kits, to pay for the league entry fees. And honestly, if you achieve success, it's an even greater feeling, and that's one aspect you have to look at, if your players overachieve and are able to get into league football or near it, why would you deny them that chance? If you do go through, all I can say is best of luck, but it will be a roller-coaster ride.

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