This is written by a Chelsea fan in one of the groups i am in....
Worth remembering how far we have come and how we used to have it. Remember when Spurs fans were too busy ogling their Argentinians to bother about the 100 or so Chelsea in the Shelf? Think it funny how other team's fans have chosen to forget that Chelsea have a history and our fans a memory of when we had it tough? Think it incredible that others bemoan our transfer purchases from abroad? A few key facts! - In 1978 Tottenham (Keith Burkenshaw) had the money to go and get two Argentians who had played a vital role in winning the World Cup. Ipswich followed not long after with Dutch superstars Frans Thijssen and Arnold Muhren. This set the ball rolling for "Johnny Foreigner - Footballer, have boots, will travel and England is my dream". Chelsea, meanwhile, had no money and no expensive foreign superstars.
Transfers to Chelsea:
David Hay 225' July 74
John Sissons 50' Aug 74
Duncan McKenzie 165' Sep 78
(Sold March 79 for 80')
Bannon 200' Jan 79
(Sold Nov 79 for 170')
Docherty 50' Feb 79
(Free Nov 79)
Borota 70' 'March 79
(Season 77-78, our first season back, there were no transfers from or to Chelsea)
We purchased 6 players in 6 years and three of those moved on within a year of signing. So in the five years from David Hay in 74 to Petar Borota in 79 we did not buy a player of significance. During these same years we had to sell the following players to stay afloat: Webb, Osgood, Hollins, Kember, Houseman, Hudson, Wicks, Swain, Wilkins, Finneston, Lewington, Stanley and Stride.
When Chelsea played Man U in Feb 1978 the Man Utd team had a combined cost of £2 Million. Chelsea's happy band of misfits, youth talent and bargin basement players from non-league had cost us £2 000. 2 million vs 2 thousand. Two Thousand Pound - for an entire team! Our team, the Chelsea we loved. We held our own, earning a 2-2 draw, havng already won at Old Trafford that season. So if today near the top of the league fans of other teams would do well to remember where we were and what we went through to get where we are today. The Chelsea spirit was what made us attractive and that is down to our fans and a bunch of hard working mediocre players during some very difficult years at the club.
When I researched this I was actually surprised that we bought not a single player from John Sissons 50' Aug 74 to Duncan McKenzie 165' Sep 78. That's over four years!!! -
Compare that to today's lunacy and hype surrounding "transfer deadlines" and "transfer windows".
What makes it more incredible is that during this time we had been relegated, come up as a promising young team and established ourselves in Div 1.
During these four years we had also pensioned off most of the former old guard that had brought us the successes of 70 and 71. And we were not able to use any of the considerable sums of money we received to replace our former stars that went off to pastrues new.
Name a team today that gets relegated and does not buy some players in a clean out.
Name a team today that gets promoted and doesn't buy players to strengthen their squad.
This IS our history. Many of us posting on Facebook today went through this period. It was a time we were on our own. The players and the fans. It was all about home-grown and a strong bond and feeling of belonging because it was just us together taking on all comers.
Hell, we even lost our manager after a promotion season beause of our financial status. I know Mears took a lot of stick for the Eddie McCreadie "car" incident but was it right for our Eddie make such demands on a board that had not been able to spend a penny on the transfer market for three seasons? A board that knew that no players were coming in during the close season.
In a way I feel the feelings between the players and the fans created a feeling that can be compared to how the Second World War bonded the UK. How we came out of 45 closer than ever before identified by the fact that we had stood alone when all of Europe was under German Rule.
With the sentiment - Who do you think you are kidding Mr "Other 91 clubs", we are the boys that will make you think again. -
Is it any wonder we are still doing that?
My track record? - 185 consecutive league games Jan 1979 - Aug 1983.