Chelsea’s summertime travels around the world tend to carry a cynical, commercial connotation with them as the club continues to build its worldwide “brand” to stay competitive in the modern global football landscape. Pre- and post-season tours of far-off lands tend to have negligible, if any, benefits in terms of actual preparations for the season, but have a significant effect in marketing and on the bottom line (and fan engagement).
But an upcoming match at the end of the season will break that trend. As announced by the club today, Cheslea will play an exhibition match against the MLS’s New England Revolution in Foxborough, MA (just outside of Boston) as part of the Blues’ ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign, which was launched at the start of the year.
It’s a campaign that’s very important to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich; in fact, the announcement post even contains a rare public statement from the Israeli citizen.
“I am proud of the work Chelsea does to promote equality and tackle discrimination all over the world. The Say No To Antisemitism campaign has already achieved so much in raising awareness of this important issue, but there remains a lot of work to do. I am delighted to join forces with New England Revolution and Mr Kraft in this initiative and we look forward to the match.”
-Roman Abramovich; source: Chelsea FC
Both Abramovich and Kraft, who owns the New England Revolution and the NFL’s New England Patriots will donate $1m each, which, alongside the proceeds from this match, will go towards “international community programmes that combat antisemitism”.
This effort from Chelsea, to try to make the world a better place, is certainly something we should be proud of.
The exact time and date for the match has not been announced yet, but presumably it will follow soon after the last day of the season, which for Chelsea will either be May 12 (Premier League), May 18 (FA Cup final), or May 29 (Europa League final) — or should Chelsea make the latter, perhaps between the last day of the league season and the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan.