The Premiership woke up this morning to a lot of excitement.
Everton fans were celebrating breaking their transfer record, West Ham fans were incredulous that they had sold half their defence without replacing them, Liverpool fans were “overjoyed” at signing two foreign 18-year-olds to add to their increasing collection of foreign 18-year-olds, Newcastle were celebrating signing a new striker by having some good old northern speculation over the manager’s future, and Arsenal were incredulous that Arsene Wenger’s new sleeping pills had made him sleep through the entire transfer window.
The most emotion was at Chelsea though, with reports that overnight their fanbase had halved. While the fans from more than about 5 years ago are generally pretty solid, there have been more and more “loyal” supporters whistling nonchalantly and sidling up to Manchester.
After the cash splashed about by Manchester City’s new owners in alarming fashion (bids of over £30 million were made for European golden boys David Villa, Robinho, Dimitar Berbatov and Nigel Quashie), it seems some Chelsea fans have turned their back on Abramovich’s paltry £550 million plus investment over the past years in favour of the Abu Dhabi Investment Group.
“Roman put in about £600 million over 5 years,” said one former fan. “That’s £120 million a year. These new guys have spent over £30 million in one day, just on players, so if you extrapolate…. I expect them to catch up in about a month or so. They have my support.”
It seems many other fans have been drawn, moth-like, to the City of Manchester Stadium. Supporters have been noticed outside wearing blue Wright-Phillips shirts which look suspiciously like Chelsea kits with a new badge drawn over the top.
Scarves and hats have had “Chelsea” crossed out and “City” written on instead, while groups of “City” fans have been seen huddling together swearing never to mention their May trip to Moscow again.
Fans who had just bought Chelsea shirts with “Robinho” on the back under the impression he would be arriving at Stamford Bridge were looking very smug and telling people they had bought them “for a joke” and that they had really supported City for years.
Problems did not arise, however, until parts of SW3 were removed from London and dumped just outside Cheetham Hill by a lorry. There are also reports that Chelsea Pensioners have negotiated a move up north too, which would be likely to lead to Manchester commandeering the Chelsea Flower Show and a small portion of the Thames as well.
“It’s just not fair,” said one Manchester resident. “There are so many southerners round here now my kids are starting to lose their accent. On reflection though, that may not be such a bad thing….”
When questioned about the attitude of the cash-loving supporters, Phil Scolari just shrugged.
“Fans are like women,” he said. “Splash some money around and they’ll come running. But when your next door neighbour moves in and parks his Ferrari on the drive, you can be sure her thoughts will wander.”
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