Football fans show eternal loyalty to their clubs and display their unshakable passion even when the club is having a bad time. According to Bill Shankly, football clubs have a holy trinity of players, managers and supporters. In this trinity, fans show the most support and passionately give their all. But, for players and managers, it is a different case.
Players and managers are tied to deals that are renewed based on their interest and success on the field. We know about a few players who contributed much to the success of their teams and helped to define eras. Their commitment to their clubs is akin to that of the supporters and these players are very few in number in history.
On the other hand, we also witnessed many superstars who cut ties with their clubs in controversial manner and became fans' enemies for eternity. These players either moved to a direct rival or against the interest of the club, thereby, incurring the anger of the fans. So, we look at five of these controversial transfers in the history of the beautiful game.
#5 Ashley Cole - Arsenal to Chelsea (2006)
Ashley Cole cannot be easily forgotten by Arsenal fans after six wonderful and productive years after his promotion from their youth team. But he is seen more as a betrayer who left their beloved club for a direct rival in 2006 than the player he developed into.
Cole was an established player who was integral to Arsenal. He was part of the team that went unbeaten in 2003-04. Apart from this, he won multiple honours with the club.
His relationship with the club quickly became sour in 2005-06 when news broke that he was involved in a transfer to Chelsea. The defender accused Arsenal of maltreating and undervaluing him as he was offered a contract of £55,000 per week. This made the fans name him Cashley because they felt he signed for Chelsea because of money.
Cole was heavily fined by the FA that season for misconduct and Chelsea were accused of illegal contact and tapping up of the player as the two parties met behind Arsenal. He was forced to spend the rest of the season at the Emirates after reaching an agreement with Chelsea without the Gunners' approval. The following season, Cole moved to Chelsea but further incurred the wrath of the fans.