Chelsea's 'Here to play, here to stay' tour makes a big impact in Asia
Chelsea‘s “Here to play, Here to stay” tour of Asia has been a massive success for many reasons. Most of us will focus on the performances of the players in the three games against the Singha All-Stars, Malaysian XI and the BNI Indonesian All Stars but the tour has been about so much more than that.
You would have read quotes from Jose Mourinho, Bruce Buck and Ron Gourlay speaking of the difference between the Chelsea Tour now to previously when Chelsea first made the trips to Asia.
Chelsea Football Club as a global brand has grown significantly worldwide ever since Roman Abramovich took over back in 2003 and the response to this tour has been unbelievable.
The focus of the tour has been about the training and the games but it’s important to point out the work the club does off the pitch and in the community. It’s something often overlooked by many of us but in particular in Asia over the past few weeks because it has made a massive impact.
Two local newspapers have published articles in recent days praising the football club and the players for their involvement in the tour away from the rigours of pre-season training and the games.
The Thai Rath Newspaper has even taken steps to compare Chelsea’s visit to that of Manchester United and the differences between the two.
As we know United have massive worldwide presence, something we are working towards but it seems that Chelsea have captured the hearts of the “Blue Lions” with their attitude.
The article states:
“Even though before arriving, Manchester United were big news in Thailand and it was all everybody was talking about but once Chelsea arrived into Bangkok with their friendly smiles and the way they entertained their fans, the “Blue Lions” won over many many new fans in Thailand! Fans loved the open training session, and was surprised at the football clinic Chelsea sent their captain “John Terry” to join in activities with the kids which won the hearts of Thai people.
Also during the Chelsea vs Singha All Star game not sure if it was the style of Chelsea’s playing technics or the full Chelsea team being here in Bangkok but the crowd was definitely having fun with doing the wave and cheering on the Chelsea troop throughout the whole game.
You can see difference between the two teams, even when Chelsea was leaving to get onto their bus the players went to the fans and gave out autographs and took pictures with everyone!”
Another article, this time from Siam Rath Newspaper published the following:
“Chelsea built a great relationship with their Thai fans with being very friendly and easy going. And Chelsea sent their stars like Gary Cahill and Romelu Lukaku to open Chelsea’s football clinic for kids that also joined in the clinic was “Nong Bo” Supasek Amornchat son of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Nobody was left unexcited from the Chelsea match against Singha All Star and Mourinho putting his all with running on the side of the game almost the whole 90 minutes.
After the match, Chelsea players exhausted and tired from the game they still had enough strength to give out autographs to their fans who were waiting for them.
It’s the personal touch that makes the world of difference and it very noticeable how Chelsea have been received in Asia compared to that of United.”
You have to give credit to everyone at Chelsea Football Club for playing their part in the tour. Whether it’s the playing squad, the staff, community workers or members of the board, the tour has been a real success and has created memories for thousands of people who have had a dream to meet the players or watch Chelsea play, something we have a chance to do week in, week out.
As Chelsea come back to London for the second part of our pre-season and as Jose Mourinho continues to work the players to full fitness ahead of the season opener on August 18th, it’s important understand the appreciate the steps the club is taking forward off the pitch.
The Here to Play, Here to Stay tour has helped the club reach out to thousands more “Blue Lions” in Asia!
Carefree & KTBFFH!